From a farm hand to the ownership of a productive place of one hundred and sixty acres and a home possessing the conveniences of modern life is a long step but it has been accomplished by Henry Hansman, of West Side township. He is a native of Germany and is undoubtedly indebted to sturdy characteristics inherited from worthy ancestry for a large share of his success.
He was born in the province of Hessen, Germany, June 6, 1858, a son of Conrad and Anna E. (Smith) Hansman. The parents were both natives of Germany and passed their entire lives in the old country. Of the four children in their family two are now living.
Henry Hansman acquired his early education in the public schools of his native land and grew to manhood under the paternal roof, continuing in Germany until he was twenty-one years of age. Having decided to seek his fortune among strangers he bade farewell to relatives and friends and in 1881 went aboard a vessel which landed him in America. For three years he worked as a farm hand, and then, having acquired a good practical knowledge of agriculture and stock-raising, he rented two different farms, upon which he continued for eleven years. In 1894 he purchased one hundred and sixty acres on section 4, West Side township, which became his home. He has made many improvements on his farm, which each year under his care has become more valuable. He devotes his attention to general farming but makes a specialty of raising and feeding Berkshire and Poland China hogs, and as he uses sound judgment he has attained deserved success.
On the 19th of January, 1884, Mr. Hansman was united in marriage to Miss Alice Luckhardt, who was born in Germany and came to America at the same time with himself. They were married in Crawford county and by this union seven children have been born, namely: Lizzie C., the wife of A. P. Bottgar of Des Moines, Iowa; Henry, deceased; and Henry J., Anna L., Carl F., Leona Mary and Elsie E., all of whom are at home.
Mr. Hansman is a striking example of a self-made man. When he landed in America his cash resources were only twenty dollars, but he had a stout heart and two strong and willing arms and through an energy and perseverance that never wavered in the face of difficulties he forged his way to a comfortable competency. His excellent wife nobly assisted him during the years of his early struggles and shares with him in the reward of a happy home and freedom from worry over financial obligations. They are both sincere members of the Lutheran church and active workers in its behalf.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.