Hans Peter and Kristine Hanson Story

Written by Lenore Vick Magnuson March, 2004

images and text supplied by LaVonne Hookom

posted here by Gary Gauer November 11 2016

Hans Peter Hanson, born 1865, the fourth child of Hans and Kristiane Anderson spent the first five years of childhood at Thomasjord where his father farmed. When his father purchased land at Svartnes in 1870-71 from his brother –in-law, Hemming Adrian Hanson, the Hans Anderson family moved there. Hemming Adrian Hanson emigrated to Big Stone County, Minnesota in 1870. In 1883 when Hans Peter Hanson left Svartnes for America he joined this uncle and worked for him. In 1884 he walked to Lake Lillian area where his cousins were living. They were the children of his uncle, Elias Anderson who was the brother of Hans Peter’s father Hans. Elias had died in 1873.

Hans Pete was known to have been very strong. The story is told about the time he pulled a farm wagon for a mile or so to another farm. He did a great amount of walking, walked from Big Stone County to East Lake Lillian in 1884. He also had an exceptional memory. Hans Pete was born with one ear deformed. He could probably hear with one ear, but he lost much of his hearing ability on his walk from Big Stone County, by sleeping out in the open. He never learned the English language. We remember his using at least two different hearing “aids.” The one he used the most was like a long tube with a receiver he put in his ear, and at the other end was a mouthpiece like an old telephone mouthpiece. This end he gave to you to speak into. He always carried this with him. With young people who couldn’t speak but understood Norwegian, he would ask questions that could be answered by a nod or shake of the head. He carried candy in his pocket that he enjoyed himself and shared with his grandchildren.

Hans Peter and Kristine wedding - 1885

In 1885 Hans Peter married Kristine Haagensen (Hawkins in America). She was a widow from Breivik, Lyngen, Norway. She had come to Minnesota with her children Teador, Ole, Aminda, Hans M., Anna Maria and Olga. She worked at farms in the Lake Lillian area.

Hattie, Olaf, Kristine, Hans M., Hans Peter, Hannah, Olga - photo taken in 1891

Hans Peter and Kristine lived in a log cabin just south of where the East Lake Lillian Cemetery is located today and where the Methodist Church was built in 1890-91. Hans Peter’s first two children, Hattie and Hannah were born there.

He bought land in 1888 about 2 miles south in the same township: East Lake Lillian. Three more children, Olaf, Hilmer and Mamie were born there.

School District #81 had been built in 1887 about ½ mile west from where Hans Peter located and build his home and other farm buildings.

Across the road from Hans Peter’s farm a little settlement with a creamery was built in 1896. A post office, grocery store, bank, blacksmith shop and other businesses and homes followed. This thriving community was named Thorpe

Thorpe 1912 - L-R - Chicken Coop, Food Mill, Hanson's Barn, Anderson's Chicken House, E.J. Strom Barn, Mary Anderson House (E. J. Strom lived upstairs), Post Office, Bank, E. J. Strom Grocery, Buttermaker's House, Creamery, Ice House for Creamery. All of these buildings were moved 2 1/2 miles west in 1923 and became Lake Lillian

When the railroad was built to a place 2 miles west of Hans Peter’s farm in 1923 the business places and homes of Thorpe were moved there and that became the village of Lake Lillian. Eventually all traces of Thorpe disappeared


Karl Hartvik Hanson, Hans Peter Hanson, Anton Bernt Hanson
taken around 1905 in Atwater, Minnesota

Hans Peter traveled from home to Norway to spend Christmas in 1905 with the family there, returning early in 1906.

Hans Peter Hanson with his brother Edvard Larson Hansen in the middle,
Wilhelm Andreas Johanssen brother in law on the right.
Taken in Norway 1905/06

Family - BR - Olaf, Hattie, Hannah - FR - Hans Pete, Mamie, Olga, Hilmer, Kristine

In 1914 Hans Peter’s older son Olaf and wife rented the home farm by Thorpe. Hans Peter and Kristine moved ½ mile south to a farm named “the Forty.” Here they lived until 1919 when they retired from farming and moved to 1532 Monroe Street NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

They had been united with the Norwegian Danish Methodist Episcopal Church in 1889 (Charter members) where they were active members until they moved to Minneapolis.

Hans Pete and Kristine taken in 1920s or 1930s

Kristine was a good wife and mother. She is remembered as a sweet, quiet, gentle Christian woman. She crocheted rugs and sewed together torn strip of cloth for hand woven rugs. Her health had been poor for many years and she suffered patiently. She spent the last months of her life with her daughter, Hattie Trygestad. Kristine died on April 9, 1934 and is buried at the Methodist Cemetery (now known as the East Lake Lillian Cemetery).

After Kristine died, Hans Peter continued to live in his Minneapolis home until he entered St. Barnabus Hospital in January 1943, where he was a patient until June 19. While in the hospital, gangrene developed in his left foot necessitating the amputation of the leg just below the knee. Ice was used on his leg before the operation. He was fitted with an artificial leg which he tried to wear. He never succeeded in using it but he was competent with crutches. When he left the hospital, he was taken to the home of his daughter, Hattie Trygestad. By this time Olaf and his family had moved to California, and Christ and Hattie had moved to the family farm. He lived with Hattie and Christ until his death on October 6, 1943. He is buried next to Kristine in the Methodist Cemetery near where the log cabin had been located in 1885 when they were first married. Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church.

Hans Peter and Kristine Hanson had 5 children

There are 24 grandchildren scattered from coast to coast.