Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
ALBERT N. HANSON. All credit is due a man who wins success in his chosen fields of endeavor in spite of obstacles, who, by persistency and energy gains a competence and a position of honor as a man and citizen. The record of the late Albert N. Hanson, for many years a well-known contractor of Springfield, is that of such a man, for he came to this city in the days of her rapid growth and here worked his way up from the bottom to definite success and independence. He quickly adapted himself to the conditions which he found here and labored so consecutively and managed so judiciously that he finally became the manager of a thriving business, which he ever conducted along honorable lines and all the while was establishing a reputation among his acquaintances and friends for sound judgment, honest dealings and good citizenship. His tragic death was a matter of sincere regret to all who knew him.
Mr. Hanson was born on October 17, 1848, in Hancock county, Illinois. He is a son of Nichols and Adalize (Hubbard) Hanson. The father was born in the state of New York and the mother was a native of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, from which she came to the state of New York when young where she met and married the elder Hanson. He was a blacksmith by trade in his early life, but later turned his attention to general farming. He and his wife removed from New York to Michigan, later to Illinois where they remained until within a few years of their deaths, having removed to Nebraska, where the death of Nichols Hanson occurred in 1900 at an advanced age, and his wife passed away soon after. During the Civil war he was quartermaster of the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry under Gen. John C. Fremont, having enlisted in 1862. Seven children were born to Nichols Hanson and wife, namely: Ellen, Charles, Louis are all deceased; Albert N., subject of this memoir; Mary E. Lewis lives in Springfield, Illinois; William is deceased; Florence, the youngest, lives in Turon, Kansas.
Albert N. Hanson received a common school education, and later attended a business college in Michigan about six months. He was all his life a wide reader of good literature and in this way and by coming in contact with the business world he became a well-informed man. In his early career he followed farming for the most part until he came to Springfield, Missouri. He had engaged in railroading also for a time during his younger days, and was in the mercantile business awhile. After living in Kansas several years he moved to Shannon county, Missouri, where he spent a few years, locating in Springfield in 1888. Here he engaged in contracting, general building and railroad construction work. When the Missouri Pacific built its branch from Crane, Missouri, to this city he secured the contract for the excavation between Main and Campbell streets in Springfield, also built the Washington avenue subway at the intersection of that thoroughfare and Commercial street. During a period of twenty years he kept in his employ a crew of from ten to fifteen men, working at various places all the time Having through his able management and close application accumulated a competency for his declining years he partially retired from active life a few years before his death and lived quietly in his beautiful home on Guy street, Springfield.
Mr. Hanson was twice married, first, on December 30, 1867, in Hancock county, Illinois, to Aarie Mintle, who was born in Ohio, from which state she moved to Illinois when a child. She was born on April 19, 1846, and was a daughter of Aaron P. and Mary Ann (Ward) Mintle. To our subject and his first wife the following children were born, namely: Jessie, born on March 30, 1870, died on December 22, 1874; Frank and Fred, twins, born on December 8, 1872, both live in Springfield; Flora, born on October 15, 1876, lives in Springfield; Effie, born on April 14, 1879, lives in Springfield; Mrs. Pearl Rueter, born on June 29, 1882, lives in Springfield; Harry E. and Harvey E., twins, born on December 20, 1884, the former lives in Springfield and the latter died in infancy; Mrs. Stella Reynolds, born on June 20, 1887, lives in Springfield.
The mother of the above named children was called to her rest on March .24, 1910. On September 25, 1910, Mr. Hanson married Mrs. Etta B. Merchant, who was born in Ohio, October 25, 1862. She grew to womanhood in her native state and received a common school education. She first married W. W. Merchant on March 25, 1883, in Ohio. He died on March 12, 1910. Two children were born to this union, Maurice E., born on October 26, 1885. He married Odilia Branch on September 18, 1910. They live in Kansas City, Missouri. They have one child, Donald J., born on September 24, 1911, and died on May 24, 1914. The second child is Leister H., born on August 16, 1890.
Mrs. Hanson is the daughter of Erastus Lockwood and Emily R. Baxley. They were both born in Ohio, the father on September 12, 1833. He died on February 7, 1891, in Ohio. The mother was born on August 19, 1840, and is still living in Raymond, Ohio, at the old home.
Politically, Mr. Hanson was a Republican, and he was always loyal in his support of the party. He served as street commissioner of the city of Springfield under Mayor Bartlett, also Mayor Malotte. He discharged the duties of this important position in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. Fraternally, he was a member of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Hanson enlisted in Company A, Sixty-fifth Illinois Regiment Volunteer Infantry, in the ninety-day service. However, he served till the close of the war and was discharged at Jonesboro, North Carolina.
The death of Mr. Hanson occurred on April 16, 1915, as the result an accident. He was driving across the street in his automobile when a street car crashed into his machine, hurling him from his seat a distance some twenty feet, his head striking the curbing. Burning oil from the gasoline tank of the automobile was scattered over him and the oil took fire, igniting his clothing. Help reached him immediately, but he remained unconscious to the end which came a few hours later, as a result of injuries to the head.
Personally Mr. Hanson was an admirable character, kind-hearted, companionable, charitable and always a high-minded gentleman. He was beloved by the hundreds of men who had been in his employ during his business career. His work was always honestly done and all who knew him esteemed him highly as a result of his many commendable characteristics.
Springfield-Greene County Library