GENEALOGICAL and PERSONAL MEMOIRS
Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts
Prepared under the editorial supervision of William Richard CUTTER, A. M.
Historian of the New England Historic Genealogical Society; Librarian of Woburn Public Library; Author of “The Cutter Family,” “History of Arlington,” “Bibliography of Woburn,” etc., etc.
Volume I.; Illustrated
New York; Lewis Historical Publishing Company; 1908
Pages 169 - 171
For many generations the Sanderson family has held high rank in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, exemplifying that type of citizenship which leads in national growth and progress, energetic, intellectual, guided by high ideals.
(I) Edward Sanderson, pioneer ancestor, born in England, 1615, emigrated to America, settling in Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1636, and died September 1, 1674. He married, October 15, 1645, Mary, daughter of Bagot (or Brigget) Eggleston, of Dorchester. One child, Jonathan.
(II) Deacon Jonathan Sanderson, son of Edward and Mary (Eggleston) Sanderson, was born in Watertown, September 15, 1646, died September 3, 1735. He married, October 24, 1669, Abia Bartlett, daughter of Ensign Thomas and Hannah Bartlett; she died September 13, 1723. Deacon Sanderson and his wife moved from Watertown to Cambridge, where all their children were born. Later they removed to Waltham, where he built the ancient house at Piety Corner, which was torn down about 1897. He served as constable in 1695, and as selectman from 1703 to 1719. He and his wife are buried at Waltham, and by their side are buried their son Jonathan and grandson Jonathan, both deacons.
(III) Samuel Sanderson, son of Deacon Jonathan and Abia (Bartlett) Sanderson, was born in Cambridge, May 28, 1681, died July 8, 1722, from a lightning stroke. He married, April 13, 1708, Mercy Gale, daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Fisk) Gale, daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Fisk) Gale, who died May 8, 1776, aged ninety-two years.
(IV) Abraham Sanderson, son of Samuel and Mercy (Gale) Sanderson, was born in Watertown, March 28, 1711, died December 3, 1776. He settled in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, and married, December 6, 1733, Patience Smith, born February 28, 1716, daughter of Elisha and Patience (Brown) Smith, of Weston, Massachusetts. They were the parents of thirteen children.
(V) Jacob Sanderson, son of Abraham and Patience (Smith) Sanderson, was born August 3, 1741, died February 9, 1829. He was a revolutionary soldier. He enlisted as a private in Captain George Kimball's company, and marched on the Lexington alarm. Later he was a private in Captain Joseph Fuller's company, Colonel Samuel Bullard's regiment. He enlisted August 20, 1777, and marched to New York, where he was engaged in the battles of Stillwater, September 15, and Saratoga, October 7, 1777, and was at the capture of General Burgoyne. He married, December 18, 1760, Elizabeth Child, born February 14, 1743, died September 4, 1794, daughter of John and Tabitha (Seger) Child, of Newton.
(VI) Jonathan Sanderson, son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Child) Sanderson, was born May 4, 1766, in Worcester, died April 19, 1841. He married, October 30, 1794, Mehitable Spofford, born September 4, 1771, died September 18, 1847, daughter of Abijah and Mary (Town) Spofford, of Townsend, Massachusetts.
(VII) Jesse Sanderson, son of Jonathan and Mehitable (Spofford) Sanderson, was born in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, December 20, 1803, died January 17, 1891. He was at the laying of the corner stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, and saw General LaFayette. He married first, April 3, 1828, Marilla Turner, born July 17, 1806, died May 23, 1868, daughter of Isaac and Abigail (Whiting) Turner. He married second, Frances L. Cook. Children of first wife: 1. Marilla, born May 8, 1830. 2. Turner J., September 25, 1831. 3. Lucy E., August 24, 1833, died 1896. 4. Albert, November 15, 1835, died 1901. 5. Alonzo, November 29, 1837. 6. Helen A., January 16, 1840. 7. Andrew, April 16, 1842. 8. Martin, January 30, 1843. 9. George E., October 8, 1845. 10. Ella Maria, December 22, 1850, died 1900. Child of second wife: Sherman, born November 22, 1871.
