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Family histories: N.P. Hanson family

Seated are N.P. Hanson’s parents, Hans Peter Mattson and Christina Mattson. In the back row are N.P. (Nels) and his siblings, from left to right: Lars, Nels, Rasmus, George, Mary, Matilda, Ricky and Christina. (Photo courtesy of the Becker County Museum) 1 / 2
The cover of Dewey Hanson's published family history book, "N.P. Hanson Family History," features a photo of N.P and his wife, Carrie. (Photo courtesy of the Becker County Museum)2 / 2

Much of the information held in the research library at the Becker County Museum is family histories. Between our files and books, we hold thousands of family histories, from pioneers to current residents of Becker County. These files continue to grow on a weekly basis, and we hope that the family histories blossom even more over the next few years as we continue our research for the new Becker County history book.

One of the thousands of family histories we hold in the museum is the "N.P. Hanson Family History," by Dewey Hanson. Donated to us, this is one of dozens of amazing family history books. The book is laid out with several chapters, including the family branches.

One of the many parts of this family history book is titled, "N.P. Hanson, The Man." In it, Dewey Hanson writes about the world of his grandfather. He discusses how N.P. (or Nels) Hanson was an average child who held an essential place in the building of the Richwood Township community. In fact, N.P Hanson was not only a president but also an organizer for the Westbury Creamery in 1904.

In the book, Dewey writes, "...He (N.P. Hanson) was always well organized... He and his family were up at five in the morning. He always quit in the fields in the early afternoon, so that the barn chores could be completed at an early hour... He never worked in the fields on Sunday. Only the milking and absolutely necessary barn chores were done on the Lord's day... All the buildings on his farm were kept painted and in good repair. Even the trees were kept trimmed and the grass around the buildings mowed."

Dewey also discusses how his grandfather was involved in the community: "N.P always had time to hold an office on the school board and to hold an office in the Baptist Church."

N.P. Hanson and his wife, Carrie (Rassmussen) Hanson, lived in Richwood Township before they moved to Detroit Lakes in their later life. Their oldest daughter, Clara, is remembered by Dewey as being a "model of domestic efficiency. She learned to cook, clean and provide for the men folk of the household while she was still a little girl."

One of Clara's brothers was Edwin, who married and had a son named Kenneth. Kenneth was born in 1922 and attended District #7 until his family moved to Duluth when he was in fourth grade. He joined the National Guard in September of 1940 and was called to active duty on Feb. 10, 1941. He became part of the 34th Artillery and, after basic training, was sent to England where he was sent to the Mediterranean Sea. He was discharged after the war in Europe ended, in July of 1945.

Kenneth Hanson had an aunt named Evelyn, who became Evelyn Hanson Aasen. She was born on Nov. 17, 1912, one mile east of Westbury on the family farm. While she was young, Evelyn went to school at the Hanson Schoolhouse, which was just a block from their home. She moved with her parents and brother Lester to Detroit Lakes in 1927. She married Norval Aasen in 1934 and moved to Winger, Minn., to build her own family.

The Becker County Museum research library is always collecting family histories. If you would like to see your family history preserved in the research library, contact the museum at 218-847-2938.