Saturday, August 04, 2018


Shown in some publications/listings/stories as E. C. Anderson.

E. C. = Edward Coffin

REV. EDWARD COFFIN ANDERSON was McMinnville College president, 1881-1887. McMinnville College became Linfield College in 1922.

Information about the Rev. Anderson and Anderson family follows.

(In case you wonder, apparently Edward Coffin Anderson NOT related to Elam J. Anderson, who served as Linfield College president, 1932-1938. Elam J. Anderson was a great-uncle of Gordon C. Bjork, Linfield president, 1968-1974.)

=EDWARD COFFIN ANDERSON (served as president of Kansas’ Ottawa University, 1821-1890)


Edward Coffin Anderson After his student years, both in the United States and in Europe, he began his long literary life. He contributed to various literary publications, the most notable of which was THE DIAL. 

Through his contributions to THE DIAL, he became a friend of Francis Fisher Browne, the Editor, and this long and satisfying friendship can be traced through the Browne letters contained in the collection.

Edward Coffin Anderson, the first member of the family for whom there are extensive records, was born on Prince Edward Island, Maritime Provinces, Canada, in 1821, the fourth of thirteen children. His grandfather, John Anderson, had migrated to North America from Scotland with his brother, David, and son, David. David Anderson, the son, married Miss Jeanette Coffin, whose father had come to Prince Edward Island from Nantucket. 
Edward Coffin Anderson received his education in Nova Scotia at Acadia College, and later went to Newton Seminary near Boston for further theological study. While he was attending Acadia College at Wolfville, Nova Scotia, he met Miss Helen Best, a teacher in a school for girls.

The Best Family was also of Scottish descent. Helen's mother, Isabella Playfair, was a daughter of Robert Lawyer Playfair and a niece of John Playfair, the great mathematician of the University of Edinburgh. Her mother, Margaret McNevin was said to have been a brilliant and clever woman. 
When John Playfair was contemplating marriage, a friend advised, If you marry Margaret McNevin, all your children will be gifted. Isabella was educated at a school for young ladies conducted by her two aunts in Edinburgh. At sixteen she married Henry Best, of the British Navy, and they settled in Nova Scotia. They had thirteen children. Later, to help out the family finances, she established a school for girls in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Isabella, herself, served as headmistress and two of her daughters, including Helen Best, were teachers in the school.

In 1850, Helen Best became the wife of Edward Coffin Anderson and later that same year the young couple emigrated to the United States where they lived for the rest of their lives. Anderson, when he finished his training at Newton Seminary, was ordained in the Baptist Church and began his long career of preaching and teaching. 
His first appointment was at Kalamazoo, Michigan. Edward and Helen Anderson had three sons, Melville Best Anderson, Robert Playfair Anderson (who died in infancy), and Edward Playfair Anderson. In January, 1875 the interior of the only building on the Ottawa campus was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt by the citizens of Ottawa in only 90 days.4 Classes were held at city hall until the repair was finished

From Kalamazoo, the family went to Newton Center, Massachusetts, to Milford, New Hampshire, and back to Kalamazoo where Mr. Anderson was professor of Classical Languages and acting president of Kalamazoo Baptist College. From Kalamazoo, they went to Margett, Michigan where Anderson was pastor. In 1866, the Andersons went to Portland, Oregon where Anderson assumed the post of pastor of the Baptist Church, and from there he went to San Jose, California. After a short time in San Jose, the family returned to the East coast, to Groveland, Massachusetts, where Mr. Anderson was pastor and also principal of Highlands Academy in Petersburg, Massachusetts. 

He became principal of Ottawa College in Ottawa, Kansas, and pastor of Lake City Baptist Church in Lake City, Minnesota. About 1880, he became president of McMinnville College, McMinnville, Oregon, a post he held for seven years. In 1887, he had a stroke, and died three years later, in 1890, at the home of his son, Edward Playfair Anderson, in Lansing, Michigan.

The first son of Edward Coffin and Helen Best Anderson, he was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1851. He attended Cornell University where, to a great extent, he worked his own way.


=Anderson, Edward Coffin, 1821-1890.

Born 7 May 1821 - Prince Edward Island, Canada

Died 29 Jan 1890 (aged 68) Michigan, USA


 =At Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives:

Anderson “Family of Scottish-English origins which came to the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century. The family settled on the East Coast, later moving West; the Andersons contributed to society in the fields of theology, education and literature. Melville Best Anderson was an author, translator and teacher whose particular interest was the work of Dante. From 1891-1910, he taught in the English Department at Stanford University, serving as first chairman of the department."