Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Family History Writing Challenge Day 6 - Adolf Norway to Illinois

Adolf Halfdan Hansen was born to Dorette Kristensen and Johannes Adolf Waldemar Hansen on 29 Jan 1880 and christened on 18 Apr 1880 at Garnison Menighet, Oslo, Akershus, Norway.  Adolf was the third of the five children born to Dorette and Johannes Adolf before Dorette’s death in 1887.
After his mother’s death Adolf continued his education, completing the seventh year.  In 1889 Johannes married for a second time.  His new wife, Nathalie, was only five years older than Adolf’s older sister Dagny.  In 1894 Dagny with her brothers Artur and Adolf immigrated to the United Stated setteling in Chicago where their mother’s sisters, Olga, Magna, and Dagmar, and brother Oscar had settled previously.
In 1900, Adolf and Artur were living with Aunt Olga Pedersen and her family in Chicago. While the Oscar Daniels Co is not mentioned specifically in the census employment Adolf, Artur, and Axel Pedersen all have employment relating to the construction co.
Adolf’s uncle Oscar had established the company and it was involved in all types of construction and iron work: bridges, ships, and the New York subway system among others. Oscar firmly believed in hiring family, brothers-in-law, nephews, grand-nephews ect.
Adolph worked for the Oscar Daniels Co for most of his life changing jobs and traveling as needed by the company.  He was a packer in Chicago, a timekeeper in Toolee, Utah, a treasurer in the shipyard in Tampa, and a vice-president back in Chicago.  His travels took him to Milwaukee, Wi where he met his future wife Henrietta Burbach.
In the 1930s the construction industry foundered due to the depression. Oscar Daniels died in 1939 and Adolf risked everything he had to save the company.  He even mortgaged his home.  All to no avail since he lost everything, even the house.  Adolf and his wife Henrietta lived out the remainder their lives in the home of their daughter Dorothy Hansen Murray. 
Adolf’s story is one of courage and determination.  While it may seem that Adolf failed, he taught his children  and through them his seventeen grandchildren how to persevere against all odds.  He taught honesty, humor, and a love of the fine arts. 
I was four when my BaBa died but I remember his twinkling blue eyes and impish grin.


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