The impetus for this marker came in January 1928, about a month before Anderson’s death, from his Montclair friend George J. Carr, who practiced law in New York. Both men were also bankers in town in the early 1900s: Carr helped found the First National Bank of Montclair and Anderson was a director of the Montclair Trust Company. Carr made the proposal to the Essex County Park Commission, which agreed that the gesture had “a great deal of merit” and was a fitting way to inform the public that the county was indebted to Anderson for “this beautiful breathing space.” The tablet was dedicated on Nov. 15, 1928, in a ceremony attended by the mayor of Montclair, an Essex County freeholder, Anderson family members and interested citizens.
The plaque was cast by the General Bronze Corporation of Long Island City, N.Y., the same foundry that made the low-relief panels on the bronze doors of the U.S. Supreme Court building. Though unsigned, its designer was Maxfield H. Keck, an architectural sculptor and model maker who lived at 19 Mendl Terrace in Montclair. He was a brother of both Charles Keck, the sculptor of the war memorial at Edgemont Park in Montclair among many other works, and Henry Keck, a notable Arts & Crafts stained-glass designer. (A plaque of the same design as the one in Anderson Park, but with different text, is in the lobby of the Essex County Parks Administration Building on Clifton Avenue in Newark. It commemorates A.M. Reynolds, chief engineer of the park system, upon his retirement in 1931.)
The Kecks immigrated to New York City from Germany in 1882, when Maxfield Keck was a toddler, and became a prominent artistic family in the United States. The oldest son, Henry, born in 1873, was highly admired for his Arts & Crafts stained glass and the church windows made in his Syracuse studio. Charles, born in 1875, was a sculptor, who, in addition to designing the Edgemont Park statue, did much higher-profile work, including the statue of Father Francis P. Duffy in Duffy Square in Manhattan and features of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo.