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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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S. George Hammans dates his residence in Union county from 1875. He is one of Iowa’s native sons, his birth having occurred in Jefferson county near Glasgow, July 15, 1844, his father being James Hammans. He is a brother of J. W. Hammans, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. The family numbered eight children, of whom George Hammans of this review is the eldest. He was reared to farm labor, spending his boyhood and youth in his parents’ home and working in the fields from the time that he was old enough to manage the plow. His farm work, however, was alternated with his attendance at the public schools, whereby he acquired a fair English education. At the time of the Civil war he espoused the Union cause and entered the Federal army as a member of Company G, Thirtieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Soon after enlisting, however, he broke his leg, this occurring before the company went to the front. A year and a half later he joined his regiment at Paint Rock, Alabama, in 1863. Subsequently he went with Sherman on the celebrated march to the sea, was in several engagements and was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, receiving an honorable discharge at Rock Island, Illinois, in July, 1865.

When peace perched upon the Union banners he rejoined his people in Jefferson county, remaining at home with his parents until his marriage. It was on the 6th of April, 1869, that Mr. Hammans was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary E. Metz, a native of Jefferson county and a daughter of Jacob Metz, who was born in Pennsylvania and became a pioneer settler of Jefferson county, Iowa. Following his marriage Mr. Hammans purchased a farm of one hundred acres which he cultivated and improved, erecting good buildings upon it and making it his home until 1875. He then disposed of his property there and came to Union county, purchasing two hundred and forty acres of land in Union township. His time and energies were then given to the tilling of the soil there for three years, after which he again sold out and invested in three hundred and twenty acres of land in Jones township, to which he later added two hundred acres. This he improved, making it one of the fine farms of the county. In its midst he erected a two-story residence, modern in all its equipments, heated by furnace and with many other conveniences such as are found in the fine homes of the twentieth century. He also erected large barns and provided in substantial outbuildings abundant shelter for grain and stock. He engaged extensively in raising and feeding stock and for many years made a specialty of polled Angus cattle, owning a number of registered thoroughbreds. He was the first man in the township to raise black cattle and fed about two carloads per year. He likewise raised thoroughbred Poland China hogs, feeding about two carloads per year and his stock-raising interests proved an important source of revenue to him. He continued the development of his farm until 1905, when he removed to Afton and is now largely enjoying a well earned rest in the city. For many years he was a stockholder and director in the Citizens Bank of Afton and for four years served as its president. He was likewise a director in the creamery at Talmage and one of its stockholders.

By his first marriage Mr. Hammans had four children: Elmer, who is a lumber dealer and mill man at Stuttgart, Arkansas, married Miss Ida Bosworth, of Ringgold county, Iowa, a daughter of Representative Bosworth of the Iowa Legislature; Clara E., who was formerly a school teacher, is now the wife of Eston Kester, a farmer of Grant township; Maggie, who was also a school teacher, married George W. Craig, merchant of Afton; and Mattie is the wife of William Craig of the same city. In 1880 Mr. Hammans was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died at the age of twenty-nine years. On the 20th of January, 1881, he was again married, his second union being with Martha Moffitt, a native of Union county and a daughter of Solomon Moffitt. They have three children, Walter, a farmer and carpenter, who is now conducting a farm at Brush, Colorado; Bessie, who is a graduate of the Afton high school and now a teacher in Dodge township; and Wayne, who is attending the high school of Afton.

In national affairs Mr. Hammans is a republican, unfaltering in his allegiance to the party. He cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln and has supported each nominee at the head of the national ticket since that time. He does not feel himself bound by party ties at local elections, however, and regards only the capability of the candidate in exercising his right of franchise. Several times he has been called to public office, serving as justice of the peace, as township trustee and as school director. In fact he has been almost continuously in office since attaining his majority and the promptness and fidelity with which he discharges his duties makes him a most capable official. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, holding membership with Afton Post, while his wife is connected with the Relief Corps. In earlier life he was connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and both he and his wife were members of the Rebekah Degree. They attend the Christian church and are greatly esteemed in the community, Mr. Hammans having made a creditable name as a business man as well as public official. He is moreover one of the early settlers of this part of the state and has helped to make the county what it is today. He is ever a stalwart champion of the progressive measures and movements and his cooperation can be counted upon to insure the adoption of any measure which he believes will contribute to the best interests here. He is now practically living retired in Afton but spends much time in travel.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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