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Photographs - Collections - 0051-00100 - #00099

Title: Governor Louis B. Hanna

Dates: 1899-1959

Collection Number: 00099

Quantity: 146 items

Abstract: Portraits of Governor Hanna and his family, photographs with the Norwegian President, at the presentation of the Battleship North Dakota silver service, and at the Panama-Pacific Exposition.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Louis B. Hanna Papers as a gift from Edwin and Geraldine Clapp in May, 1985.  These photographs were transferred out of MSS 10217.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, and author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite collection title, collection number, and State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Related Collections:
MMS 10217 Louis B. Hanna


Louis Benjamin Hanna was born to Jason R. and Margaret Hanna on August 9, 1861, in New Brighton, Pennsylvania.  Both of Hanna's parents died when he was a small boy, leaving him to be raised by his aunts.  Jason Hanna, a Civil War veteran, served in Company "C" of the 63rd Pennsylvania regiment.  Near the end of the war, he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and put in command of another volunteer regiment from Pennsylvania.  Prior to his death, reportedly a result of injuries sustained in the War Between the States, Jason Hanna worked as a supervisor of railroad shops on the Cleveland and Pittsburgh line, later renamed the Pennsylvania Line.
Louis B. and his brother Robert were schooled in Massachusetts, Ohio, and New York.  Both men ventured into northern Dakota Territory in 1881 in search of a homestead.  Robert took a homestead near Hope, but Louis moved to Page in order to establish a retail lumber business in 1882.  Louis Hanna's operation was almost immediately successful.  Encouraged by such positive reaction, Hanna built a grain elevator in Page when it became apparent that a business of that nature would also turn a profit. The crowning achievement of Hanna's enterprises however, was the establishment of a private bank in Page, which later became the State Bank and then the First National Bank of Page.  All of his endeavors were crowned with success. Hanna's Horatio Alger story would continue with his entry into politics.
In 1895, Louis B. Hanna was elected to the North Dakota Legislature as a representative.  By 1905, he had served in both the State House and Senate for Cass County residents.  Hanna had moved to Fargo in 1899 to assume the post of vice-president of the First National Bank of Fargo.  The high point of Hanna's political career was undoubtedly his election to the office of Governor of North Dakota.  His terms of office, 1913-1917, was marked by fiscal responsibility and concern with debt.

The four years in Bismarck as Governor of North Dakota were spent attacking the $300,000 debt inherited by Hanna upon assuming office.  At the end of four years, the entire amount was paid off; in addition, the bonded debt of nearly one million dollars was reduced to $462,000.  Hanna, a life-long Republican, was active in his party's county, state, and national politics throughout his life.  After unsuccessful attempts at a United States Senate Seat in 1916 and 1926, in which he was defeated by Porter J. McCumber and Gerald P. Nye respectively, Hanna refrained from seeking further public office.  In 1924, Louis Hanna handled Calvin Coolidge's presidential campaign in North Dakota.  Except for the senatorial race in 1926, and occasional public outings thereafter, Hanna made fewer and fewer public appearances.

Perhaps the high point in Hanna's life was his visit to Norway in the summer of 1914 during which time he was presented the Grand Cross of St. Olaf of the First Rank by Haakon VII, King of Norway.  Hanna had also been honored with a Doctor of Laws degree from North Dakota State University in Fargo.  Both honors, as well as his membership in the Legion of Honor, were indications of Hanna's active political and social life and the high regard he commanded.
Hanna was active in a number of social and political organizations throughout his life.  The Red Cross, the Sons of the American Revolution, and Legion of Honor are among the better known social groups with which Hanna was involved.  In addition, Hanna was a member of the Hiram Blue Lodge Masonic Body in Page, as well as the Elks, Modern Woodmen of America, and the Yeoman.

After his active political career, Hanna re-entered the business world and enjoyed the same success which had rewarded his earlier efforts as lumberman, mill operator, banker, and member of the Federal Reserve.  He constructed a much-needed streetcar line in Fargo, and was heavily involved in the Benson Lumber Company of San Diego, California.  Hanna's involvement and experience with both ventures proved challenging.  During the 1930s, huge rafts of logs were chained together along the Oregon coast and floated south to San Diego for processing. These rafts were equal in size to some of the largest ocean-going vessels of the day and were a fantastic feat of transportation genius.  Other business interests of Hanna in North Dakota may not have been as spectacular, but they certainly were remembered.

