Jefferson Randolph Anderson, Sr.

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Jefferson Randolph Anderson, Sr.

Birthplace: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United States
Death: July 17, 1950 (88)
Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United States
Place of Burial: 330 Bonaventure Road, Thunderbolt, Chatham County, Georgia, 31404, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Colonel Edward Clifford Anderson, Jr., (CSA) and Jane Margaret Anderson
Husband of Anne Page Anderson
Father of Page Platt (Anderson); Jefferson Anderson, Jr. and Joseph Randolph Anderson
Brother of George Wayne Anderson; Eliza Clifford Anderson; Margaret Randolph Rotch and Sarah Randolph Anderson

Occupation: State Politician
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jefferson Randolph Anderson, Sr.

Jefferson Randolph Anderson, Sr.

Anderson was born in Savannah, Georgia, September 4, 1861, and has back of him an honorable and distinguished ancestry. He is the eldest of five children. In the paternal line he is descended from Captain George Anderson, of England, who came to this country from Berwick on the Tweed, and was married in Trinity Church, New York, on February 16, 1671, to Deborah Grant of that city, and settled in Savannah about the year 1763. Mr. Anderson's grandfather was Mr. George Wayne Anderson, who was a nephew of Associate Justice James M. Wayne of the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), and was for forty years prior to the Civil war the president of the old Planters Bank in Savannah, one of the greatest of the South's antebellum financial institutions. His father was Colonel Edward Clifford Anderson, Jr., who, at the bloody cavalry Battle at Trevillian Station in Virginia, in 1864, succeeded to the colonelcy of the Seventh Georgia Cavalry in the army of the Confederacy; and who fell a victim at the post of duty in the yellow fever epidemic in Savannah in 1876.

In the maternal line, Mr. Anderson is a lineal descendant of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States of America and principal author of the Declaration of American Independence, his mother, Jane Margaret Randolph, of Albemarle County, Virginia, was a granddaughter of Colonel Thomas Jefferson Randolph, of “Edgehill," in that county, and who himself was the eldest grandson of President Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson R. Anderson obtained his early education in various schools in Savannah, Georgia, and was graduated from the Chatham County high school in the class of 1877, and then entered the Hanover Academy of Hanover County, Virginia, of which Colonel Hilary P. Jones was the principal. He remained a student there through two consecutive years, and in 1879 matriculated in the University of Virginia, spending there the scholastic years of 1879-80 and 1880-81, pursuing his studies in various branches in the academic department.

He then went abroad and enjoyed superior educational advantages in the University of Gottingen in Germany, where for nearly two years he pursued the studies of history, literature and Roman, or civil, law under the celebrated jurist, Professor von Ehring. Returning to America in the summer of 1883, he again entered the University of Virginia, taking during the session of 1883-84 a part of the academic course and a part of the law course. He attended the summer law school of Professor John B. Minor during the summer of 1884 and during the following session of 1884-85 took the remainder of the regular law course, being graduated in June, 1885, with the degree of Bachelor of Law.

While at the university, Mr. Anderson was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity, which he joined in 1879, and in 1883 he became a member of a student social organization known as the Eli Banana, composed of the leading students in the various Greek letter fraternities. He took active interest in all branches of student life, and in the spring of 1884 was the "bow oar" on the 'varsity crew. In June, 1884, he was elected by his fellow students to the position of "Final President" of the Jefferson Literary Society, which at that time was regarded, and perhaps still is regarded, as the highest honor which could be conferred by the students of the university upon a fellow student.

Mr. Anderson was admitted to the bar in Virginia and began practicing law in Savannah, Georgia, in November, 1885, in the office of his relative, the late Judge Walter S. Chisholm, one of the most distinguished lawyers in Georgia, who at that time was the general counsel for the Plant System of Railways, the Southern Express Company and many other large interests. In the summer of 1887 Mr. Anderson decided to branch out for himself, and as a preliminary step, took a course in practical business training in the Eastman Business College at Poughkeepsie, New York, and opened his law office in Savannah the following October. In May, 1890, he entered the law firm of Charlton & Mackall as junior partner, a partnership which the following year caused the firm style of Charlton, Mackall & Anderson to be adopted and which was retained until the retirement of the senior partner in June, 1900. This firm became in 1895 the general counsel for the Georgia & Alabama Railway and represented many large corporate, as well as private, interests.

