Friday, February 20, 2015

WHATEVER BECAME OF... Anders E. Anderson? - Part I

Back in the 1960s a man named Richard Lamparski wrote a series of books called "Whatever Became of...?"  Lamparski tracked down stars and other famous people from yesteryear and reported on what happened to them after their fame faded.

If you look inside the large bronze doors of the Oakridge Abbey Mausoleum in Hillside, Illinois you will see the following plaque:

Erected by
Anders E. Andersen
Dedicated June 10, 1928
Designed & Constructed
Under Supervision of
Joseph J. Nadherny
of the firm of Dyer & Nadherny
Chicago, Illinois

Let's see if we can find out "Whatever Became of ... Anders E. Anderson?"

Anders Edvard Anderson was born January 11, 1869 in Malmo, Sweden. His parents were Anders Anderson and Anna, nee Johnson. Nothing is known of his siblings.  He was featured in a book published in 1908 called History of the Swedes of Illinois.  When interviewed for that book, Anderson said that his father had been a prominent building contractor in Sweden.  After having attended grammar and high school, young Anderson came to America, sailing from Malmo, Sweden in April of 1889.  Upon his arrival in America he traveled directly to Chicago where, in 1890 he started in the real estate, loan and investment business, building on the experience he learned from his father.  Note: There is an abundance of material on the internet and about men named Anders Anderson - that is not an uncommon name among Scandinavians - but most of the material pertains to men other than "our" Anders Anderson. The fact that there were so many other "Anders Andersons" may explain why he always used his middle initial of "E" in official materials. 

Anders E. Anderson became a naturalized US citizen October 8, 1894 in Chicago.  I always say that you can tell a lot about a man by looking at his signature - here's the signature of Anders E. Anderson:

I was unable to find Anders E. Anderson in the 1900 US Census.  The first mention of him in the Chicago newspapers was an item in the Chicago Inter-Ocean from December 9, 1900 reporting that he had purchased a lot at 23rd & Trumbull in Chicago for $2,400.00.  That site is a vacant lot today.

The first mention of Anders E. Anderson in the Chicago Tribune was on December 8, 1901 when it was reported that he had purchased a large apartment building on the North-west corner of St. Lawrence Avenue and 48th Street for $85,000.00.  That site is also a vacant lot today.

The Chicago Daily Tribune from November 6, 1904 carried a more personal story about Anders E. Anderson:


Anders E. Anderson opposed the suit of his wife, who lives at 4421 Indiana Avenue.  After denying statutory charges, he said she "used the hysterical method in obtaining money from him," and went into hysterics before making "expensive and extravagant demands."  He always complied, he said, to keep peace in the family.  They were married in 1902 and parted last fall.   

4421 S. Indiana Avenue, Chicago

They must have postponed the divorce suit at some point because it showed up again in April of 1910 as reported by the Chicago Inter-Ocean on April 9:


Mrs. Porter M(cAldoo) Anderson is asking a divorce from Anders E. Anderson, who, she avers, is the owner of stocks and bonds to the amount of $25,000, charges him with desertion.  They were married December 9, 1902, and Mrs. Anderson declares her husband deserted her May 20, 1907.

Here's a photo of Anders E. Anderson circa 1905:

Anders E. Anderson - circa 1905

Life went on without Mrs. Anderson.  Anders E. Anderson's name showed up periodically during the 1900s and 1910s as the buyer or seller of real estate throughout Chicagoland - sometimes alone, sometimes with partners.

In 1907, when Anders E. Anderson was interviewed for the book History of the Swedes of Illinois he reported that he was living at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago:

In later years the Lexington Hotel would become the headquarters for this famous Chicagoan:

However, there is no evidence that Capone and Anderson even knew each other.

Unfortunately for Anders E. Anderson, his name was all over the newspapers in September of 1912 - as a swindler!  Here is an example from the Belvidere (IL) Daily Republican from September 10, 1912:

It must have been "much ado about nothing" because there is no further mention of the lawsuit nor of the "missing" money.

It was not all bad news for Anders E. Anderson during this time period.  He decided to give matrimony another try and on September 11, 1913 he married Ida M. Kohner (1888-????) in LaPorte, Indiana. 

On February 26, 1914 Anders and Ida Anderson were blessed with a daughter, who they named Jane E. Anderson (1914-2001).

During the mid teens Anders E. Anderson decided to branch out into a part of real estate where your tenants move in, but never move out - he became involved with the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, just west of Chicago. 

Next Week - Anders E. Anderson Builds a Mausoleum!

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