Monday, March 15, 2010

Henrik M. Hansen

Helen and Henrik, 1932

Henrik Mayer Hansen (May 24, 1904 - May 28, 2005) worked in the IBM division of Cleveland Trust Co. in 1936. Born in Fevik, Norway, Henrik emigrated to the United States while in grade school. He was a boatworker on the Great Lakes for Pittsburgh Steamship when he married Helen Denison in 1932. They had three stillborn children before adopting their first, named John, in 1935. By this time, Henrik's father-in-law Amos A. Denison had convinced him to settle down and get a job at home, which to them was Cleveland.

He was raised in a house which still stands on West 44th Street. When he was a kid he frequented the Y at 49th and Franklin (since burned to the ground) where he learned a motto which lasted a lifetime - C.S., C.S., C.H. or Clean Speech, Clean Sport, Clean Habits. I am sure some of that fell by the wayside in his time on the seas.

Cleveland Trust Co. was the 6th largest bank in the country in 1936, and in its time employed my father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

There is a box of letters from Helen and Henrik to each other at my folks' place in Lakewood, waiting for me to read them. It has taken several years, but I believe I will have the time in 2010 to finally take care of that business.

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