Published in The Garland Daily News on December 7, 1980, as part of a series by Betty Roberts.



The first Anderson to come to Texas was John Lair Anderson. He was born in Kentucky in 1819. He was married to Emily Jane Peake, also of Kentucky.

John L. and Emily came to Texas in 1846 with the Peters Colony. As a married man, John was granted 640 acres as his headright. He settled in what is now the eastern side of Dallas County.

The Anderson families seemed to have been totally self sufficient. They worked together in farming, carrying their crops to market, and in enforcing the law in their area. They also had the Anderson Cemetery, now located at the shoreline of Lake Ray Hubbard, where most of the members of the early families are buried.

John Anderson’s grant was between the present cities of Garland and Rowlett. The property was bounded on the east by Rowlett Creek, on the south by what is now Highway 66, and on the north by Centerville Road.

John later acquired much property, a great part of which is now covered by Lake Ray Hubbard. The area between Rowlett Road and the lake was at one time owned by members of the Anderson family. The site for Lakeview Centennial High School was purchased from a descendant of John and Emily.

John Anderson died in June, 1885. Emily died in 1912. Both are buried in Anderson Cemetery. They were the parents of five children.

The oldest daughter, Nancy Ann, was born in 1848, shortly after the Andersons settled in Texas. She lived her entire life on the property where her father settled. She died in 1935 at the age of 87. She never married. She was known as Aunt Ann to all in the area.

The oldest son, William S., was born in 1855 and died in 1892. He was married to Ellen J. Bryant and they had two children.

The second son, James R. Anderson, was born in 1858 and died in 1936. He married Mary Ellen Little, and they had twelve children.

George Washington Peak Anderson was born in 1859. He died in 1943 near Stanton where he had farmed for many years, He was the father of nine children.

At one time it seemed as though the area was made up entirely of Andersons. The Silver Anniversary Edition (1912) of the Garland News states: “The first Anderson probably did not know the favor he was conferring on future book agents, fruit tree men and other of the genus. One of that class is reasonably sure of being correct in addressing a citizen of this country as Mr. Anderson and if by chance he should be mistaken, an apology is unnecessary.”

The first Anderson in this country was John Lair. He had five children and thirty grandchildren. The number of descendants is now in the hundreds.