John Fairbairn Anderson was born in Nairn, Ontario to John Anderson (a Presbyterian pastor from Ireland) and Isabella Austin Stuart. In 1891 the family were living in Charlotte, New Brunswick. Isabella and her children were living in Pasadena, California at the time of the 1900 US census with Isabella's mother, Elspeth Stuart. They had all moved to the US in 1896. In 1901 John Anderson senior died in Palmerston, Ontario. Elspeth Stuart died in Chicago in 1903.
At the time of the 1911 census John was lodging with Isabella Gardiner at 455 Hunter Street, Peterborough, with his siblings Stuart and Margaret. John was working as a machinist in a foundry. His brother enlisted in June 1915 and served in France with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry. He was killed at Ypres on 2nd June 1916 (http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/921793?Arthur%20Stuart%20Anderson). John Anderson signed up one month later. In 1921 he was back in Peterborough, still lodging with Isabella Gardiner, and working as a civil engineer.
Anderson was still living in Gilmour Street, Peterborough, in 1931 when he registered his friend Isabella Gardiner's death. In 1938 he was listed as living in Turnbull Street, Belleville, where he was a chief operator for Hydro, the electricity provider. He remained in that street until he died on 16 January 1963. His obituary was published in the Belleville Intelligencer of 21 January 1963 and it reads as follows:
"After an illness of a few days' duration John Fairburn Anderson of 33 Turnbull St., passed away in the Belleville General Hospital last Wednesday evening in his seventy-seventh year. Son of the late Rev. John Anderson and Isabella Stewart, Mr. Anderson was born at Nairn, near Ailsa Craig, Ontario.
"Having lived some of his early years in California and Chicago he came to Belleville in 1911 as an employee of the Ontario Hydro. At the time of his retirement from the Hydro fourteen years ago he had advanced to the position of Operating Superintendent of the East Central Region of the Hydro. He served with the Cobourg Heavy Battery overseas in the First World War.
"Mr. Anderson was deeply interested in classical music and had one of the largest record collections in this part of the province. Although not an executant of any musical instrument he had a very acute musical intelligencer [sic] and a high degree of knowledge in things pertaining to this art. Over the years untold numbers of local residents and district acquaintances gathered at his home to spend evenings of satisfying enjoyment listening to the music of their choice through the medium of his vast record collection. He had a very kind disposition and will be sorely missed by scores of friends that knew him and respected him for his sagacity and humility.
"Mr. Anderson was a life member of Moira Lodge, A.F. and A.M., No. 11 and just a short time ago was presented with his 50-Year Jewel in the Masonic order.
"Surviving him are two sisters, Miss Elsie Anderson of Peterborough, and Miss Margaret Anderson of Toronto.
"His funeral was held from the Comstock Funeral Home in Peterborough with Rev. Stanley Gibson of St. Andrew's United Church, officiating, both there and at the committal ceremony at Little Lake cemetery, Peterborough.
"The honorary bearers were: F. D. Kerr, Q.C., Hugh Waddell, Robert Beal and Hamilton Munro of Peterborough, and Carl Fisher of Belleville.
Many friends from Belleville were present to pay their final respects to this departed true companion whom they knew simply as 'John.'"