Louis Benjamin Hanna settled down to retirement in Fargo, having built himself and wife Lottie a new house in an exclusive part of town.  In the spring of 1948, Hanna was tested for a stroke, from which it appeared he had recovered.  In April of the same year Hanna once more entered the hospital for an unknown ailment.  He was in bed for a couple of days until on Friday afternoon, April 23, 1948, he died.  Hanna was survived by his children, Jean Clapp, Dorothy Burrit, and Robert Hanna.  His eldest daughter, Margaret, and wife Lottie, whom he had married in 1884, preceded him in death.

Fargo Forum, April 24, 1948
Louis B. Hanna Collection


00099-001            William Jayne, Governor of Dakota Territory 1861-1863 with Governor Hanna
00099-001-02     Portrait of Governor Louis B. Hanna 1913-1916
00099-002-02     Governor Louis B. Hanna             
00099-018            Governor Hanna as a little boy  
00099-019            Governor Hanna as a little boy  
00099-023-05     Group photo with Governor Hanna
00099-028            At North Dakota State Headquarters tent
00099-031            Governor Louis Benjamin Hanna, parade, Fargo (ND)                     
00099-032            Governor Louis Benjamin Hanna, parade, Fargo (ND)                     
00099-033            Governor Louis Benjamin Hanna, parade, Fargo (ND)     
00099-034            Governor Louis B. Hanna in touring car 1916       
00099-056            Mrs. Benjamin (Lottie) Hanna
00099-057            Governor Louis B. Hanna             
00099-058            Governor Louis B. Hanna and Jean Hanna
00099-059            Mrs. Benjamin (Lottie) Hanna
00099-060            Governor and Mrs. Hanna
00099-061-06     Mrs. Benjamin (Lottie) Hanna   
00099-062            Governor Louis B. Hanna’s daughter leaving the Norwegian President’s residence
00099-063            Norwegian President and wife entering car
00099-064            Norwegian President and wife leaving residence
00099-065            Norwegian President and Governor Hanna in front of residence
00099-066            Norwegian President and wife inside residence                                                
00099-067-1        Governor Louis B. Hanna and Norwegian President on reviewing stand
00099-067-2        Governor Louis B. Hanna and Norwegian President on reviewing stand
00099-068            Original Fort Abercrombie Guard House               
00099-069            Governor Louis B. Hanna             
00099-070            Governor Louis B. Hanna
00099-071            Portrait of Governor Hanna’s mother, grandmother, & father
00099-072            Portrait of Governor Hanna’s mother, grandmother, & father
00099-073            Portrait of Governor Hanna’s mother, grandmother, & father
00099-074            Rob Hanna, Governor Hanna’s uncle      
00099-075            Margy Carr, cousin of Governor Hanna 
00099-076            State Bank built in Page (ND) 1899           
00099-077            Mark Hanna homestead in Lisbon (OH) 
00099-078            Lewis & Clark Hotel under construction
00099-079            Lewis & Clark Hotel under construction
00099-080            Governor Hanna’s house, Page (ND)     
00099-081            Governor Hanna’s house, Fargo (ND)    
00099-082            Governor Hanna’s electric car 1914
00099-083            Drawing of presentation of the Battleship North Dakota Silver Service by Gov. Hanna
00099-087            Portrait of Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mt. Rushmore  
00099-091            North Dakota Day June 21, 1915 at Panama-Pacific International Expo, San Francisco 1915            
00099-092            Panama-Pacific International Expo, San Francisco 1915  
00099-093-09     Dorothy Hanna
00099-096            Jean Hanna
00099-098            Beveridge Family portrait Christmas 1959: Charlotte, Bruce, George, Lynn,and Bob
00099-099            Play: Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn  
00099-100            Prince Olaf and Princess Marie of Norway leaving Hanna's house in Fargo (ND) 1939       
00099-101            Prince Olaf and Princess Marie of Norway leaving Hanna's house in Fargo (ND) 1939

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