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lived at the Arlington Hotel; but he occupied a large suite and practically kept house. His cook, Maggie, was provided with a special kitchen, which had formerly been a bathroom, and in which she provided for almost all the meals of the family. He was constantly entertaining. His Sunday morning breakfast parties had a special reputation; but his dinners were scarcely less popular. Whenever prominent men, strangers or not, registered at the hotel, Mr. Hanna always managed to meet them; and they usually received an invitation to dinner. He was not only expansive but inquisitive. He learned, not from the printed, but from the spoken, word. He acquired what Mr. Foraker describes as his "almost unnatural knowledge of human nature" from the zest with which he seized on every opportunity of getting in touch with other men, and from the powerful and candid intelligence which he brought to the digestion of this social experience.
Of course, he did not seek companionship consciously for the purpose of looking into the minds of other men. He sought it either to transact business, to exchange ideas or merely to have a good time. His insight into human nature was the unconscious by-product of his sociability. But in any event, he craved some external occupation which was shared with other people. If nothing better offered, he would play cards. During the evening, in the absence of male guests, his family would have to play with him, and wherever he lived he collected a group of friends, upon whom he could usually depend for a game of whist, and later of bridge. In Washington, Senators Aldrich, Spooner, Allison and others were frequently found at his card table. In Cleveland there were a coterie of old friends, including W. J. McKinnie, A. B. Hough, J. B. Zerbe, "Jack" Yates, E. P. Williams, Frederick E. Rittman and others with whom he habitually played. During the last years of his life, when in Cleveland, he spent a great deal of his time in the Union Club at the card table. He would lunch there and play all the afternoon, and on Saturday the whole evening up to midnight. He never seemed to tire of any occupation which he thoroughly enjoyed. A small stake was always waged on these games.
Interested as he was in his game of whist, he never allowed it to degenerate into an unsocial sport. He was not one of your silent players, who are intent only on winning. He talked constantly and his friends say that he talked more than was good for the quality of his game. A stupid play would be pounced upon immediately and made the subject of emphatic comment. And it was not merely the incidents of the card table which he insisted on discussing. Any matter of local or general interest might come up for comment, and he was continually on the lookout for a chance to joke about the peccadilloes of his friends. There were few of them who escaped some kind of rigging.
Like most gregarious men, he liked to be socially conspicuous. He liked, that is, the idea of being prominent and popular among his own people, and of seeing himself reflected large in the eye of the world. An old friend states that he enjoyed going to the Opera House, sitting in his box, and being pointed out as the owner of the theatre. But this trait, in so far as it existed, was an amiable weakness. He was entirely without mere conceit, and he consistently under- rather than over-valued his own abilities. Flattery had little or no effect upon him. He was as little pleased with complimentary but exaggerated public tributes as he was with his abundant portion of unjust abuse. But his expansive disposition craved approval, and it was partly this desire for approval which always kept him so closely in touch with public opinion. He knew his own people so well that he divined instinctively what they would approve. Strong as was his individual will, it always sought an expression consistent with what he understood and felt to be the popular will.
Although he had hearty personal dislikes as well as likes, he was far from being vindictive. Just as his anger would quickly cool, so a personal repulsion might easily be worn down. His natural tendency was to like other men, and if he continued to dislike them, it was usually because he found them by experience personally untrustworthy. He required his associates to be, as he was himself, fair, frank, and honest. He forgave anything in a man quicker than a lie. When he said, "That man is a liar," he was going as far as he could in condemnation. He never deceived anybody himself, and he rarely got his own way with people by devious methods. He did not promise to do a thing unless he was sure he could do it; and if he promised anything, it was as good as done. In living up to such standards, he was, of course, helped by his quickness and soundness of judgment. When any demand was made upon him, he usually knew pretty well and pretty soon how far he could yield; and he escaped in that way entanglements in which other sympathetic but less sure-footed men are caught.
Mr. Elmer Dover, his private secretary for seven years, states that never during that interval did he pass an unpleasant word or an unkind criticism. He could be gruff and brusque with importunate callers, but he was never discourteous to people who had any claim on his time. He did not find fault with his immediate associates and assistants. Neither did he praise them. He showed his confidence merely by increasing their work, their responsibility, and, if necessary, their remuneration. All his associates testify that Mr. Dover was invaluable to him, that he imposed upon his secretary the most delicate and onerous personal missions and negotiations. But he never bestowed upon Mr. Dover any word of commendation, except on one occasion when a group of friends were entertaining Mr. Dover at dinner.
