David Anderson was born March 2, 1883 in Sillerud, Sweden and studied photography there and in Germany. In March 1903 he immigrated to the United States, apparently coming to the Red River Valley. He worked as a photographer in Hawley, Minnesota before moving to North Dakota, sometime after 1907. In North Dakota he began practicing photography at Cooperstown.
On October 9, 1909 he married Helen W. Peterson in Fargo. Helen was born circa 1890 at Cando, North Dakota. They had a daughter Ruth, born circa 1914. He was a photographer in Aneta from December 1909 until June of 1910, when he sold his studio to Nils P. Hamre of Fargo. He moved to Hillsboro, and then to Mayville in 1912.
Mr. Anderson had his studio in Mayville until the early 1920s. By 1924 he was living in Fargo and had opened a studio in his home at 1340 Twelfth Avenue North, across the street from the North Dakota Agricultural College.
By 1925 wife Helen and daughter Ruth are no longer living with David. It is possible that they both died around 1922. A Cass County District Court record, in which David Anderson is a defendant, states that both Helen and Ruth were being treated by a Dr. F. Margaret Peake of Grand Forks between September 9, 1921 and November 10, 1922. In any case, David Anderson remarried to Inga Peterson in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 30, 1928.
By 1934 he began to operate his studio at the North Dakota Agricultural College in Morrill Hall. The college granted him office space in exchange for campus photographic work.
Mr. Anderson was a member of the Professional Photographers of America, serving on its council. He also won a number of medals for excellence in photography. Sometime after 1945 David Anderson moved from Fargo and left his negative and print collection with the Fargo Chamber of Commerce. In 1951 the collection was donated to the Institute for Regional Studies.
After leaving Fargo, Mr. Anderson lived in Maryland for a time before moving to Oregon. David Anderson died December 14, 1962 in Medford, Oregon.