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for a season, whereby he obtained some knowledge of the Lake Superior country and the conditions of trade and transportation on the Great Lakes. Still later he went out as a salesman. The firm sold groceries in many towns in northern Ohio. It was not at that time customary to solicit business, but Mark was occasionally commissioned to start out and find customers. His brother, Leonard C. Hanna, believes him to have been one of the first commercial travellers in the United States — which is a distinction of a kind. He was no more afraid of the samplecase than he was of the overalls. All accounts agree that he was from the beginning an exceedingly successful salesman. Although business interested the young Mark Hanna much more than books, he did not in the beginning apply himself to business with anything like the exclusive devotion which characterized the early career of his fellow-townsman and grocer, Mr. John D. Rockefeller. He was still wise, not beyond his years, but according to his years. He was not quite ready to settle down to serious work. He was more than anything else a young man who wanted to enjoy himself after the manner of other young men. He was by disposition gay, expansive and sociable. He eagerly sought and shared everything which Cleveland had to offer by way of sport and amusement. He joined the Yarad Boat Club, of which he became captain. The club owned a long racing boat, and it used to row exciting races with its rival, the Ivanhoe Boat Club. He never cared particularly for horse-racing; but all his companions liked it, and he would join them because he did not want to be left behind. Although an enthusiastic card-player, he rather avoided poker. He was a conspicuous figure at dances and parties of all kinds, and he particularly enjoyed certain excursions to Rocky River for dinner, which he himself used to get up among his young friends of both sexes. He spent a great deal of time and money on these sports and diversions. In fact, he is said usually to have paid more than his share of the expenses, and certain members of his family assuredly thought that he was also spending more than a proper share of his time. He does not appear to have had any peculiarly intimate friendships as a young man, but he knew everybody, enjoyed general popularity and was one of the leaders among the young people of Cleveland.
Apparently his amusements interfered with his business career — at least in the opinion of some of his elders. His brother, H.M. Hanna, states that Uncle Robert used to complain about the number of Mark's social engagements, and of the consequent expense. But this was merely the unsympathetic criticism of a young man by an elder of different disposition. Mark was temporarily intoxicated with the wine of youth. If he had refused the cup, he might have made and saved more money, but he certainly would have been less of a man. The love of sport, combat and amusement was in his blood, and in giving free expression to them in his youth, he was behaving, as he always did, in a natural and a wholesome way. Be it added that his gayety was innocent in intention and harmless in its results. Both of his brothers testify that his youth was exemplary. As a young man he never even touched beer and whiskey, and he sowed no wild oats. Soon, however, vicissitudes in the life both of his family and his country diminished his amusements and increased his responsibilities. Not long after Mark went to work his father's health began to fail. At about the same time Ohio and the North were in a ferment, first over a threat of civil war and finally by its outbreak. Suddenly Mark Hanna found himself confronted by the work and duties of a man. The death of Leonard Hanna was the result of the accident which had been one cause of the abandonment of his professional career. The fall which he had received while mounting his horse had injured his spine. At the time the injury was supposed to be slight, and the only resulting inconvenience was a tendency to headaches. Later, however, these headaches became more frequent and more painful. They were localized at the very top of his spine, and he could obtain relief only by the application of very hot cloths to the back of his neck for hours at a time. As the headaches increased in number and severity, an operation was tried, and some of the nerves of the neck were cut. Thereafter the pains vanished, but his general health steadily declined. He died finally from the degeneration of the tissues of a part of the brain. The illness which resulted in the death of Dr. Leonard Hanna on Dec. 15, 1862, had disqualified him for business throughout the two preceding years. During that interval Mark Hanna gradually stepped into his father's place. He was the eldest son, and the one on whom the responsibility naturally fell. He represented the interests of his mother and brothers in the business, and practically became a partner. In fact, even before his father's death the firm was reorganized, and Mark Hanna entered it. A difference of opinion had arisen between Robert Hanna and Hiram Garretson about the conduct of the business. Garretson wanted to add to the trade of the firm a liquor department, because it was in liquor that the largest profits were to be made. Robert and Leonard Hanna refused on account of their temperance convictions. Late in 1862, as a result of this disagreement, Hiram Garretson withdrew from the firm; and on December 1 of that year the following notice was published in the Cleveland Herald:
Cleveland Herald, Dec. 1, 1862.
Notice. M. B. Clark and John D. Rockefeller, late of Clark, Gardner & Co., will continue the Produce Commission business under style and firm of Clark & Rockefeller, at warehouse recently occupied by Clark, Gardner & Co., Nos. 39, 41, 43 & 45 River Street.
This notice was published two weeks before the death of Dr. Leonard Hanna, so that Mark Hanna was soon the only representative of his immediate family in the partnership. Somewhat later his brother, Howard Melville, bought out the interest of S. H. Baird. Dr. Hanna bequeathed little to his
family except his share of the business, and that, of course, went
Federal service as the 150th regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The date of their entry into the service was May 5, and one week later it took train from Cleveland for Washington. The Perry Light Infantry, composed mostly of young Cleveland business men, became Company C in the new volunteer regiment. It had been commanded by Capt. W. H. Hayward, who was elected colonel of the new organization. This left Company C without a captain. The first lieutenant of the Light Infantry was made captain of Company C.; and when a further election was held to fill the position of first lieutenant, E. B. Thomas, who was serving as first sergeant, received a majority of the votes, although Mark Hanna, who had been second lieutenant of the Light Infantry, had a prior claim on the position. After a consultation E. B. Thomas refused to muster in as first lieutenant and was never commissioned as such. Mark Hanna served through the hundred days as first lieutenant, although he was commissioned only as second lieutenant. The regiment was sent to Washington as a substitute for the troops which had been withdrawn from the defences of the city by General Grant in order to help him in the campaign in the Wilderness. Its members were marched out of the city and assigned to garrison duty in forts Lincoln, Thayer, Saratoga, Slocum, Bunker Hill, Slemmer, Totten and Stevens. The “brush with Early” mentioned in Mr. Hanna's speech occurred on July 10 and 11. General Early was threatening Washington, and all available troops were being rushed to the fortifications for its defence. But the attack never developed into anything dangerous; and such as it was, it did not fall upon that part of the Federal line at which Lieutenant Hanna's company was stationed. It was concentrated on Fort Stevens, which was separated from Fort Bunker Hill, where Company C was quartered, by Forts Slemmer, Totten and Slocum. Company C was not under fire. Mark Hanna himself was not even with his regiment on the day when the Confederates made their feint at the defences of Washington. He had been assigned to return to Cleveland with the dead body of a comrade, and the “brush with Early ’’ occurred during the time occupied by his return journey. In a letter written from Baltimore, where he was detained on the