William R. Hanna, one of the enterprising farmers of Clay township, owning a good tract of land on sections
19 and 20, was born May 18, 1858, on the place which is still his home, his parents being Andrew J. and Sarah H.
(Knowles) Hanna, in whose family of three children William R. was the eldest, the others being A. J. and Mary M.
The father was born in West Virginia but was reared in Athens county, Ohio, where occurred the birth of the mother.
They were married October to, 1856, and at once left Ohio for Iowa, traveling by. wagon across the country. They
reached their destination in December, 1856, and the farm consisting of two hundred and forty acres of land in
Clay township, Marion county, was purchased by Mr. Hanna May 1, 1856. His was the first farm in the county to sell
for fifty dollars per acre. He became one of the foremost agriculturists of the state and had at one time three
thousand acres. His prosperity was notable in that at different times he faced various hardships and difficulties,
having at one time to pay a security debt of sixty five hundred dollars on which he never received a cent. He possessed,
however, notable business ability and keen sagacity and as the years passed on well merited success in large measure
crowned his labors. His political allegiance was given the republican party and he was called to serve in a number
of township offices. He died February 8, 1908, having survived his wife for about twenty seven years, and they
were laid to rest in Brackenridge cemetery.
William R. Hanna was reared upon the old home farm and purchased the place when his father removed to town. He
further improved the property and is today one of the substantial agriculturists of Marion county, owning six hundred
acres of valuable land in the county and also a smaller tract in Colorado. Upon his place are seen all of the equipments
and accessories of a model farm of the twentieth century. The fields are well fenced, good barns and sheds furnish
ample shelter to grain and stock and the latest improved machinery facilitates the work of the fields.
In 1880 Mr. Hanna was united in marriage to Miss Julia M. Rouze, a daughter of W. K. and Mary T. Rouze. They now
have three children, namely: Laura M., who is the wife of Ed Osborn; Cresco A., who wedded Miss Edith Haines; and
Beryl W., at home.
Politically Mr. Hanna is a republican but has never held office nor is he desirous to do so. He prefers to concentrate
his undivided attention upon his business interests and he has displayed sound judgment in managing his farm and
enhancing its productiveness. His labors have been attended with excellent results and he ranks with the leading
farmers of the county.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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