Stephen J. Pyne Year of the Fires
Page 212 :
“Thus began a tedious, often futile accounting of those injured and killed, an exercise that exposed the ramshackle process by which the men had been hired and shipped to the firelines. . . .
“ . . . In most instances the deceased left no identifying papers. Rumors, reported friendships, fragments of letters, telegrams thrust into pockets all provided clues. Newspapers across the nation printed the list of casualties, as the dead had recorded their names. Queries rushed in; counterqueries poured out. . . .
page 220 - 221:
“Catherine Hansen's husband had died eighteen years before and left her with two sons, a daughter, and heavily mortgaged property. Until her health gave out, she took in boarders and relied on her sons. Then her older son died. That left son Harry to provide for her care, and he did, about $15 a month for eight years. He went west to make more money and find a new home and decided to bring his mother out to live with him in Oregon. He 'loved the west,' Mrs. Hansen explained, 'and wrote he could never be content back east again.' He told a friend in Kellogg, D. W. Price, that ' he was going to fight fire I tried to talk him out of going I told him [he] would get a position at $3.00 per day and stay in Kellogg but he said he could make more money fighting fire and needed the money to get his mother out west.' He died instead in the Nicholson tunnel. She was reimbursed $342.40 for the cost of shipping the body to Racine, Wisconsin, and reburying. Investigators recommended another $500 as a dependent relative.”
- National Archives at
College Park, RG 95, Records of the Forest Service,
Division of Fire Control, General Correspondence – Claims -- Catherine Hansen
Research notes - Harold Hanson is listed as Herald on the U. S. Census of 1900. He was born in Wisconsin in May of 1875. His parents were both born in Denmark.
Coeur d'Alene National Forest Supervisor William G. Weigle in a report on June 24, 1911, to the regional forester at Missoula, had these notations about Harry Hanson:
59. Harry Hanson.
Died in tunnel with Pulaski's crew. Body shipped Aug. 24th to Rorim, Wisconsin, for burial. Mother of Harry Hanson is Mrs. D. C. Hanson, 1212 State St., Racine, Wisconsin. Affidavit and voucher sent to Mrs. Hanson June 22, 1911.
Aug. 6 - 10 hours
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176 hours, $44.00 amount due.
Harold Hanson is buried in the Mound Cemetery at Racine, Wisconsin, Block 21, Lot 153, Grave 1.
Thanks to Steve Bedard of
the City of Racine for checking the burial spot.