Hans Henry Andersen
ANDERSEN, RATHJEN, THOMSEN, KLENZE, ALBRECHT
Posted By: Annette Lucas (email)
Date: 7/15/2021 at 10:50:24
SOURCE: Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott County, Iowa. American Biographical Publishing Company, H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co. Proprietors. 1895
HANS HENRY ANDERSEN
AMONG those identified with the substantial growth of the City of Davenport is the president of the German Savings Bank, Hans Henry Andersen, born sixty - eight years ago in the Province of Schleswig Holstein, and, for about forty years, more or less prominent in the commercial and financial life of the city he chose for his permanent home. Mr. Andersen is a marked character in Davenport, not alone among the representatives of his own nationality, of whom there are many, but among all those as well who typify that sturdiness and honesty of purpose, coupled with the strictest integrity, which win the confidence and esteem of the business and social world. The savings institution of which he is president is one of the most prosperous in the State. It has had a remarkable growth since its establishment in 1869, with Mr. Andersen as cashier. The capital stock then was ten thousand dollars, now it is five hundred thousand dollars; as against a surplus of nothing at the outset the figures now show over two hundred thousand dollars ; the deposits have increased from nothing to four million two hundred and ninety - three thousand one hundred and eighty - six dollars and eight cents, and the other figures showing the bank's prosperity are in like proportion.
Hans Henry Andersen was born December 18, 1826, his father being Christian Andersen, a teacher in Schleswig -Holstein, and his mother, Margaret ( Rathjen) Andersen, a direct descendant of the French Bonnewits, distinguished in military life. The subject of this sketch was himself a warrior in the days of his youth, and perhaps had it not been for this fact he might not have taken up his abode in this country. He took an active part in the war against Denmark from 1848 to 1851, and was compelled to leave the land of his birth when the Danes finally invaded it . He took refuge in America, going in September of 1851 to the City of Milwaukee, where he made good use of his early education by engaging in the peaceful and helpful occupation of a teacher. But Mr. Andersen remained in Milwaukee for a short period only—six months—moving in the spring of 1852 to the City of Chicago, where he accepted a position as clerk in the land agency of N. P. Iglehart & Company.
He returned to the land of his nativity in 1854. This journey was preliminary to his wedding tour, for he went to Schleswig -Holstein, facing the dangers of what vengeance the Danes might have in store for him , to marry Miss Marie E. Thomsen, the daughter of a prosperous merchant. With the aid of friends he made the journey into and out of the country safely and brought with him to this country his bride, having been married on May 14, 1854.
Upon his return to this country Mr. Andersen remained in Chicago but a short time, coming to Davenport in 1855, where he opened a general store. He sold out his business in 1859, and under Sheriff James Thorington was a deputy until the latter obtained a butlership at Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1862, at which time the subject of this sketch took charge of Mr. Thorington's business at the fort until in 1864 the sutlership was sold out by Mr. Thorington. Upon returning to Davenport Mr. Andersen became a manufacturer, the product of his establishment being window blinds. He continued in this business until 1869, disposing of it then to Messrs. Brady and Block, and engaging in the insurance business as secretary of the Davenport Fire Insurance Company. On the first day of April, 1869, the German Savings Bank was started with Mr. Andersen as cashier, he having been one of the leading spirits in the organization of the institution, just as he has been its mainstay ever since.
Among the organizations which have been fostered by Mr. Andersen are the Davenport Foundry and Machine Shops, the Glucose Works, the Canning Factory, and the Cremation Society. Of each of these Mr. Andersen has been president at one time or another, and in many others he has taken a lively and sometimes a financial interest.
In 1856 Mr. Andersen became a citizen of the United States and cast his fortunes with the then budding Republican party. His views in political matters have changed, however, and he is now a Democrat.
Two of the children, a boy and a girl, born into Mr. Andersen's family, died in early life. The other children are : William , residing in Ida County, Iowa ; Richard, ' connected with the German Savings Bank ; Anna, the wife of Charles Klenze of Anamosa, Iowa ; Clara, the wife of Otto Albrecht of Davenport, Iowa, and Miss Louisa, residing with her parents.
Scott Biographies maintained by Lynn McCleary.
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