James A. Anderson, a well known and successful fruit grower and shipper at Lodi, is one of the old-timers in the fruit business of California. For many years he was connected with the nursery industry, and these kindred enterprises have employed his time and energies since he took up his residence in the state in 1874. He has lived at Lodi in San Joaquin county since 1887.
Mr. Anderson came to California from Missouri, in Livingston county of which state he was born January 4, 1849. His parents were James and Margaret (Austin) Anderson, his father a native of Indiana, and of Scotch extraction, and his mother a native of Tennessee. Reared on his father’s farm and growing to years of maturity and receiving such educational advantages as were offered in the subscription schools of his native county and state, Mr. Anderson took up the serious affairs of life on his own account as a farmer in Livingston county, Missouri, where he lived until he came to California at the age of twenty-five. Sacramento was his first place of residence in this state, and there he became a member of the former well known nursery firm of Williamson and Company, proprietors of the Capital Nursery. In 1883 he moved from Sacramento to Clements, in San Joaquin county, and there established a nursery of his own. He disposed of this and located at Lodi in 1887, where he has since centered his successful enterprises in fruit growing and shipping and the raising of nursery stock. For ten year he maintained a high-class nursery, in which he grew all kinds of deciduous fruit-tree stock, and only retired from this industry in 1899. At the same time he had carried on his enterprise as a fruit grower and shipper, and this business has increased from year to year so that he is now recognized as one of the leaders therein in the San Joaquin valley. He not only grows and ships fruit but also maintains a plant for the manufacture of fruit boxes and baskets, this being also located at Lodi.
Mr. Anderson is well known and popular as a citizen and as a social factor. Fraternally he affiliates with Lodi Lodge No. 259, I. O. O. F., with Lodi Lodge No. 108, A. O. U. W., and with the Tribe of Ben Hur at Sacramento. In politics he is a Democrat. A friend of education and one of the stanchest supporters of public schools in his locality, he served for fourteen consecutive years as a member, and part of the time as chairman, of the board of trustees of the Salem school district.
April 20, 1870, Mr. Anderson married Miss Mary L. Hummer, who was born in the state of Illinois. Five children have blessed their union, Alta M. Anderson, Hattie E. Anderson, Ora B. Anderson, Mary L. Anderson and James G. Anderson. Their youngest daughter is the wife of W. A. Spooner, of Lodi.
Source: Leigh H. Irvine; A History of the New California Its Resources and People, 2 Volumes; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.