Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


EZRA FOUNT HANNAH. In writing this biographical history one fact, among other interesting ones, has been revealed, a very large percentage of the men who are now performing the business of the various avenues of endeavor are native Missourians. It is true the innate restless spirit in the human race has sent a very large portion of the young men who were born in this city to other cities and states where they are residing, and while most of the men who are working here at present are natives of this state, the majority of them were born outside of Springfield. The young men, especially, who fill the offices, work in the shops, run the trains and perform a large share of the professional work here, have come from surrounding towns and counties. One of this number is Ezra Fount Hannah, superintendent of the gas department of the Springfield Gas and Electric Company.

Mr. Hannah was born in Howard county, Missouri, November 10, 1873. He is a son of W. Frank and Mary (Padgett) Hannah. The father was born in Ireland, July 21, 1856, and on June 1st, of the same year, and also in Ireland, occurred the birth of our subject's mother. There these parents grew to maturity, received the usual education of children in that country of the middle classes, and there they were married, in February, 1871, and at once immigrated to America, and located in Paulding county, Ohio, but later established the family home in Howard county, Missouri, where Frank Hannah devoted his attention to general farming until his death in 1896. Politically he was a Republican. He belonged to the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and was a member of the Baptist church. His widow survived him eleven years, dying in 1907.

Ezra F. Hannah grew to manhood on the home farm in Howard county, and there assisted his father with the general work. He received a good education in the public schools of his native community and in the State Normal at Warrensburg, Missouri, from which institution he was graduated in 1892. Soon thereafter he began teaching in the rural schools of Howard county, which he continued with much success until 1898, in which year he began the study and experiment in the manufacturing of gas, and in due course of time mastered the various phases of the same, working meanwhile in various minor positions at different places until 1906, when he came to Springfield and accepted a position with the Springfield Gas and Electric Company, with which he has remained to the present time. He soon proved to the company here that he was well advised on the gas question and was a young man that could be implicitly trusted, and, in 1911, he was made superintendent of the gas department, which position he has held to the present time.

Mr. Hannah was married on December 26, 1893, to Belle Downey, who was born in Saline county, Missouri, June 8, 1873, and there grew to womanhood and was educated. To this union four children have been born, namely: Bruce F., who lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he is assistant superintendent of the Tucson Rapid Transit Company; J. Howard is attending high school; Beulah is also a high school pupil, and Ezra F., Jr., is in the ward school, now in the eighth grade.

Politically Mr. Hannah is a Democrat, and religiously a Baptist. He is very active in fraternal circles and is a member of the Knights of Pythias, of which order he is past chancellor; is past grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; is past Venerable Consul of the Modern Woodmen of America; he is at present lecturing knight of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of the World.

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