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

Anderson, Sandford Woodford and Polly Ann

Sanford Anderson, Sr. was born in Kentucky in 1836, the son of a slave woman and her white master named Woodford. His mother was sold after he was born, and Anderson was given his freedom and his father's last name.

When he was a young man, Sanford left his father's plantation and went to work on the Anderson farm; he then took the name Anderson as his last name. He married a slave named Polly Ann (b. 1842) and established a blacksmith business. The family moved to Springfield, OH in 1877,  and there Anderson supported his family with his new blacksmith business.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the couple is listed with nine children, all living in the Mad River District in Ohio.

Dorothy Evans Bacon was the great-granddaughter of Sanford and Polly Anderson. Highlights of the Anderson family history can be found in "The Bacons: a fighting spirit on the color line," Newsweek, Special: Fiftieth Anniversary Issue, vol. 101, issue 10, February 1983, pp. 33-34, 36. The article includes a photo of Dorothy Evans [Bacon] and her parents.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Newsweek (periodical)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Anderson, Sandford Woodford and Polly Ann,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed February 2, 2023,

Last modified: 2021-02-17 18:22:26