Taking up the personal history of Peter Hansen we present to our readers the life record of one who has long been a citizen of San Joaquin county and whose residence in California dates from 1857. He is, therefore, numbered among the pioneers, and his memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present. Upon the walls of his memory hang many pictures of ioneer life and experience, and his record, if written in detail, would present many interesting accounts of the early days in California and of more recent progress and improvement.

Mr. Hansen was born in Denmark, September 4, 1839, and was a son of Christian and Mary (Beck) Hansen, also natives of Denmark. His early years were spent in the place of his nativity, and in 1855, when a youth of buth sixteen years, he went to sea as a sailor and followed that life for some time. He has been around the world and visited many important countries upon the face of the globe, and in this way has gained accurate and comprehensive knowledge of various nationalities and lands. He came to California in 1857 direct from London, England, sailing around Cape Horn to San Francisco, making his first location in Alameda county, where he resided for several years, after which he returned to Denmark in 1866, but again came to the Golden state in 1867 and has since resided in San Joaquin county. On his return trip to his native land he went by way of the Panama route to New York city and thence sailed to Hamburg, while the return trip to California was made by way of the Nicaragua route.

While in Denmark Mr. Hansen was married on the 16th of May, 1867, to Miss Christena Tomsen, a native of Denmark. To them have been born eight children, of whom six are now living: Christian; John P.; Thomas; Mary, the wife of Samuel S. Sherar; Kittie, the wife of Frederick Von Sosten; and Emma, the wife of William F. Bartch, of San Francisco. Mr. and Mrs. Hansen are the grandparents of seven children.

Mr. Hansen now owns a good ranch of three hundred and sixty-four acres of land situated near Bethany, and upon this farm he and his family are now living. He is a self-made man who started out on his own account when about sixteen years of age, and who has since been dependent entirely upon his own resources for a living. Whatever he has accomplished is the direct result of his earnest labor. Whatever has tended to benefit his community has also received his endorsement and co-operation, and he has seen this section of the state developed from a primitive condition to one of advanced civilization. He served for twelve consecutive years as a trustee of the Lammersville school district and was clerk of the board board throughout that entire period, and when the present school building was erected he was clerk of the board of trustees and acted as superintendent of construction. In politics he is a Republican, and, elected upon that ticket, he served for twelve consecutive years as road overseer of the Tracy road district. In the fall of 1863 he enllisted in the Second Brigade of the California Infantry and served until the fall of 1866, when he was honorably discharged. He participated in the defense of his adopted state, the regiment with which he was connected being used to defend California and meet any contingency that might arise in other portions of the west. Socially Mr. Hansen is connected with West Side lodge No. 118, K. of P., at Tracy, as a charter member. He is a member of the G. A. R., Lincoln Post No. 1, of California. There is no more loyal citizen of San Joaquin county than this adopted son, who favors progressive measures and gives active co-operation to many movements for the public good. His name has thus become a synonym for patriotism in citizenship, for straightforward ealing in business and for reliability in friendship.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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