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Dr. William Neely Anderson

Male 1806 - 1868  (62 years)

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  • Name William Neely Anderson  [1
    Prefix Dr. 
    Born 3 Oct 1806  Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 3 Oct 1868 
    • Dr. William Neeley Anderson graduated from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and died at the age of sixty-two years, apparently barely solvent, a natural result of the fact that the last eight years of his life were four of war and four of reconstruction, when southern currency had been devaluated, southern economy bankrupted, and southerners had little with which to pay doctors; and doctors of the Anderson type could not press accounts against patients probably even more impoverished than themselves. His will leaves "what little I have" and the debts due to himself and the debts due to "our much lamented son," William Rush Anderson to his wife, formerly Mary Jane Kerr of Augusta County. It will be noted that William Anderson in his will makes special provision for this son because of the particular professional attention his family had received from him.

      Unlike the other three of William Anderson's four sons, who led lives of political and industrial importance on a statewide level, one pursued a course of study as a physician and never prospered to any great extent. William Neely Anderson (1806-1868) studied at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and was graduated in 1826. He is said to have come back to the Fincastle locale and married Mary Jane Kerr of Augusta County." They had one son, William Rush Anderson, who died tragically at the age of 21. There is an unsupported tradition that Dr. Anderson took in or purchased and cared for a number of sick or aged slaves at his own expense and freed them.'
      In 1840, William N. Anderson purchased the house and two tracts totaling 290 acres from his uncle Robert Anderson, Jr., for which he paid $3,600. Robert Anderson apparently had made the decision to relocate to Missouri, and made the farm available to his nephew. His will was written in Rawls County, Missouri in 1844 as he was about to depart on a journey to Virginia and was probated in 1847." By 1840 the accumulated improvements on a 110-acre portion of the property were valued in the tax records at $1,500. The three-hundred dollar increase since 1829 might be attributed to agricultural outbuildings or an addition to the house, no longer extant. The farm and buildings were noted as transferred to William N. Anderson in the following year. The 1850 census shows the Anderson household consisting of the forty-three-year-old physician, his wife Mary, age thirty, their eleven-year-old son, and two twenty-four-year-old slaves, male and female, and three young slave children, probably the children of the slave couple."
      Dr. Anderson was attempting to sell the property by 1852, apparently in financial distress. An initial buyer, Charles C. Blount, did not receive a deed, although he shows up in the 1853 tax records as the owner of 110 acres with improvements valued at $1,000 and an additional 64 acres nearby." In the same year William N. Anderson transferred title to the property to H. W. Spessard for the $2,785. Dr. Anderson moved to Lewisburg, West Virginia. He suffered further financial difficulties during and after the Civil War. He died in 1868 in Lewisburg." In his will he left "what little property I possess" to his wife." The house later passed through a series of owners who made few changes to the property. A one-story frame ell (removed in 1969) was added to the rear of the house, probably in the late nineteenth century." The house suffered from
      severe deterioration by the time it and forty-seven acres were acquired by the present owners, Bishop and Mrs. William deJamette Rutherfoord, in 1969. The house was carefully rehabilitated and expanded and has been well maintained since that time.

      William Neely Anderson became a physician. He studied at the then well-known Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.
      He married Mary Jane Kerr of Augusta County and they had one son, William Rush, named for Benjamin Rush, the eminent surgeon. William admired but could not have known Dr. Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, since he died in 1813. Rush Anderson died at the age of 21 and was buried in the cemetery at the Old Stone Church in Lewisburg, W. Va., where his father was then living and practicing medicine. His death was a bitter blow to his parents who were later buried beside him. [1, 2, 3]
    Person ID I28115  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  [4, 5, 6
    Family ID F12640  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Jane Kerr,   b. 1810 
    Married 4 May 1835  Botetourt Co., Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. William Rush Anderson,   d. Dec
    Last Modified 21 Oct 2015 
    Family ID F19389  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Anderson House, Botetourt Co., Virginia
    Anderson House, Botetourt Co., Virginia
    Anderson House, Botetourt Co., Virginia
    Anderson House, Botetourt Co., Virginia
    Anderson, William Neely
    Anderson, William Neely

    Anderson House, Botetourt Co., Virginia
    Anderson House, Botetourt Co., Virginia
    National Register of Historic Places

  • Sources 
    1. [S8249] Robert D. Stoner, A Seed-Bed of the Republic, (The Roanoke Historical Society, 1963), p. 272.

    2. [S8243] National Register of Historic Places-United States Department of the Interior-National Park Service--Anderson House-VDHR Site No. 011-0056 and Botetourt Co. Tax No. 71-94--5640 Lee Lane-Haymakertown, Botetourt Co., Virginia-.

    3. [S8259] The Four Anderson Brothers, Ellen Graham Anderson, Journal of the Roanoke Historical Society, Volume Six, Number One, Summer 1969.

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

    5. [S8056] Maryland Marriages, 1655-1850.

    6. [S8249] Robert D. Stoner, A Seed-Bed of the Republic, (The Roanoke Historical Society, 1963), 1796.