William Hanrahan, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of William Hanrahan


The Hanrahan name in Porter County began about 1872 when William Hanrahan came to the United States on an orphan boat from Ireland. A brother and two sisters landed with him at New York, and all four children were adopted and taken to different parts of the United States. That was the last they ever heard from each other.

William was adopted by Hyram and Lydia Crook of Liberty Township. After the adoption went through Hyram and Lydia Crook brought William to Liberty Township to live with them on their farm. Lydia had a daughter named Melna from her first marriage to Arthur Hughart. William eventually married Melna and bought seventy-five acres of the farm from Hyram and Lydia.

William and Melna Hanrahan made their livelihood from the farm while raising three children. They were Arthur (1878-1961), Roy (1883-1972) and Minerva (1890-1944).

Roy Hanrahan, my grandfather, married Mabel Sanders in August, 1907. After William and Lydia passed away, Roy inherited his share of the farm and bought Arthur's and Minerva's shares from them. Roy and Mabel raised six children: Leroy, Alice, Earl, Carroll, Maxine and Margaret, all of whom are now passed away except Margaret (Mrs. Jack Hannon) who resides in LaPorte, Indiana.

Roy's favorite sport was racoon hunting and he traveled all over the midwest with prize winning dogs, most of which were "Black and Tans". I could not begin to estimate the number of miles walked by him and his sons, Leroy and Earl and Carroll. After farming all day in the fields they would go out and walk over half of Porter County listening to the baying of their dogs as they chased racoons over the country side.

Roy was a member of Porter County Conservation Club for many years, helping to organize and build the club house west of Valparaiso. He was also very active in 4-H Leadership, Farm Bureau and PTA. He passed away in 1972 at the age of 89.

Earl D. Hanrahan, my father, was well known in Porter and the surrounding counties. In high school he was very active in sports, especially basketball, and in his senior year won a Gold Basketball Award for most valuable player and an honor medal for sportsmanship.

In 1936 he married Alice Bond of Valparaiso and they went to work for Arthur Horton. After attending Purdue University for a course in Dairy Production, Earl managed Mr. Horton's "Pradera" Farm north of Valparaiso. He remained in this position for five years and then went into business for himself doing custom baling and driving school bus for Liberty Township and later for Duneland Schools. Earl, like his father, was very active in conservation, Farm Bureau, community affairs and sports, winning a county championship horse-shoe pitching in 1949.

When Lakewood Park was begun, Earl was chosen from among 33 applicants to be Superintendent of the park. He remained in this position until his death in 1973.

To Earl and Alice were born four children, all of whom reside in Liberty Township. They are Carole Kessler, Mary Ann Criswell, Christine Warren and me, Robert Earl Hanrahan.

I grew up on the farm loving the outdoors as much as my father had loved it. Like my great-grandfather, grandfather and father, I have lived all my life in Liberty Township, attending and graduating from Liberty High School. Upon graduation I served an apprenticeship in Roll Turning and Design at United States Steel Gary Works and have been working there 12 years. In 1963 I married Bonnie Jean Lamberson of Valparaiso. We built a house on my father's farm where we live with our two children, Karrie Lynn, age 8, and Corey, age 6.

Corey Christopher Hanrahan, my son, will carry on the Hanrahan name with pride.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 116-117

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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