Mr. Hanna did not regularly belong to any church. When a young man he used to attend church on Sundays, but later in life Sunday became his day of social recreation, during which his house was even more full of people than usual, and he rarely heard a sermon. His disposition was obviously not religious or devout, and he was too sincere to pretend an interest merely for public purposes. On the other hand, he contributed freely, not merely to the building funds of churches, but to church work and charity. His gifts were not confined to any denomination or to any class of work. The Catholic Sisters received liberal assistance, but not less liberal were his gifts to various Protestant institutions of all denominations. Mr. Hanna was not known, except within a limited circumference in Cleveland, as a particularly charitable man. Yet throughout his life he was a sedulous contributor to all kinds of good causes. Mr. Lucius F. Mellen, who for twenty-five years was, as he himself says, perhaps the sturdiest beggar for charitable purposes in Cleveland, states that never once did Mr. Hanna turn him away empty-handed. When Mr. Hanna had confidence in a solicitor, as he had in Mr. Mellen, or in a Sister of Charity, he merely took out his cheque-book and asked them how much they wanted. He did not rub his hands and promise to have the matter investigated. He was not a scientific philanthropist. He was simply a kind-hearted, generous man, who wanted to help people in distress, and who in helping them wanted to avoid ostentation and publicity. When during a political campaign he made any considerable donation to a charitable cause or institution, he particularly requested that no public announcement of it should be made until after the election. He was utterly discomfited when on one occasion during his first stumping tour, Mr. Benjamin Butterworth related to the audience certain incidents which illustrated his generous warmth of feeling towards other people. For the most part his gifts consisted of small sums contributed to needy causes or people. There were, indeed, one or two institutions to which he rendered systematic assistance. The Huron Street Hospital, for instance, in Cleveland received from him in all about $15,000. Late in life he became interested in Kenyon College and donated $75,000 as a fund with which to build a dormitory. But the acts of generosity, on which his friends liked to dwell, usually concerned individuals in whose need or distress he happened to be interested.
Some of these incidents deserve to be related. One rainy day some time in the early nineties, two Sisters of Charity called on him for a contribution with which to buy a horse. Their horse had died and they were seeking assistance toward the purchase of another. If Mr. Hanna had given them $10, they would have gone away well satisfied. But after he had heard their story, he pretended that he had exhausted his charity fund for that month, and brusquely asked them to return some other time. Upon leaving his office they were followed by his coachman, who insisted on putting them in a carriage and driving them home. As they were getting out, the coachman inquired: "Where shall I put the horse? Mr. Hanna told me that he had given it to you." Another case was that of a woman who had inherited a small house from her father. Times were bad. There was a mortgage on the property which was being foreclosed. A real estate dealer went to Mr. Hanna, knowing him to be a shrewd business man, told him that the property could be bought for less than its value, and asked for authority to bid it in. Mr. Hanna did not know the woman, but he was disgusted at the man's heartlessness. He commissioned a lawyer to attend the sale and buy the property. The mortgage was transferred to Mr. Hanna and was not recorded. Mr. Hanna held the property until times improved, and then sold it for a good price. After paying the mortgage, the balance of the money was turned over to the woman, who never knew how near she came to losing her inheritance, or of Mr. Hanna's contribution to her welfare.
He was, of course, even more generous with needy friends. He would lend them money on what was often worthless security. Mr. James Dempsey was continually asked to investigate such security, but he was warned that in any event the loan was to stand. He recalls many instances of such loans which were never repaid, and which the lender never asked to have repaid. After Mr. Hanna's death his executors destroyed a basketful of acknowledgments of personal debts. They had been accumulating for years, and no attempt had ever been made to collect them. Neither was this negligence due to any mere looseness in money matters. While not, of course, an economical man, he was conscientious and systematic about his personal expenditures. He knew how much he was spending and upon what it was spent. He never submitted to extortion and he had a hatred of mere waste.
If he was sometimes lavish in his gifts and heedless about his personal loans, it was because such expenditures belonged to a different class. In neither case was he buying anything. He was giving something away, and he was always giving with it a part of himself. The weightiest tribute to this aspect of his nature comes from a man whom he knew only late in life, and who himself was, as Mr. Hanna said of Mr. McKinley, more Scotch than Irish in temperament — Senator Orville Platt: "His loyalty was something wonderful. With his