Hansen Family History & Legacy
Dane G. Hansen
Dane G. Hansen was born in 1883 in Logan, a community of about 600 located in Phillips County about 70 miles northwest of Hays. He was a dedicated young man, working with his parents in the mercantile business and then moving on to agriculture. Throughout his life, Hansen worked in the oil business and later got involved in politics. He had a personal interest in promoting education and helping young people succeed.
Dane G. Hansen, son of one of the founders of Logan, Kansas, was born and conducted business on the same city block where the Memorial Plaza stands today.
Mr. Hansen was widely known and respected as a citizen leader, businessman, philanthropist, and Republican. He maintained a deep faith and love for Logan and all of Western Kansas.
Dane G. Hansen was born in Logan on January 6, 1883, of pioneer parents, Peter and Alpha Gray Hansen. Peter Hansen left his native Denmark as a young man, arrived in Logan in 1872 and helped found the town. In 1874 Peter established Logan’s first industry, a sawmill powered by water from the Solomon River. As a member of the Logan School Board, he met and later married Alpha Gray, of British decent, Logan’s fifth school teacher.
Dane G. Hansen started in business in 1905 by working with his parents in a large mercantile store. He later engaged in ranching, cattle breeding and raising mules. Since most earth moving was done by mule teams at that time, he started his own business which evolved into road and bridge construction. The Hansen Construction Company ultimately developed into Logan’s largest single industry by employing nearly 200 men in peak seasons.
With the discovery of oil in 1941, he went into oil development and was among the largest independent operators in Kansas. Opting to work long and hard hours, Mr. Hansen’s work habits were summed up best by his own philosophy that said: “Anything you like becomes a hobby – and if it’s a hobby, it isn’t work.”
When he became old enough to vote, he took an active part in Republican Party Politics. He commented, I’ll take any political job if there’s no pay in it. My services are always free.” His love for this country and great patriotism were widely known and respected, although he never sought nor desired to run for public office.
As a personal friend of former United States President Dwight Eisenhower, Mr. Hansen was a member of the President’s Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in 1954 and 1955 and a vice-president on the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Foundation.
Civic-minded, Mr. Hansen was vice-president and director of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association, chairman of the Kansas Contractor’s Association Pension Trust Plan, president of the Kansas Day Club, president and director of the First National Bank of Logan, and fulfilled many other organizational duties.
Always having a heartfelt interest in children and young people, he established the Dane G. Hansen Boy Scout Reservation at Kirwin Lake and provided annual scholarships at the University of Kansas for graduates of Logan High School.
Mr. Hansen was a member of the Methodist Church and all Masonic Bodies, including an honorary 33rd degree membership in Consistory. Dane G. Hansen died on his 82nd birthday, January 6, 1965.
The Dane G. Hansen Memorial Plaza was conceived by the Trustees of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation as a means of memorializing the Hansen family in a way that would give Logan, Kansas, and the entire area new cultural and social opportunities.
The Foundation made a tremendous community improvement when it purchased and razed an entire square block of mostly unoccupied business buildings in downtown Logan to make room for the Memorial Plaza. The five-year project was completed in 1972 and deeded to the City of Logan. The Plaza was officially dedicated on April 10, 1973.
The Plaza is a square-block area centered around a multipurpose building surrounded by beautiful landscaping.
The building is designated into quadrants which are divided by protruding sections of Neva limestone quarried near Junction City, Kansas – one for the Trust and Foundation, one for a community meeting room, and the other two quadrants contain the Memorial Museum and offices, and the gallery area where traveling exhibits are shown.
The facility was designed by Kiene and Bradley of Topeka and built from prestressed concrete by McBride and Dehmer Construction, Wichita. This Kansas landmark is one of the finest structures of it’s type in the area.
The Plaza’s all-purpose community room is furnished with a keyboard, a Kansas patchwork quilt from the Hansen family, and paintings by Kansas and other notable artists.
The Museum contains early American and foreign coins, European and Western guns, Mr. Hansen’s office, the Hansen family biography, Oriental art collected by Dane’s sister, Kate Hansen, and art objects purchased by the Museum Association. The Museum gallery hosts monthly “Artist of the Month” displays and fabulous traveling exhibits from near and far.
The Museum Association holds memberships with the Smithsonian Institution, the American Association of Museums, the Association of Community Arts Agencies of Kansas, Kansas Museum Association, Travel Industry Association of Kansas, American Craft Council, and the Northwest Kansas Travel Council.
The Museum offers modest annual memberships which may entitle members to discounts on any number of continuing education classes.
The Museum brings quality performing arts to our local schools and surrounding communities.
ARTS & CRAFTS…
Annually, on the third Saturday of August, artists and crafters fill the Plaza lawn for the Hansen Arts and Crafts Fair which began in 1973. A variety of performers thrill the crowd with an exhilarating array of entertainment. There are children’s activities and a choice of festival foods throughout the day. Future “Artist of the Month” winners are selected on each fair date.
LABOR DAY CELEBRATION…
Every Labor Day Sunday, the fireworks flare and the fun flows at the Logan Golf Course during the Annual Music and Fireworks Festival. The fireworks display is accompanied by upbeat entertainment and events throughout the day. Sponsored by the Hansen Museum, many of Logan’s community groups support this event through their services.
Alpha Florence Hansen Bales
This exquisite wedding gown of champagne-color Japanese silk was entirely handmade by alpha Florence Hansen of Logan for her marriage to Elles E. Bales in 1913.
The silk was sent to her from Japan by her sister, Kate Hansen.
The bodice has soft pink-with silver-gray, hand embroidered flowers on both the front and the back, with French-knots outlining all seams except at the waist and sides. The lace trim on both the bodice and sleeves is attached with French knots.
The short-shirred sleeves feature a small inset of the embroidered pattern of flowers and lace.
This gown features floating panels on either side of the skirt, attached to the waist, and made bouffant by gathering the ends with silk knotted cord. The “floating” back panel is embroidered with the same floral pattern as used on the bodice, edged with French knots.
The skirt falls in a short v train, with the floating back panel also ending in a v – falling into place over it. Underneath is a matching lace-trimmed taffeta slip.
Ellis and Alpha Bales were the parents of Dane Gray Bales.
Alpha Florence Hansen Bales is pictured in her wedding gown, with Kate Hansen and Mrs. Peter Hansen in the case with Kate Hansen’s artifacts.
The Dane G. Hansen Foundation
Trustees of the Foundation fund many projects which they feel meet Mr. Hansen’s intentions for the Foundation. These projects include: nursing and educational scholarships for students from Northwest Kansas, numerous cultural events, local and statewide educational programs and charitable projects, church building projects, and scouting. They paved the roads and installed a water system at the Logan cemetery, provided funding for a community swimming pool and tennis courts, gave “seed money” for the construction of a low-cost housing project, helped to fund the Assisted Living Facility, built the Logan Medical Clinic and support the Logan Nursing Home.
The Hansen Foundation is one of the top contributing foundations in the state of Kansas and is responsible for the funding of the Hansen Museum and Plaza.