(VIII) Alonzo Sanderson, son of Jesse and Marilla (Turner) Sanderson, was born November 29, 1837. He married, October 5, 1864, in Athol, Massachusetts, Helen Frances Kendall, born July 10, 1841, daughter of Ozi and Fannie A. (Ainsworth) Kendall. They had one child, Howard Kendall Sanderson.
(IX) Howard Kendall Sanderson, only child of Rev. Alonzo and Helen (Kendall) Sanderson, was born in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, July 10, 1865. Descended through both parents from men who planted the colony of Massachusetts Bay, numbering among his ancestry the scholar and preacher, as well as the sturdy yeoman and fearless soldier, spending his own early life in the quiet of the parsonage, where in truth, plain living and high thinking were the rule, he was peculiarly fitted by nature for the double service which it seemed to be his to render to mankind through the short life that was given him on earth. When he was eight years of age, his parents moved to Lynn, where the long pastorate of his father at the Trinity Methodist Church began, and in the Lynn public schools he received his formal education. Of a peculiarly nervous organization, constant care and watchfulness were needed during the period of his youth and its attended rapid physical growth, in order to keep him in health, and thus it was that the liberal education of the schools was denied him. Nevertheless, in him were combined the indomitable courage and industry and energy of the most hardy of his yeoman and soldier sires, together with a gentleness and sympathy and upward vision which could have belonged only to those of them who had the highest and purest aspirations. Consequently, from his very earliest manhood, his was an ever widening horizon. Ambitious from the beginning - ambitious to make for himself a place in the affairs of men - he was yet more ambitious that that place should be one which he could better serve his fellows than himself.
The story of his life, written out from the standpoint of simple data, can be told in a few lines. At the age of sixteen, although his standing at school had been high and his work well and thoroughly done, it was deemed wise, on account of the state of his health, not to continue his connection there beyond the high school; yet his restless eager spirit would not allow him to be idle, and he was soon engaged in the printing business in a small way in his own home. When still but a boy he had opened an office in the city and was conducting a successful business. This, however, he gave up after two years to take a position as salesman in the wholesale printing house of Golding & Company, of Boston. While employed there he was married, on August 1, 1887, to Carrie M. Flanders, a teacher in the public schools of Lynn. In 1889 he began his connection with the Lynn postoffice, when seeking out-of-door employment, he applied for and obtained a position as substitute letter carrier. He was soon made a regular carrier, then promoted to the position of superintendent of carriers, and was finally appointed assistant postmaster, under Captain A. J. Hoitt, postmaster.
From boyhood he had been a collector. Beginning as a lad to collect miscellaneous curios which he spent many hours in labeling and arranging, he gradually became interested in coins, in postage stamps, and in autographs of famous men. His collection of coins never became extensive. His collection of autographs, begun at the age of seventeen, became one of the most interesting if not one of the most valuable in the country, numbering within it a set of the governors of Massachusetts, the presidents of the United States, generals of the revolution, kings and queens of England, and a full set, lacking one, of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Many of the specimens in his collection were full autograph letters signed, and many of those of the men of the revolution bore dates of that period. The collection of postage stamps, begun at the age of eight, was a hobby and delight through his boyhood, and the knowledge gained in the pursuit made him later an expert not only in the discovery of rarities, but also in the detection of counterfeit issues. For several years after his marriage he had been carrying on, as an aside, the business of stamps - buying and selling large collections as they came upon the market. This business increased to such an extent that in 1893 he gave up his connection with the postoffice, and went abroad in order to come in touch with the great foreign dealers and to increase his stock in trade. For seven years he continued in the business as a professional philatelist, and his name became known to the trade the world over. His stock in stamps during much of this time was kept at $25,000, and at one time he handled a single collection valued at $75,000. During these years, however, he was not alone engaged in the pursuit of private interests. He had begun very early to be deeply impressed with political questions, and he felt very strongly that every citizen had definite obligations and duties. These, as he saw them, he discharged with characteristic energy and fidelity, and his ability and integrity won him recognition in the field of political activity. He was twice elected to the Massachusetts house of representatives, and twice to the state senate. Upon his second election to each branch, he received the highest majority ever given to any man in Lynn up to that time. On May 12, 1900, upon the death of Postmaster Fogg, he was appointed postmaster of Lynn, and on December 6, 1904, during his last illness, he received his second appointment to the same position.
