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September 12, 2015

1861 William Harrison Anderson Saved Warrensburg's Bank's Cash Looters

William Harrison Anderson was the father of James I. Anderson, M. D., one of the best-known practitioners in Johnson county, is a member of a highly respected pioneer family, who were prominently connected with the early history of both Johnson and Henry counties. Doctor Anderson was born in 1859 in Warrensburg, Missouri the son of William Harrison and Mary (Davis) Anderson. William Harrison Anderson was born in 1813 in Campbell county, Kentucky. He was the son of John H. Anderson, a native of Virginia. John H. Anderson's father, John Anderson, came with General Braddock from England to Virginia in March, 1755. John H. Anderson was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. He came to Missouri and settled in Johnson county after his sons had located here. His death occurred in Hazel Hill or Simpson township when he was one hundred three years of age. William Harrison Anderson came to Johnson county, Missouri from Tennessee in 1833. He first located north of Warrensburg on a farm. This was before the town of Warrensburg was laid out or the county of Johnson established. In 1838 he moved to Warrensburg and there filled the offices of deputy sheriff, tax collector, and later treasurer of Johnson county.
For several years William Harrison Anderson was employed as clerk in the different stores, working at one time in the employ of a country merchant named Gallaher and subsequently in the first store in Warrensburg. In the early forties he entered the mercantile business for himself in Warrensburg and was thus engaged until 1857, at which time the St. Louis Union Bank established a branch bank in Warrensburg and William Harrison Anderson was employed as cashier. The bank in Warrensburg was organized in July, 1858, and continued in business until 1862, when the unsettled condition of affairs due to war times obliged the bank to close its doors.

At the time Mr. Anderson was cashier, the railroad had been built west only as far as Sedalia, Missouri. Fearing the bank might be looted, he placed seventy-five thousand dollars of the bank funds in five boxes, containing fifteen thousand dollars each, and hauled the boxes to the farm home of John Parr in June, 1861. The boxes were stored beneath the hearthstone of the fireplace in the Parr home and remained there in safety until the ensuing autumn, when the St. Louis bank sent their cashier in October for the funds. He, Mr. Anderson, and Mr. Parr loaded the five boxes upon a wagon and the two cashiers hauled them to Sedalia, from whence they were shipped to St. Louis. The thoughtfulness and precaution of the young cashier undoubtedly saved the bank's money, for Warrensburg was visited by both armies that summer. Colonel Dare, with his Federal troops, and General Sterling Price, with the Confederates, confiscated everything they could find of value belonging to the enemy. From 1862 to 1869 the Anderson family resided in St. Louis, Missouri. They returned to Warrensburg in 1869 or 1870 and Mr. Anderson assisted in the organization of the Johnson County Savings Bank. He then entered the mercantile business, in which he was engaged for many years.

1869 Warrensburg, Missouri

James Isaac Anderson is one of ten children born to William Harrison and Mary (Davis) Anderson, who were as follow: John D., who died in Nashville, Tennessee; Sarah, who died in childhood; Zachary T., whose death occurred about ten years ago in Nashville, Tennessee; Henry B., who died in Warrensburg, Missouri, about 1892; Alice, who died in childhood; William Harrison, Jr., who resides in Helena, Arkansas; James Isaac, the subject of this review; Mary, formerly the wife of Charles Davis of Helena, Arkansas, who is deceased, and she is now the wife of Reuben Reeves, of Warrensburg, Missouri; and Charles, Statesville, North Carolina. One child, Robert, died in infancy. The father died in 1892 in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Mary (Davis) Anderson was born at Bowling Green, Kentucky, She came to Johnson county, Missouri, with her parents when she was a child three years of age. She was the daughter of Zachary T. and Elizabeth (Bradley) Davis. Zachary T. Davis was one of the first county officers of Johnson county. Both parents of Mrs. Anderson were interred in the cemetery at Lees Summit, Missouri.

Doctor Anderson received his early education in the public schools of Warrensburg, Missouri. He later attended the Warrensburg State Normal School, Vandiver University of Nashville, Tennessee, and the New York Polyclinic at New York City. Thirty-five years ago he opened his office in Warrensburg, Missouri, on the corner of Pine and Holden streets, where he has ever since remained, enjoying one of the most extensive practices in the city.

In 1890, James Isaac Anderson was united in marriage with Elizabeth Plumer, the daughter of M. A. and Sarah Plumer, of Warrensburg. Missouri. The parents of Mrs. Anderson came to Johnson county, Missouri, about 1870. Both are now deceased and their remains rest in the Warrensburg cemetery. To Dr. and Mrs. Anderson have been born four children: Gladys, who is a graduate of Pratt Institute, New York City and now supervisor of art in the Warrensburg State Normal School; A. P., who is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in the class of 1915 and is now employed as chemist for the Dupont Powder Company in Virginia; Caroline, a graduate of the Warrensburg State Normal School and now teaching in the Warrensburg schools: and Albert, who is employed in Helena, Arkansas, by the Pendergrass Cotton Company.

"History of Johnson County, Missouri" by Ewing Cockrell, 1918 - Submitted by Karen Hammer -2009

Early Warrensburg Banks. — In July, 1858, the Union Bank of Missouri organized a branch bank at Warrensburg. This was the first bank in Johnson County. The officers were, W. H. Colbern, president; W. H. Anderson, cashier, and S. P. Williams, bookkeeper. The bank was organized with a capital of $100,000 and it did a large volume of business from the start. At that time there was active business going on in the county and much speculation in land. The bank loaned considerable money on real estate, receiving usually not less than twelve per cent, interest per annum.
When the Civil War came on it in a measure paralyzed the business of this section and not only made the banking business uncertain but the threatened invasion of either the Union or Confederate army, or both of them, created a condition which made unsafe even the money in the vaults of the bank. In June, 1861, indications were that one of the two armies would soon invade Warrensburg, and the officers of the bank decided that the safe thing to do was to hide the bank's money. They accordingly arranged with a man named John Parr, who lived two and one-half miles south of Warrensburg, to place the money under his hearthstone. At midnight Dr. William Calhoun. W. T. Logan, W. S. Hume and W. H. Anderson took the money, which amounted to seventy-five thousand dollars, to Parr's residence. He had made preparations for hiding the treasure, by sending away his slaves and his children so that no one but he and wife and the parties who brought the money out would know of its hiding place. The money was placed in five strong wooden boxes, each containing fifteen thousand dollars, and placed under the hearthstone, where it remained from June until October. In the meantime the Confederate army under General Sterling Price, and the Federals, under Colonel Dare, of Illinois, had passed through Warrensburg and taken all the money that they could find. In October the cashier of the Union Bank of Missouri. St. Louis, Missouri, of which the Warrensburg institution was a branch, went to John Parr's place with the local officers of the bank and got their money and took it to St. Louis. After this money was hidden, the branch bank was suspended at Warrensburg, but the Union Bank of Missouri at St. Louis settled with the customers of the Warrensburg Bank.
H. and G. Colbern carried on a small private banking business in Warrensburg during the sixties. In 1869 Cruce & Colbern engaged in the private banking business in Warrensburg with a capital stock of about twenty thousand dollars. This partnership was the forerunner of the Johnson County Savings Bank which was organized in 1872. of which George Colbern was president and W. H. Anderson, cashier. The bank was organized with a capital of about fifty thousand dollars. It closed in July. 1893; was reopened for about a year, and again finally closed. F. G. Lunbeck and L. S. Hickman were appointed receivers for it and wound up its business.  In 1866, shortly after the close of the Civil War, the A. W. Ridings & Co. Bank was organized, with a capital stock of $31,000. A. W.
Ridings was president and James Ward, cashier. In 1869 this bank was reorganized, becoming a national bank, with a capital stock of $100,000. It failed in 1878. Its creditors were paid, and the stockholders were the only losers.
The Warrensburg Savings Bank was established July 28. 1871 with a capital stock of $55,000. This bank suspended business in 1879 liquidating all claims and paying all depositors. 

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