Bio: Anderson, George (98th Birthday - 1955)

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Anderson, Subke, Moffatt, Tolford, Beeckler, Baines 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) January 20, 1955 

Anderson, George (98th Birthday - 17 January 1955) 

George Anderson, Now 98 Years of age, Drove Old Stage Coach - He took Travelers to the O’Neill House from the old West Side Depot… 

George Anderson, old timer of Neillsville, celebrated his ninety-eighth birthday on Monday, January 17.  He is a link with the old Neillsville, driver of the stage coach which plied to and from the old O’Neill House to the depot on the west side of the river. That depot was in use from 1881 to 1887.  With 98 years upon him, George Anderson can still remember that he carried the mail on his coach, and kept it under his feet for safety’s sake. 

Mr. Anderson is now a resident of the Subke home for old people at 118 Hewett Street.  His birthday observance began Sunday, January 16, when his son Verne of Eau Claire came to see him, accompanied by his wife, his young son and a very special birthday cake, made by Mrs. Verne Anderson, and eyed with interest by the young residents of the Subke home, whose years range between 70 and 98. 

Drove the Stage 

Mr. Anderson, searching his mind for The Press, recalled that, when he drove the stage coach, he lived on the north side with his sister, Ella Moffatt.  The stage coach job was not all ‘peaches and cream,’ for the road, now US-10, was not the paved highway of today.  Nor was the bridge the solid concrete structure of the present day.  The old bridge went out at one time, and the railroad passengers used a temporary ferry.  In 1887 the railroad was extended into Neillsville, the river being spanned by the present bridge.  Then Mr. Anderson continued with the livery business.  He recalls that, in the stage coach period, there were two such coaches, the other being driven by George Tolford. 

Farmer, Retailer  

Mr. Anderson’s stage coach experience came when he was about 25 years of age.  His old family home had been at Hartford, and the family recollection is that his wife, with one or more small children, continued for a time at Hartford, while Mr. Anderson came up into the wilds to establish himself.  In 1900 or thereabouts he bought a farm in the old Dodgeville section of Clark County, one mile east and three-quarters of a mile north of the city of Loyal.  He had hardly gained possession of this place before he saw an opportunity to go into the retailing of hardware at Unity, being the senior member of the firm of Anderson & Ferguson.   

But retailing was not for George Anderson.  In about a year he was back on the farm, remaining there until 1913.  He then moved into the village of Loyal and worked in the lumber yard of Gilman & Graves.  There he built with his own hands the family home, located two blocks south of the Lutheran Church, and later known as the Luchterhand home.  

Long in Loyal 

Mr. Anderson maintained the family home in Loyal 37 years.  His wife died in 1940, but he remained in Loyal until 1950, when accumulating years and declining powers led him to find a home in Neillsville, first with the Beecklers and then with the Subkes.  He now has difficulty to hear, is troubled by cataracts and his mind slows down at times, and he has come to rely much upon the Subkes. 

In the old days Mr. Anderson took an active interest in public affairs, both town and school.  He was active in the use and support of the old Dodgeville Creamery.  His son Verne remembers him as one who kept things up, who provided well for his family, who watched his own step and who expected those around him to do the same.  His sole vice appears to have been a comfortable relation with a pipe, which he held in one place so long as to wear out a welcome and invite a lip cancer.  The cancer was removed without recurrence, giving Mr. Anderson one of his two experiences with doctors.  His son Verne can remember only the two. 

Wanted to fish at 97 

Mr. Anderson retained young ideas, even up to last summer, then 97; he was still thinking about the fishing, and in the fall he chided Verne because Verne had not come around to take him fishing. 

Verne is the youngest of four children.  He was born in Loyal; is an electrician in Eau Claire; the father of two boys.   Oldest of the four is Ethel Baines, a widow residing at Pasco, Washington, mother of four.  Second child was Mabel, who became Mrs. Otto (The balance of the article was missing from my copies. Dmk) 



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