Calhoun County

1891 Biography - John Hannehen

JOHN A. HANNEHEN is the well-known and popular hotel keeper at Brussels, of which he was one of the first residents, coming to Calhoun County more than thirty years ago. He was born in Hanover, Germany, June 17, 1833. His father, John Albert Hannehen, was also a native of Hanover, and was there reared and married and resided there until 1860 when he came to America to join his children. He spent his last years at Brussels. He was the father of seven children, of whom one died in Hanover. The names of the others are Barney, John A., William, Lucas, Herman and Mary, all of whom settled in Calhoun County after coming to this country.

Our subject gained a practical education in the schools of his native land which he attended from the age of six to fourteen. He then commenced to assist his father in carrying on his farming operations and continued to live in Hanover until 1856. In that year he set sail from Bremen in the month of September in the vessel ÔÇťOcean" and landed at New Orleans seven weeks and three days later. He thus found himself in the land of strangers, with but $5 with which to begin life in a new country. He went to St. Louis and found employment on a farm in that vicinity, receiving as his pay $100 a year. He sent $50 to his brother Barney to enable him to come to this country. In 1857 our subject came to this county and worked on a farm receiving as payment $130 a year. He generously sent $100 of that to his father to assist him to come to America. After the family were all here he began to save his earnings for himself and was soon enabled to rent land. He was so prospered in that venture that in 1859 he commenced to buy land for himself and first purchased an acre of timber now included in the village of Brussels. At that time there were but three houses in the place and it showed but little signs of becoming the flourishing town that it is to-day.

Mr. Hannehen immediately built a log house on his land and soon bought other land joining his first purchase, and in 1860 built a frame addition to his dwelling and opened here the first hotel in Brussels. He has ever since served the traveling public and understands well how to cater to the wants of his patrons. In connection with the hotel he has a well-equipped livery stable and also does a good business in that line.

Our subject was married January 10, 1860, to Gana Hemmke, a native of Hanover, Germany who came to America with her father. They have had eight children of whom these three are living: Lena, Lizzie and John Herman. The family are connected with St. Mary's Catholic Church and are held in high estimation in this community.

Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, page 775

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