M.D. ANDERSON

MONROE DUNAWAY ANDERSON

d n english

Monroe Dunaway Anderson was born June 29,1873 in Jackson Tn. His parents were James W. Anderson ( the first President of First National Bank (1873-1879). His mother was the daughter of W. Monroe Dunaway ,a Cumberland Presbyterian minster.

Monroe was educated in Jackson public schools then went away to attend Southwestern Baptist University in Memphis.

When he completed his degree he returned to Jackson to work at the newly formed People’s National Bank.

In 1904 his older brother Frank and Will Clayton ( Frank’s brother in law) founded a company for the purpose of buying and selling cotton.

They invited Monroe to become a Partner in the main office in Oklahoma City part of the Oklahoma Territory where cotton was the main crop for farmers who moved west.

Then in 1905 the invited Will’s younger brother Ben to join the firm. These four brothers from Jackson Tn formed Anderson, Clayton and Co.

In 1907 Monroe now known as M.D. decided to move west to Houston, Tx. With his expertise in banking he worked with the larger banks to get more investors to aid in financing the Houston Ship Channel in 1914.

In 1930 M.D decided to set a charitable foundation to keep the government from getting their hands on his fortune.

M. D never had a wife or any children so at his death in Aug. 6, 1939 the bulk of his money(19,000.000.00) went to his foundation.

The board of trustees of the foundation favored health care . In 1941 when the Texas Legislature charged the University of Texas to start a hospital for care and research of Cancer. The state gave $500,000.00 when the M.D. Anderson Foundation got wind of this they donated an additional  $ 500,000.00 and the land if they would establish the center in Houston. The only thing they asked was it the center be  named after M D Anderson.

Since 1941 the foundation has invested wisely and has funded Libraries, College buildings ,Auditoriums and Health Centers keeping M.D Anderson’s dreams alive.

In honor of his 100th birthday (1973) the foundation donated the M.D. Anderson Planetarium to Lambuth University now the University of Memphis Lambuth campus.

I was wandering through Riverside Cemetery and found M.D. Anderson grave. I could not help but wonder what this young man who played on Main Street in the 1880’s.  Or sitting beside his Grandfather Dunaway  learning the virtues of frugality would think of what an impact his life would have on so many.

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