- PA 522
James Thomas Milton Anderson was born on July 23, 1878, in Fairbank, Ontario, to James and Mary (Ferris) Anderson. He received his early education in Fairbank and in Toronto. He taught for six years in Algoma, Ontario, before relocating to Manitoba in 1906 and subsequently to Saskatchewan in 1908 where he taught at Gravel Plain S.D. #1492 near Melville. He moved to Grenfell in 1910 where he served as teacher and principal of Grenfell Village School. In the fall of 1911, Anderson was appointed Inspector of Schools by the provincial Department of Education and served in this role until 1918. Concurrent to his employment, Anderson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (1911), a Bachelor of Laws degree (1913), and a Master of Arts degree (1914) from the University of Manitoba, and a Doctorate of Pedagogy from the University of Toronto in 1918. Also in 1918, Anderson's book The Education of the New Canadian: A Treatise on Canada's Greatest Educational Problem was published. From 1918 to 1922, Anderson served as provincial Director of Education Among New Canadians, and from 1922 until 1924, was Inspector of Schools for the Saskatoon City district and an instructor at the Saskatoon Normal School.
Anderson became leader of the Conservative Party in Saskatchewan at its convention in March 1924. He was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1925 as the Conservative Party Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Saskatoon City constituency. He was re-elected in the June 1929 general election. On September 4, 1929, the minority Liberal Government was defeated in a motion of confidence by a coalition comprised of Conservative, Progressive and Independent members of the Legislature. Anderson was sworn in as Premier of Saskatchewan and President of the Executive Council on September 9, 1929. He also served as Minister of Education (1929-1934) and Minister of Natural Resources (1930-1934). In response to the socio-economic crisis of the Depression, Anderson's self-described "co-operative government" established the Saskatchewan Relief Commission and the Debt Adjustment Board in 1931. It also made amendments to The School Act in an effort to make public schools more secular, and to The Public Service Act through the establishment of the Public Service Commission. The formal transfer of the jurisdiction of Crown lands and natural resources in 1930 also occurred during Anderson's premiership. The Anderson Government was defeated in the 1934 general election by the Liberal Party led by James Gardiner.
Although he lost his seat in Legislature in the 1934 election, Anderson continued as leader of the Conservative Party until October 1936. He then operated an insurance business in Saskatoon until September 1944 when he was appointed as Acting Superintendent of the Provincial School for the Deaf. Anderson died in Saskatoon on December 29, 1946. He was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon.
Anderson married Edith Redgwick on July 26, 1911, in Grenfell. They had two children: Byron and Elaine. Edith Anderson died in Saskatoon on July 12, 1947, and was interred beside her husband at Woodlawn Cemetery.