Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri • ca. 1914

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

RICHARD HENRY HANSON, M.D. It was the great Thoreau who said that men would be better if they had sufficient vision to look below the surface of things. This vision is not vouchsafed to many, but one of the favored in this respect is Dr. Richard Henry Hanson, a well known homeopathic physician of Springfield, whose long and useful career has been an interesting and varied one and of much good to humanity. We find that he was a gallant soldier in the defense of the Union, a worthy minister in the Methodist church for many years, an effective worker for the cause of temperance, a potent influence in the state legislature where he served two terms, and enterprising merchant and for more than three decades a successful man of medicine, both a pharmacist and physician, and withal a true gentleman who deserves the high respect in which he is universally held.

Doctor Hanson was born in Peru, Clinton county, New York, June 1,1842. He is a son of Cyrus and Lucinda (Hill) Hanson, natives of New England, the father born near Dover, New Hampshire, and when a boy he ran away from home and went to Vermont and later removed to near Peru, New York, where he followed farming the rest of his life. The mother of our subject was reared in Vermont and her death occurred in Minnesota.

Dr. Richard H. Hanson grew to manhood on the home farm in New York state and there he received a common school education, later attending Malone Academy, at Malone, N. Y. He remained on the farm until he was twenty years of age, then studied chemistry and photography, the daguerreo-type method. 'When the Civil war came on he enlisted in Company L, Sixth New York Heavy Artillery, and saw considerable hard service. He was among the troops which was detailed to guard the wagon trains of the Federal army during the battle of Cedar Creek, but the company he was a member of annihilated. However, he effected his escape, was taken sick and spent the latter part of the war in a hospital in Philadelphia. After he was honorably discharged from the army he returned to his home in New York state and soon thereafter bought a country store, which he conducted a few years then came to Springfield, Missouri, in the early seventies. Later taking up the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, he joined the St. Louis conference and spent thirteen years in the ministry, during which time he was regarded as one of the most earnest, faithful and able members of the conference and a leader in this denomination in southern Missouri. He was for a time connected with the school of this denomination at Marionville, and among his charges were Ash Grove, Marshfield, Windsor, Sedalia, Bloomfield, Iberia, Dixon and Hartville. In all these places he did a most commendable work and greatly strengthened the church in each. During the latter part of his ministry he studied medicine and finally abandoned the pulpit much to the regret of those who had occasion to know of his splendid work in the gospel, and took up the practice of homeopathy, which he has continued with pronounced success for the past thirty years, and is one of the best-known men in this branch of medical science in the Southwest. He was duly licensed as a homeopath and was also given a pharmacy license, having made himself familiar with that profession also. While living in Wright county he served as coroner for a period of eight years in an eminently successful manner. He led the campaign for local option in Wright county which won by a majority vote of over twelve hundred, the credit for this victory being due very largely to him. On the strength of his labors in this line he was elected representative from Wright county to the state legislature on the Republican ticket, and his record there was so highly satisfactory and commendable that he was elected for a second term by a much larger majority than previously. He was an ardent supporter in locating the State Normal School at Springfield, also was chairman of the emigration committee, which appropriated $10,000 toward bringing emigration to Missouri. In fact, for many years Dr. Hanson has been a power in the Republican party in southern, Missouri.

Dr. Hanson located in Springfield in November, 1912. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, of which he is past chaplain.

Dr. Hanson owns and runs a sanitarium on North Main street, which is a spacious, fine building, with a fine, well-kept yard and grove. Dr. Hanson also has a fine 500-acre farm in Wright county, Missouri, which is also very valuable mineral land.

Dr. Hanson was a teacher in Aurora, Missouri, and taught on ground that has since proven to be rich mineral land.

The doctor was married in Bolivar, Polk county, Missouri, in 1878, to Zillah F. Holt, a daughter of John L. and Joanna Holt. Her father was a spy for the Union army during the Civil war. He devoted his life to cabinet making, and was surveyor of Lawrence county for a number of years. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hanson, Viola, widow of Edward McNealy; Perry L. lives at Hartville, Missouri; Golden lives at home, now Mrs. William Curry; Galen lives in Springfield and Daisy lives at home.


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