Biography of James C. Hanson

The Danish citizens of the United States are more nearly identical with our Anglo-American race than any other citizens of foreign birth. They possess the spirit which we call “go-aheaditiveness” in as large measure as any of our citizens, and they become Americanized and assimilate with the older population of our country sooner perhaps than foreigners of any other race. They are industrious, take to business on broad principles and are about as certain to make successes as any people among us. James C. Hanson, one of the prominent farmers of Latah County, Idaho, is not by any means one of the exceptions that prove this rule. He belongs rather to the large majority whose progressive and intelligent industry is having an influence more and more marked on our general prosperity as we approach the beginning of a new century.

Mr. Hanson was a pioneer in Latah County and is one of its most prominent citizens. He located in Idaho in 1872, before there had come into existence anything to so much as foreshadow the inception and development of the city of Genesee, and he not only witnessed but has assisted in the opening up and improvement of Latah and her sister counties.

Mr. Hanson was born in Denmark and was educated and began his active life there. His father, Hanse K. Hanson, married Miss Paulson, and the worthy couple lived and died in their native land, Mr. Hanson passing away in 1889, aged seventy years, and Mrs. Hanson in 1899, aged eighty. They were devoted members of the Lutheran church. They brought into the world five children, of whom four are living. James C. Hanson, the subject of this review, came to America in 1868 and located in Wisconsin. He had six hundred dollars with which to begin life in a new world, but no knowledge of the language and ways of the country in which he sought success and fortune. He determined to begin cautiously and carefully, and he found employment in Waupaca county, Wisconsin, as a farm laborer, first at sixteen, and later at twenty dollars a month. He saved his money and acquired a knowledge of English as well as much other information that he has since found useful. Besides this, he saved his money.

In 1872 he came to Lewiston, Idaho. There were then but few settlers in this part of Latah county, and Lewiston was the only town within the county limits. He entered government land, built on it, farmed it profitably and sold it in 1880, for two thousand five hundred dollars, and then bought a settler’s right to another preemption. Later he bought his present property, near Genesee, and he now owns one hundred and seventy acres. He has put this property under advanced improvement and has every facility for thorough and successful farming and many conveniences and up-to-date luxuries not possessed by farmers generally in this vicinity. From a somewhat distant spring, water is brought to his house, barns and stockyards, pure, cold, healthful and always available. In 1898 he raised two thousand two hundred bushels of wheat and cut sixty tons of hay. He has bred many Norman-Percheron horses and has some fine specimens of this celebrated breed on hand at this time.

Mr. Hanson was married January 14, 1869, to Miss Carrie Beck, a native of Denmark. They have had five children, two of whom are living. Alonzo, the elder son, is married and his father has built him a cozy residence near his own. He is assisting in the management of one of the farms. The other son, Ira D. J. Hanson, is a member of his father’s household. Mr. Hanson is an influential Republican. He has passed all the chairs in both branches of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has been representative in the grand lodge and holds an important office in that lodge. Mr. and Mrs. Hanson are active and helpful members of the Congregational church of Genesee.


Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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