Captain Andrew Hansen
Captain Andrew Hansen is one of the hardy Norsemen who have made a success upon the Great Lakes. He comes from a family of seafaring men, and has, after an experience upon the waters of the Old World, sailed for more than twenty years the chain of lakes, and during that time he has steadily risen from a subordinate position to the command of a vessel and the ownership of vessel property.
Captain Hansen was born in Sweden in 1858, the son of Hans Jacob and Sophia (Berinson) Hansen, also born in Sweden. The father was a sailor and eventually became a shipmaster, sailing from Gottenburg, Sweden, to various European ports, including those on the Baltic sea, and the ports of England and of France. He and his wife lived throughout life and died in their native land. He was educated in his native country and went before the mast in 1872, at the age of fourteen years, sailing from Gottenburg, on the Baltic Sea. In the spring of 1878 he came to America, and going to Buffalo at once sought employment on the Great Lakes. He shipped from Buffalo on the schooner John M. Hutchinson and came to Chicago that year, and from this port has been sailing ever since. during this same year he went before the mast on the schooner Naiad, a vessel still in commission, and remained on that schooner in various capacities until 1887, when he became her master.
In 1888 he became master of the canal schooner Live Oak, and was then master of the schooner Barbarian, sailing her until 1890. During the season of 1891 he sailed the John Miner, still in commission, and in the spring of 1892 he purchased a fourth-interest in the schooner Barbarian, she being chiefly engaged in the lumber and tie trade, and again became her master, and has remained with her ever since. In 1895 he bought another quarter-interest, giving him a half-interest in the vessel, Frank Davidson, of 242 Water street, Chicago, owning the other half. Captain Hansen during the winter months is employed at the Bates shipyard.
In 1887, at Chicago, the Captain was married to Bessie Halseth, a native of Norway. To them three children have been born, two of whom, Astrid, a daughter, and Hobart, are living.
He is one of the well-known vesselmen of the lakes and among the many characteristics which have contributed to his success, are the sterling traits of the Scandinavian people, who are noted for their honesty, industry and frugality.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.