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J. Ferree Anderson

" A Civil War veteran who had lived in the hope of reaching his 100th birthday died just eight days short of it. - Charleroi Mail Newspaper

    Quick Facts

"Aged Civil War Veteran Answers Last Roll Call" - Charleroi Mail

"J. Ferree Anderson Passes To Great Beyond" - Charleroi Mail

  • Died December 3, 1939
  • Charleroi, Pennsylvania


  • Born December 11, 1840
  • Near Elizabeth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
  • Parents John Sharp Anderson & Sarah Ferree
  • Named after grandfather, Jeremiah Ferree
  • Fought for the Union in the Civil War
  • Married 65 years to Rebecca Brawdy

A native of the Monongahela Valley, Jeremiah Ferree Anderson was born into the earliest prominent pioneering families in western Pennsylvania. These families also had a background of military service. Two grandfathers, William Sharp, and George Anderson, both fought in the Revolutionary War. His maternal grandfather, Jeremiah Ferree, for whom he was named, fought in the War of 1812. His father, John Sharp Anderson, fought in the Mexican War.

In search of adventure, Ferree Anderson left home at an early age. When the Civil War broke out he was 21 years old and living in Kentucky. Wanting to serve, he went to Missouri and joined the Unionists. He did not like the Missouri way of fighting "bushwhack" skirmishes divided between Union and Confederate sentiment so he returned to Kentucky. Family tradition says from there he walked to Davenport, Iowa, where a new Union division was being formed and in September 1863, enlisted in Company F, Ninth Iowa Cavalry with the rank of Corporal. During his service he used the alias, Orlando Bouer. He served four years with the army and was wounded twice. He mustered out at Little Rock, Arkansas, in February 1866, and went home to Pennsylvania which was a great surprise to his mother who believed him dead.

For a while after the war he made his home in Des Moines, Iowa, where he worked as a carpenter. He later returned again to Pennsylvania, married, and had a son, William. In 1870 they were living in Brownsville and he was working as a carpenter. His wife, Mary V., died April 15, 1871, and is buried in the James Chapel Cemetery, Union Township, Pennsylvania.

Ferree Anderson married a second time to Rebecca Anne Brawdy on August 28, 1873, at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Monongahela, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Their marriage lasted over 65 years. They had four children, George, Ora, Nora, and Romola. In 1904 they located to Charleroi in Washington County where they lived the rest of their lives. After several years working for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company and superintendent of various coal mines, he retired and took up a hobby of growing flowers. Residents in the area would pass the Anderson home just to view and admire the prize winning rose bushes in their flower garden. Local patriotic events were usually attended by Ferree Anderson and he was considered an honored and distinguished guest. Both he and Rebecca enjoyed good health, were active in the community, and over time were known as the oldest married couple in the district. The following newspaper article appeared in the Charleroi Mail on August 30, 1938.


Rebecca Anderson died on June 17, 1939, at the age of 83. She is buried in the Monongahela Cemetery. Jeremiah Ferree Anderson died on December 3, 1939, just eight days short of his 100th birthday.