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Photographs - Collections - 601-650 - #00601

Title: Frank Lafayette Anders

Dates: 1898-1960

Collection Number: 00601

Quantity: 12 items

Abstract: Images concerning Frank Anders service and Medal of Honor received during the Philippine Insurrection. 

Provenance: Images were separated from MSS 10073 Frank Lafayette Anders and the correspondence about his service and medals. Images were copied by Colonel Brocopp. 

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collections:
MSS 10073 Frank Lafayette Anders
001087 Frank Lafayette Anders Photograph Collection

From the Fargo Forum, Monday January 24, 1966

Maj. Frank Lafayette Anders, 90, probably the oldest holder of the Medal of Honor, died here at 10 p.m. Sunday.

A native of North Dakota, he had possessed the medal for 60 years this year. He was awarded it for distinguished gallantry during the Philippine Insurrection in 1899 when he was 23; but did not receive it until 1906. The medal had its inception in 1862.

Major Anders started his career in the military, one might say, at his birth. He was born at Ft. Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, Nov. 10, 1875, the son of a member of Company G, 17th U.S. Infantry. He was held in the arms of 1st Lt. (later Maj. Gen.) Edward S. Godfrey of the 7th Cavalry, who, too, became a Medal of Honor winner in Indian fighting. He was christened by the chaplain at Ft. Lincoln. The next day he was again held by Lt. Godfrey to watch the departure of Col. George Armstrong Custer leading the 7th Cavalry to the tragic Battle of the Little Big Horn.

The family moved to Fargo the following year when his father was discharged from the Army.  Wounds suffered during the Civil War caused his father’s death when the younger Anders was 15, forcing him to leave school and seek employment to contribute to the family income. He went to work as a call boy for the Northern Pacific Railway in 1890 and later learned the machinist’s trade in its shops.

His active military career began in December 1894 when he enlisted in Co. B of the 1st Regiment of the North Dakota National Guard. He was serving his second enlistment when his unit was sent to the Philippines in 1898. He was assigned to Young’s Scouts, a picked body of men noted for their rifle marksmanship.

He won his Medal of Honor when he and the 11 other scouts charged and put to a rout a group of insurrectors May 13, 1899 at a bridge near San Miguel, a charge in which Young fell mortally wounded. On that morning, Chief of Scouts Young was ordered to take the scouts and accompany Captain Birkheimer on a patrol to determine a position from which San Miguel, a fortified place of about 20,000 people, could be shelled prior to assault by infantry. The scouts proceeded to within a mile or less of the city, where they suddenly came on an entrenched line about a half mile long. Already deployed, the scouts at once charged the line, the center of the scouts’ line being occupied by Young, Anders, Downs, and McIntyre. The enemy held their line for about 15 minutes and then, having lost 46 killed and many wounded, they retired hurriedly across fields and the stone bridge leading into the town, carrying their wounded with them. The enemy strength was estimated by Captain Birkheimer as 300 but it was afterward found that the line was occupied by about 600 men, all armed with Mauser rifles. The number of the scouts that charged this line was 11. At the bridge the enemy turned on the scouts, firing from behind the stone walls and the stone piers. On the bridge four were killed, and it was here that Young was mortally wounded. The wounding of Young was a serious matter, for the whole scout force numbered only 18, and it was a rule that no wounded scout would ever be abandoned. Those immediately present at the fight at the bridge with Young were Anders, Downs, and McIntyre in the road, about 150 feet from the bridge, and the rest of the scouts coming to the bridge across the open ground and between the houses that lined the right of the road. The bridge was immediately charged, the scouts carrying Young with them. A church with a bell tower stood about one block from the bridge and seeing the open door, the scouts made for it, going inside and from this position held the town until about 2 p.m., having in the meantime driven the enemy entirely out of the city. At this time reinforcements came up and relieved the scouts.

Major Anders’ citation read as follows: “This is to certify that the president of the United States of America, pursuant to the act of congress approved March 3, 1862, has awarded in the name of Congress to Corp. Frank L. Anders, Company B 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry, the Congressional Medal of Honor for most distinguished gallantry in action at San Miguel de Mayumo, Luzon, Philippine Islands, May 13, 1899. With 11 other scouts he charged over a distance of about 150 yards and completely routed about 300 of the enemy who were in line and in a position that could only be carried by a frontal attack.”

