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BIRTHPLACE, PARENTAGE AND FAMILY
Marcus Alonzo Hanna was born on September 24, 1837, in the town of New Lisbon in Ohio. He belongs, consequently, to Ohio's second or third generation — to the generation which grew up before the end of the pioneer period, but after the edge had been rubbed off of the struggles and hardships of the early settlers, and which entered into a comparatively definite and abundant social and economic heritage. By the time Mark Hanna was of age Ohio had already become Ohio. It was no longer a wilderness. It was a settled community whose life had assumed characteristics different from those of other neighboring communities, and was offering to its citizens certain peculiar business and political opportunities. In 1858 the fact that a man hailed from Ohio did almost as much to place him as the fact that he hailed from Massachusetts or Virginia. The sons of Ohio had begun to be molded by their own state and had begun to know and to feel for their political mother.
New Lisbon is situated in a county on the eastern border of Ohio, about sixty miles from Lake Erie — a county which enjoys the peculiarly American name of Columbiana. The name was derived from mixing the Columbus of history with the ordinary Anna of domestic life. There is an anecdote that, when the adoption of the name was pending in the Legislature, a wag suggested the further addition of Maria — thus making it read Columbiana-Maria. The southeastern end of the county just touches the Ohio River, near the bend which it makes in turning east towards Pittsburgh; and this fact had an important bearing upon the fortunes of Mark Hanna and of his family.
The village of New Lisbon, which since 1895 has been called Lisbon, was founded in 1803 by Major Lewis Kinney. It grew so rapidly that it was soon selected as the county seat. Immigration poured in from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, the majority of the newcomers being either Scotch-Irish Presbyterians or German Lutherans, with now and then an adventurous Swiss mechanic. From the beginning industry went hand in hand with farming. A powder-mill and two tanneries were started almost immediately, a wagon shop followed in 1807 and a tin-shop in 1810. As early as 1808 a blast furnace was built a mile from New Lisbon by Gideon Hughes, a Quaker, who named it Rebecca in honor of his wife; and to the Rebecca furnace came in 1809 as a skilled workman one James McKinley, the grandfather of William McKinley. James McKinley had migrated from Mercer County, Pennsylvania, bringing with him a wife and son eighteen months old. The son, whose name was William McKinley, was married in New Lisbon to Nancy Campbell Allison; and their son was the subsequent President. William McKinley the second was, however, born in a neighboring county, to which his parents had removed after the extinction of the Rebecca furnace.
Some five years after James McKinley settled in New Lisbon, a Scotch-Irish Quaker named Benjamin Hanna moved into the town and opened a "general" store. Benjamin was of the third generation of Hannas established on American soil. His grandparents, Thomas and Elizabeth Hanna, had emigrated from the north of Ireland in 1763. The former is supposed to be descended from a Patrick Hannay, who in the thirteenth century built and inhabited a house called "Castle Sorby" at Galloway, in the southern part of Ayshire. At any rate, the Scots who were planted in the Irish county of Ulster during the first half of the seventeenth century came chiefly from this part of the Scotch Lowlands. Among the children accompanying Thomas Hanna was one Robert, who had been born in County Monaghan, Ireland, in 1753. The family settled at Buckingham in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, — a Quaker neighborhood, and there Thomas Hanna died within a year of his arrival in the Promised Land.
Robert Hanna was apprenticed to a farmer in the vicinity, and worked on various farms thereabouts until he became of age. In 1776 he married Catherine Jones in the adjoining county of Chester, and in 1779 he and his wife removed to Campbell County in Virginia. There in cooperation with John Lynch he laid out the city of Lynchburg. They remained in Virginia some twenty-two years. Before leaving Pennsylvania they had become Quakers, and their eight children, of whom Benjamin Hanna was the second, were brought up in that faith. In 1801 Robert Hanna, his wife and six surviving children migrated in a "Conestoga" wagon to the township of Fairfield, Columbiana County, Ohio. Later he moved into Middleton township, founded the village of Clarkson, and, it is said, built and kept a log-tavern at the crossing of two roads. Here, at any rate, Robert and Catherine Hanna lived and prospered for fourteen years, during which time their children were marrying and dispersing.
