Biography of Andy Anderson

Forestry Technician Staff, Company 644, Camp Sheep Ranch, Phillips, Wisconsin & Camp Elk River & SCS, New York

          My Dad Andy Anderson, also known as Red Anderson and whose real name was William Anderson, was born on November 28, 1908, in Toronto, Canada to Edmund and Gertrude ( Hart ) Anderson. His family moved to Syracuse, N.Y., where he attended grade school and Onondaga Valley Academy. His great love of the woods motivated him to pursue a career in forestry. He earned a degree in forestry at Syracuse University in 1932 and was on the university wrestling team for four years.

       After earning his bachelor's degree, he worked for a year for the U.S. Forest Service in Northern Wisconsin, supervising CCC crews. My Dad told me he and his classmate Dave Campbell drove to Park Falls Nickolet NF Flambeau Unit near Phillips WI from Syracuse NY after accepting positions as Forest Technicians. The camp they went to work with was Civilian Conservation Corps Company 644, Camp Sheep Ranch, Phillips, Wisconsin. They were 2 of the 4 foresters there supervising CCC enrolees with tree planting, timber stand improvement, fire hazard reduction, mapping, truck trail locations, surveying boundaries, burned area reforestation work, cutting over many snags, and other conservation projects on approximately 9,000 acres. Dad said he worked there from March to Sept 1933, then at Elk River Camp in Oct & Nov. My notes say he was at Sheep Ranch Camp from Dec 1933 to March 1934, so obviously there is some discrepancy about dates, but he is definitely in this Sept 1933 photograph!

      The photo is captioned 644th CO. C.C.C. SHEEP RANCH CAMP PHILLIPS, WISC SEPT 22nd 1933. The photo is approximately 30in wide by 8in high and contains 5 rows of about 160 men including 6 cooks & one fellow with a black dog. Some of the names penned in are: Sasse, Camp Boss Williams, Capt Lagocio (?), Art Newell, Jackson Sr., Fred Malcolm, Stub Jackson, Dan Hickox, and himself Andy Anderson. A name in the lower right hand corner may be the photographer: G. O. MEHL MINNEAPOLIS.

      When he returned to school for further study, he met Ellen Sweeney, who typed his thesis. On June 6, 1934, he was granted a master's degree in forestry. On July 4, 1935, he and Ellen were married.

      Mr. Anderson then worked two years in central New York as a forester with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. His work during this period also would have involved to some extent the CCC projects of the SCS in New York, either as a project superintendent or in the regional office involved with planning SCS projects. After transferring to the U.S. Forest Service, he became assistant district ranger on the Stanislaus National Forest in California. He subsequently worked on the Tahoe, Shasta and Los Padre National Forests and in the San Francisco Regional Office before becoming Upper Lake District Ranger on the Mendocino National Forest from 1946 to 1960.

      As a result of being chosen 1951 District Ranger of the Year, he attended a five day forest management demonstration on the De Soto National Forest, near Biloxi Miss. Some wildfires he worked on were: 1953 Rattlesnake Ridge, 1956 New Mexico Jerky Mountain and Mingus Mountain, 1958 Monrovia.

      He came to the Supervisor's Office in Willows in 1960 and retired in 1970 as Lands and Recreation Staff Officer. Before and after retiring, he participated in forest history projects by recording interviews with many area residents.

     After he retired, he and Ellen traveled extensively by camper or trailer to visit many friends and relatives. During their marriage they visited every state in the United States and also went to Canada and Mexico. Mr. Anderson also served as a Boy Scout Master, was a member of the Knights of Colombus, was a builder of St. Monica's parish hall, assietd with Bingo events, was a football timer, and baseball and softball umpire and drove the school bus for athletic events and was a square dance caller and Toastmaster.

      Survived by two of his three children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, Dad died in January, 2000 at age 91.

------ Sincerely, Pat Bird




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