George H. Hanna
( Recollections of our Early Teachers)
written by Mrs. C. P. Bozman, date unknown.
Source:A newspaper clipping preserved in an old scrapbook now
in Flo Austin Dunning's possession.
Mr. Hanna being one of our oldest pioneers, as well as teachers,
a brief sketch of his long and useful life may prove acceptable
to his surviving friends and old pupils.
He was born in east Tennessee, near Knoxville, in the year 1787---
the year of the adoption of the constitution of the United States.
At an early age he came, with his parents, to Wilson County,
in middle Tennessee, when it was almost a wilderness. Here he
grew up, and, on the first day of January, 1811, he was married
to Margarette Crawford, a near relative of Gen. Andrew Jackson.
This lady died in 1816, leaving two children, both of whom are
In 1818 he came, with his little family, down the Cumberland,
moving in two pirogues lashed together, and up the Ohio river,
landing at Golconda, then a collection of scattering log cabins
and board shanties, on the 2d of January 1819. Unlike the majority
of immigrants he entered and paid for the land on which he settled,
and before the close of the year was comfortably settled in his
back-woods home five miles west of Golconda where he passed the
rest of his life. In 1831 he was appointed County Surveyor and
held the place until his death which occurred December 29th, 1868.
Our limited space forbids more than a hasty glance at his most
salient traits of character. His benevolence can be better illustrated
by a few authentic incidents than any words of praise. He planted
and worked a small crop of corn for a widow who was struggling
to keep together a family of helpless children, and, when it was
exhausted supplied her bread from his own corn crib. Once while
on a surveying tour he found a worthy, industrious couple in great
perplexity. The home they had redeemed from the wilderness was
about to be entered from them and all their work lost for want
of fifty dollars. The woman was in tears. Mr. Hanna's heart
was touched and the money advanced on the spot. I had this anecdote
from the daughter of the grateful couple, who lived to accumulate
a handsome property on the home saved to them by Mr. Hanna's pure,
This commendable spirit of liberality and sympathy with others
woes sometimes cost him dear, as he lost very heavily by the defalcation
of parties for whom he was security, yet in spite of all he never
lost his trust in man or refused assistance to a neighbor.
Not withstanding the poor educational facilities of his times
he managed to fit his oldest son for college and give all his
children a liberal education. In this work he was aided by a
good library which he brought with to his new home and which for
years, with one exception, was the only respectable collection
of books to be found outside of Golconda.
Although a pioneer from boyhood, his manners and bearing were
always refined. A real "gentleman of the old school"
he was careful to regard all the amenities that go to make up
good breeding, a quality that could be profitably imitated by
the teachers of this more enlightened day. His government was
mild. He was a mild man, never giving way to passion in his family
or school, referring to love rather than force, and in consequence
was greatly respected as well as loved by the youth under his
Mr. Hanna was a member of the Presbyterian church from its organization
until his death. In 1820 he was married to Agnes Crawford, a
daughter of John Crawford, who was one of the earliest settlers.
This venerable lady is still living in Pope county of which she
has been a resident for more than seventy years.
Note: Agnes Crawford Hanna died October 30th, 1889.( See Obituaries
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