Anders returned to the U.S. in September 1899 and was discharged as a corporal. He worked with mining concerns in Salt Lake City, Utah, for two years and realized the need for a college education in order to achieve success in his chosen field.

He entered Ripon, Wis., College in 1902 and with only a seventh grade education as a preparatory by dispensation from the college authorities. He attended summer school to make up his deficiency and was graduated in four years at the head of his class in 1906. He was awarded the first scholarship at the college to study at the University of Wisconsin. After a year there in civil engineering he entered the employ of a copper company in Utah.

He returned to Fargo in 1909 to practice engineering and the next year was appointed city engineer by the late Mayor V. R. Lovell. During his 10-year service, he designed and supervised the construction of the Fargo filtration plant and managed its operation as superintendent of waterworks.

His love of the military was ever with him. It was a matter of pride that he had induced all but one of the employees of his office to enter military service during World War I. He roused much civilian enthusiasm in government bond purchases.

He was commissioned in 1918 as a captain in the Engineers Corps and was stationed at Camp Dodge, where he soon wrote the history of the camp for the War Department record. He was ordered to Camp Funston in Kansas in connection with historical work there and in 1919 was placed in charge of utilities of the hospital there, then the largest in the United States. He subsequently served at Washington and at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. He was discharged in 1919 after demobilization and hospitalization work of the post-war period had been completed.

He was appointed regimental utilities officer in charge of Camp Grafton, N.D. in 1921 and completed a five-year construction program rated at the time as second to none in the United States. He also held a reserve commission of captain in the Fifth Engineers.

Major Anders joined the Army and Navy Legion of Valor in 1925, an organization reserved for Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross recipients. He was named historian of the organization and was later elevated to senior vice-commander.

He had authored literature relative to military life, had made a map of the historic route of Gen. Custer and had compiled his records. He was a member of the American Society of Engineers, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, Army and Navy Club of Washington, D.C., American Legion, United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Order of Indian Wears of the United States, Fargo-Moorhead Officers Mess, the Masons, and of the Fargo Commons Club.

He was a heavy reader with a wide range of tastes. His restless search for activity and diversion led him to photography. His declining years have been filled with activities in connection with the military career and accomplishments. His military acquaintances were among the nation’s greats of modern times.

He leaves his wife at the family residence at 1205 6th St. S., Fargo; a daughter, Mrs. Henry (Marian) Presler, in India where her husband is a missionary; and a son, retired Lt. Co. Franklin O. Anders, Leamington, Ontario, Can. There are eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


00601-01      Bridge at San Miguel de Mayumo Belacan, Luzon (PI) 1899
00601-02      Heroes past and present, Frank L. Anders US Army Recruiting News June 1, 1934
00601-03      Church at San Miguel de Mayumo Bulacan, Luzon,(PI) October 1941
00601-04      Frank L. Anders' Medal of Honor Certificate June 10, 1941
00601-05      Daughters of the American Revolution Award of Merit Presented to Major Franklin Lafayette Anders March 22, 1954
00601-06      Young’s Scouts: R. W. Longfellow, W. H. Young, and F. L. Anders on the San Miguel road 3 miles N of Baliang (PI) May 3, 1899. Image by W. H. Dinwoodie, printed in Harper’s Weekly September 1899
00601-07      L. D. Barker stone near Sully Trench of Heart River. Sully’s Nebraska Scouts July 25, 1864
00601-08      Philippine insurrection group burying the dead at Fort San Antonio de Abad (PI) February 5, 1899
00601-09      Frank L. Anders and C. C. Anders, Fort San Antonio de Abad (PI) July 1899
00601-10      Company "B" 1st North Dakota Volunteers marching in Bismarck (ND) May 25, 1898
00601-11      Frank Lafayette Anders, Fort San Antonio de Abad (PI) January 15, 1899
00601-12      Major Frank LaFayette Anders at age 84, March 1960

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