EDWIN M. HANSON is a worthy representative of the agricultural interests of Jackson County. He successfully follows farming on section 8, Makanda Township, where for some years he has made his home. A native of Yorkshire, England, he was born March 19, 1819. The date March 19 was a memorable one in the family, for the mother and three sons were born on that day of the year.
The father of our subject, Hamor Hanson, was born in Yorkshire in 1782, and was a son of Abraham Hanson, a native of the same county. The former engaged in the manufacture of goods for the American market, and in 1804 came to this country. Later he returned to England, but in 1824 again crossed the Atlantic, locating in Philadelphia. In his native land he married Martha Moorehouse, who was born in Yorkshire in 1782. In 1827 she brought her children to the United States, joining her husband in Philadelphia. In 1829 the family came to Jackson County, Ill., locating on section 31, Carbondale Township. There were but few families in the county, and all was wild and unimproved. The parents here spent their last days, the father's death occurring in 1844, while the mother passed away in 1861. Their children were: Batley, born in 1802: John M., in 1804; Joseph, in 1805; Harriet, in 1808; Charlotte, in 1811; Sarah, in 1812; Abraham, in 1815; Henry, in 1817; E. M. in 1819; Hamor in 1820; Samuel, in 1823; and Judith, in 1824.
Our subject is now the only survivor of the family. His education was acquired in his native land, and he there engaged in storekeeping until seventeen years of age. The year 1836 witnessed his emigration to America, and for a short time he was employed as a machinist in Philadelphia. In 1838 he came to Illinois and made his home with his father until his marriage. In February, 1843, he wedded Elizabeth Hiller, who was born in Kentucky in 1824, and was a daughter of the Rev. Simon Hiller, one of the early preachers of this county. She was called to her final rest in 1844. The previous year Mr. Hanson came to this county and secured from the Government a tract of timber land, from which he has hewed out a fine farm. In the fall of 1844 he wedded Nancy Chnton, who was born in Kentucky January 16, 1827, and was brought to this state in 1829 by her parents, Zachary and Sarah (Hanks) Chnton, natives of Kentucky, who settled on a new farm near DuQuoin, Perry County. In December, 1838, they located in Murphysboro Township, Jackson County, where they opened up another farm, and in 1854 removed to a farm on section 5, Makanda Township, Where the father died in 1859. His wife survived him only two years. Of their five children, three are yet living: Mrs. Hanson, Mrs. Rebecca Crowell and Mrs. Martha Boone. The parents were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Hanson were born seven children: Caroline, deceased; Cameron C., deceased, who was married and had four children; Albert B., deceased; Hamor M., of Makanda Township, who married Louisa Gregory and has five children; Mary J., wife of Calvin Biggs, by whom she has four children; John E., of Makanda Township, who wedded Melissa Foster and has three children; and Louis H., who completes the family.
Mr. Hanson is the oldest settler living in Makanda Township, and is numbered among the county's honored pioneers. He has upon his farm some rails which he made a half-century ago. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of land, of which one hundred and twenty acres have been placed under cultivation through his own labors. During the building of the Illinois Central Railroad, he and his brother John kept an extensive store on the farm.
Mr. Hanson aided in the organization of Makanda Township, helped to organize the school district, and has been a member of the School Board for fifteen years. For fourteen years he was Justice of the Peace, was Assessor one term, and for over twenty years has been Judge of Elections. In politics he is a Democrat. The prominent part which he has taken in the upbuilding of the community and the promotion of its best interests numbers him among the valued citizens, as well as the honored pioneers of the county.
Extracted 22 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1894 Biographical Review of Jackson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 502-503.
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