History of Hanson, Nebraska
From: Past and Present Adams County, Nebraska
Edited by: Judge William R. Burton
Assisted by David J. Lewis
Published By: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago 1916


Hansen is the first station north of Hastings on the St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad, and had its origin when the line was built from Hastings to Grand Island. The first house built in the town was the railway station in the fall of 1879. That fall, J. L. Evans erected a store building and put in a stock of general merchandise, and B. F. Ford put up a store and engaged in the grocery and hardware business. S. L. Loucks built a hotel at about the same time, which was called the Hansen House. The next business established was the lumber yard of Paine Brothers, of Wisconsin, which was under the charge of James McGregor.

From the earliest days, Hansen has been a good grain and livestock shipping station, because it is the market place for a very productive area of farming land. A grain station was erected by Hansen, Gregg & Company in August, 1879, and another was put in by Oswald Oliver at about the same time. These early stations were not elevators, but were known as "shovel stations." Inclined approaches attaining a height of about twenty five feet were built, and upon these farmers hauled their wagons filled with grain to the bins at the top, where they were unloaded with scoop shovels.

In 1880, W. L. Baker took the management of the Oliver grain business and some time later became manager of the business of Hansen, Gregg & Company. Mr. Baker conducted a coal business of his own and erected a building in which he opened a hardware store, carrying on the grain business at the same time. The shovel house of Hansen, Gregg & Company was the forebear of the present north elevator, Mr. Oliver's of the south. For many years John Wilson was the owner and operator of the north elevator. About 1885, the original lumber yard was combined with the Doniphan yard and removed to that point. The present lumber yard was started by the Barr Lumber Company of Hastings in 1904 and passed to the Yost Lumber Company when the latter bought out the Barr Lumber Company in Hastings.

In 1881, the store erected by J. L. Evans was purchased by Jacob Smith. It subsequently changed hands many times. Smith was followed by 'Mr. Lamb who in turn sold to Lucius Ware, who eventually sold to Ed Heminover. After Mr. Heminover went out of business the store building was vacant for a considerable time and then was rented by the Ancient Order United Workmen, who used it as a hall until it was destroyed by fire on Easter Sunday, 1901.

In 1884, a store building was erected by a Methodist minister, the Rev. Mr. Calvert, who operated the store about a year and then sold it to Elmer Sims, now of Hastings. Mr. Sims conducted the store about two years and then sold. The store was then purchased successively by Z. Stone, Margaret Stone and John Stratton. Mr. Stratton was the proprietor when the store was burned on Easter Sunday, 1901. Following the destruction of the two stores the Ancient Order United Workmen at once erected a brick building, using the upper story for their hall and renting the store below. Mr. Stratton reopened in the new store room but eventually sold his business to Nellie Yandling and her father. George Hatch, who came from Harvard, was the next proprietor until he sold to O. A. Cain. In 1914 a corporation composed of John Kieth, Tom Winn, Homer Loucks, George Durkee, Theo. Stock, Lem Clark, O. B. Shafer, H. C. Redman, W. O. Cain, Moses Price, Charles Doming and George Sheaff built a store, building across the street west from the Ancient Order United Workmen Building, and Mr. Cain moved his store into the new building. The store is of brick and was erected at a cost of $7,000. W. V. Gauvreau, son of E. L. Gauvreau of Hastings, purchased the business of Mr. Cain in 1914 and is the present proprietor of' the store.

At about the same time that the store was built H. C. Redman. of Doniphan, erected the bank building at a cost of about $3,300. The hotel built by S. L. Loucks in 1879 was moved from the west side of the street to the east side in about 1896 and converted into a store building, now the location of the mercantile business of Kennedy Bros., with the Independent Order Odd Fellows Hall up stairs. S. M. Frink conducted the first store in this building, the business afterwards being bought by Silas Price and at a later time by Charles F. Matheny, now proprietor of a store in Ayr. After Mr. Matheny left, the store was vacant and was used as a store room by W. O. Cain. At another time, Henry Keller's meat market was located here.

I. A. Carriker, now of Hastings, erected an eight room hotel in Hansen in 1885, and added a six room addition in 1904. Mr. Carriker conducted the hotel until 1908, and then rented it. It was not run as a hotel from 1913 to 1916, when Mr. Carriker sold it to Mr. Zimmerman of Grand Island.

