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William H. Hanken
Born March 1, 1868


Another of the estimable sons of Jones county who were born and bred within her boundaries is William H. Hanken, the date of whose birth is March 1, 1868. A glance at Mr. Hanken's lineage shows it to be German. Both of his parents, Wessely and Margaret (Hyen) Hanken, were natives of that country and it was there that they were married. Not long afterward, in 1854, they decided to try their fortunes in the new world and upon their arrival went west to Dixon, Illinois, where they tarried for a short time only. The opportunities of Jones county, Iowa, having been brought favorably to their notice, they concluded to investigate it for themselves, making the journey by team as the meager railway facilities of that day necessitated. With them came William Hanken's grandfather and three of his uncles, thus constituting quite a little company of kindred adventurers. The grandfather and two of the sons bought eighty acres of land apiece, the three tracts all adjoining. Upon the farm they found a log house, built by the former owner, and here they lived for some years. To add to the difficulties of living, all the supplies had to be bought at Dubuque and hauled home. The grandfather, whose name was Nanna Hanken, here spent the remainder of his life, dying at the age of seventy-five. The father met with prosperity and at the time of his death, October 6, 1906, he was the possessor of a large farm, three hundred and eighty acres in extent. In his family were seven children, namely: Margaret, the wife of J. H. Eden; B. H., a resident, of Langworthy, Iowa; Dan, of Aurelia, Iowa; Gerhard, of Scotch Grove township, Jones county; John B., of Colorado; and Fred, of Langworthy, Iowa.
The subject of this sketch was reared at home and secured his education in the common schools. Until 1897 he worked for his father, but in that year he took the management of the home farm into his own hands, renting the place from his father. In March, 1903, he became one of the landowners of Jones county through the purchase of two hundred and seventy acres from the estate of his uncle A. H. Hanken. Since then he has added to his holdings from time to time until he owns at present a magnificent estate of five hundred and twenty-six acres. Besides this Lovell township tract he has ten acres of timber land in Richland township.
On the 16th of June, 1897, Mr. Hanken was united in marriage to Miss Augusta Stadtmueller, who was born in Castle Grove township, March 1, 1870, a daughter of John and Johannah (Oltman) Stadtmueller. Her father is still living but her mother died June 28, 1909. Their other children were Max, a resident of Pomeroy, Iowa; Kate, the wife of Rudolph Jacobs, of Scotch Grove township; Minnie, the wife of B. H. Hanken; Ferdinand, of Langworthy, Iowa; Austin, of Castle Grove township; Eliza, the wife of John H. Hanken; John, of Castle Grove township; Hannah, the wife of John Lienemann; and Ludwig, of Castle Grove township. Our subject and his wife have six children, who in order of birth are as follows: Hannah, Wesley, Rudolph, Gerhard, Lizzie and Minnie.
William H. Hanken is a stanch supporter of the republican party and is now serving his second term as township trustee. He is also a member of the school board and a valuable one as is attested by the fact that he has served in this capacity for the past ten or twelve years. Both he and his wife are members of the German Lutheran church. Mr. Hanken is one of those substantial citizens who form the bone and sinew of Lovell township.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 366.

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