Biography of Joseph Anson

JOSEPH ANSON. – Across the waters of the Atlantic came the subject of this sketch to make for himself a home and a name in the foster land of his choice. Here he has done nobly in the endeavors of his life, and while he has demonstrated an ability that is commendable in the affairs of business, and uprightness and integrity in all of his ways, he has also shown in an emphatic manner his love for his country, by taking up the weapons of warfare to defend the flag and preserve intact the Union, when the dark days of fratricidal strife seemed to be portending the destruction of Freedom’s institutions. At such a crisis our subject came to the front and joined his hand to the many who stood faithfully through the long struggle for principles of government and stability.

Joseph Anson was born in Staffordshire, England, on August 15, 1837, and ten years later, in company with his parents, he crossed the deep and settled in Baltimore, Maryland. From there the family went to Newark, New Jersey, whence six months later they went to Medina, Ohio. In these various places our subject attended the schools and gained a good education. In 1856 they went to Quasqueton, Iowa, and there he continued the educational discipline for some years longer, working during the summers. At the beginning of the war he was stirred to action and was among the first to offer his services in the Civil war, enlisting in Company E., Fifth Iowa Infantry. For a time he was under General Pope and he did service at the siege of Corinth; was in the battle of Iuka, then went to the Vicksburg camps, fought in the battle of Missionary Ridge, and was in the Atlanta campaign. He was transferred to the Fifth Iowa Cavalry and sent to Louisville to remount. Following this he was in Tennessee in the campaign under General Wilson, known as Wilson’s Cavalry Corps, and here he did service until the close of the war. Being mustered out with an honorable and excellent record, he returned to Iowa, whence he soon came to Union county, Oregon, making the entire trip with the ox teams of the day. He had a brother in this county, who had made the trip in 1862, and was one of the earliest pioneers of our county. Our subject at once took a homestead, and began general farming and stock-raising. He added eighty acres to his home place and in 1872 turned his attention mainly to stock. He was numbered with the leading stockmen of the county until three years since, when he sold the bands and herds and retained only enough to handle his estate successfully.

In October, 1865, Mr. Anson married Miss Angela R., daughter of John Newell, and to them have been born five children as follows: Minnie, Newell, Nellie, J. Orlin and James. All of the children are married, three living in Union county, one in California and one in Lake View, Oregon. In political matters Mr. Anson is allied with the Republicans, and he has always taken part of a good citizen in the affairs of government. Fraternally he is affiliated with the I.O.O.F., having passed all the chairs and now hold the position of district deputy patriarch. In 1872 Mrs. Anson passed from the labors of life and the loved ones of her home.

In March, 1900, Mr. Anson contracted a second marriage, the lady of his choice being Mrs. Annie G. Sparks, of Pendleton. Mr. Anson is esteemed by all who know him and has made a record of worthy achievement and upright demeanor, ever manifesting unswerving integrity and sound principles.


An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

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