Bio: Hanus, Joseph (12 Feb 1879 - 1952)

Transcriber: Janet


Surnames: Hanus, Hensel, McGillivray, Melby, Van Tassel, Vieau


----Sources: Daily People's Press, Owatona, MN 16 Dec 1921, The Banner Journal of Black River Falls, November 1950



Joe Hanus, founder of Hatfield, has gone to Hot Springs, Ark., for the winter.  He hopes to find there relief from a heart ailment, which has sent him to the hospital in Black River Falls three times in recent weeks.  He was taken to Hot Springs by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Olson of Black River Falls.


The Banner Journal of Black River Falls contains the following article about Mr. Hanus:


“Joe Hanus May well be said to be the Father of Hatfield.  He saw the possibilities there nearly a half century ago and never lost faith in the place.  That faith has been vindicated a hundred times over and now when he sees the many homes, the activities of the region he has a feeling of satisfaction.  He has contributed greatly to that progress. He has owned 250 acres, which he sold reasonably, in five acre lots on the highway for $125 and $150 per lot because he wanted to see people settle in there.  He was interested in roads and progress.  He gave a right-of-way for the REA, which advanced the progress of the place as much as any one thing.  We couldn’t resist asking him if it troubled him any when he compared prices received for lots and property now compared to what he received for it then.  He said he got his price at the time and he liked to see people get along.  At one time he owned all the land from the Hatfield Cemetery to the Arnold Creek Bridge in Clark County.  Now he owns only his own home, just over the line in Clark County.


“We had never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hanus until we saw him in the hospital a few weeks ago.  He will never know what a surprise he was to us.  Someway, we had heard so long about Joe Hanus that we expected him to be the patriarch type, maybe a Paul Bunyan beard, or at least a walrus mustache.  He is a fine looking man.  He insisted on our having the only chair in the room at the moment and he sat on the edge of the high hospital bed.  We know we only scratched the surface of an interesting lifetime of experiences, but we did get this.


“He came to Hatfield July 18, 1896, from Chicago.  His father, Joseph Hanus, bought a homestead there.  Like all the others, he farmed.  The soil was not good but because the soil was cheap they settled.  Some made good, some didn’t.  The Hanus family first stayed with John Uceny, father of Mrs. Joe Prusa, who is still living in Hatfield with his daughter.  To help his parents Joe started to work when 11 years old, doing anything to help them make ends meet.  His early experiences consisted of working in the woods, on the river with the late Joe Walters, and as a section hand on the Green Bay railroad.


“In 1905 he went to Alberta, Canada, where he proved up a homestead.  He spent four years there, never home during that time.  Along about holiday time, 1909, he came back to visit his parents.  he saw an opportunity in Hatfield.  He built his first little store, 16 x 20, and opened it for business May 1, 1910.  In 1926 that store building burned; and he built the present one.  In 1928, he sold it to Clarence Hell.  In 1931, he acquired it again.  In the meantime, completed June 6, 1931, he had built Arbutus Pavilion.  The late J. J. McGillivray was the contractor and the late Jake Hubert put up the building.  It was something new in the way of pavilions here for it had steel springs under the floor.


“He operated Arbutus Pavilion during the hard years of prohibition.  As he said, I always tried to run it clean.  He must have succeeded.  We checked with I.S. Hollenbeck, sheriff at the time, who said of Joe Hanus, “He is an awful nice man.  He ran a nice business there.  He would not permit drinking during prohibition and all the best people in the country used to go there.”  Mr. Hanus said that both he and Mr. Hollenbeck were threatened to be shot, but we never were.


“He built a two-story home for his parents in their later years. It is of interest to know that their original farm a half-mile northwest of Hatfield is still operated as a farm by Peter Meyers.  The Hatfield Sportsmen Club raises ring-necked pheasants there as well as the feed for them.


In 1935, he sold the store to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Prusa.  In 1938, he sold the pavilion to Joe and Vi Vieau.


Mr. and Mrs. Hanus had spent four winters in Florida, a couple of winters in McAllen, Texas, where Mrs. Hanus died very suddenly December 12, 1947.  After that, he disposed of the remainder of his Hatfield property.


“Few people know that all during World War I and II, he has sent a steady stream of gifts and packages to Czechoslovakia, the home of his mother, and he continues to help them there.  We have no doubt but that his gifts have been gratefully appreciated.


“Although he has retired, he feels that he has been well repaid for the years by the friends he has gained during the time he was in business.  He says that he values them more than anything, friends he might otherwise not have made.  He admits to being disappointed in life as a whole, but firmly maintains that there are still good people in the world and that he still believes in human nature.  As long as he can do that, he will be living the good life.”


[Postcard showing a Hanus Cabin]  [Naturalization Petition]  [Naturalization]


1900 Federal Census, Illinois Cook ED 376 Precinct 48 Chicago city Ward 12


Joseph R Hanus Male 31 Married Typesetter, White, Head A 19 3 Dec 1869 Illinois 1897 Illinois Illinois
Minnie Hanus Female 29 Married White 0 Wife 1 A 19 3 Apr 1871 Illinois


1920 Census, Jackson, Wisconsin, United States, Household ID 44, Line Number 97, Sheet Letter B, Sheet #2, Sheet # and Letter 2B


Joe Hanus, Jr, Sex Male Age 35 (1885, IL)
Marital Status Single, Race White

Occupation: Merchant
Relationship to Head of Household Boarder
Parent's Birthplace Bohemia

1930 Federal Census, Wisconsin, Albion, Jackson County


Joe Hanus Male 45 1885 Illinois Married White Head Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia A 4
Frances M Hanus Female 44 1886 Wisconsin Married White Wife Germany Germany A 4

*Residing on the main road between Black River Falls to Hatfield


1940 Federal Census, Wisconsin Jackson Adams Town 27-1 Adams Town


Joseph Hanus Male 56 Married White Head Same Place 1884 Illinois B 2 005461167
Francis Hanus Female 54 Married White Wife Same Place 1886 Wisconsin B 2



Hanus Burials in Hatfield Cemetery, Hatfield, Jackson County, Wisconsin


Joseph Hanus

Birth 12 Feb 1879
Death 1952 (aged 72–73)
Burial: Hatfield Cemetery, Hatfield, Jackson County, Wisconsin
Plot Row 8 Stone 8

Joseph Hanus
Birth 1838
Death 1928 (aged 89–90)
Burial: Hatfield Cemetery, Hatfield, Jackson County, Wisconsin
Plot Row 8 Stone 5

Karel Hanus
Birth 1872
Death 1900 (aged 27–28)
Burial: Hatfield Cemetery, Hatfield, Jackson County, Wisconsin
Plot Row 8 Stone 7

Ella Bessie Hanus Olson
Birth 10 Feb 1896
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Death 5 Dec 1936 (aged 40)
Black River Falls, Jackson County, Wisconsin
Burial: Oakwood Cemetery, Merrillan, Jackson County, Wisconsin
Plot Block 8, Lot 5, Grave D



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