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