Hansen was surveyed in 1879 for A. B. Ideson and J. J. Kemple on the entry of Charles and William Haines. The postoffice was established in 1879 with James McGregor, the first postmaster. While some matters relative to the mail were being adjusted between the railroad` and the Government, Mr. McGregor transported the mail between Hastings and Hansen on his back: J. L. Evans was appointed in 1881 and was succeeded in 1882 by Jacob Smith. Other postmasters have been Walter Stone, S. M. Frink, F. 31. Frink, Charles F. Mathenv, Charles Mathenv and W. O. Cain.

The first movements that resulted in the organization of the Presbyterian Church at Hansen were made in the early '70s by John Powers and his brother, Aaron Powers. The Powers brothers organized Sunday schools in their respective districts. These two Sunday schools were combined in what is known as the Munroe schoolhouse which is centrally located between the two former districts.

At this place the Presbyterian Society was organized, September 7, 1879, the Rev. G. L. Little acting as moderator and Rev. D. S. Schaff as clerk of the meeting for organizing. After the coming of the railroad and the establishing of the Town of Hansen, plans were made to erect a house of worship in the village. The church was erected in 1884 under the direction of a building committee composed of L. A. Dominy, John Powers and A. A. Stone. The church, which is still in use, was erected at a cost of about $2,000.

The charter members were Mr. Alanson Baker and wife, J. L. Brockover and wife, Ryneas Covert and wife, Lafayette Dominy and wife, Jonathan Oldfield and wife, the families of John, Charles A. and Aaron F. Powers, William Palmerton and wife, William H. Reese and wife, James W. Smith and family, Augustus A. Stone and family, Letas W. Stone and wife. Henry E. Ware and wife, Mrs. Isabella Carpenter, Mrs. Elizabeth Gregg, Philopena Huf, Mrs. Nancy Mowers, Laura Mowers, and Ella Mowers. The first elders were Aaron F. Powers, John H. Powers, and William Palmerton. The Hastings and Hansen Presbyterian Church were combined in a double charge for many years, the pastors of the Hastings church being in charge of the service in the country. Among the early pastors of the Hastings church were the Revs. Mr. Griffis, D. S. Schaff, Peter Wessels, E. A. McCullum, H. K. Bushnell and F. 31. Hickok and Reverend Howie. Rev. W. H. Steele served from 1893 to 1898; A. M. Hendee, 1898 to 1900; W. E. Reed, 1901; Reverend Howie, 1902 to 1904; D. S. Brown, 1904 to 1906; W. H. Scoffield, 1906 to 1909; A. B. Byram, 1909 to 1913; James B. Kelso, 1913 to 1915. Rev. Samuel Linn has been the pastor since 1915. The church now has 72 active members and the Sunday school a membership of about 120. The present officers are: Elders, S. O. Cooper, George Munroe, Orville Smith, R. L. Boehne. Trustees, S. O. Cooper, C. G. Briggs, W. C. Harrell, A. H. Bauman, J. J. Mohlman.

The United Evangelical Church at Hansen was organized early in 1901 by Rev. Arthur E. Miller, pastor of the church at Hastings. The same year the church was built, with a seating capacity of 200. The church was paid for partly by subscription and partly by appropriation from the general conference. The complete list of the charter members has been lost, but among them were Eugene, Lloyd, Clifford and Cora McWhirter, Cora, Crissie and Nora Montague, Mrs. Nellie Price, Jane Trembly and Frank White. The Rev. Mr. Beebe, Mr. Miller's successor at Hastings, had charge of the pastorate until March, 1904. At that time Rev. W. J. Ely took this charge in connection with the Columbia church, seven miles northwest of Hastings, and the Zion church, thirteen miles northwest of Hastings, in Hall County. The latter church is now called the Rosedale church. The pastors serving the church following Reverend Ely have been the following: Arthur P. Layton, 1905 to 1908; C. F, Heinz, 1908 to 1910; W. W. Urdenkoffler, 1910 to 1912; H. C. Farley, 1912 to 1913; W. W. Phantz, 1913 to 1914; J. L. Lobaugh, 1914 to 1916; F. M. P. Bayles has been the pastor since the beginning of 1916. The Columbia church has disbanded.

