From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Anderson, Robert B.

(born: 1843  -  died: 1930) 

Anderson was born in Green County, KY. His mother and siblings were the property of Colonel Robert Ball, and his father was the property of Alfred Anderson. When he was six, Anderson's mother had a dispute with the mistress and was sold for field work in Louisiana. Robert never saw his mother again. In 1864, Anderson ran away to Lebanon, KY, where he joined the Army. He served in the west and received an honorable discharge, whereupon he returned to Kentucky but eventually moved out west, in 1870 settling in Nebraska. As a farmer, he had both years of prosperity and years of poverty until he finally found security with a farm of 1,120 acres that grew to be 2,000 acres. Anderson married in 1922 at the age of 79; his wife was 21. His wife's family soon moved in and his wife took over his affairs, which resulted in the land being heavily mortgaged. It was around that time, in 1927, that Anderson had his book published by the Hemingford Ledger: From slavery to affluence; memoirs of Robert Anderson, ex-slave. In 1930, he deeded all of his property to his wife. Robert Anderson died after the car he was riding in overturned; his wife, her brother and a friend survived. Ball's wife, Daisy Anderson, who passed away in 1998, was one of the three surviving Civil War widows in the U.S. For more see D. D. Wax, "Robert Ball Anderson, ex-slave, a pioneer in Western Nebraska, 1884-1930," Nebraska History, vol. 64, issue 2 (1983), pp. 163-192.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Green County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Marion County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lebanon, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: From slavery to affluence; memoirs of Robert Anderson, ex-slave
NKAA Source: Nebraska history (periodical)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Anderson, Robert B.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 25, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-09-21 20:17:21