(Article & photo submitted by Tim Kavulla) James Monroe Anderson was born March 31, 1841 in Berholz, Jefferson County, Ohio and died Sept 3, 1923 in East Springfield, Salem Twp., Ohio. He married Margaret C. Swartz Feb 6, 1881 in Chicago, Illinois. She was the daughter of Simon Swartz and Mary Polen. Margaret was born Jun 26, 1850 in East Springfield, Ohio and died on May 14th, 1932 in Toronto, Jefferson County, Ohio.
James, known as “Roe” was born one of ten children of Andrew Anderson. He stood 5 feet 8 inches, complexion was fair with brown eyes and dark hair. His profession was that of a farmer. He enlisted and served in the Civil War on three different occasions and was honorably discharged and received a pension. We have two dates for his marriage to Margaret. The first listed herein and the second are April 6, 1880. Both dates are recorded on his pension document but there is no record of this marriage and the search has been fruitless.
After the Civil War, Roe, lived the life of a river boat gambler, so legend goes. Eventually he got wiped out and returned to live in East Springfield where he served as a postmaster from Oct 19, 1895 to Feb 28, 1900.
There are many stories told about Roe, some of which may have become legends. The one most often told revolves around his gambling. He went to Philadelphia for the Exposition in 1876 to gamble and got completely wiped out by the eastern pros. He came home penniless and swore off gambling forever. However, sometime later, not knowing the exact date, a gambler came to East Springfield and literally cleaned everyone out. The men lost their horses and many, their farms.
A group of them went to Roe’s farm and pleaded with him to help them out. At first he declined. Finally he agreed to go to the hotel and see what was happening. Right away he could tell that the stranger was good but that he was also cheating. Roe decided to enter the game. He played the stranger for three days, night and day, and won back everything that the villagers had lost, plus the stranger’s bankroll and his horse. He returned all the horses and farms to the towns folk. Then he gave the gambler his horse and told him that if he ever returned, Roe would kill him. In 1900 census lists both Roe’s parents from PA and he was listed as born in Ohio. In the 1910 census, listed father from PA, mother from OH. James is buried in the East Springfield M.E. Cemetery, lot 190, grave 9.
He enlisted for service May 2, 1864 and was discharged Sept 2, 1864. He served in the 157th regiment O.V.I. in Co. I, as a private. Military records list his birth as 1843. There is a GAR marker on his grave, along with a Harry Hale Post #427, with a headstone and a shield.
Wife, Margaret’s will was made April 1918 in the Village of East Springfield, and probated May 22, 1933. She lists the following next of kin; James M Anderson, adult son, living in Toronto Ohio, Helen D. Cattrell, adult granddaughter, Holliday’s Grove (Cove?), West Virginia. James M Anderson was listed as the petitioner. She mentions her son, Clyde S Cattrell.
Children of James Anderson and Margaret Swartz are; James Milo Anderson, born Sept 5, 1882 in East Springfield and died Dec 17, 1937 in Steubenville, Ohio. Their daughter, Anna Mary Anderson, was born Aug 26, 1883 and died Sept 6, 1910.
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