HENRY HAFFEN - Approximately thirty years of service to the city of New York featured the long and useful career
of Henry Happen, for more than seventy years a resident of this section now known as The Bronx. Mr. Haffen is now
living in retirement, having earned his rest from duties in the performance of which he gave the best part of his
years and strength. He is a former member of the New York Board of Aldermen. a former officer of the National Guard
of New York, and a former inspector of highways and general foreman, in which latter positions he rendered a fine
and constructive service to the municipality. His efforts in behalf of the progressive movements in The Bronx have
been sustained through all the years of his adult life, and his interest in the development of the various departments
of the community's activities is as keen today as in the days when bodily vigor would permit of his more intimate
Mr. Haffen was born August 22, 1852, in the village of Melrose, town of West Farms (incorporated as Morrisania
in 1856), county of Westchester (now known as The Bronx), New York City, and for seventy four years has made his
home in this section. His father, Mathias Haffen, born in Germany, came to America about 1831. His wife, who was
Catherine Hays, was a native of Ireland. After their marriage they settled in Long Island, and about 1850 took
up their residence in The Bronx. The elder Haffen was engaged at different times in the business of dairy farmer
and brewer. He and his wife were esteemed and worthy residents of the borough for many years, and they brought
up their children to live up to the same high standards. He was organizer of the Fire Department of Williamsburg
and when he came to The Bronx he organized the Fire Department here.
Henry Happen was educated in the Melrose public schools, parochial schools in the town of Morrisania (then of Westchester
County) and at Fordham College. His first business occupation was that of hotel keeper, in which he was engaged
for some years. He entered the political arena when he was elected to a seat on the New York City Board of Aldermen.
for the term of 1878, representing with ability and dignity the old Twenty third and Twenty fourth wards, west
of the Bronx River. His service to the city as a whole, and to The Bronx in particular, was recognized with his
appointment, in 1894, to the dual positions of general foreman and inspector of highways, with his headquarters
and work located in this borough. His standing in the Democratic party, with which he has all his life been affiliated,
is one of influence and strength, and in the councils of his local organization he has for many years been an important
factor. Included in his varied services was that as a member of the State's military establishment, with a commission
as lieutenant of Company A, 27th Regiment, at the time of the annexation of the town of Morrisznia to the city
of New York, February 17, 1874. Included in the large number of organizations of which Mr. Haffen is a member are
the Old Timers' Club of The Bronx, the Dutch Five Club and the Harlem Schutzenbund. For many years he was a member
of the Schnorer Club.
Henry Haffen married (first), June 1, 1881, in The Bronx, Mathilda H. Stoller. He married (second), July 30, 1915,
in The Bronx, Martha H. Handel, daughter of Louis and Caroline Handel. Louis Handel died in 1900. Mr. Haffen has
his residence at No. 306 East One Hundred and Sixty third Street, The Bronx, New York City.
The Bronx and its people
A History 1609-1927
Board of Editors: James L. Wells,
Louis F. Haffen
Josiah A. Briggs.
Historian: Benedict Fitspatrick
Publisher: The Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc.
New York 1927
Bronx County, NY
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