He was prominently connected with the Masonic fraternity, being a past master of Golden Fleece Lodge; a member of Sutton Royal Arch Chapter; past master of Zebulun Council, Royal and Select Masters; a member of Olivet Commandery, Knights Templar; of the Boston Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, fourteenth degree; Giles F. Yates Council, Princes of Jerusalem, sixteenth degree, of which body his election as master occurred five days before his death; Mount Olivet Chapter, Rose Croix, eighteenth degree; Massachusetts Consistory, thirty-second degree; and Aleppo Temple N.M.S. He was a member of the West Lynn Lodge of Odd Fellows; of the Lynn Historical Society; the Old Essex Chapter, S.A.R.; the Oxford Club; and president of the New England Postmasters' Association.
In his public life, he was open, loyal and fearless. Friends and foe knew exactly where to find him. In his private life he was clean, upright, and true - a man to trust and to confide in, one who made friends and kept them - not only among those high in the councils of the state, but also in the ranks of the lowly where many a one will remember through life his kindly sympathy and his brotherly help.
Besides this diversity of interests and duties which occupied him, he had been for years a student of history, particularly the history of his own country, and latterly had spent much time in historical research, the result of which had been the preparation of material which he contemplated publishing in the near future, with the purpose of giving to his own city and county a history of the revolutionary period, unique in its scope and of timely interest and value. Upon this work he was engaged at the time of his death, and in the course of its preparation he had located the graves of 196 revolutionary soldiers who had gone out from old Lynn to the War for Independence. A large proportion of these graves had been for many years unknown as well as unmarked. He applied for and obtained from the United States government marble headstones to mark these sacred spots. With his own hands he helped to set these stones, and at his suggestion the Old Essex Chapter, S.A.R., and the Lynn Historical Society, placed at each the bronze marker of the S.A.R. The formal dedication of both stones and markers, on June 17th, 1904, will be an occasion which the people of Lynn will be glad to remember, and the 196 flags which wave from them on each Memorial Day, will be a reminder of those men of Lynn who helped to make the nation possible, and of the man who rescued their names from oblivion. almost the last public service in which Mr. Sanderson participated was the dedication, on November 10th, 1904, of the boulder erected on the grounds of the Lynn Public Library by the Daughters of the Revolution to the memory of the Lynn revolutionary soldiers.
The last year of his life was given literally in the service of others. Overestimating his strength, he had not learned to spare himself, and at length, worn and weary, he became the prey of a fatal illness. His death from typhoid fever occurred on the 14th of December, 1904, at the age of thirty-nine years and five months. His wife and one son, Kendall Ainsworth Sanderson, and father and mother were left.
Many words might be used in estimating rightly the achievements and character of this young man whose career seemed but just begun when the hand of death was laid upon him. Ardent and high spirited, he brought to every task the full strength of his youthful enthusiasm. Standing six feet tall, with the frame of an athlete, and the dignified bearing that was his by nature, possessed of a keen wit, and ideas which carried weight wherever he appeared, it was not strange that he was sought after as a public speaker, or that he rose to more than local prominence in that field. Sensitive to praise and blame, yet fearless in expressing in word and deed his convictions, spotless in life, warm-hearted, generous, and sympathetic, he made few enemies in life, and when he died, people remembered most how much they had loved and admired him.