Tag Archives: David D. Hanneman

A Mauston Reunion: Requiescat in Pace, Uncle Donn G. Hanneman

I just learned with sadness of the death of my Dad’s older brother, Donn Gene Hanneman, who died in Minneapolis at age 88. Uncle Donn was the last of the Mauston Hanneman family to pass away. My Dad, David D. Hanneman, died in 2007 at age 74.

I have many memories of my uncle. He was foremost the father of nine wonderful human beings, my cousins Diane, Caroline, Tom, Jane, Mary Ellen, John, Jim, Nancy and Thomas Patrick (March 1-4, 1949). The cousins were raised by a saintly mother, my aunt Elaine Hanneman.

Donn G. Hanneman

Donn was a veteran of World War II and served as a seaman-second class on the USS Hoggatt Bay. The USS Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75) was a Casablanca-class escort carrier (crew of 860) commissioned in December 1943.

Donn G. Hanneman lounges outside his Grandpa Treutel's home in Vesper, Wisconsin, circa 1930.
Donn G. Hanneman lounges outside his Grandpa Treutel’s home in Vesper, Wisconsin.

Donn was born on August 20, 1926, in Wisconsin Rapids to Carl Henry Frank Hanneman (1901-1982) and the former Ruby Viola Treutel (1904-1977). In 1936, the Hanneman family moved to Mauston in Juneau County, where Carl took a job as a pharmacist attached to the Mauston hospital and clinic. By that time, my father had come along (March 1933). In August 1937, the family expanded to include Lavonne Marie Hanneman Wellman (1937-1986).

As a boy, Donn had his share of illnesses and injuries. He spent more than a week in the Marshfield hospital in September 1929, then returned there in April 1930. Just before my Dad was born in March 1933, Donn was hospitalized in Wisconsin Rapids for more than a week, after an operation for appendicitis.

Donn Gene Hanneman, son of Carl F. Hanneman (1901-1982) and Ruby V. (Treutel) Hanneman (1904-1977), sits in an indoor baby swing at the Hanneman home in Fond du Lac, Wis, ca. 1927. Carl Hanneman was a pharmacist for the Staeben Drug Co. in Fond du Lac at the time.
Donn Gene Hanneman sits in an indoor baby swing at the Hanneman home in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, ca. 1927. Carl Hanneman was a pharmacist for the Staeben Drug Co. in Fond du Lac at the time.

Just after his 11th birthday in August 1937, Donn was standing on the running board of a moving vehicle while leaving the Juneau County Fairgrounds when he fell and suffered a head injury. He was seen at the Mauston clinic and taken home, but soon after “lost his power of speech and all consciousness,” according to an account in The Daily Tribune in Wisconsin Rapids. “He was then rushed to the hospital.” Donn was diagnosed with a concussion and put on two weeks of bed rest, although that was extended. The September 8 edition of The Daily Tribune said Donn “is making a satisfactory recovery, although he will be confined to his bed for two more weeks.”

Back in those days, a family’s every move ended up in the newspaper. In the case of the Hannemans, it was thanks to the faithful correspondence of Ruby Hanneman. “Mr. and Mrs. Carl Hanneman and little son Don Gene were completely taken by surprise last evening when forty friends arrived to give them a house warming on the occasion of moving into their new home on Hale Street,” the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune reported on April 8, 1932.

Some of the most charming photographs in our library are of a 5-year-old Donn dressed up as a cowboy playing with friends on the sidewalks on the 1200 block of Washington Avenue in Wisconsin Rapids. We detailed those photos in a previous post.

Donn in his cowboy threads at Wisconsin Rapids.
Donn in his cowboy threads at Wisconsin Rapids.

As a youth Donn enjoyed books, and collected enough that his father built him a bookcase that held up to 175 volumes. Carl wrote to my then 6-year-old father about it in August 1939. Dad was staying with an aunt and uncle in Waukegan, Illinois. “Say David, I made a book case for Donn for his birthday, and you know that you still have something coming,” Carl wrote, “so what would you like to have Dad make something for you too, if so tell mother and I will try to start it as soon as I can.”