Congress Lodge No. 173, I. O. O. F., was instituted at Hansen December 6, 1889. The charter members were D. M. Morris, S. M. Frink, John Wilson, B. F. Barr, J. H. Allen, Winthrop Jones, Howard Stire, W. B. Brown, F. J. Taylor, H. E. Ashley, and Fred Albright. The first officers were: S. M. Frink, N. G.; J. H. Allen, V. G.; D. M. Warden, W.; B. F. Barr, Con.; Howard Satire, R. S.; Winthrop Jones, P. S.; John Wilson, treasurer; W. B. Brown, R. S. N. G.; H. E. Ashley, L. S. V. G.; F. J. Taylor, I. G. The lodge was instituted by W. H. Barger, state grand master.

Congress Lodge now has forty nine members, who meet in their well appointed lodge rooms upstairs in the brick building occupied by the Kennedy Bros. mercantile establishment. The present officers are H. A. Hubbard, N. G.; F. C. Grimm, V. G.; F. A. Stock, secretary, and Walter Rhodes, treasurer.

Hansen Rebekah Lodge, No. 120, was organized June 21, 1915, and has a membership of thirty eight. The first officers were Mrs. Minnie Frink, N. G.; Mrs. Christina Darling, V. G.; Maude Briggs, secretary; Ruth McWhirter, treasurer. The officers at present are Mrs, Lulu Rhodes, N. G.; Maude Briggs, V. G.; Ruth McWhirter, secretary; Miss Marjorie McWhirter, treasurer.

Hansen A. O. U. W. Lodge, No. 190, has a membership of thirty six. It was organized in 1894, and in 1901 erected a building at a cost of about $1,850. The present officers are Martin Crosson, master workman; overseer, L. Dominy; foreman, Frank Lanfear; financier, C. G. Briggs; recorder, A. A. Stone. Hansen Camp, No. 7620, M. W. A., was organized February 5, 1900, by Deputy Head Consul G. H. Shelley. The officers elected were Charles M. Dominy, consul; David J Binfield, worthy adviser; Augustus Albright, banker; Alvin M. Hendee, clerk; managers, Lorenzo Lewis, Charles J. Silver and G. S. Robertson.

The charter members Were Charles M. Dominv, D. J. Binfield, Lorenzo Lewis, Charles J. Silver, G. S. Robertson, Harry Tompkins. James Trembly and F. M. Frink. Deaths have been as follows: Mercey E. Williams, March 16, 1913; Peter Lorenson, September 1, 1914; Arthur C. Hart, November 3, 1916.

The present officers are: Benjamin F. McWhirter, consul; D. J. Binfield, worthy adviser; Thomas Wynn, banker; Fenton M. Frink, clerk; managers, George A. Munroe, George E. Devereaux and Albert H. Bauman.

The lodge now has thirty seven members.


On September 23, 1872, a little caravan of seven covered wagons started from Allen's Grove, Wis., to seek their home in Nebraska. One month later, October 22d, the seven families of William Munroe, Del Snyder, Andrew Wheeler, Jehial Farr, C. B. Sperry, Ed Guernesy and Levi Eddy arrived at the home of Simon Dow, just south of where Hastings College now stands.

Just as they neared Hastings, which was only a few straggling houses, Mr. Sperry called to Mr. Munroe to play the drum in welcome to their new home. It was the first time that the Munroe drums were heard in Adams County. Hastings took to Mr. Munroe's drum from the first, and on July 4, 1873, the drum corps played at the celebration. This was the first time that the fife and drum were heard in Hastings.

Among the early players were Jacob Smith, record of whose death will be found in the G. A. R. chapter; Ezra Dominy, now living in Canada; A. J. Kindig, of Doniphan; S. O. Cooper, of Hansen, and Mr. Poole, of Hastings. Charles Bigelow played with the corps from the beginning. Among the later members have been Roy Van Fleet. Frank Swigart and Arthur Dominy.

The drum corps is almost as old as Adams County, and many a political meeting and celebration has been enlivened by its stirring strains.

Of the seven families that arrived in the county with Mr. Munroe and settled on homesteads near Hastings, Mr. Munroe alone still holds the original entry. Del Snyder lives in the Soldiers' Home at Burkett. All the others are dead.

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