HANNA, HOWARD MELVILLE (23 Jan. 1840—8 Feb. 1921), a founder of the M. A. HANNA COMPANY, was active in the shipping industry on Great Lakes as well as in the development of the oil, steel, and tobacco businesses locally. Brother to MARCUS ALONZO HANNA and Leonard C. Hanna, he was born to Dr. Leonard and Samantha Converse Hanna in New Lisbon, OH, where he lived until the family moved to Cleveland when he was 12. He attended public schools and graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY. Hanna enlisted in the Union navy in at the outbreak of CIVIL WAR.
After the war, Hanna engaged briefly in shipping, then pioneered in the oil business, later selling his interest to the STANDARD OIL COMPANY (OHIO). He also purchased controlling interest in the Globe Iron Works, later the AMERICAN SHIP BUILDING COMPANY. Hanna was one of the GLENVILLE RACE TRACK's original stockholders and belonged to the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. Interested in reform and PHILANTHROPY, he served as the first president of the CHARITY ORGANIZATION SOCIETY. Hanna advocated against "thoughtless giving" (see the BOLTON FOUNDATION). His donations to Lakeside Hospital, the proposed Babies' Hospital (see UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS) and the medical department of Western Reserve University (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY) were said to total over $1 million.
On 28 Dec. 1863 Hanna married Kate Smith (d. May 1919); they had 2 sons, H. M., Jr., and Leonard, who died in infancy, and 2 daughters, Mary Gertrude (Mrs. COBURN HASKELL) and Kate B. (d.1936), who, divorced from R. Livingston Ireland, married Perry W. Harvey. Hanna died at his winter home in Thomasville, GA.