The firm of Mackall & Anderson then existed from July, 1900, until October, 1902, when it was dissolved and Mr. Anderson continued for some years alone in the practice. In February, 1908, he formed a co-partnership with Hon. George T. Cann, who resigned from the bench of the eastern judicial circuit of Georgia for that purpose, and this firm under the style of Anderson & Cann continued until January 1, 1911, when Hon. J. Ferris Cann became a member and the firm name was changed to Anderson, Cann & Cann. This firm is the division counsel for the portions in Georgia of the fourth and fifth divisions of the Seaboard Air Line Railway, and represents a large and influential clientele, their practice being general, although largely in the departments of corporation law and admiralty.

Mr. Anderson participates actively in the business life of his city and state. He is president of the Savannah & Statesboro Railway Company, whose management and affairs he personally directs. He is also president of the Georgia & Alabama Terminal Company, which owns the great export terminals used by the Seaboard Air Line Railway Company at Savannah; and he is a director in quite a number of business concerns, among others the Savannah Trust Company, the Atlantic Compress Company, the Savannah Electric Company, the Savannah Union Station Company, and the Chatham Real Estate & Improvement Company.

In the field of politics, Mr. Anderson is well and favorably known throughout the state. He represented his county in the legislature of 1905-06, and quickly earned a state-wide reputation for ability, earnestness and fairness as a legislator. He was re-elected for the session of 1909-10 and occupied the very important position of vice-chairman of the committee on rules, the speaker being ex-officio the chairman. In politics, Mr. Anderson's chief interest seems to be in the direction of advocating .conservatism in legislation and in matters relating to the education and improvement of the youth of his state. In the session of 1905, he was vice-chairman of the house committee, which created eight new counties in Georgia. He energetically supported the measure creating a juvenile reformatory and he was floor leader in the house for the movement which enacted the first child labor law in Georgia.

In 1906 he actively assisted in the passage of the law which created the system of congressional agricultural schools in Georgia and he has been since its establishment the chairman of the board of trustees of the agricultural school for the first congressional district of Georgia. He was also chairman of the commission appointed by the state to erect in Savannah a monument to General Oglethorpe, the founder of the original colony of Georgia, the monument being erected in 1910. In the house of 1909 he introduced measures providing for the extension and improvement of the child labor law, for the appointment of a tax commission to revise and equalize the system and methods of state taxation, and for biennial instead of annual sessions of the legislature.

Mr. Anderson was re-elected for the succeeding term, session of 1910-11, and was influential in bringing about a great deal of helpful legislation. He was one of the authors of the bill creating the bureau of labor; he was the author of the bill reapportioning the state of Georgia into twelve congressional districts instead of eleven, providing for one additional congressman; he took an active part in the passage of the act increasing the borrowing power of the governor from $200,000 to $500,000, and also in that providing for the payment of corporation taxes in September instead of December. He was one of the authors of the general educational bill, which became a law. He was thus concerned in all the leading issues in the legislature and no member was prominent in a more effective or praiseworthy fashion. In the year 1912 Mr. Anderson was one of the eight delegates from the state at large to the national Democratic convention in Baltimore, and in October of that year he was elected to the senate of Georgia as senator from the first senatorial district for the term of two years.

Mr. Anderson during his earlier years took a strong interest in military matters. He was for several years an active member of the Georgia Hussars and later held a commission from the state as second lieutenant in the Savannah Volunteer Guards, two of the oldest and most historic military organizations in the South. He has also entered upon various congenial social relations, being a member of the Oglethorpe Club of Savannah, of which he is the vice-president; of the Capital City Club of Atlanta; the Savannah Golf Club; the Savannah Yacht Club; and the Georgia Historical Society. He is also a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is an Episcopalian and isone of the vestrymen of Christ Church, Savannah.

Mr. Anderson was married November 27,1895, to Anne Page Wilder, of Savannah, only child of Joseph J. and Georgia Page (King) Wilder. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have had three children: Page Randolph Anderson, born August 27, 1899; Jefferson Randolph Anderson, born September 3, 1902, died November 29, 1903; and Joseph Wilder Anderson, born April 22, 1905. The family residence is in Savannah, with a summer home, "Oakton," at the foot of Kennesaw Mountain, near Marietta, Georgia.

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Jefferson Randolph Anderson, Sr.'s Timeline

September 4, 1861
Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United States
August 27, 1899
Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United States
September 3, 1902
Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United States
April 22, 1905
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, United States
July 17, 1950
Age 88
Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, United States
Bonaventure Cemetery, 330 Bonaventure Road, Thunderbolt, Chatham County, Georgia, 31404, United States