Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
GEORGE WASHINGTON ANTHONY. The biographies of representative men of a city and county bring to light many hidden treasures of the mind, character and courage, well calculated to arouse the pride of the family and of the community, and it is a source of regret that the people are not more familiar with the personal history of such men, in the ranks of whom may be found tillers of the soil, mechanics,, teachers, professional men, business men and those of varied vocations. George Washington Anthony, well known among the business element of Springfield, where he has resided many decades, is one of the creditable representatives of the class of men who do things and as such he has made his influence felt in the locality of which this history treats and earned a name for enterprise, integrity and honor.
Mr. Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts, September 10, 1839. He is a son of Abram and Eunice (Eddy) Anthony, the father also born in the above named city and state, while the mother was a native of the state of New York. Abram Anthony devoted his life to farming and lumbering, and owned a large area of timbered land, and he had several mills. One of the principal mills was on the site of the present noted Renfrew Gingham Works started over fifty years ago. He spent his life at Adams and died there when past his eighty-sixth birthday. Politically, he was a Republican, and was a worker for temperance. His family consisted of ten children, all still living but two, namely: Henry died at the age of sixty-five; Charles L., George W., of this sketch; Edwin A., James, whose sketch appears on another page of this work; Hannah M., Amelia A., Susan and Albert; the other one died in early life.
George W. Anthony grew to manhood in his native state; his early school days were interrupted as he had to work with his father, but nothing daunted, he obtained his education after he was twenty-four years old, having attended school at Lynnsborough, Massachusetts, which was a boarding school. In the fall of 1865 he went to the state of Alabama and operated- a sawmill there the following winter, was superintendent of the mill and made good money there. Leaving there in the summer of 1866 he came to Liberty, Clay county, Missouri, where two of his brothers lived, both being engaged in the tobacco business, and our subject worked for them awhile, finally coming to Springfield, this state, and he and his two brothers bought a factory site of a Mr. Porter, in 1867, and here the three brothers soon engaged in the tobacco business, which gradually grew to large proportions and in which our subject is still engaged. With the three brothers, George McCann formed a partnership which continued until 1873, when it was dissolved, our subject owning land on St. Louis street and started in the tobacco business by himself in January, 1874, and is still operating this business, dealing in smoking tobacco only, having abandoned the manufacture of plug tobacco a number of years ago. His principal brand in the latter was the "Royal Gem," and "Old Bachelor" is his most famous brand of smoking tobacco. It has been sold over a very wide territory and is a favorite with all smokers who have used it. Mr. Anthony understands thoroughly ever phase of this business and his plant is equipped in an up-to-date manner and only skilled artisans are employed. He is one of the most widely known men in the tobacco world in the Middle West and has made a great success in this field of endeavor. Besides his plant he also owns: a large and attractive home on St. Louis street.
Politically Mr. Anthony is a Republican and has been more or less active in local public affairs during his long residence in the Queen City, in which he was a member of the city council several years ago. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was a charter member of the Knights of Pythias, with which he is no longer affiliated. He is an active member of Calvary Presbyterian church, in which he has been, an elder for over thirty years, and he was formerly a deacon in the same.
Mr. Anthony has been twice married, first, in April, 1868, to Sylvia A. Sales, who was a native of Adams, Massachusetts. Her death occurred in 1875. In December, 1877, Mr. Anthony married Mary L. Dean, who was born in Adams, Massachusetts, and is a daughter of Dallas J. and Henrietta Dean. To this second marriage two children were born, namely: Sylvia Carrie, who lives at home, and Dallas Dean, who is engaged in farming; he married Ida Phillips, a native of Greene county.
Springfield-Greene County Library