When Benjamin Hanna settled in New Lisbon he was thirtythree years old and had been nine years married. His wife was Rachel Dixon* — a girl of eighteen when he married her, and either of Dutch or English descent. Benjamin had passed through a good deal of rough frontier discipline. He had not shirked the hard work which was necessary to convert a wooded wilderness into a cleared, habitable and cultivated country-side. He had taken part in the two essential preliminary tasks of surveying the land, preparatory to its alienation to individuals, and of clearing it. According to the statement of his son Kersey, he began by buying for $5 an acre forty acres of forest land situated some ten miles from New Lisbon. After clearing his purchase, he sold it for enough money to buy an additional one hundred and sixty acres. The second farm was situated about half a mile east of the village of Columbiana, and like the first
1 Joshua Dixon and Dinah Batten, his wife, moved into Fairfield township, Columbiana County, Ohio, from Payette County, Pennsylvania, in 1802. They owned two sections of land, 1280 acres, and became sufficiently well-to-do to substitute a brick house for their first log-cabin. They brought with them to Ohio five sons and six daughters, one of each being the fruit of a former marriage of Joshua Dixon. Rachel, the wife of Benjamin Hanna, was born in 1785. The Dixons were Quakers as well as the Hannas, and the marriage was one of the first to be solemnized in Fairfield township according to the rites of the sect. Mr. Kersey Hanna, the youngest of Benjamin Hanna's sons, states that although his mother's schooling had been very limited, she was very quick at figures. During her husband's absence she attended to the store, and she was capable of waiting on ten or twelve customers in immediate succession, and keeping the bills of each accurately in her mind.
was heavily timbered. He started in to clear it, but by the time he had finished thirty or forty acres, he found the work too much for him and his health temporarily undermined. He jumped at a good chance, consequently, of adopting some less laborious occupation. The country had been so far opened up that commerce had begun. In 1812 a group of farmers organized a company for the purpose of opening a store for all kinds of merchandise at Salem, ten miles north of New Lisbon; and Benjamin Hanna was selected to take charge of it. After managing this store for about two years, he sold his interest in it and opened a store of his own in New Lisbon. There he lived until his death in 1853, and there his children and many of his children's children were brought up.
To Benjamin and Rachel Hanna were born thirteen children, all but two of whom survived to middle age.1 One of them, Kersey Hanna, born in 1824, did not die until 1909. He has contributed many interesting reminiscences to the following account of the family's life in New Lisbon. Among other things he could recollect vividly certain journeys which he used to take as a boy of twelve with his grandfather, Robert Hanna. The old man used to travel around from the house of one of his children to that of another, and he liked to have the boy with him. It is interesting that a man living in 1909 should remember the Scotch-Irish immigrant boy who came to the colonies in 1763. These two connecting lives bound American history from the agitation for the repeal of the stamp act to the administration of William Howard Taft.
Of Benjamin and Rachel Hanna's eleven children who survived childhood, seven were boys and four were girls. They
1 The following is a list of Benjamin and Rachel Hanna's children: (1) Joshua, Nov. 8, 1804 —died July 7, 1881; (2) Leonard, March 4, 1806 —died Dec. 15, 1862; (3) Levi, Feb. 7, 1808 —died May 5, 1898; (4) Zalinda, Feb. 23, 1810 —died Dec. 4, 1854; (5) Robert, Aug. 15, 1812 — died April 3, 1882; (6 and 7) Tryphena. and Tryphosa, twins, June 12, 1814 — died May 23, 1893, and Jan. 17, 1815; (8) Rebecca, Sept. 21, 1816 —died Oct. 15, 1847 r (9) Thomas B., May 22, 1818 — died Nov. 9, 1885; (10) Anna, March 3, 1821 — died Jan. 26, 1846; (11) Benjamin J., March 14, 1823 — died April 3, 1881; (12) Kersey, Oct. 6, 1824 —died 1909; (13) Elizabeth, June 12, 1827 — died Jan. 28, 1833.