Monday, February 20, 2012

Hannan, John

John Hannan

John Hannan is the owner of a fine farm situated about a mile and a half from Kenosha, on Section 35, Somers Township, Kenosha county, where he engages in farming and breeding horses.  He was born in the town which is still his home, March 4, 1846, and is a representative of one of the earliest families of the community.  His father, John Hannan, was born in County Dublin, Ireland, in 1798, and was a self-made man, both as regards education and finances.  He crossed the Atlantic to America in 1833, and in 1835, came to Kenosha County, Wisconsin.
Few were the settlers in this community at that time, the entire county being almost in its primitive condition.  He made a claim of a half-section of timber land and after clearing away the trees and digging up the stumps, plowed and planted the fields, which were soon made to bloom and blossom as the rose.
In Kenosha County, John Hannan, Sr. married Bridget Conny, and unto them were born six children, three sons and three daughters.  The eldest, James, a man of superior education and intelligence, is Assistant Superintendent of the schools of Chicago; Kate is engaged in teaching in that city; John, of this sketch is the next younger; Mary is also a teacher of Chicago; Robert is living on a ranch in New Mexico; and Fannie is the wife of J.P. Healy, a wealthy merchant of Chicago and one of its most prominent citizens, dealing in musical instruments.  The father of this family was a man of good judgement, was sagacious and enterprising and lived an upright life, which won him universal esteem.  He always supported the men and measures of the Democratic party in national elections but at local elections voted for the man whom he thought would best fill the office.  He died August 17, 1865, and in his death the county lost one of its best citizens.  His wife survived him many years and departed this life in May, 1889.
The subject of this sketch has spent his entire life in Kenosha County.  In the summer months, when a boy he worked upon his father's farm and in the winter season attended the common schools, but his educational privileges were limited.  He remained with his father until his death, and after attaining his majority operated the old homestead.  In connection with general farming he engaged in dealing in horses and cattle, which business he yet continues.  He has owned some noted fast trotters and the stock now seen upon his farm is of the highest grades.   He laid aside agricultural pursuits, however, in 1888, when he was elected Sheriff of Kenosha County.  He has taken quite an active part in local politics and was nominated on the Democratic ticket for County Sheriff, to which office he was elected by a majority of fifty-six, over a strong republican candidate and in a Republican County.  He made one of the best sheriffs Kenosha County has ever had, discharging every duty with promptness and fidelity.  On the expiration of his term of service he returned to the old homestead.  The estate was divided in 1890, and Mr. Hannan is now the owner of a well-improved and valuable farm of one hundred and ten acres, situated about a mile and a half from Kenosha.  A commodious and substantial residence has lately been erected; there may be seen good barns and outbuildings and the well-tilled fields indicate the industry of the owner.
(Source:  Portrait and Biographicl Album of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Lake City Publishing Co., 1892, Chicago.)

Section 28, Somers Township, 40 acres
"John Hannan, well known as a breeder and raiser of fine stock, has long been identified with the farming interests of Kenosha County.  He was born in Somers Township on the 4th of March, 1846, a son of John and Bridget (Conney) Hannan, who were natives of County Dublin, Ireland, the father's birth having there occurred in the year 1798.  He obtained a common school education in his native country and in 1833 sailed for the new world, hoping to have better business opportunities on this side the Atlantic than he could secure on the Emerald Isle.  The voyage was made in one of the old-time sailing vessels and week after week was passed upon the broad Atlantic ere he reached American shores.
In 1835 he arrived in Kenosha County, at which time Wisconsin was still under territorial government.  He took up a claim of a half section of land and became identified with the early pioneer development of the district.  He was a self-made man, owing his advancement entirely to his own efforts.  Gradually he worked his way upward and the success which he achieved was the merited reward of industry, perseverance and unfaltering determination.  He gave his political support to the democratic party and in religious faith was a Catholic.  He died August 17, 1865, respected by all who knew him, for he possessed many sterling traits of character that made him well liked.  His widow long survived him, passing away in May, 1899.  Their children were six in number, namely:  James, Kate, John, Mary, Robert and Fannie.
In the common schools of Somers Township John Hannan pursued his education, and while his opportunities of mastering the lessons that one seeks in books were somewhat limited, he learned many valuable lessons in the school of experience and was early trained to the best methods of tilling the soil and caring the farm in every department of its work.  After attaining his majority he did not seek to change his occupation but has always concentrated his energies upon agricultural pursuits and has spent much time in raising high grade stock, especially fast horses, in which connection his farm has become noted as a breeding place for fine driving stock.
On Thanksgiving Day of 1874 Mr. Hannan was united in marriage to Miss Maria Broderick, a native of the Town of Brighton and a daughter of Dominick Broderick, one of the old settlers of this county.  To Mr. and Mrs. Hannan have been born five children, as follows:  Frank, at home; James, who is deceased; Winnifred, who has also passed away; and Walter and William, both at home.
Mr. Hannan was reared in the Roman Catholic Church and has always adhered to that belief.  Upon the Democratic ticket he was elected sheriff of Kenosha County and made an excellent record as an officer during the two years of his incumbency in that position.  He has many attractive social qualities which have rendered him popular and his circle of friends in the community is almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintance.
(Source:  City and County of Kenosha, Vol. II, Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916)

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