Category Archives: On the Job

Escape Artist Makes Quick Work of Racine Jail

Escape Velocity:
Trickster Makes Short Work of Racine Jail

By Joseph Hanneman
Journal Times

Most husbands gave candy or sent flowers to their wives on Valentine’s Day. Todd Martin escaped from jail.

The 23-year-old Houdini-style escape artist from Sheboygan slipped out of two pairs of handcuffs, a belly chain, a canvas mailbag, three iron-bar jail doors and a locked wooden door Wednesday at the Racine City Jail.

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Racine Police Chief Karl Hansen handcuffs Todd Martin at the Racine City Jail on Feb. 15, 1990. Racine Journal Times photo by Paul Roberts.

And it took only seven minutes.

After defeating the final lock at the jail Wednesday, Martin chatted with reporters and gave his wife, Amara, a Valentine’s kiss. Another day, another jailbreak.

Relatively long time

“That’s the longest I’ve ever been held,” said Martin, who has broken out of the pokey some dozen times before. “You sure can be proud of yourselves.”

The man who calls himself Anthony the Great wore a black stretch body suit and cape as he was led to his cell, trailed by dignitaries that included Mayor N. Owen Davies, Sheriff Robert Rohner and Alderwoman Dorothy Constantine.

Martin_TIedUp
Martin is tied inside a canvas mailbag at the Racine jail. Racine Journal Times photo by Paul Roberts.

Alderman Michael Vidian patted Martin down and checked his hair and mouth for tools. Police Chief Karl Hansen put two pairs of handcuffs on Martin, and shackled his forearm to a belly chain. He was then placed in a canvas mailbag and locked in the cell at exactly 2:18 p.m.

The gathered throng of local officials, reporters and photographers waited in the hall outside the jail as Martin plied his trade. All they could hear was the rattle of each lock as he made his way closer.

Then, at 2 25 p.m., he emerged.

“I’m glad we’re closing the jail on the first of April,” Hansen quipped. The jail will be gutted to make way for a new communications center and city prisoners will be transferred to the county jail.

Martin said the lock on the jail cell was the most difficult to open, because it had a weighted spring that held down the lock hook.

“It’s difficult to manipulate a lock like that,” he said.

Try it in a coffin

The escape was probably a yawner for Martin, who escaped from a locked coffin in 1988 after being tossed from an airplane 13,500 feet above Sandwich, Ill.

When he was 18, he was sealed in a hole-riddled coffin and pushed into the Sheboygan River while covered in 20 pounds of chains and 500 pounds of rock. He escaped in 50 seconds.

“I think I did a good job,” he said matter-of-factly. “Two hours would have been a good time.”

After the escape, Martin posed for pictures in the locked cell and recreated parts of the escape for a national television crew. When the last photo had been snapped, he called for the jailer.

“Now I need a key,” he said. ♦

EscapeVelocity
This article first appeared on Page 1 of the Racine Journal Times on February 15, 1990.

Postscript: Now age 51, Martin continues to perform under the name Anthony Martin (Anthony is his middle name). He is also a Christian evangelist. In 2013, he published a book, Escape or Die: An Escape Artist Unlocks the Secrets to Cheating Death.

– See the original Journal Times page from February 15, 1990 

 

Mauston Quiet With Tragedy at Death of Gov.-Elect Orland Loomis

The sudden death of Wisconsin Governor-Elect Orland S. Loomis on December 7, 1942 shocked the state; no place more than his home town of Mauston. Carl F. Hanneman wrote the article below for The Wisconsin State Journal on Tuesday, December 8, 1942.

By CARL F. HANNEMAN
State Journal Correspondent

MAUSTON — A few weeks ago, all Mauston rejoiced as Orland S. Loomis, known as “Spike” to the entire city, was elected governor of Wisconsin. carlsorrow

There was an impromptu celebration, and the townspeople gathered to cheer the man who had spent his life in the community except when he was serving the state at Madison and his country in France.

Today Mauston was as deep in sorrow and grief as it was in the heights as the November election returns came rolling in.

For the man who was a friend to everyone in Mauston had died suddenly, and the whole city was quiet with tragedy.

