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Francis Thomas Anderson

Francis Thomas Anderson

Male 1808 - 1887  (78 years)

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  • Name Francis Thomas Anderson  [1
    Born 11 Dec 1808  Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Died 30 Nov 1887  Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Buried Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • Lynchburg News, Lexington, VA, November 30, 1887. Judge Francis T Anderson died this morning at 5 o'clock, at his residence in this place, having nearly completed his seventy-ninth year. Until the past week his health was good and he was giving attention to his business affairs as usual. Within that time a grandaughter, Miss Junkin, daughter of Rev. William F. Junkin D. D., and a very attractive young lady also, died in his family. Some days ago he was taken with a severe attack of indigestion but appeared to be recovering, when on yesterday about noon he walked out for a half hour and returned suffering with a chill. After being relieved of this he retired and appeared to have suffered little during the night. He was in perfect possession of his faculties and in the characteristic enjoyment of the society of his family and friends to the last. Judge Anderson was born and reared in Botetourt County. At the age of nineteen he graduated from Washington College with distinction. He then returned to his home and began the study of law without the advantage of an instructor.
      At the age of twenty-one he was admitted to the Botetourt County Bar. In 1852 he thought it necessary that he should take charge of, and personally superintend property which he held in this county, to which he removed and retired from his professional practice. In 1863 he was elected to the legislature from this county and re-elected in 1865. By the first legislature under the present constitution he was elected a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals of the State for a term of twelve years from January 1st, 1871. The duties of the court were arduous and important. Numerous transactions during the war, many of them vastly important and many which occurred previous to that time, involving intricate and embarrassing questions which grew out of that great struggle had to be settled by that court in the decisions of which there were no precedent to guide. In these services Judge Anderson acted an important and prominent part. In his course on the bench he earned for himself the need of high approval by all for the surpassing ability, firmness and independence with which he maintained his honest convictions.
      Children of Francis and Mary Ann: Anna Aylett, Mary Evelyn, Frances Margaret, Josephine Ried, Katherine, William Alexander, Theodore, Isabelle, Francis Thomas

      Francis Thomas Anderson was educated at Washington College, Lexington, and came to the bar in 1830 at the age of twenty-two, becoming a brilliant lawyer and orator; member of the House of Delegates of Virginia; Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1870-1882; a leader of the Whig party in Virginia; member and President of the Electoral College electing the President of the United States in 1861; Rector of Washington & Lee University; and a ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church for many years. He built and resided at Montrose in Fincastle for some years, selling it to his nephew and later residing at Glenwood on the James River near Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County.

      Francis Thomas Anderson grew up at Walnut Hill with his three brothers and four sisters in the beautiful life of a mountain community. Like so many men from Augusta and Botetourt, he came to Washington College for academic work and law study. It was in Lexington that he met Mary Anne Alexander, seeing her for the first time on the steps of the same white-pillared Presbyterian Church which stands there now. She was the daughter of Andrew Alexander and Anne Dandridge Aylett, his wife. Mary Anne's mother, like the mother of Francis T. Anderson, was an Episcopalian who had married a staunch Presbyterian. Their home, on land just north of Lexington, was named Liberty Hall after the old Academy across the lane, for which the family had given land.
      Upon his graduation, Francis T. Anderson and Mary Anne Alexander were married, drove to Fincastle and lived in a brick house within the town. There he practiced law with distinction, becoming a member of the State Legislature and of the Constitutional Convention of 1849-50. He also was in the State Senate, and became a leader of the Whig Party. In 1861, after his removal to Rockbridge County, he was a member of the Electoral College for choosing the president of the United States.
      During his very early years he grew interested in the iron business through his brother, John T. Anderson, and his Shanks relatives and other friends. His aunt, Grace Metcalfe Thomas, had married a Shanks of Fincastle.
      The furnace in Arnold's Valley, first called Cassandra, was owned by Francis T. Anderson, John T. Anderson and Thomas Shanks jointly and built by them, so far as records show. In 1853 Francis T. Anderson acquired sole ownership of this furnace, and of the 30,000 acres of mountain land on the James River in Bedford, Rockbridge, and a small part of Botetourt counties.
      In this momentous change, my grandfather gave up his law practice in Fincastle, and his interest in other furnaces there. He assumed management of the Cassandra, whose name he changed to Glenwood, moved his family to a lovely, big, white house in Arnold's Valley, on what had been Burks land. But they lived first in the brick Greenlee house on the James River. Both houses are still standing. His handsome plantation house, "Montrose", which he had constructed on the edge of Fincastle, he sold to his first cousin, William Anderson Glasgow, of Green Forest.
      Thus from 1852-53 to 1861 Francis T. Anderson was absorbed in establishing his family in their new home, and in the management of his furnace at Glenwood, in Arnold's Valley.
      Francis T. Anderson moved his family to Lexington in the later years of the war, and his first home there was the Samuel Jordan House, now the V.M.I. Hospital, where they were not far from his wife's sister, Evelina Alexander Moore. After Mrs. Moore's death they bought the charming Victorian Gothic house, one of several in Lexington built by Henry Myers in the 1840's, and he lived there until his death in 1887, his wife having died in 1881.
      He was an elder in Fincastle and in Lexington of the Presbyterian church of his Scottish ancestors. He became a member of the board of Washington College, and at the time of Gen. Lee's death was rector of that board and continued so for some years afterwards.
      In 1870, Francis T. Anderson became a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia and served until 1882. As judge, he spent much time in Richmond, staying sometimes at his brother Joseph's home on Franklin Street, but more often at the old Exchange Hotel where the judges boarded.
      As rector of the Washington College Board, he was a pallbearer at the funeral of Gen. Robert E. Lee, October 12, 1870, and cards of the funeral show this in the college files.
      A friend of the poor and defender of the oppressed, F. T. Anderson was a truly godly man. On his death the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Bar of his state honored his memory by eulogistic resolutions. He was buried in the Lexington Cemetery by the side of his wife. [1, 3, 5]
    Person ID I28100  Mindrum
    Last Modified 4 Nov 2015 

    Father William Anderson,   b. 2 Jun 1764, Delaware Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Sep 1839, Walnut Hill, Botetourt, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Mother Anne Thomas,   b. 29 Dec 1779,   d. 23 Jul 1848  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 15 May 1796  Frederick Co., Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7, 8
    Family ID F12640  Group Sheet

    Family Mary Ann Alexander,   b. Dec 1806, King William Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Nov 1881, Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 74 years) 
    Married 1830  [6
     1. William A. Anderson,   b. 11 Apr 1842, Montrose, Botetourt, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 12 Jan 2018 
    Family ID F19379  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Anderson, Francis Thomas
    Anderson, Francis Thomas
    Anderson, Francis Thomas
    Anderson, Francis Thomas

    Anderson, Francis and Mary Alexander
    Anderson, Francis and Mary Alexander

  • Sources 
    1. [S8249] Robert D. Stoner, (The Roanoke Historical Society, 1963), p. 272.

    2. [S7877] William Anderson Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application, 27 Feb 1918, 1808.

    3. [S6231] www.findagrave.com.

    4. [S7877] William Anderson Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application, 27 Feb 1918, 1887.

    5. [S8259] The Four Anderson Brothers, Ellen Graham Anderson.

    6. [S7877] William Anderson Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application, 27 Feb 1918.

    7. [S8056] Maryland Marriages.

    8. [S8249] Robert D. Stoner, (The Roanoke Historical Society, 1963), 1796.