School History and Namesake
Mr. George AndersonJanuary 29, 1920 - 2003
In 1997, George Anderson Elementary opened in honor of George Anderson. Tammie James, principal of Anderson Elementary from its opening date through 2004, said, "Mr. Anderson could always be counted on to appear the first day of school to shake the hand of every student."
George Anderson was born in Plano, Texas on Jan. 29, 1920. Mr. Anderson first came to Allen to attend church at St. Mary's Baptist as a teenager. He continued to ride the interurban to Allen every Sunday because he'd become smitten with a girl he saw playing piano at the service, Hazel Williams, a lifelong Allen resident who later became his wife.
In 1940, he enrolled in Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, before serving in the Army from 1942-1946. Mr. Anderson was nearly killed at the end of his military service in Egypt. He had presents for his mother and his fiance in his bag, and he was told he'd have to discard the presents to get on the flight. He decided to keep the presents and wait for the next flight. That first plane went down over the Mediterranean. Allen's history certainly would have been altered, if Mr. Anderson had decided to get on that plane.
Interview with Mr. Anderson
Mr. Anderson was born in Plano, Jan. 29, 1920.
At his elementary school, most of the families had larger numbers of children. But he was the only child. He did attend a segregated school. However, he had no feelings one way or the other about it. At that time he was just thinking of one thing: "I didn't want to pick cotton." He wanted an education so he could leave the "cotton-picking" business.
He first went to Wylie College in Marshall, Texas. He was a Physical Education major, then he went into the army in 1941. He didn't like the war, but he had to fight because we were invaded. He thinks we should be able to go around any war, where people don't have to go and fight.
He was Principal of the Allen Elementary School on Cedar and St. Mary until 1964. Then the Allen schools integrated. He then became a sixth-grade teacher at what is now the Dillard Center. During those years he also served as a bus driver and football coach.
Naming of Anderson
After 25 years with the district, the Trustees of Allen ISD came by his house early one morning and brought a declaration that they were going to name a school after him. He's very proud of having a school named after him. He said, "I have 900 children this year."
He met Hazel when they were 14 years old at St. Mary's Church where she played the piano. They wed after college graduation and were happily married until Hazel passed away almost two years ago (2000). The library at Anderson was named the Hazel D. Anderson Library in her honor.
Contributed by the Anderson Fifth Grade AIM Class of 2002-2003
Interview October 2002