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The Andersons were a prominent business family in the Sherbrooke, Guysborough County area in the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. Alexander William "Sandy" Anderson was born ca. 1840 in West River, Pictou County, Nova Scotia, where his family ran the Anderson Hotel at West River Station. It is believed that the family lived in the Halifax area, possibly Hammonds Plains, prior to moving to Pictou County in the 1830s. The youngest son of Robert and Elizabeth Anderson, by 1866 Alexander had moved to the Wine Harbour gold diggings in Guysborough County, where he worked in a store. In Wine Harbour he met his future wife, Caroline MacKeen, who was the local school teacher. When she returned home to Sherbrooke to teach at the newly constructed school house, Alexander moved to Goldenville, which was closer to Sherbrooke. He married Caroline MacKeen on 4 November 1867 and shortly after their marriage they opened a boarding house in Goldenville. At some point during the 1870s, Alexander started the firm A. Anderson & Sons (also at times known as A. Anderson & Son), general merchants, later located at Rock Hall on Main St. in Sherbrooke. Alexander also maintained interests in timber and shipping, and acquired a large amount of property. Alexander and Caroline Anderson had five children: Clarence Wentworth (1871-1944); Robert Henry (1874-1907); Mabel E. (1877-1918); John Alexander (1879-1937); and Ethel Hattie (1881-1971). Caroline MacKeen Anderson died in 1910 and Alexander Anderson died in 1918.
Robert worked in mining operations in the United States and British Columbia, where he died in 1907. John worked his whole life in the A. Anderson & Sons general store and did not marry. Ethel studied at the Halifax Ladies College and married Dr. James Ellis, while Mabel E. married Alexander Gunn of East River St. Mary's.
A shrewd businessman and a prominent figure in the political life of Nova Scotia, Clarence Wentworth Anderson, known as "C.W.," furthered the Anderson family business interests in the Sherbrooke area in the early decades of the 20th century. After a few years at Pictou Academy, he worked for an Antigonish merchant, J.B. Gass, before returning to Sherbrooke to work in his father's general store. In addition to running his father's store at Rock Hall with his brother John, C.W. founded the Scotia Lumber and Shipping Company with his brother-in-law Alexander Gunn of East River St. Mary's, who had married Mabel E. C.W. Anderson was elected to the provincial legislature in 1920 on the Liberal ticket, and was re-elected in 1928 and 1933. Beginning in 1908, he served as the Warden of the Municipality of St. Mary's, a position he held for 12 years. He was married twice, first to Annie Baker of Marie Joseph in 1895, with whom he had eight children: Alexander (1896-1926); Robert (1897-1973); Mary (1899-1968); Annie (1901-1988); Helen (1903-1920); John (1905-1906); Margaret (1907-1911); Caroline (1911-1925). He then married Katherine Clifford MacLennan in 1941, before he died in 1944.
C.W. Anderson's descendants also went on to have successful business careers in the Sherbrooke area. C.W.'s grandson, Jack, took over A. Anderson & Sons general store after C.W.'s death in 1944. He operated the store until 1990, when it was subsequently sold.
Sherbrooke, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia
Goldenville, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia