Album of Genealogy and Biography -- [Unknown date]Louis Hanson
Louis Hanson, a well-known manufacturer and business man of Chicago, was born in Denmark September 16, 1843. He remained in that country until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when he resolved to seek his fortune in the United States, and accordingly crossed the Atlantic to Portland, Maine. He spent one year in that city, finding employment in a picture frame factory, and receiving one dollar per day for his labor. In 1866 he removed to Boston, where he secured work, similar employment. Hearing of greater advantages for ambitious young men farther west, he came to Chicago in 1867 and at once secured work. He proved to be industrious, and continued working in various factories, carefully saving all he could, and learning as much as possible of the business ways of the country.
In 1871 he resolved to start in business for himself, and, with this in view, formed a partnership with David Goodwillie. The firm began the manufacture of picture frames, and a year later Mr. Goodwillie's sons took his 2place in the firm, this partnership continuing until 1874. In that year Mr. Hanson and nine others bought out the Goodwillies for $3,400, and remained in the business until 1877, when the subject of this notice was able to buy out his partners and take entire control. Thus, by diligent attention a to his work, he became owner of a growing business, which, under his careful personal management, has increased to a wonderful extent. Having begun at the bottom round of the ladder, he is familiar with every detail of his establishment, and is thus able to give instruction and advice wherever needed. Several departments have been added to his factory and he now manufactures various articles, besides mirror and picture frames and mouldings. Some of the largest barber shops in both East and West have been fitted up with furniture manufactured by Mr. Hanson. In October, 1898, he made and shipped a large barbers' case to Johannesburgh, Africa. In his business career, Mr. Hans a has not been without his discouragements. In 1880 his entire plant was burned, including tools and machinery. His courage did not abate, however, and, within three days he bought an entire plant and continued his business at No. 151 Washington Street. In 1883 he had so far recovered his loss 3that he was able to build his present large and commodious plant at Nos. 136 and 138 North Curtis Street. This building is one hundred thirty feet by six feet in dimensions, and in it are employed about ninety hands. In the year 1892 they received the sum of $40,000 in wages. The product of this factory is well known all over the country, and is sold from Maine to California.
In May, 1870., Mr. Hanson was married to Miss Caroline Nortensen. Six children have been born to this marriage, all of whom are living at home and all were born in Chicago. Their names in order of birth are: Maria, Martin, Lizzie, John, Rosa and Louis. They have received the best of educational advantages and have all been carefully reared. Their home is a fine residence at No. 668 North Hoyne Avenue. This house was first built in 1879, but was re-built in 1891.4
The subject of this sketch may well be proud of his business career, having advanced by his own efforts from poverty to independence and wealth. He recognized the broadening influence of travel, and has visited many scenes of interest both East and West. He has rupported the Republican ticket for many years, and voted both times for General Grant, of whom he was a great admirer. He is a member of the National Union and of the Dania Society.
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