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Doc Anderson was born in 1908, the son of Nels and Mary Anderson. Early career pursuits, according to a November 8, 1979 Chattanooga Times article, included being a strongman in a circus, a prize fighter, and a bull fighter. The same article described him as planning a final ole’ in Mexico.
Mr. Anderson moved to Chattanooga in 1944 from Dalton, Georgia, and opened an office at 2110 McCallie Avenue. An advertisement in the city directory told of his past experience in locating buried treasure, finding missing persons, and predicting the future. He had told the cowboy comedian Will Rogers that he would be killed in an accident. Rogers, along with aviator Wiley Post, perished in a plane crash in 1935. He had also predicted that Franklin D. Roosevelt would die in office, a prediction fulfilled in 1945.
Customers were welcomed from 10am to 10pm in person, or were served by mail at a cost of $2.00 plus 10 cents postage. Each mailed-in request earned an additional three questions answered free. Doc Anderson proclaimed to be an astrologer, not a fortune teller, and referenced Nostradamus as using the same methods.
Local governments of Chattanooga and Rossville sometimes challenged Doc Anderson’s right to practice. The October 25, 1944 Chattanooga Times reported an early challenge. After his first year of operation in Chattanooga, the board of commissioners at first denied the renewal of his city license. A new ordinance limited the practices of fortune tellers, soothsayers (“sooth” is an old word for “truth”), astrologers, et al. to those who were Chattanooga residents. Doc Anderson had recently bought a home at Lakeview, Georgia.
However, Doc Anderson was able to prevail. The November 1, 1944 Chattanooga Times reported that Mayor E.D. Bass advised the commission that the new law’s intent was to keep transient advisors of the future from operating. Doc Anderson was permitted to do business, since he was local.
Soon, Doc Anderson was a local celebrity. He often appeared on local television shows including “The Morning Show” with Harry Thornton. For those too young or too brief a Chattanoogan to remember, Harry Thornton was the local forerunner to today’s news/talk show hosts.
Doc Anderson was included as a panelist on a WRCB-TV show concerning predictions for the year 1970. By this time, St. Elmo had become the home of Doc Anderson. Since I lived in St. Elmo, I knew of him as being a figure in the community. He had both his supporters and detractors.
Though his success rate was not 100%, Doc Anderson made enough accurate predications, and attracted attention from afar. Some of his clients were celebrities.
Eddie Albert, who starred in the movie “Oklahoma” and on television in “Green Acres,” frequently consulted with Mr. Anderson.
The March 19, 1972 Chattanooga News-Free Press told of the visit of actor Denver Pyle (Briscoe Darling on “Andy Griffith” and Uncle Jesse on “Dukes of Hazzard”) and Texas oil man John Shaw. Doc Anderson had correctly located sixteen of sixteen oil well sites. The two men were in town to announce a plan for a Doc Anderson statue in Rossville, Georgia (no record in the library’s clipping file on whether this was ever erected).
Sadly, Robert C. “Doc” Anderson did not get to do his final ole’ with the taurus in Mexico, as far as the record shows.
The Chattanooga area has historically had flooding during the month of March. The year 1980 was no exception. Doc Anderson lost his life after leaving his flooded vehicle, and trying to wade through the swift current. He was survived by his wife, Ruth, who often challenged local attempts to shut down his practice alongside her husband, and four daughters.
DOC. R. C. ANDERSON, a fabulous and fascinating personality, whose sensational predictions of world-shaking events made on Christmas Day 1944 have - so far - proven so amazingly accurate during the course of unfolding history.
Mentioned on the “Meet the Press” TV Program of September 30th 1956. Enjoys nationwide reputation as an Astrologer, Marriage Counsellor and Philosopher of Humanity. Consulted by people from all over the United States and Overseas, who come to him for help, counsel and guidance in their appeals for solutions to their difficult personal problems.
HE TELLS YOU YOUR DEEPEST SECRETS WITHOUT YOU SAYING A WORD.
I knew the first time I read a write-up about "Doc" R. C. 'Anderson, Rossville, Ga., fortune-teller, that he was the man for me to see. I finally was able to go see him and the unbelievable has been done. My circumstances have been changed. My faith in "Doc" R.C. Anderson has been unchanged since. I met him. Every mile has been a mental gold, piece since I came to see him.
I'm putting this in the paper for the benefit of thousands of people, who have gone to readers and fortune-tellers all over the country for help. I was one of those people at one time. I went to New Orleans. Birmingham, New York, Chicago, and even to California, and did not get any results until I went to "Doc" R. C. Anderson in my own home town.