Monday, August 9, 2010

The Mystery Anders Grave at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery

My 3rd great-grandparents James A. Anders, Jr. and Sarah A. Rankin are buried together at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Montgomery County, Texas. James' brother Jacob is also buried with them. But, there is a fourth grave in the midst of the other three: Willie Anders, a baby who died at the age of about 5 months.

Grave of Willie Anders, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery,
Montgomery County, Texas

I have little direct evidence, but I believe Willie is a missing third child of James' son Robert Lee Anders and his wife James "Jimmie" Adda Anders. Here is how I have pieced together the story.

In both the 1900 and 1910 census records Jimmie states that she is the mother of 3 children with 2 children living [1, 2]. The two living children are well known to Anders descendants: Lilly Ethel and Roy Jacob Anders, Sr. The third child has not been discussed amongst family and was generally not known to exist, but clearly and consistently Jimmie claimed to have had three children. However, there is the grave of a 5 month old baby named Willie Anders (11 Jul 1897 – 03 Dec 1897) in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Montgomery County, Texas [3] (note that some Mount Pleasant burials were mistakenly recorded in the Scott's Ridge Cemetery in one edition of the Montgomery County Cemetery books [4]). This fits the time frame for reporting in the 1900 census. Although the location initially appears to be inconsistent with R. L. and Jimmie living in Walker County, Robert's branch of the family had indeed just migrated from Montgomery to Walker within the past decade [5]. Willie is also buried among 3 other Anders including Robert Lee's parents and an uncle who all died in the same general time period [3, 4]. The children of all of Robert's siblings are living in 1900. A search for other Anders or Andrews in the area in 1900 turns up no other possible parents. Therefore, I have concluded that Willie is the missing third child of Robert Lee and Jimmie Adda.

[1] 1900 United States Census. Walker County, Texas, Page 276 B.
[2] 1910 United States Census. Walker County, Texas, Page 10 A.
[3] Mt. Pleasant Community Scrapbook, Cemetery and Church, Montgomery County, Texas, 1870-1979. Page 66.
[5] Walker County, Texas Deed Records. Book 8, Pages 628 and 629.

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