The following data is extracted from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans.
William Hasselmann is an expert florist. He learned the business in all its details and all its phases in Germany, and had had experience in some of the greatest flower growing centers in the world. Some years ago he located at Independence, Kansas, and is now proprietor of the leading greenhouses of that city and his business had grown so rapidly that it is constantly demanding more room and greater facillties for the better handling of a custom that now extends far beyond the borders of his home city.
His full name is William Dietrich Hasselmann. He was born at Harpstedt, Germany, August 22, 1881. His older brother, Henry, is now serving in the German Imperial Army in the great European war, and had previous to that conducted the father's business, was also a dealer and shipper in hogs and handled insurance Mr. Hasselmann's sister, Johanna, is the wife of Julius Behrens, a newspaper reporter at Bremerhaven, Germany. The younger brother, John, was killed in the early part of the war while in front of Verdun at the age of twenty-six. The father of these children, John Hasselmann, was born neer Harpstedt, Germany, in 1845, and is still living there. He is a retail merebant and hotel proprietor. He spent three years, from 1870 to 1873, in the German army and was in the Franco-Prussian war. He married Katrine Siemen, who was born in Oldenburg, Germany, in 1845.
William Hasselmann was well educated, and he also had a fluent command of the English language. He attended the public schools in his native town and also a private agricultural college, and at the age of fifteen began an apprenticeship under a florist at Oidenburg, Germany. The apprenticeship continued from April, 1896, to 1900. He then attended the agricultural college in Koestritz, Germany, for a year, and the following six months he spent in landscape work at Haspe, Westphalia, Germany. For two years he was in the German army, being stationed at Wesel near the Holland border. Following that came a year of employment in greenhouses as a grower and decorator at Bremen, and for six months he grew orchids and other fine cut flowers at Groeblingen.
On October 19, 1905, Mr. Hasselmann landed at New York City. He spent a year and a half at Cincinnati in a florist business, and then went to Wichita, Kansas, on July 1, 1907, and from there to Newton. At Newton he engaged in business for himself in partnership with Fred Hasler, the firm continuing from May, 1909, to June 1, 1910. At the latter date he came to Independence and established his greenhouse. The plant had been enlarged several times and he is now planning extensive additions. He had over 10,000 square feet under glass, and the greenhouses are situated on Tenth and Railroad streets. He makes a specialty of cut flowers and potted plants.
Mr. Hasselmann is a republican, and is affiliated with Lodge No. 442 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and Lodge No. 780 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. On November 3, 1909, at Newton, Kansas, he married Miss Marie Schrader, daughter of Henry and Wilhelmina Sehrader, who reside at Brunswick, Germany. Her father is a meat inspector there. Mr. and Mrs. Hasselmann have two daughters: Wilhelmina, born April 12, 1911; and Mildred, born December 3, 1912.
Source: A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans