Anderson was described as the "banner town of the county" on July 4, 1882, as it hosted the neighboring communities on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of American Independence. The elaborate program for the day included a procession to the grove where the day's activities were to take place, remarks, a prayer, a tableau representing the breaking of the chains of tyranny, a choir selection, a poem, a lecture and lunch, concluded by a moonlight ball. One traveling correspondent later described his impressions of this early Anderson 4th in a lucid manner:
Before the morning sun had time to climb the mountains, we were awakened by the patriotic youth of the town ushering in the natal day of independence by firing off cannon-crackers under our windows. It was not yet four o'clock. By ten we were in the grove just outside of town, where some twelve or fifteen hundred people were assembled, to hear the regulation programme performed. There was the usual inattention on the part of the crowd during the reading of the "Declaration" and a corresponding disposition to gossip and shift positions while the oration was delivered with great fervor by a bright young lawyer, who, it was circulated in loud whispers "would be heard from before long." I thought it more likely he meant to be heard from then, for he thundered away with true Irish enthusiasm until an old farmer in front was quite beside himself with patriotism toward the speaker, while we all joined in his loud hurrah...We found the termometer standing 100 degrees in the shade.