PATRON – Biography: James Thomas Anderson born December 1, 1850




Lee County, Alabama

James Thomas Anderson was a chemist. He was born December 1, 1850, at Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky, the son of Francis Asbury and Mary Jane (Magill) Anderson who lived at Allensville, Kentucky. He was the grandson of Thomas Anderson, of Dinwiddie County, Virginia., where his son Francis was born, later of Barren County, Kentucky. James Thomas maternal the grandfather was James Magill who lived near Standford, Kentucky.

He obtained his early schooling at Allensville, Kentucky, and near Bowling Green, Kentucky. He graduated from Washington and Lee university, Lexington. Virgina., B. A., 1872; studied chemistry, botany, physics and astronomy at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee and received the degree of Ph. D., 1879. He attended Berlin university, Germany, studying organic chemistry by lectures and in the chemical laboratory under Prof. Dr. A. W. Hofmann. He taught in Gollad institute, Texas, 1875; was a tutor in Vanderbilt university, 1876-1879; professor of chemistry, physics, and astronomy in Central college, Fayette, Mo., 1879-1886.

James Thomas Anderson began service on the chemical staff of the Alabama agricultural experiment station of the Alabama polytechnic institute, April 1, 1888, first as first assistant chemist, then as associate chemist and finally as chemist in full rank; was acting state chemist during the absence of the state chemist in Germany, 1900-1901. He acted as supply during temporary vacancies in the chairs of German and geology in the Alabama polytechnic institute and was a member of the lecture staff of the farmers’ summer school of that institute.

Mr. Anderson was a Methodist, for more than twenty years was a member and treasurer of the board of stewards of the Auburn Methodist church, for twelve years was a member of the board of district stewards of Montgomery district, Alabama conference, and was a lay member of the Alabama conference from the Montgomery district, 1903-1904.

He was a Mason with all the degrees conferrable by the blue lodge, the Royal Arch chapter, and the commandery has been a representative in the grand lodge of Masons since 1909, and in the grand chapter of Royal Arch Masons. He was also a Knight of Pythias, served as chancellor commander several times, and was a member of the grand lodge in 1909 and 1913.

James Thomas Anderson married on May 8, 1879, at Nashville, Tennessee, Sallie Atkins Mizell, daughter of Rev. Alpheus and Mary Arabella (Atkins) Mizell of Nashville. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, entering on the Atkins’ line. Her great great-grandfather, Robert Atkins, sat in the House of Burgesses of Virginia. A paternal ancestor was one of Gen. Lafayette’s aides. She was also a United Daughter of the Confederacy, three uncles having been killed in the War of Secession.

Their children were

  1. James Edgar Anderson , b. September 26, 1880, d. September 18, 1881.

James Thomas Anderson died Feb. 25, 1917, and is buried in Pine Hill Cemetery, Auburn, Lee County, Alabama along with his wife Sallie who died in 1933.


  1. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 3 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
  3. Find A Grave Memorial# 8962220 # 8962221

The Grand Masters of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama 1811-2011 Freemasons contributed to America and the state of Alabama through their patriotic service and philanthropic work since 1811, but little is known about their backgrounds. Utilizing the bonds of their fraternity, but without fanfare, the freemasons built schools, orphanages, nursing homes, provided for the sick and elderly, fought wars, and were an integral part in building the state of Alabama and our country. They were, simply put, ‘the epitome of good patriots and citizens.


Leave a Reply