James Martin Anderson (1829 – 1901) came to Geelong in 1852 from Scotland with his new bride Alison (nee Darlington). He immediately started in business as a draper and clothier in Malop Street. In 1857 he moved to larger premises opposite where he continued his business until 1879.
In that year he became the local agent for the National Insurance Company, a highly successful association followed. In 1894 the company became amalgamated with the London and Lancashire, and James took over the local agency, subsequently moving to offices in the Free Library Building.
Janet, born 1858, was the first of five children from the union of Alison and James. One child, James jnr died after eight weeks.
James was for many years’, secretary to the trustees of the Herne Hill Cemetery and was also secretary for the Geelong Sea Bathing Company. In 1864 James was elected a member of the Geelong Town Council and served as chairman of the Water Supply Committee, resigning in 1866.
He purchased land in the Spring Creek Estate and Whites Paddock during the 1888 sales and over time increasing his portfolio to six allotments. Two of his allotments faced, what is now called Anderson street, named in honour of the work James contributed to the development of Torquay. He was an active member of the Spring Creek Progress Association, later to become the Torquay Improvement Association.
James died suddenly in 1901 at his home “Seaforth” in Geelong.