Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JEFFERSON E. HANSELL. One of the popular, capable and courteous passenger conductors of the Frisco System is Jefferson E. Hansell, a man who is universally liked not only by railroad men but by all with whom he comes in contact. He has had charge of passenger trains between Springfield and Memphis for twenty-five years for the Frisco and the old "Gulf" railroad, and it stands to reason that no one could retain such a responsible position a quarter of a century were they not capable, honest and trustworthy.
Mr. Hansell was born July 1, 1856, in Marion, Lynn county, Iowa. He is a son of Joseph and Hannah (Leeka) Hansell, both natives of, Ohio, the father born near Cincinnati. They grew up in the Buckeye state, received such educational advantages as the schools of those early times afforded, and there they were married. Joseph Hansell learned the carpenter's trade when a young man and became a successful carpenter and contractor, and in later life was a traveling salesman. He was a soldier in the Civil war, enlisting in 1861, in Company K, Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Christian, Mr. Hansell having located in Iowa in 1855. He served three years in the Union army, principally against the hostile Indians of the West, and he saw a great deal of hard, active service after the war he returned to Marion, Lynn county, Iowa. His family consisted of four children, namely: Francis M. was a soldier in the Union army during the Civil war; Mary Elizabeth, William Madison and Jefferson E. of this sketch. These children are all living at this writing. Politically Joseph Hansell was a Republican, and he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Jefferson E. Hansell grew to manhood at Marion, Iowa, and received his education in the public and high schools. After leaving school he drove a team across the great western plains to Salt Lake City, Utah, and back. In 1881 he began his career as a railroader, which he has continued to the present time, a period of thirty-three years. He first secured employment with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, first as freight brakeman, then was promoted to freight conductor. In 1886 he came to Springfield, Missouri, with his family and went to work for the Frisco railroad, first as brakeman, and for three weeks worked on the Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis railroad, Which road was purchased by the Frisco Railroad Company in 1900. On December 25, 1889, Mr. Hansell was promoted to passenger conductor and placed in charge of a train between Springfield and Memphis, and this has been his run continuously to the present time. He took the first train over the mammoth bridge across the Mississippi river at Memphis, May 12, 1902.
Mr. Hansell was married, May 17, 1881, to Minette Risser, who was born at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, October 15, 1862. She is a daughter of Daniel and Martha (Foarisend) Risser. Mr. Risser was born in Germany, from which country he emigrated with his parents to the United States when he was five years old. The family first located at Cleveland, Ohio, and there Daniel Risser grew to manhood and received his education, and from there he moved to Salem, Iowa. He was born in 1832, and died in 1904. His wife was born in Richmond, Indiana, and came west in 1845 to Iowa. She was born in 1842, and is still living, making her home in Springfield, Missouri. She and Mr. Risser were married in Salem, Iowa. Politically, Mr. Risser was a Democrat, and he served for some time as justice of the peace, and was also postmaster for a while at Pilot Grove, Iowa. His family consisted of eleven children, five of whom are still living, namely: Minette, wife of Mr. Hansell of this sketch; C. H., Omer E., Mamie and. Etna. Mrs. Hansell grew to womanhood in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and there received her education in the public schools and an academy, under Professor Howe, completing the teacher's course, but was married before she could begin a career as teacher.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hansell, all living, namely: Bertha, born December 2, 1882, is the wife of Mathew H. Galt; Emma E., born December 2, 185, is single and is living at home Jefferson E., born October 25, 1891, is a reporter on the Springfield Republican; Don M., born May 1, 1893, is in the hardware business and lives at home.
The Hansell home is a beautiful new brick structure at 1440 East Walnut street. Politically, Mr. Hansell is a Republican. He belongs to the Masonic order, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree. He is a member of the Order of Railroad Conductors and the Springfield Club.
Springfield-Greene County Library