Pastor Speaks for City
The Rev. G.I. Krein of the First Presbyterian church expressed the sentiment of the entire city when he said today:

“A few weeks ago the people of Mauston rejoiced and let Mr. Loomis know how proud we all were of him. As we did them rejoice, we now mourn.

“The Sunday following his election Mr. and Mrs. Loomis worshipped with us. I then bade them Godspeed in their new home and work.

“As a young pastor I have welcomed his kindly interest in my and this church. I am thankful to have had the counsel and friendship of this Christian character,” Mr. Krein said.

Officials Pay Tribute
Gov.-elect Loomis at one time was district attorney of Juneau County, and today another Juneau County prosecutor, Charles P. Curran, declared that “the people of Mauston and Juneau County have lost a very dear friend and the state of Wisconsin have been deprived of an outstanding governor, statesman and leader.”

carlphoto
Carl Hanneman took this photo for The Wisconsin State Journal the night Orland S. Loomis was elected governor of Wisconsin.

 

Mayor Raymond W. Barnwell characterized the death “as a shock such as a community like this seldom has. It strikes every citizen as though they have lost one of their own family, and the universal sense of grief is evidence of what ‘Spike’ really mean to everyone here,” the mayor said.

Lifelong friends of the governor-elect included Dr. J.S. Hess Jr. and J.H. Ensch, American Legion official. Dr. Hess said “we can appreciate the great loss for our community and the entire state of Wisconsin,” while Ensch, who “noticed him through school, college, social, law and political days,” reported the entire community grief-stricken.

“Conscientious Servant”
Gov.-elect Loomis was characterized by Robert P. Clark, county judge before whom he often argued cases, as “a conscientious and capable public servant.”

“Mauston was proud of its favorite son,” said John Hanson, editor of the Mauston Star, and “ ‘Spike’ Loomis will always live in the hearts of everyone here, where he was known best, first as a friend, then as governor.”

“We in Mauston who have profited by his counsel and example fully appreciate the loss to the commonwealth,” said Robert Temple, editor of the Juneau County Chronicle.

Related Article: Carl’s Heartfelt 1937 Plea for a Better Future

Related Article: Carl F. Hanneman’s Contribution to Wisconsin Hometown Stories

Carl Hanneman Pharmacy Papers Donated to Marquette University

Carl F. Hanneman’s college pharmacy notebooks and study guides from 1924 and 1925 have been donated to the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The material was turned over to the university and accession papers signed May 26, 2017.

CarlFHanneman
Carl F. Hanneman

It was a long road for the college pharmacy materials, kept by the senior Hanneman at homes in Wisconsin Rapids, Janesville, Fond du Lac and Mauston. When Carl died in May 1982, the papers went to his youngest son, David D. Hanneman (1933-2007). Now, more than 90 years after they helped Carl become a registered pharmacist, the papers will be preserved by Marquette.

Carl earned his licensure in January 1925 after completing Marquette’s short course in pharmacy. He went on to a pharmacy career that spanned nearly 60 years, much of it behind the counter at the Mauston Drug Store.

ClassNotes2
Carl’s notebooks contained meticulous notes on chemistry and other subjects.

The handwritten notes are unique because Marquette previously had little documentation of its popular short course in pharmacy. The university’s degree program in pharmacy was discontinued during World War I because so many faculty and students left campus to fight overseas. The pharmacy degree program was never restarted, but demand continued for higher education to help students pass that state pharmacy board exams.

In 1923, Marquette began offering a “short course” in pharmacy under the auspices of the College of Dentistry. The courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacy, pharmacognosy, toxicology and drg identification were rigorous. They were taught by Dr. Hugh C. Russell and Professor Frederick C. Mayer, both former deans of the Marquette College of Pharmacy. The two-semester program was designed for young men and women with pharmacy experience, in preparation to pass the state exams.

Carl_study
Carl Hanneman studies in the mid-1920s.

The books Carl left behind contain hundreds of pages of meticulous notes on chemistry, pharmacy and related subjects. Two of the books have Marquette pennant stickers on the front. Carl’s pocket-size copy of the Guide to the Organic Drugs of the United States Pharmacopœia has a Marquette University seal on the cover. His exam book shows he scored an 82 percent on one test in 1924.

Carl (1901-1982) would no doubt be tickled to know his college work will be preserved in the archives of his alma mater. We think his son David would be rather proud, too.

Read more about Carl F. Hanneman’s Marquette days.

– Listen to David Hanneman’s Remembrances of His Father’s Pharmacy

New Mayor Weighs in on the Issues

During his two years as mayor of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, David D. Hanneman made several appearances on the local television public-affairs program called “City Talk.” You might think that local cable access programming would be uninteresting, but in this case, you would be wrong. Hosted by former Sun Prairie alderman Don Hooser, the show on KSUN always featured thought-provoking, in-depth discussions of issues facing the city. Topics included the city’s master plan to develop its west side, something that has beautifully come to fruition in the years since.

When Dad passed away in 2007, Hooser arranged to re-run theses programs in Dad’s memory. Hooser still hosts a local public-affairs program, now called “Talk of the Town.” The program below was taped on September 24, 2003.

Marquette Mystery: Where Did Carl Hanneman Study Pharmacy?

For most of his adult life, Carl F. Hanneman said he studied pharmacy at Marquette University in Milwaukee, securing the academic knowledge required to pass the state of Wisconsin pharmacy board exam. Even his obituary in the May 30, 1982 issue of the Wisconsin State Journal stated, “He was a graduate pharmacist of Marquette University.”

Now, more than 90 years after Hanneman’s days of youth in Milwaukee, a question has been raised about where he studied to prepare for his nearly 60-year career as a pharmacist. As The Hanneman Archive was preparing to donate Carl’s student notebooks, study guides and formulary books from his days at Marquette, staff at the university’s archives said they could not find him in an initial search of the graduate database.

Carl F. Hanneman at Solomon Juneau Park in Milwaukee in 1924.
Carl F. Hanneman at Solomon Juneau Park in Milwaukee in 1924.

The College of Pharmacy at Marquette was disbanded in 1918, as World War I decimated the ranks of students and faculty alike. The plan was to re-establish the pharmacy program after the war, but those plans were never realized and Marquette never again had a pharmacy degree program. So what to make of Carl’s story and his history? We can assume he did not fabricate it, since he was licensed in Wisconsin for 57 years. So, what to do when presented with a mystery? We dug into it.

Some facts in our favorite pharmacist’s story are well-established. Carl Henry Frank Hanneman was born on October 28, 1901 in Grand Rapids, Wood County, Wisconsin (the city’s name was changed to Wisconsin Rapids in 1920). He was the youngest of five children of Charles and Rosine (Osterman) Hanneman. (We related elsewhere on this site some of the confusion surrounding his birth when he sought a copy of his original birth certificate in 1946).

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Charles Hanneman emigrated from Pomerania to Wisconsin in November 1882.

His father Charles, whose full name is Carl Frederick Christian Hanneman, emigrated to Wisconsin in November 1882 from county Regenwalde in the Baltic Duchy of Pomerania (now in Poland and Germany). His mother was native to Wood County, Wisconsin. The senior Hanneman toiled at manual labor. He started as a saw mill worker and later became a farm hand for his brother William at the dawn of the 20th century. Charles worked on the 1908 construction of the sewer system in Grand Rapids, earning 17.5 cents per hour. He later worked in a paper mill. Young Carl had a good role model for hard work.

Carl attended public schools, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1921. He was a smart young man, with equal talents at science and art. Shortly after high school, he began work as an apprentice at the well-known Sam Church drug store. A spark was lit. Carl felt a calling. Carl’s apprenticeship at the Church drug store lasted nearly five years. We believe the person who told Carl about Marquette University was Mark C. Whitrock, a 1913 Marquette pharmacy graduate and pharmacist at Sam Church. Nearly 10 years Carl’s senior, Whitrock was also a member of the Wisconsin Rapids city council.

Carl Hanneman studies in the mid-1920s.
Carl Hanneman studies in the mid-1920s.

Among Carl’s Marquette papers is a pharmacy course notebook originally belonging to Whitrock. It is from a theoretical pharmacy course taught by Dr. Hugh C. Russell, a physician and professor in Marquette’s College of Pharmacy. Whitrock gave the book to Carl to help him prepare to study for work as a druggist. What to do, since the pharmacy degree program at Marquette was no more? With some help from the Marquette University Archives and Carl’s own writings, we found the answer.

Marquette's short course in pharmacy proved popular in the mid-1920s.
Marquette’s short course in pharmacy proved popular in the mid-1920s.

In 1923, Marquette began offering a “short course” in pharmacy under the auspices of the College of Dentistry. The school newspaper, the Marquette Tribune, said the course was “not part of the regular curriculum of the university.” What? The courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacy, pharmacognosy, toxicology and drug identification were rigorous. They were taught by the aforementioned Dr. Russell and Professor Frederick C. Mayer, both former deans of the Marquette College of Pharmacy. The two-semester program was designed for young men and women with pharmacy experience, in preparation to pass the state exams.

Carl studied under two former deans of the Marquette College of Pharmacy.
Carl studied under two former deans of the Marquette College of Pharmacy.

Carl enrolled in the pharmacy short course in the winter of 1924. We know he paid tuition (he referenced in later writings having to save before enrolling at Marquette). He lived in the 700 block of 37th Street in Milwaukee, just west of the Marquette campus. We have a number of photos of his fiancee, Ruby Treutel, visiting him at Solomon Juneau Park in Milwaukee in 1924.

The books Carl left behind contain hundreds of pages of meticulous notes on chemistry, pharmacy and related subjects. Two of the books have Marquette pennant stickers on the front. Carl’s pocket-size copy of the Guide to the Organic Drugs of the United States Pharmacopœia has a Marquette University seal on the cover. His exam book shows he scored an 82 percent on one test in 1924. The test was corrected by someone identified only as “A. Mankowski.” So far, we have not identified that person further.

Carl's organic drugs guide from his days at Marquette University.
Carl’s organic drugs guide from his days at Marquette University.

It seems odd that Marquette would offer such a program but not count it as official curriculum. The university offered certification programs in other subjects. We have no paper certificate or other document showing Carl matriculated from the pharmacy short course, but we will ask Marquette to check its records thoroughly. Otherwise, Carl and many others like him from the 1920s would be Marquette orphans, educated by the university but not claimed as students or course graduates.

Carl traveled to Madison on January 24, 1925 for the state Board of Pharmacy examination. He was one of 105 applicants seeking licensure as either a registered pharmacist or assistant registered pharmacist. Carl was among 76 people who passed the exam that day. On January 30, the Wisconsin State Board of Pharmacy issued him certificate No. 3252 as a registered assistant pharmacist. With his credentials in hand, he returned home to Wisconsin Rapids. Mark Whitrock hired him as a druggist for the brand new Whitrock & Wolt pharmacy on Grand Avenue.

Carl Hanneman's graduation and first job made front-page news in Wisconsin Rapids.
Carl Hanneman’s graduation and first job made front-page news in Wisconsin Rapids. The newspaper got his middle initial wrong.

Six months later in nearby Vesper, Carl married his longtime sweetheart, Ruby Viola Treutel. After working at the Whitrock pharmacy much of 1925, Carl and Ruby moved to Janesville. Carl took a druggist job with the McCue & Buss Drug Co. in downtown Janesville. After about six months, Carl and his now-pregnant wife moved to Fond du Lac, where Carl started work for Fred Staeben at the Staeben Drug Co. Just weeks later, they welcomed their first child, Donn Gene Hanneman.

By Christmas 1927, the Hannemans moved back to Wisconsin Rapids. Carl became a druggist for his old employer, Sam Church. He stayed in that job for five years. In March 1933, the family welcomed another son, David Dion. Carl then left the pharmacy world for a sales job with the Consolidated Water Power & Paper Co. That assignment lasted for several years.

Longtime pharmacist Sam Church hired Carl Hanneman as an apprentice in the early 1920s, then as a druggist in 1927.
Longtime pharmacist Sam Church hired Carl Hanneman as an apprentice in the early 1920s, then as a druggist in 1927.

Pharmacy was his calling, so Carl looked for a chance to retake his place behind the druggist’s counter. In February 1936, Carl was hired by Dr. J. Samuel Hess Jr. to be an assistant pharmacist at the Mauston Drug Store, which was attached to the Hess Memorial Hospital in Mauston.

We wrote elsewhere on this site of Carl’s heartfelt September 1937 plea for assistance obtaining a full registered pharmacist license. He wrote to Orland S. Loomis, a well-known Mauston attorney and former state senator who was then Wisconsin’s attorney general. Carl regretted not taking the full registered pharmacist exam in 1925. At the time, he was six months short of the five years of apprentice experience required to become a registered pharmacist. Now 12 years later, lacking that higher license, he could not officially manage the Mauston Drug Store because of a quirk in state law regarding small-town pharmacies. The better license would mean better salary, something that became crucial in August 1937 with the birth of the Hannemans’ third child, daughter Lavonne Marie.

We don’t know if Loomis wrote back or helped Carl with his license issues. (Loomis became governor-elect of Wisconsin in 1942, but died before taking office. As a correspondent for the Wisconsin State Journal, Carl photographed Loomis at the Loomis home in Mauston on election eve in November 1942). Carl became a full registered pharmacist on July 12, 1944. He was among nine people issued new licenses that Wednesday in Madison. He was issued certificate No. 5598 by the Wisconsin State Board of Pharmacy. The certificate was signed by Oscar Rennebohm, a well-known Madison pharmacist who later became Wisconsin’s 32nd governor.

Carl earned his full registered pharmacist license in 1944.
Carl earned his full registered pharmacist license in 1944.

So the mystery is solved. Carl Hanneman did enroll in and complete a short course in pharmacy at Marquette University in 1924. It remains to be seen if Marquette will claim him and his many colleagues who studied in the pharmacy short course in the 1920s. His class notes, study guides and other materials from that time will be donated to the Marquette University Archives later this summer.

©2016 The Hanneman Archive

‘Rock Hounds’ Wib and Irma Hanneman Ran Wausau Gift Shop

As a boy, I often got to travel with my Dad on his sales routes across Wisconsin to sell veterinary pharmaceuticals and supplies. One of his routes took him to Wausau, so we got to pay a visit to Hanneman’s Rock and Gift Shop, run by my great uncle and aunt, Wilbert G. and Irma Hanneman. Visits to the shop always resulted in getting to pick out something made from the most exquisite polished rocks and colorful crystals.

Over the years, I developed a nice collection of treasures from the rock shop. I came to believe that Uncle Wilbert (nicknamed “Wib”) had made a career out of selling rocks and crystals. Actually, he and Aunt Irma took it up as a post-retirement labor of love after Wib’s long career in banking. They sold gifts from the shop in their home at 130 Ninth Avenue in Wausau in the 1960s and early 1970s, but also attended craft shows and other events to peddle their intricately patterned wares.

Wilbert G. Hanneman uses a diamond saw to cut slabs of Australian imperial red rhodomite.
Wilbert G. Hanneman uses a diamond saw to cut slabs of Australian imperial red rhodonite.

In December 1966, the Wausau Daily Herald-Record ran a photo page featuring the Hannemans and their rock shop. “What looks like an uninteresting rock to the average person may send a rock-hound into a joyous orbit,” read one of the captions. The photo showed Wib using a diamond saw to slice Australian red rhodonite into slabs. Another photo showed polished slabs of Brazilian agate, which were later used to make cuff links, ring settings and other items.

Although Wib and Irma used tumblers to polish many of the smaller rocks, much of the rock polishing was done by hand “to better control the final results,” the newspaper wrote. The craft has its aim to “unmask the beauty in the stones.”

Wausau_Daily_Herald_1966_12

Wilbert G. Hanneman was born May 1, 1899 in Merrill, Wisconsin, the third of five boys born to Charles and Rosina Hanneman. He was the older brother of my grandfather, Carl F. Hanneman. In June 1923, Wib married Irma Pagels and the couple moved to Wausau. Wib had a long career working for the Citizens State Bank and Trust Co., from which he retired in 1964. Wib was a graduate of the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wib overcame a bout of polio that left him with a pronounced limp. Late in life he suffered a heart attack that forced him to give up his beloved cigars. Wib and Irma celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1973. Carl, who was the best man, attended the anniversary doings. The couple had two children, Richard D. Hanneman and Lynn (Hanneman) Swanson Zarnke. Wib died in 1987 and Irma died in 1996.

(This post has been updated with the full newspaper page image)

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

Seven Decades Cutting and Shaving the Town

By Carl F. Hanneman
State Journal Correspondent

If years of experience mean anything — and they have — A.L. “Abe” Holgate merits his reputation as one of the state’s best barbers, for he has been lathering and cutting Mauston for 66 years.

Abe moved to Mauston from Marengo, Ill., with his parents when he was four months old, in March 1867. His father William was a barber, but barbering didn’t enter the little shaver’s mind until he was 12, when his father became seriously ill and the lad promised to learn the trade and look after his mother. When his father recovered, the lad kept his promise, and at the age of 12, back in 1878, he started the long hours of standing beside a barber chair.AbeHolgate

Now Abe is 78, but you’ll find him on the job in his shop across from the Juneau County Courthouse, even during the long Saturday hours.

The steps have decreased since the days of the old-time rack, which used to hold the treasured array of individual shaving mu.gs, bright with inscriptions and names.

Holgate is in excellent health, never missing a day at the shop and still enjoying a good schottische with the proper music. Musically inclined himself, he plays a wicked guitar. His favorite hobbies are hunting and fishing, and although many fine catches of large and small game fish are still caught in the Lemonweir River at Mauston, he claims that previous to construction of the dam it was nothing for an individual to catch a wagonload of bluegills before the game limit was established.

Mr. and Mrs. Holgate observed their golden wedding anniversary in 1936. Among his five grandchildren is First Lt. William Holgate, who as a pilot on a B-24 was shot down over Romania, later released from prison camp and now is home on leave.

(Published in the October 29, 1944 editions of The Wisconsin State Journal)

Postscript: Abe L. Holgate died on October 9, 1951 in Mauston. He was 84. In addition to his barber duties, Abe served for a time as chief of the volunteer Mauston Fire Department. His son, Roy E. Holgate, also worked as a barber in Mauston. Roy, who was at one time Mauston city clerk, died of pneumonia on February 7, 1937. He was 47 years old. Abe’s father, William Holgate, is buried next to his son and grandson at the Mauston cemetery. The family accounts for more than 80 years of barbering across three generations.

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

Eye on the Past: Covering Gov. Thompson 1988

This is a blast from the past of the author of this blog. Reporter Joe Hanneman (skinny guy with hair at left) takes notes at a press event in Racine, Wisconsin, held by Wisconsin Gov. Tommy G. Thompson. The photo was taken around 1988. Hanneman covered Wisconsin state politics and the Wisconsin Legislature for The Journal Times, Racine’s daily newspaper. The event was likely some kind of economic development announcement from the governor’s office. Also visible in the photo are Racine County Executive Dennis Kornwolf, State Sen. Joseph Strohl of Racine and State Rep. E. James Ladwig of Caledonia. Some 27 years later, Hanneman has neither thick hair nor thin waist.

©2015 The Hanneman Archive

Carl’s Heartfelt 1937 Plea for a Brighter Future

Just three weeks after becoming a father for the third time, young pharmacist Carl. F. Hanneman took the extraordinary step of writing to the attorney general of Wisconsin to ask that he be granted full licensure as a registered pharmacist. It was a heartfelt letter, written by a young man feeling the weight of responsibility of a wife and three children. Written by a well-educated and accomplished man who felt he deserved what he as asking. The very future was at stake.

“I am writing this letter in all sincerity as what I am about to ask means everything to myself as well as my wife and three little kiddies,” Carl wrote to Attorney Gen. Orland S. Loomis on Sept. 3, 1937. “I am 35 years old and will be 36 this coming October and feel that obtaining my full registered papers will mean life itself to myself and my dear family.” 

Carl explained that he was fully licensed as an assistant pharmacist, working at the Mauston Drug Store owned by Dr. J.S. Hess Jr. But he was unable to officially manage the drug store due to a quirk in state law.

Wisconsin Attorney Gen. Orland S. Loomis
Wisconsin Attorney Gen. Orland S. Loomis of Mauston

If Carl had worked in a smaller town with under 500 population, he  could have legally managed the pharmacy. But Mauston population was about 2,100. Carl would need to be a registered pharmacist in order to  manage the Mauston Drug Store. 

“My capacity in the drug store is as an unofficial manager, as I do all of the buying etc., but legally cannot manage the store,” Carl wrote. “Dr. J.S. Hess Jr. has confidence in me and I a great deal in him, and as far as I am concerned am willing to stay here the rest of my life, dispensing for our own doctors.”

Carl reasoned that if he was qualified to own and manage a pharmacy in a small town (such as neighboring Lyndon Station, pop. 236), why could he not serve the same capacity in Mauston? “I have often wondered as has many others, are not the lives of 500 people in a small town just as valuable to their loved ones as those living in a town where there might be more than this amount?” Carl wrote. 

A label under glass from Carl F. Hanneman's pharmacy collection.
A label under glass from Carl F. Hanneman’s pharmacy collection.


By 1937, Carl had 16 years of experience in pharmacology, starting as an apprentice in 1921 at the Sam Church drug store in Wisconsin Rapids. Carl graduated from the pharmacy program at Marquette University in 1925 and became licensed as an assistant pharmacist. He wasn’t eligible to take the full pharmacist exam at the time because his apprenticeship fell just short of the required five years. Over the next decade he worked at drug stores in Janesville, Fond du Lac and Wisconsin Rapids, and even worked a three-year stint as a salesman for Consolidated Water Power & Paper Co.

“I knew my lifework was with the drug store as I truly love it and was very fortunate in securing a position with the Dr. Hess Hospital, Clinic and Drug Store organization on Feb. 1, 1936,” Carl wrote.

Carl said he would likely need three more years of study to pass the registered pharmacist board exams as they existed in 1937. With three children (including baby Lavonne born in August 1937), Carl figured that simply would not be possible. So he asked for help from Loomis, a Mauston native who served as city attorney from 1922 to 1931. Loomis was attorney general through 1938, and was elected governor of Wisconsin in 1942. He died before taking office. Eventually, Carl became good friends with Loomis and photographed him for the Wisconsin State Journal on the 1942 night of  his election as governor of Wisconsin. 

Carl F. Hanneman's registered pharmacist license, issued in July 1944.
Carl F. Hanneman’s registered pharmacist license, issued in July 1944.


We don’t know if Loomis ever intervened on Carl’s behalf in his role as attorney general or governor-elect, or how he responded to the 1937 letter. A search of Loomis’ law-practice records at the Wisconsin Historical Society yielded no clues. Carl’s 1941 license from the Wisconsin State Board of Pharmacy still lists him as an assistant pharmacist. On July 12, 1944, the state of Wisconsin issued an ornate document certifying Carl as a full registered pharmacist. He worked under the new license number until his death in 1982. It would appear Carl secured his added credentials the hard way: he earned them.

©2014 The Hanneman Archive

The History of Pharmacy by Artist Robert Thom

During his nearly six decades as a pharmacist, Carl F. Hanneman got to know a lot of people. He forged good relationships with the many sales reps who called on him at the Mauston Drug Store. Some came to dinner at the Hanneman home, and a few even stayed at the house while in town. One of the long-lasting perks he received from Parke, Davis and Company was a stunning set of lithographs depicting the history of pharmacy. More than 30 prints still exist from Carl’s 1950s collection.

Parke-Davis commissioned artist Robert Thom to produce 40 illustrations for the series, “A History of Pharmacy in Pictures.” Each print came with a history article that explained the depicted scene and its place in history. Launched in 1957, the series was developed in cooperation with the Institute for the History of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin. Druggists were encouraged to display the artwork in their stores.

The series depicted such early topics as scientist Galen in the second century to later developments such as chemotherapy, antibiotics and pharmaceutical research. Parke Davis also commissioned Thom to paint a series of illustrations on the history of medicine. Thom (1915-1979) was well known as an illustrator of historical subjects, including great moments in baseball and the history of Illinois and Michigan.

The paintings from Carl Hanneman’s collection are in the gallery below, including the explanatory text from each image.

— This post has been updated with additional Thom paintings.