M.D. Anderson Memorial Plaza

This memorial plaza honors the memory of four great men from Jackson: M.D. Anderson, Will Clayton, Frank Anderson and Ben Clayton. The M.D. Anderson Memorial Plaza Bill was presented to Congress by Congressman Steven Fincher and was signed by President Barack Obama on January 3, 2012. While the plaza is named in honor of one of Jackson’s most famous natives, M.D. Anderson, the nine-foot, granite monolith honors not only Anderson but also Ben Clayton, Frank Anderson, and Will Clayton, former Secretary of Commerce and Assistant Secretary of State under President Roosevelt and "Father of the Marshall Plan."

These four Jackson natives led the way in the national cotton industry and turned a business that began on the corner of Highland Avenue and Baltimore into the largest cotton trading company in the world. By the year of 1929, Anderson, Clayton and Company had offices in Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, England, Mexico, France, Italy and Germany to continue their lead in the cotton industry. By 1935 the company was literally a global merchandiser of cotton. M.D. Anderson, a Jackson banker and later President of the Anderson, Clayton and Company in Houston, Texas, became one of the richest men in America during the early 1900s. As the company grew, it was necessary for Frank Anderson and Will Clayton to ask M.D. to move to Houston in order to be near larger banks and deeper ports. With this move to Houston, Anderson, Clayton and Company soon became the largest cotton merchandiser in the world. Upon his death in 1939, his foundation became the recipient of the largest bequest in Texas history.

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