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HENRY HANSEN.

Responsibility coming to youth has a tendency to make life a serious problem, and to rob childhood of much of its joyousness and buoyancy. But it also has its compensations, for it develops those traits of character without which there is no strength nor stability, and prepares the youth for the realities which are sure to come in later life. To the conscientious boy, bereft of a father, there come many obligations to the widowed mother, and in meeting these each day, his thoughts naturally turn away from self until gradually thoughtfulness for others becomes a habit, and habit is transformed into character. This is exemplified in the life of Henry Hansen, one of the young farmers of Sharon township, conspicuous for his integrity as well as for his achievements, who was left fatherless when a child, and carried burdens heavy for such young shoulders.

Henry Hansen was born on July 27, 1871, son of Henry and Sophia Hansen, whose home was in Soro, Denmark. Henry Hansen was a native of Holbok. Limited in early facilities for education or vocational training, he was a laborer, and passed away at the age of twenty-seven, in 1875. The young wife did what she could for her two sons, but it was necessary for them to work at an age when she would have preferred to keep them in school. In 1889, she and her two sons came to the United States and made their home in Sharon township, in this county. Later she was married to H. P. Petersen of Soro, Denmark, who had been the husband of her sister.

When a lad of only twelve years, young Henry began farm work, and lived in Polk township, Shelby county, for thirteen years. By dint of industry, he was able to save enough to buy a tract of land consisting of eighty acres near Poplar. In 1907 he bought one hundred and sixty acres in Sharon township, known as the J. J. Jones place.

Henry Hansen was married on February 27, 1893, to Henrietta P. Raun, daughter of Nels P. and Restina Hansen, both of Horsens, Denmark. Coming to America in 1909, they lived in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where Mr. Hansen died the following year, at the age of seventy-four. When in Denmark, he had been engaged in the manufacture of wooden pumps. Their children, nine in number, were as follow: Hansena P. married A. S. Jensen of Omaha, Nebraska; Maria married Chris Petersen, of Council Bluffs; Henrietta (Mrs. Hansen); Petres married A. P. Hansen, of Omaha; Metta married Hans Sorensen, of Omaha; Peter, a carpenter of the same city; Elise married C. P. Christiansen, of Omaha; Arnine married Loren Christiansen, also of Omaha; Christiana, who died at the age of eight years.

In the spring of 1914 Mr. and Mrs. Hansen began the erection of their new fifteen-room home, the dimensions of which are thirty by thirty-two feet, and eighteen feet high. It has hot and cold water, furnace heat and electric light. His large barn also is lighted with electricity. Among the improvements is a model hog house built in 1910, twenty-two by forty feet constructed of cement, and having running water. In order to equip his farm the better, both as a home and as a means of making a livelihood, Mr. Hansen has spent several thousands of dollars, and has invested it in such a way as to bring the best returns. He raises draft horses and Poland China hogs.

Mr. and Mrs. Hansen are the parents of nine children, namely: Thora, married Morten Ipsen, a farmer of Sharon township; Hilda, Alma, Thorvald, Magnus, Hertha, Emanuel, Halger and Arthus.

The community in which he lives has shown its confidence in, and regard for, Mr. Hansen by electing him school director, a trustee and road supervisor. He has taken an active interest in politics, being a member of the Republican party. He and his wife have been for many years affiliated with the Lutheran church at Kimballton.

Mr. and Mrs. Hansen have given attention to the rearing and education of their children, and have kept well informed concerning the events which occupy the world’s thoughts. Nor have they forgotten the needs of their own community, being liberal with both their time and means in matters that concerned the general good. Compared with the strenuous lives of city dwellers, theirs have been quiet and unobtrusive, but in actual worth and in the good accomplished, they have been equally as valuable.



Transcribed by Gunter Schanzenbacher, Waynesboro, PA, March 30, 2013 from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 647-649.
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