George Hasenour (1841-1915): Soldier, Teacher, Entrepeneur

A Civil War Veteran: George Hasenour , Celestine, Indiana   

George Hasenour, a gallant ex-soldier and one of the best-known businessmen of Celestine, Dubois County, Indiana, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, August 15, 1841, the eldest of the seven children of Martin and Tharsila Hasenour, natives of Germany.

Martin Hasenour and wife, soon after marriage, sailed from Bremer Haven for New York, and from the latter city came direct to Madison, Indiana, where for a short time Mr. Hasenour worked as a laborer on the railroad. In 1840, he went to Louisville, Kentucky, where he worked three years as a gardener, and then came to Dubois County, Indiana, and purchased forty acres of land in the wilderness. He proceeded to clear up his tract and built a primitive log house, but a short time after, while Mr. Hasenour and family were at church, this cabin was destroyed by fire, together with all its contents; but this disaster did not discourage him, and he soon built for himself another home. He lived, at that time, in Jasper parish, but when that was divided he was among the leaders in establishing Celestine parish. He was energetic and frugal and temperate, and at the time of his death, in 1861, was the owner of 200 acres of well-cultivated land. His widow survived until about 1887, and both died sincere Catholics.

George Hasenour was well educated in the parochial schools and then aided his parents on the home farm until the call to arms aroused his patriotism. November 7, 1861, he enlisted in company I, Forty-ninth Indiana infantry, for three years, and was assigned to the trans-Mississippi army. He was in several severe battles, but at Champion Hill, near Vicksburg, Mississippi, was wounded twice within five minutes—in the hip and in the ankle—the latter wound being so serious as to necessitate the amputation of his leg on the field May 16, 1863; he was then sent to the Marine hospital at Evansville, Indiana, and after recovery was honorably discharged. On his return to Indiana, Mr. Hasenour, being unable to perform manual labor, attended St. Meinrad’s college for some time, and then taught in the public schools in Celestine until he engaged in business, as will be mentioned below. November 18, 1867, Mr. Hasenour was joined in matrimony, by Rev. B. Bruning, with Miss Rofina Schnaus, who, like himself, had been confirmed in the Catholic faith by Bishop de St. Palais. This marriage has been blessed with eight children, of whom seven are still living, and all, save one, confirmed by Bishop Chatard, viz., John C., Koletta (wife of George Cress), George J., Joseph M., Gertrude M., Theresa M., and Ezidius H. The deceased child, Caroline, entered the convent at Ferdinand, December 1, 1886, was known thereafter as Sister M. Eusebia, and was called from earth July 7, 1894.

In 1867, Mr. Hasenour embarked in business as a general merchant, in Celestine, and this since has been his constant vocation. He carried a well-assorted stock of staple goods suited for the general country trade, and, by his courtesy and honorable dealing, has secured a permanent and lucrative patronage. Although he began with a small capital, his strict attention to business has made one of the wealthiest men in Celestine or in the township. Beside his large business block and handsome brick residence, he owns 500 acres of land in Dubois county, and he and family hold the highest possible in the circles of Celestine, and enjoy, beside, the sincere respect of all. In politics, Mr. Hasenour is a democrat and cast his first presidential vote for Horatio Seymour, but notwithstanding this fact, such was his popularity and high standing in the community, that he was appointed postmaster of Celestine under the administration of President Grant, and filled the office from 1867 to 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Hasenour are devoted to their faith and contribute most liberally to the support of St. Celestine and its sodalities, as well as to all undertakings that promise results for the good of the public. 

Charles Blanchard, ed., History of the Catholic Church in Indiana (Two Voumes) (Logansport, IN: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1898), II, 306-309. 

NOTE: George Hasenour passed away on March 15, 1915.

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