Asher Anderson

Asher Anderson was born in Lakes Mills, Iowa, January 21, 1883, in a family of three boys and one girl:

1.     Addie

2.     Alfred, also known as A. O.

3.     Asher

4.     Andrew 

They came to Hannaford separately over several years.  Alfred came first.  When he got a position as cashier in the First National Bank he sent for his brothers and his mother.  Their father had died when they were all in school from lung congestion.  Addie, the only girl and the oldest child had married and was settled in Lakes Mills.

Asher's first job was running a meat wagon for Walt Richardson in harvest time.  He went from crew to crew selling meat.  When he was out of meat he would buy a critter, have it butchered and go on to the next place.

His next venture was with Christ Reite in the Anderson-Reite Company in 1905.  It was supposed to be a furniture store.  everyone had one of those.  But according to their ads in the Hannaford Enterprise, they handled the Hero Fanning Mill and many other farm related items.  Before too long, they sold stock and reorganized their company and called it the Hannaford Mercantile Company They expanded their operation and handled everything from "soup to nuts".  McCormack binders, Dowajiac shoe drills, Hero Fanning Mills, P & O Canton plows, Studebaker buggies, Hart Parr tractors and wonder of wonders, a self-feeder for grain separators called the Ruth feeder.

When the Anderson family came to Hannaford they were not alone.  Henry and Tom Swingen and Ed Savre came from the same part of Iowa.  The Andersons and Savres were cousins.  The Brunsvolds were another cousin of the family.

In March 1908 Christ Reite sold his share in the machinery division of the Hannaford Mercantile Company to Ed Savre.  They dealt in farm machinery, threshers, and real estate.  Ed Savre sold his share to Anderson-Sinclair Company in 1909.

A. O. Anderson went to Seattle but returned in about 6 months.  He had diabetes and went to a clinic in Michigan for treatment.  He returned in 1909 and helped organize the Citizens State Bank of which he was Vice President and Cashier.  A. O. married Sadie Sinclair and they had two sons, Greg and Keith.  Sadie was the daughter of Daniel Sinclair.

In February 1909 Asher and his brother Andrew organized the Anderson Brothers Company featuring the new Kentucky grain drills, Emerson grain cleaners, Corn King manure spreaders and the fanciest of buggies.  Andrew left his brother's business later and went to farming on a farm the brothers made a down payment on for their mother.  This farm was in Helena Township, the NE quarter of Section 20-145-60.  Andrew married Elsie Sanden of Luverne and they had two sons, Dean Anderson now of Valley City and Maurice of Lake Park, Minnesota.

W. D. Sinclair and George Knauss were in business featuring the Rambler automobiles.  They had a demonstrator on hand, but they sold cars from a catalog.  Young men had come to a new territory to make their way.  People were building a home and place for themselves.  They were young and tried their hand at everything.  Times were hard, but it did not take too much money to start farming or business.

Asher went on a trip in 1908 to Curtiss, Wisconsin.  When he returned he brought with him a bride, Clara Peterson, who had been teaching school in the Happy Hollow School southeast of Walum and at schools southwest of Dazey.  Mrs. Anderson died in 1921.  Three children were born to them: 

Gerald, Wayne and Kent.  Wayne works for the government in Yakima, Washington and Kent has a paint ana glass store in Sidney, Montana.  Gerald was in business with his father.  He married Ruth Olson in 1932.  They have three sons

Jerry, who has his own engineering company in San Diego, California, Richard is an engineer in Colorado Springs, Colorado and James is in business with his father in Hannaford.

The Anderson- Sinclair partnership lasted several years until Sinclair was appointed postmaster in 1919.  After the crash of 1929, things were at a standstill, but Asher used the experience he had gained in trading to make a living during those lean years.  He became an auctioneer and he was a good country auctioneer.  He started as an auctioneer with Frank Paulson as partner, but Frank had too many other interests.  Asher and Harry Kolpin then formed a partnership, which lasted until they both retired.

In the W. P. A. days things were slow, but Asher was a trader.  He had good teachers - the itinerant horse traders and wandering gypsies had taught him well.  Some of the farmers' wives did not like to see Asher come on the farm.  They were afraid he might trade their "old man" out of the kitchen stove.  Asher and his son Gerald were together during the middle -30's.  "Gerald bought cream, eggs and chickens.  Asher bought hides, jackrabbits, and furs.  They sold a few mower repairs and buck rakes.  Gerald was gone in 1938-39.  In 1940 they went together and took on the Minneapolis -Moline line and in 1946 they built the building, which Gerald uses for his laundromat and hardware store.  Gerald and his son, Jim, sell hardware, sporting goods, electrical goods, and lawn and garden products in the Anderson Hardware now in 1975.

Asher passed away May 7, 1955, but he was still making trades when he died.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 122

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