From the Richmond Times, 9/8/1892, p. 4, c. 2


The whole city of Richmond has cause to mourn to-day, for in the death of General Joseph R. Anderson we have no only lost another of our time-honoured landmarks, but a citizen whose public spirit has never been excelled in this community. Associated for more than three generations with our most important industry, the Tredegar Iron Works, he has probably done more than any one of our citizens who has ever lived in increasing the wealth and commercial importance of the city. In nothing that tended to the advancement of Richmond was he ever found in the second place. He was a devoted son of Virginia, Richmond and the South, and as he never did anything that he undertook in a half-hearted war, he was always foremost in every enterprise in which the welfare of his State or city was city was involved. Up to the very last his energies never flagged in doing what he could to advance the interests of the city in which he had lived for over half a century and of the State, to whom he was even more loyal in her adversity than in her prosperity.

But it was not in the semi-public position of a business man that General Anderson was at his best. It was in his private life that the rare qualities of his head and heart were shown to their best advantage. Though exceedingly domestic in his tastes and devoted to his home and family, he was one of the most hospitable of me, and it was his chief delight to meet his friends around the table, there to enjoy to the utmost in reason the blessings of social life. No one who has ever partaken of his generous hospitality could ever forget the indescribable charm which he always imparted to gatherings around his cheerful board, and perhaps in no other way than this did the wealth which he had accumulated in the course of his busy and useful life afford him greater pleasure.

But after all it was neither in his business nor his social life that General Anderson’s real character was most beautifully manifested. He was a devoted, earnest Christian, always zealous in good works and ever anxious to be a true and faithful servant of his God, and to so use his talents that he might be able to give his Lord his own with usury whenever called on to account for the trust confided in him. And, though prominent in the social and business world, a man in whom everybody trusted and whose counsel and advice were always sought when the most important business enterprises were engaged in, yet when in the presence of his Maker he was as a little child in his humility, and simple hearted devotion.

When such a man as this dies the people mourn as they have cause to do; but though gone from earth his beautiful example is still with us, and for generations to come he will yet speak in the works which he has done and in the influence which he has left. A true and loyal citizen, a man devoted to his fellows, and an earnest, humble Christian, he has left the weary labors of the earth to live forever in the rest of Heaven.

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