Donn G. Hanneman with Sister Emeric Weber of St. Patrick's Catholic Grade School, circa 1948.
Donn G. Hanneman with Sister Emeric Weber of St. Patrick’s Catholic Grade School,  1948.

For a time Donn attended St. Patrick’s Catholic Grade School in Mauston, then run by the Benedictine Sisters. He was among the graduates attending the school’s 100th anniversary in 1995. At the event, he ran into one of his teachers, Sister Emeric Weber, who was just 19 when she started teaching at St. Patrick’s.

“Sister Emeric, I’m sorry I’m late,” he quipped, to which the aged nun replied, “What’s your excuse now? What’s your excuse?”

Like his brother David and father Carl, Donn was a longtime Fourth-Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal and service organization. He most recently belonged to Council 1013 in Rochester, Minnesota.

There are many others better qualified to provide more recent stories about Donn. And even though he tossed my father through the bay window of their Mauston home when they were boys, my Dad didn’t hold it against him. When he was ill with cancer in the fall of 2006, Dad put it simply and succinctly: “He’s my brother and I love him.”

©2014 The Hanneman Archive

 

Everyone Loves a Parade

Few things in the American experience are held so dear by so many as the parade. From the smallest rural towns to the heart of New York City, Americans have long held celebrations by parade.

Members of the American Legion prepare to march in a parade in Mauston, circa 1942.
Members of the American Legion prepare to march in a parade in Mauston, circa 1942.

Reasons for parades are as varied as the communities in which they take place. Perhaps the most widely celebrated type of parade is the Independence Day or July 4 parade. New York has its St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Left Coast has its parades of bacchanalia and pride. America’s heartland gathers for high school homecomings, Memorial Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving and special-themed parades such as the old Circus World parade in Milwaukee.

The Wisconsin Dells marching band parades down State Street in Mauston, circa 1942.
The Wisconsin Dells marching band parades down State Street in Mauston, circa 1942.

High school and college marching bands are a frequent source of parade entertainment. Other favorite parade participants include brigades of toddlers on tricycles, doll buggies pushed by little girls and the myriad parade floats and displays honoring the nation’s military.

Parades have long been used as a way to project military might, such as the goose-stepping Nazis of Germany or the show of ballistic missiles in Communist Russia. In America, ticker-tape parades became a favorite way to welcome home troops and war heroes such as Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Admiral Chester Nimitz. The original ticker-tape parade was held in New York to celebrate dedication of the Statue of Liberty. A memorable parade in summer 1969 honored the Apollo 11 astronauts.

View other parade images from our collection:

©2014 The Hanneman Archive

Photos with That Memorable Something

Sometimes a photograph will strike you in a certain way that makes it memorable. It has some intangible quality that makes it almost timeless. Of the thousands of images in our library, a handful qualify for this kind of distinction. Not for their physical clarity or skill of the photographer, but that certain look. You might describe it just a bit like looking at a Rockwell painting, or a black and white photograph by Ansel Adams.

This image has a Little Rascals look and feel to it. Toddler Elaine Treutel and the family dog on her tricycle, circa 1922.
This image has a Little Rascals look and feel to it. Toddler Elaine Treutel and the family dog on her tricycle, circa 1922.

View the whole collection in the gallery below:

 

Carl F. Hanneman’s Contribution to Public Television’s Wisconsin Hometown Stories

People often talk about getting 15 minutes of fame. For the late Carl F. Hanneman, it was closer to 15 seconds in a new Wisconsin Public Television documentary on Juneau County, Wisconsin.

Carl F. Hanneman filed this story with the Wisconsin State Journal on December 8, 1942.
Carl F. Hanneman filed this story with the Wisconsin State Journal on December 8, 1942.

