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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HANNA, MARCUS ALONZO

HANNA, MARCUS ALONZO

HANNA, MARCUS ALONZO (24 Sept. 1837-15 Feb. 1904), businessman, national Republican leader, and U.S. senator, was born in New Lisbon, Ohio to Leonard and Samantha Converse Hanna. His family came to Cleveland in 1852, where Hanna attended CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, and later Western Reserve College in Hudson (1857-58). He entered his father's wholesale grocery business, and after marrying Charlotte Rhodes, joined his father-in-law's firm, Rhodes & Co., iron and coal merchants. When Rhodes died, Hanna assumed company control, and in 1885 it became the M. A. HANNA CO. Hanna also owned West Side Railway, later WOODLAND AVE. & WEST SIDE RAILWAY. In the late 1880s Hanna began electrifying his street railways, consolidating with Cleveland City Cable Co. to form Cleveland City Railway Co., and competing for streetcar franchises in opposition to TOM L. JOHNSON. Hanna bought the EUCLID AVE. OPERA HOUSE in the late 1870s.

Hanna was elected to the Cleveland Board of Education ca. 1869. As a Republican, he was active at the ward level, organized a Businessman's Republican Campaign Club, and collected funds and himself donated. He became a political campaigner, managing Jos. B. Foraker's successful gubernatorial campaign (1885) and John Sherman's unsuccessful Republican presidential nominee (1888) and successful Senate (1892) campaigns. Hanna withdrew from participation in M. A. Hanna Co. in 1894 to devote himself to nominating Ohio governor Wm. McKinley for president. McKinley was nominated, and Hanna organized his successful presidential campaigns in 1896 and 1900. In 1897 Hanna was appointed U.S. senator; the Ohio legislature elected him there in 1898 and 1904. Hanna maintained national and state Republican power, even after McKinley's death in 1901; however Cleveland politics were then dominated by Democratic mayor Tom L. Johnson. Hanna married Charlotte Augusta Rhodes in 1864 and had 2 children, Daniel Rhodes and Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms. Hanna died in Washington and was buried at LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


Beer, Thomas. Hanna (1929).

Croly, Herbert. Marcus Alonzo Hanna: His Life and Work (1912).

McCook, Henry Christopher. The Senator: A Threnody (1905).