John Todd Anderson was born on April 20, 1887 to Rev. William A. and Louisa Todd Anderson in Woodruff, South Carolina. He attended Furman University between 1905 – 1910 while trying to help out on the family farm, but did not graduate. His decision to become a missionary to China was made at Furman and he was very involved in the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the Student Volunteer Band. Anderson helped found the South Carolina Student Volunteer Union.
Anderson attended Wake Forest College in 1910-1911, then attended Vanderbilt University 1912-1913, and earned his medical degree from the University of Louisville in 1914. He interned at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington. He was chosen by the China Medical Board of the Rockefeller Foundation as one of the first young doctors they would support in China, and they called him to New York for further preparation at the Post Graduate and Riverside Hospitals.
He married Minnie Claire Anderson on June 29, 1916 in Dublin County, North Carolina. The Andersons arrived in Shanghai in September 1916, and their son, William Griffith Anderson was born on November 27, 1917. After a year of language study and working in the local mission hospital, the Andersons were sent to Yang Chow where Anderson took charge of the women’s clinic and hospital. On on November 12, 1918, on the way to a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Central China Mission in Shanghai, Anderson drowned trying to cross the Yang Tze River. His body was never found.
Mrs. Anderson had her son’s name changed to John Todd Anderson, Jr. She and her son returned to the U.S in 1922 and she married Ernest Hussey (1874-1928) of Warsaw, N.C. in 1927. Minnie C. (Middleton) Anderson Hussey passed on June 6, 1976.