The hourlong documentary, produced as part of Wisconsin Public Television’s Wisconsin Hometown Stories series, includes a section on the death of Governor-elect Orland S. Loomis of Mauston. Loomis died on December 7, 1942 after suffering a series of heart attacks. He was to be sworn into office in January 1943. As a local correspondent for the Wisconsin State Journal, Hanneman filed a story on December 8 detailing Mauston’s grief at the loss of their hometown hero. His news clipping was used as a graphic during the Loomis portion of the documentary.

Carl’s ties to Loomis went beyond the 1942 political obituary. On election night, November 3, 1942, he was one of the only photographers at Loomis’ home as the election results came in and Loomis was declared the winner over Gov. Julius P. Heil. Carl’s news photo ran above the fold on Page 1 of the State Journal on November 4, 1942.

Hanneman's election-night photo taken at Loomis' home in Mauston ran on Page 1 of the Wisconsin State Journal.
Hanneman’s election-night photo taken at Loomis’ home in Mauston ran on Page 1 of the Wisconsin State Journal.

Hanneman (1901-1982) had known Loomis since about 1936, when Carl came to Mauston from Wisconsin Rapids to be a pharmacist for Dr. J. Samuel Hess Jr. He sought Loomis’ help in 1937 in obtaining his full licensure as a registered pharmacist (an upgrade from his existing license as an assistant pharmacist). At the time, Loomis was Wisconsin’s attorney general. Hanneman also worked to help elect Loomis as attorney general and governor. In recognition of his efforts, Loomis gave Hanneman a large pastel painting that once hung in his office at the state Capitol in Madison. The large-format pastel, weighing some 100 pounds in its hand-carved ornate frame, hung in the Hanneman home in Mauston and later in the home of Sun Prairie Mayor David D. Hanneman, Carl’s son.

Orland S. Loomis gave this painting to Carl F. Hanneman for his help on the gubernatorial election in 1942.
Orland S. Loomis gave this painting to Carl F. Hanneman for his help on the gubernatorial election in 1942. It still hangs in the home of the late David D. Hanneman.

The fascinating Wisconsin Hometown Stories documentary, which first aired in April 2014 and is now available on DVD, covers much more than Loomis and his political career. It traces Juneau County’s history from its early days, when towns like Mauston sprung up around grist mills on the Lemonweir River. It details the county’s cranberry farms, the massive Necedah Wildlife Refuge, the heritage of the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians, creation of the huge manmade Petenwell Lake, and development of National Guard bases including Camp Williams and Volk Field.

Carl F. Hanneman befriended a young Tommy Thompson in 1966 when Thompson first ran for office.
Carl F. Hanneman befriended a young Tommy Thompson in 1966 when Thompson first ran for state office.

A prominent section of the documentary focuses on former Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson of Elroy. Thompson takes viewers on a tour of southern Juneau County where he grew up, including an old gas and grocery run by his father. Thompson served as Wisconsin’s 42nd governor from 1987 to 2001.

When he first ran for Wisconsin State Assembly in 1966, Thompson stopped in Mauston and met a pharmacist named Carl Hanneman. Carl was so impressed with the young lawyer from Elroy that he closed up shop for the afternoon and took Thompson all over Mauston, introducing him to other businessmen. From that day on, Hanneman always referred to him as “my friend Tommy Thompson.” It was a kindness Thompson never forgot.

Somehow the story of Carl’s early politicking for Thompson got left out of the Wisconsin Public Television documentary. Well, there’s only so much you can fit into an hour of television.

–The DVD version of the documentary can be purchased for $16.95 from Wisconsin Public Television. Wisconsin Hometown Stories is a joint project of WPT and the Wisconsin Historical Society.

– Read Hanneman’s 1942 Wisconsin State Journal article.

Grandma Ruby Collects Rocks, With a Snicker

It wasn’t such a curious hobby, collecting rocks, but more in how it was done. Ruby Viola (Treutel) Hanneman (1904-1977), simply could not resist picking rocks up off the ground wherever she went. And judging by the facial expressions of those around her, it became somewhat of a family joke.

Lavonne Hanneman can't resist laughing as her mother Ruby bends down to pick up rocks on a trip to South Dakota in 1947.
Lavonne Hanneman can’t resist laughing as her mother Ruby bends down to pick up rocks on a trip to South Dakota in 1947.

Rock collecting was certainly a Hanneman tradition. Uncle Wilbert G. Hanneman (1899-1987) had a rock shop up in Wausau, from which many a Hanneman child procured varieties of colorful, polished rocks. I have a bag of them to this day. Ruby liked to get her collectibles the old fashioned way, by finding them. She’d bend down to grab the most interesting or unusual ones, and husband Carl F. Hanneman (1901-1982) was often nearby to capture the moment on film.

David D. Hanneman's priceless facial expression says it all, as his father Carl snaps yet another photo of mother Ruby picking up rocks.
David D. Hanneman’s priceless facial expression says it all, as his father Carl snaps yet another photo of mother Ruby picking up rocks.

The best examples of this hobby (or habit) came on a family trip from Mauston, Wisconsin, to Williston, South Dakota in 1947. After getting caught all bent over on several photographic occasions, Ruby and the kids shot back. They put their heads together and gave old Carl Hanneman a two-cheek salute.

David and Lavonne Hanneman joined their mother Ruby in offering a rear-end salute to cameraman Carl F. Hanneman.
David and Lavonne Hanneman joined their mother Ruby in offering a rear-end salute to cameraman Carl F. Hanneman.
This photo proves Ruby’s habit was not a passing fad. Here she gathers samples on a trip to Phoenix in 1959.

 

Poignant Photo: Fishin’ with Dad in 1942

Photographs can document history in many ways, so it’s fun to look deeper into historical images to learn what they can tell us. The image atop this post shows a man and a boy. The man has a cane pole, so we can assume the pair has gone or is going fishing. Look a little deeper. The photo has a Rockwell-esque quality to it. Set in the summer of 1942, the photo shows Carl Henry Frank Hanneman (1901-1982) and his youngest son, David D. Hanneman (1933-2007). You can see Carl’s love for fishing — something he shared with his children and grandchildren who learned to fish on Mauston’s Lemonweir River.

The son is following along, asking questions of the fishing expert. What is he asking? Perhaps, “Hey, Dad, why don’t I have a cane pole?” It’s a time-honored tradition, passing on a love for fishing from one generation to the next. We’ll cover more of that in a future installment.

Carl F. Hanneman and son David D. Hanneman.
Carl F. Hanneman and son David D. Hanneman.

The Story of Hannemans’ Stay-Off Mosquito and Insect Repellent

More than 60 years after it was first used to ward off mosquitoes and other pests in central Wisconsin, the lavender and citronella scent of Carl F. Hanneman’s Stay-Off bug repellent still lingers across time. The Mauston pharmacist invented his own blend of essential oils that provided a natural defense against biting pests, and he sold the product across the area for years.

Carl F. Hanneman sold his insect repellent at bars and bait shops all over central Wisconsin.
Carl F. Hanneman sold his insect repellent at bars and bait shops all over central Wisconsin.

Carl Hanneman’s inspiration for his product came from his need for extra income, and his knowledge of chemistry and pharmacology. Even in the depths of World War II, when rationing made it difficult to obtain raw materials, Carl found a way to make Stay-Off and sell it at taverns, bait shops and resorts all over the area. Due to an abundance of lakes and rivers, Central Wisconsin is known for proliferation of mosquitoes and other flying pests during tourist season.

“His being a pharmacist allowed him access to some of the compounds needed to make this stuff,” recalled Carl’s son, David D. Hanneman. The topical elixir, which used an olive oil base and a secret recipe of lavender, citronella and other essential oils, was often mixed on the back porch of the Hanneman home in Mauston, Wis. “It was kind of comical,” David Hanneman said.

Aside from providing access to the needed ingredients, Carl’s role as pharmacist at the Mauston Drug Store had other benefits that helped him sell Stay-Off on his own time. “Because he was his own dispensary, he was able to upgrade his gas card,” David Hanneman said. “So we weren’t restricted and limited in traveling. We could go back on up north and go fishing or do whatever over weekends. And we’d drop off a dozen bottles here, and a dozen bottles at that bar, a dozen bottles over at that other fishery house.”

Carl F. Hanneman printed his own labels and wrote the ad copy for Stay Off.
Carl F. Hanneman printed his own labels and wrote the ad copy for Stay-Off.

Carl wrote his own marketing copy to help sell the 4-ounce bottles of Stay-Off. “Stay-Off is not only an excellent insect repellent, but has that cool, soothing and refreshing feeling on hot summer days,” he wrote. “It is highly recommended for women and children’s skin, producing a soft tenderness due to the semi-olive oil base.” The lotion soothes existing bug bites and provides protection against strong sun rays, he wrote.

David Hanneman said selling Stay-Off was a nice side business for the family. “It gave us nice added income,” he said, although “we never got rich off the stuff.”

The recipe for Stay-Off called for making the mixture in 1 gallon batches. A half-gallon of Stay-Off and several 4-ounce bottles survive to this day. All of the ingredients are still commercially available. So even 60 years after it was first mixed, it would be possible to make more Stay-Off using Carl’s old recipe.

1951 Photos Show Hanneman’s Standard Station at Mauston

Before embarking on his long sales career, David D. Hanneman (1933-2007) briefly owned and operated a Standard Oil gasoline station at the corner of Union and State streets in Mauston, Wisconsin. Newly discovered color slides show Hanneman working at the Standard station, most likely in the summer of 1951 after his graduation from Mauston High School.

David D. Hanneman stands outside his Standard Oil station in  Mauston in 1951.
David D. Hanneman poses outside of his Standard Oil station in Mauston in 1951.

The photos show a dapper young attendant (think Clark Kent) posed outside the station, leaning on the soda cooler. Another image shows him cleaning the windshield of a customer’s auto, part of the “full service” treatment that disappeared long ago. The station featured the classic pumps that delivered Red Crown regular and White Crown premium gasoline.

During the 1950s, Standard Oil was the dominant domestic oil company in the United States. Its torch-and-oval logo was instantly recognizable to millions of Americans (even after Standard became Amoco). The Mauston Standard station stood at the busiest intersection in the city. A Kwik Trip station occupies the land today.

Detail shows "Hanneman" on the north side of the Standard Station.
Detail shows “Hanneman” on the north side of the Standard Station.

After owning and managing the station, Hanneman realized the job was not for him. He went on to take classes at La Crosse State (now called University of Wisconsin-La Crosse) and worked as a salesman at Dahl Motors in La Crosse, before his career in pharmaceutical and veterinary medical sales.

 

Carl Hanneman Documents Fire of the Century at Mauston

It was the fire of the century in the tiny city of Mauston, Wisconsin. Life may have started normally on Friday, Jan. 5, 1945, but before 9 a.m. a massive fire broke out that threatened to wipe out the city’s downtown. The man called on to document the blaze for local law enforcement was Carl F. Hanneman, the druggist at the Mauston Drug Store. It may have been the most prominent collection of photos he shot, but was just one among many accidents, fires and crime scenes he photographed over the years.

Carl would have been readying himself for the trip to the pharmacy downtown when the fire broke out that January morning. About  8:30 a.m. the fire started in the rear of the Gamble Stores building along the north side of State Street. Within 30 minutes it had spread to four downtown buildings and threatened the entire business district.Mauston Fire 1

As firefighters from Mauston tried in vain to control the blaze in subzero temperatures, reinforcements from fire departments in Lyndon, New Lisbon and Wisconsin Dells raced to help. Carl stood just behind the line of rescue  workers and took photos.

It took five hours to control the huge blaze, which destroyed Gamble’s, Mauston Press Club dry cleaners, Samisch Bakery, the Fred Denzien barber shop and the All-Star restaurant. At one point during the blaze, the brick facade of the All-Star fell onto the street. Nearby businesses, including Vorlo Drug and Coast to Coast, were badly burned. Damage exceeded $80,000 – equivalent to more than $1 million in 2014 dollars. Mauston Fire Chief John Smith said calm winds kept the fire from sweeping through the entire downtown.

The extreme heat from the fire is evident along the roof line.
The extreme heat from the fire is evident along the roof line.

Carl’s efforts that day earned him a page 1 photo in the Wisconsin State Journal, and two additional photos on page 11. He served as a Mauston correspondent for The State Journal for many years, garnering numerous front-page stories and photographs.

Carl dated and signed the prints from the Mauston fire in January 1945.
Carl dated and signed the prints from the Mauston fire in January 1945.

Carl documented many local emergencies in Mauston and surrounding areas. He captured the moment when a semi-trailer plowed into the front of the Tourist Hotel, knocking down the sign and collapsing the awning. Many of these photographs have a custom “CF Hanneman” imprint on the back, so it’s obvious Carl shot a fair number of news  photos. Some photos from the 1945 fire have even shown up on Ebay.

WSJ_MaustonFire_1945_01_07_P11a
One of three of Carl’s photos that appeared in The Wisconsin State Journal on January 7, 1945.
David D. Hanneman stands on State Street in front of the charred ruins from the 1945 Mauston fire.
David D. Hanneman stands on State Street in front of the charred ruins.
David D. Hanneman and his younger sister, Lavonne, survey damage from the 1945 Mauston fire.
David D. Hanneman and his younger sister, Lavonne, survey damage.
By summer 1945, the fire debris was gone and rebuilding was in process.
By summer 1945, the fire debris was gone and rebuilding was in process.

1890s Carriage Stone Serves as a Family Gathering Place

Back in the days when horses were the main mode of transportation, many homes across America had carriage stones near the street to assist those stepping down from horse-drawn carriages.

A fine example of the carriage stone stands in front of the old Hanneman home on Morris Street in Mauston, Wis. The carriage stone no doubt served its time as a platform to access horse-drawn transportation. But for many more decades the large granite stone was a family gathering place for photos and a launch pad for dozens of children at play.

More than 70 years of photographs held by The Hanneman Archive provide ample testimony to the importance of the old carriage stone. The earliest photographic records we have is from 1937, although the stone was likely original equipment when the home was built in the early 1890s. Brewmaster Charles Miller built the home at 22 Morris Street with the finest materials, so it’s no surprise he would have a carriage stone out front.

One photograph from about 1942 shows five people sitting on the stone for a photograph, including Ruby V. Hanneman and children Lavonne M. Hanneman, and David D. Hanneman.  Another image from about 1957 shows Donn G. Hanneman, wife Elaine and children Diane, Caroline, Tom, Jane and Mary Ellen. The photo above shows Carl F. Hanneman and grandson David Carl Hanneman, taken circa 1965.

Lavonne Hanneman (front) and brother David (at right) sit on the carriage stone, circa 1942.
Lavonne Hanneman (front) and brother David (at right) sit on the carriage stone, circa 1942.

For the 15 grandchildren of Carl and Ruby Hanneman, the carriage stone was much more than a cool novelty. Just standing on the stone seemed to give a great vantage to the yard, even though  the stone was just 18 inches high. It was always a race to see who would get first dibs on the stone.

Mary K. Hanneman sits on the carriage stone in 1958. With her is dog Cookie.
Mary K. Hanneman sits on the carriage stone in 1958. With her is dog Cookie.

 

Ruby V. Hanneman with her son Donn and his family in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
Ruby V. Hanneman with her son Donn and his family in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

For many of those old photos, family members sat or stood at the carriage stone in the shade of towering elm trees. The old trees are long gone now, but the stone remains, looking just the same as it did in the 1930s.

In several visits in years prior to his death in 2007, David D. Hanneman stopped at the house and asked the current owners if he could take the carriage stone. Initially they agreed, but later changed their minds. Seems the lady of the house had become attached to the old stone, as evidenced by the flowers lovingly planted around its edge. That’s understandable. Just another generation of folks who’ve come to care for that old carriage stone.

— This post has been updated with a photo gallery

©2014-2020 The Hanneman Archive