Neil P. Anderson Building: “. . . And the Cotton Is High”

Neil P. Anderson was born in Tennessee in 1847 and came to Fort Worth in 1878 and eventually became one of the most prominent cotton brokers in Texas.

anderson speed 1908In 1908 Anderson also was an early fan of fast automobiles.

 

anderson obit 2-28-12And it was in an automobile that Neil P. Anderson was killed in 1912 when his car was hit by a streetcar on the Hill Street (Summit Avenue today) viaduct over the Texas & Pacific railroad tracks. The cotton business he founded was carried on by his son and son-in-law, Bernie Anderson and Morris Berney. The two men also developed real estate on the West Side and operated a public golf course on which Ridglea Country Club is located today. Bernie Anderson Avenue leads to the country club. Clip is from the February 28 Star-Telegram.

anderson 11-30-19 stOn November 30, 1919 the Star-Telegram announced that Neil P. Anderson & Company would build an eleven-story, $500,000 ($6.6 million today) home on West 7th Street at Lamar. The building would be built by the construction company of Wyatt Hedrick.

neil p enderson canyonThe Neil P. Anderson Building (lower right) would be an early component of what would become the 7th Street “canyon” along with the Electric Building, Worth Hotel, First National Bank, Fort Worth National Bank, Star-Telegram Building, Fair Building, Farmers and Mechanics National Bank, Continental National Bank, Oil and Gas Building, and Fort Worth Club.

building neil andersonThe front of the building conforms to the obtuse angle of the intersection of West 7th and Lamar streets.

During its construction the building was in the news more than it wanted to be: One bricklayer fell to his death, one pedestrian was robbed while walking through the covered passage past the construction site, two more pedestrians claimed to have been robbed in the passage but were later charged with staging the robbery to illegally dispose of Liberty Bonds.

anderson acme 5-29-21On May 29, 1921 Acme Brick Company featured the Anderson building among five new buildings downtown, all of them designed by Sanguinet and Staats: Star-Telegram Building, Farmers and Mechanics National Bank Building, Waggoner Building, and Texas Hotel.

Neil P. Anderson built this house at 1251 Pennsylvania Avenue on Quality Hill in 1906. (Photo from University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.)

gause 1930 CDThe house later became the home and business location of undertaker George Gause.

anderson 1911 cd Anderson, like neighbor Winfield Scott at Thistle Hill, did not get to live long in his grand new home.

anderson mausoleumAnderson is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

The Neil P. Anderson Building now houses condominiums.

Some views of the Neil P. Anderson Building:

look up anderson 2012The building’s front follows the curve of the intersection of West 7th and Lamar streets.

look up anderson ovalTwo bas-reliefs flanking the entrance feature bales of cotton.

face neil andersonA detail of the bas-relief.

bird neil andersonAnother detail of the bas-relief.

corner neil anderson 2corner neil andersonClassic Sanguinet and Staats.

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4 Responses to Neil P. Anderson Building: “. . . And the Cotton Is High”

  1. Tim Young says:

    Interestingly, when I was in treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer hospital in in Houston, I was curious about who MD Anderson was. When I read that he was a cotton broker I immediately wondered if he was any relation to our cotton broker Neil P Anderson. Turns out they were born in the same town in Tennessee, I dug some more and learned that they were cousins. Cotton was the family business and the cousins pursued it separately in two Texas cities. MD was far more successful and left his vast fortune, said to be over $40 million to a charitable trust that endowed MDAnderson hospital. I’ve never seen this link described anywhere and felt like quite a history sleuth when I stumbled upon it.

    • hometown says:

      That’s deep digging, Tim. As common as that surname is, finding that connection is like finding a needle in a haystack. Or a cotton field.

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