Washington F. Anderson was born in Williamsburg, Virginia. His parents were Leroy Anderson (1770-1837) and his wife, Hannah Wright Southgate (1784-1860). He was the brother of Dr. Leroy Hammond Anderson and Dr. William Henry Anderson, who were also U.Va. graduates. In 1836, the family moved to Mobile, Alabama. Anderson attended the medical lectures at the University of Virginia in session 19 (1842-1843), then finished his education by earning his medical degree from the University of Maryland in 1844.
He practiced in Mobile until 1846, then enlisted as a private in Company L of the 1st Alabama Infantry on 23 May 1846, and served until Nov. 1846. In the 1850 U.S. Census, Dr. Anderson was living “on Spanish Canion” in El Dorado County, California, which appears to be a mining settlement from the number of miners on the census. El Dorado County was where John Sutter located his mill in 1848, where gold was discovered, and where the California gold rush began. The original county seat was Coloma, which is located on the spot that the gold was first discovered there. (Hoover)
He lived in Yolo County, CA for six years, and after his conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he settled in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1857. He served in the Utah Territorial House of Representatives during the session of 1860-1861.
On 4 Aug. 1862, Dr. Anderson married Isabella Margaret Evans (19 Dec. 1840-14 Apr. 1927) in a ceremony performed by Brigham Young. Their children were: Belle Evans, Hannah Tyler, Justina Southgate, Leroy (d. young), Frank, Mabel, Guy, Winifred, William, Sybil, Kathleen, Vivienne, and Lawrence Wright Anderson (1870-1900 U.S. Census; Deseret Evening News, 21 Apr. 1903). Another child, Lenore, is listed in some of the family genealogies, but is not on the census records.
Dr. Anderson practiced in Utah until his death. In 1876, he was elected president of the Utah Medical Society. He attended Brigham Young during his last illness in 1877, and was county physician in the “middle 90s.” He died in Salt Lake City at the age of 80. The newspaper notice states: “The deceased was of a quiet, retiring disposition, but was recognized as one of the leading medical men in this state. A daughter, Belle Anderson Gemmell, is at present a practising physician in this city, and another daughter, Justina Anderson McIntyre, also adopted that profession, but abandoned it shortly after her marriage.” (Deseret Evening News, 21 Apr. 1903)
Isabella survived until 1927, and died in San Diego, CA. Dr. and Mrs. Anderson are buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery.
- Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1850-1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc.
- “Dr. Anderson called home.” Deseret Evening News (Salt Lake City, UT), 21 Apr. 1903, p. 1.
- Ewing, William B. “Anderson, Washington Franklin (1823-1903).” in Kelly, Howard Atwood and Walter L. Burrage. A cyclopedia of American medical biographies. Baltimore, MD, 1920, p. 27.
- Hoover, Mildred Brooke et al. Historic spots in California. 5th ed.. rev. by Douglas E. Kyle. Stanford, CA, 2002, p. 75.
- “Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908-1949,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NQ4R-F2P : accessed 31 Dec 2012), Isabella Evans Anderson, 1927.
- Utah State History. Research Center and Collections Home. Utah Burials Search. [database online] c2012. http://history.utah.gov/burials/execute/viewburial?id=3596&cemeteryid=SL2105 , http://history.utah.gov/burials/execute/viewburial?id=3598&cemeteryid=SL2105
- “Veterans with Federal Service Buried in Utah, Territorial to 1966,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FLR9-5M3 : accessed 31 Dec 2012), Washington Franklin Anderson, Apr 1903.
- West, Edmund, comp.. Family Data Collection – Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.