Annie Hertzler Anderson, A Vintage Vignette

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Annie Hertzler Anderson
A Vintage Vignette by John P. Rankin
September 18, 2011

Annie Rachael Hertzler was born on August 2, 1860, in the Springfield Township of Clark County, Ohio. Her father was Dr. John Huber Hertzler, a son of Jacob Hertzler of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. At about the age of nine she came to Madison, Alabama, with her family around 1869. At the age of 27 on January 17, 1888, in Mount Joy, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, she married Matthew Harvey Anderson. In 1858 Harvey was likewise born in Springfield Township, Clark County, Ohio. Harvey's father was John Brown Anderson. He was born in Pennsylvania but lived in Ohio before coming to Alabama in late 1867 or early 1868. It is likely that the two families knew each other in Ohio before their respective moves to Alabama. The marriage of Annie to Harvey linked two of the most prominent families of Madison at the time. A detailed description of their out-of-state wedding was found in Pennsylvania newspapers of the day and in the book “Jacob Hertzler and His Descendants” by Katharine D. Anderson (1975). The following account was summarized from those sources.

A January 1888 Lancaster newspaper reported that “The bride was beautifully attired in an elegant costume of white cassimere with white point lace bodice over dress, with sparkling diamond pin and ear-bobs, while the groom was donned in conventional black with white kids and tie.” Only a few immediate relatives and friends of the bride were invited. Among them were “...Miss Mollie and Mr. John Hertzler Jr., sister and brother of the bride; Grandfather John (Jacob?) Hertzler of near Maytown; Mr. and Mrs. John S. Nissley; Mrs. Snyder and Mrs. Eli Nissley, of near Mt. Joy; Mr. and Mrs. Amos Zeigler of Stackstown; Major J. C. Redsecker and son; (and) Dr. and Mrs. S. R. Nissley of Elizabethtown. Upon the approach of the bridal party the guests rose and formed a semicircle. The Reverend Mr. Roeder performed the ceremony. Miss Lizzie E. Hertzler rendered the music of an elegant wedding march for the occasion. After the ceremony, the guests were invited into the dining room where a sumptuous collation was spread and awaited them.”

“The bridal party left on Wednesday morning for Philadelphia, where they intend to remain a short time and upon their return they expect to spend several weeks, visiting the extensive relationship of the bride in Lancaster County. After which they will visit some of the relatives of the groom in Ohio, and on their homeward trip will spend several days at Washington, D. C. before going to Madison, Alabama, where they will reside in the near future.”

It is interesting to note that the newspaper article identified Miss Annie Hertzler as “one of Huntsville, Alabama's fairest young ladies”, while Matthew H. Anderson was listed as “a young and prosperous merchant of Madison, of the same state”. It is highly improbable that the Pennsylvania writer had surveyed the town of Huntsville to determine which were the “fairest” of the young ladies of the town. Furthermore, Annie lived in her father's “town” house at the intersection of College and Church Streets in Madison. She also resided in his “farm” house on land that is now Redstone Arsenal's northwestern corner, much nearer Madison than Huntsville of those days. Of course, the Pennsylvania writer could know nothing of such things other than what the bride and groom or the family members may have related.

After their return to Madison, Harvey remained a prosperous merchant, became President of the Bank of Madison, and owned extensive acreage. Around 1897 Harvey constructed the large house at 17 Front Street. The house was recently renovated by Tony and Cindy Sensenberger, at today's intersection with Sullivan Street. The Andersons lived there until 1926. Harvey “retired”, and they moved to Locust Street in Huntsville. Harvey died in Huntsville in 1934 and was buried in Maple Hill Cemetery. Annie lived in their house on Locust Street until she broke her hip in 1953, at which time she left to live with her daughter Annie Anderson McKinney in Nashville, Tennessee. She died in 1958 and is also buried in Huntsville's Maple Hill Cemetery.

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