Albert L. Hanson was born October 28, 1854, in Allamakee County, Iowa. He was one of nine children born to Hans and Maren Hanson, who had immigrated to America from Norway in 1851. Hanson graduated from Iowa State Agricultural College, Ames, Iowa, in 1879. Hanson had been involved in private banking since at least 1878. He moved to Hillsboro, Dakota Territory, circa 1881.
In Hillsboro, Hanson went into banking with Amos L. Plummer. Circa 1882, Hanson and Plummer opened up the Hillsboro Bank with Plummer serving as president and Hanson as cashier. Besides general banking duties, they were also involved in making collections and Hanson served as an agent for a number of insurance companies.
In January 1884, Louis G. Phelps sold a Buxton, Dakota Territory, bank to A.L. Hanson and A.L. Plummer. This became a branch bank of the Hillsboro Bank. A.L. Hanson became the manager and Oliver S. Hanson, Albert's younger brother, was named cashier. In September 1884, A.L. Plummer and A.L. Hanson sold the Bank of Buxton to O.S. Hanson and Harry W. Davis. Later on O.S. Hanson bought out Davis.
In 1885, A.L. Plummer and A.L. Hanson obtained a national bank charter under the name of Hillsboro National Bank. Plummer was elected president and Hanson vice-president. In 1887, A.L. Hanson purchased Plummer's shares in the Hillsboro National Bank. Plummer purchased Hanson's interests in the bank in 1890 and became the major stockholder. In 1929, this bank was consolidated with the First National Bank of Hillsboro. All records of the former bank were lost or destroyed. It was also around this time that A.L. Hanson married again, having been widowed earlier.
Circa 1888 A.L. Hanson entered the real estate and tax titles business. In 1889 Hanson advertised "A.L. Hanson, Real Estate, Loans, Tax Titles and Collections." This same year the National Bank of Wahpeton was organized with Daniel Patterson as president and Hanson as vice-president.
A.L. Hanson was a member of the I.O.O.F., or Odd Fellows, having been commissioned District Deputy Grand Master for Traill and Griggs Counties in May 1883. He also served as director and treasurer of the school district at Hillsboro, circa 1884, was Hillsboro's city treasurer from circa 1885-1887, and managed the opera house in Hillsboro, circa 1888-1889. He was also the secretary of the Park Committee, circa 1889, served on the Board of Trustees of the University of North Dakota, circa 1889-1891, and was a member of the Hillsboro Fire Department, circa 1889-1891.
A.L. Hanson died July 23, 1938.
Anderson, Beatrice O, Clarence Anderson and Leonard Beal. Yesteryears in Traill: Traill County, North Dakota. Traill County Historical Society, 1976.
Hauge, Robert and Lila Hauge, ed. Buxton Centennial Book: 1880-1980, Buxton, Traill County, North Dakota. Finley, ND: Buxton Centennial Committee, 1980.
Hillsboro, North Dakota: The First Hundred Years. Hillsboro, ND, 1981.
Iowa State University Alumni Association