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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1098~


Alfred Hanson


Among those men of enterprise and ability who have had much to do with the progress and prosperity which has characterized the thriving city of Oelwein, the subject of this sketch is numbered. Possessing business ability of a high order and integrity that has never been questioned, he has for several years assumed a high position among the leaders of the city's commercial and financial men, and as a representative of the section where he lives he is entitled to representation in a work of this nature.

Alfred Hanson is a native son of Fayette county, Iowa, having been born on a farm near Oelwein, May 3, 1862. He is the son of Thomas Hanson, who was one of the pioneers of this county and highly respected because of his sterling qualities of character. For a more extended mention of his family, the reader is referred to the sketch of Thomas L. Hanson, elsewhere in this work. The subject's boyhood days were spent on the homestead farm and he secured his elementary training in the district schools of the neighborhood, supplementing this by attendance at the Upper Iowa University. He was then for a time a teacher in the commercial department of the university, but subsequently gave up that work and returned to the home farm. After his marriage, in 1885, Mr. Hanson began operations on his own account as a farmer on rented land, in which he was engaged for seven years, meeting with marked success the meanwhile. In 1905 he moved to Oelwein and, in partnership with H. R. O'Neel, organized the Aetna State Bank. He was elected president of the institution and served in that capacity until the spring of 1899. In that year the subject's two brothers, Thomas L. and J. W. Hanson, returned to Oelwein and the three brothers organized the Commercial Savings Bank of Oelwein, the officers of which were as follows: President, Thomas L. Hanson; cashier, Alfred Hanson; assistant cashier, J. W. Hanson. The institution met with a liberal patronage and was successful from the start, being soon numbered among the leading financial institutions of the locality. In April, 1901, the bank was converted into a national bank under the name of the First National Bank of Oelwein, the same officers being retained. The success which attended the institution in its early day has remained with it and today it is one of the strongest and most influential banks in Fayette county. The present officers are as follows: President, Thomas L. Hanson; vice-president, A. C. Wilson; cashier, Alfred Hanson; assistant cashier, C. B. Chambers; directors, T. L. Hanson, J. B. Feltus, A. C. Wilson, Alfred Hanson, A. L. Hunter, G. W. Teague, R. S. Glenn, A. M. Odell and H. D. Wood. The bank is capitalized at $50,000 and the bank's statement for September, 1909, showed surplus and undivided profits of $20,234 and deposits of $270,341. The total resources amount to $305,661. This is certainly a s0plendid showing for so young an institution located in a city no larger than Oelwein and reflects greatly to the credit of the cashier, who to a large extent has in his hands the management of the affairs of the institution.

In March, 1908, Alfred Hanson was the principal organizer of the First National Bank of Strawberry Point, of which bank he has been the president ever since its organization. In 1904 he assisted in the organization of the Readlyn Savings Bank, at Readlyn, of which he is a member of the board of directors, and in the fall of 1909 he helped organize the First National Bank of Fayette. Mr. Hanson is also the owner of several valuable tracts of land near Oelwein, amounting in the aggregate to four hundred acres. He has a large interest in several of the best known business blocks in Oelwein, including the Glass block, the Hanson Brothers block and the Syndicate block, each of which is a credit to the city. Mr. Hanson's beautiful home on North Frederick street is numbered among the best in the city and is a favorite gathering place for his many friends, the spirit of true hospitality being ever there in evidence.

Mr. Hanson is a stanch Republican in politics, and takes and active interest in local public affairs, being a frequent visitor to the conventions of his party and his advice being often sought in political matters. However, he has never sought office for himself. Hi is public spirited and his support is always given without reserve to every movement calculated to advance the interest of the community in any way.

On September 24, 1885, Mr. Hanson was united in marriage to Edith Scott, a daughter of Isaac and Marcella (Marston) Scott, who were early settlers of Fayette county, having located southwest of Oelwein. To Mr. and Mrs. Hanson two children have been born, as follows: Edith Marcella, born November 2, 1895, died July 22, 1908, and Marion, who was born September 25, 1903. Mr. Hanson is a man of integrity and high purpose,--one who has done his share in the upbuilding of his section and who most justly deserves the high measure of esteem in which he is held throughout the community."

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