Biography of Herman A. Hanser, M.D.
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Dr. Herman A. Hanser, a St. Louis surgeon who has practiced continuously 1n this city since 1898, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, September 22, 1877. His father, the late Rev. C. J. Otto Hanser, D. D., was a native of Bavaria and came to America in 1848, being forced to leave his native country on account of his political activity in opposition to monarchial rule he was a highly educated man, a graduate of one of the leading German universities and until he took up the study of theology had quite an adventurous life, being obliged to leave Bavaria because of his activities against the crown. He managed to get out of the country to England and there secured a position as a seaman on a sailing vessel. He sailed the seas for four voyages, finally landing in New York, where he obtained a position as an accountant with a leading wholesale tobacco firm. It was his desire, however, to enter the ministry and his talents well qualified him for a professional career of that character, and moreover, inherited tendency as well as natural predilection led him in that direction, for through more than two hundred years members of the family had been connected with the work of the ministry. Rev. Mr. Hanser accordingly came to St. Louis, Missouri, and in due course of time was graduated with high honors from the Concordia Theological Seminary. He was then assigned to a pastorate in Boston, Massachusetts, where he labored in the church for seven years and on the expiration of that period accepted a pastorate at Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he continued for an equal time. While thus engaged he was also a director in the Concordia Lutheran College of Fort Wayne and in educational work he thereafter continued to the time of his death. He removed from Fort Wayne to St. Louis to become pastor of Trinity Lutheran church at Eighth and Lafayette avenue, this being the first church of the denomination established in the city. He continued as pastor for thirty-three years, greatly loved by his own people and honored and esteemed by those of other denominations. He passed away in 1910, at the age of seventy-eight years, leaving a memory that is enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him and which is a blessed benediction to those with whom he was associated. He married Margaret De Prez, a native of France, born on the German-French border, of French parentage. She came to America In 1861 with her parents, who settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, and there in her mother’s home she became the bride of the Rev. C. J. Otto Hanser. To them were born three children, two sons and a daughter, the eldest being Dr. Hanser, of this review. The second son, Rev. Arthur Hanser, D. D., is now a minister of Brooklyn, New York. The daughter, Johanna, is the wife of the Rev. Otto Ungemach, D. D., of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Hanser was educated in the Lutheran parochial schools of St. Louis and in Walther College of this city, after which he continued his studies in Concordia College at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having chosen the field of medicine as a life work he then entered the Missouri Medical College of St. Louis and won his M. D. degree in 1898. After graduation he served as extern of the Washington University Hospital and was also assistant gynecologist and instructor in gynecology in the Washington University until 1914. He likewise served as surgeon in the Lutheran Hospital for some time after his graduation. He has always enjoyed an extensive private practice and his surgical work has been of an important character. He has membership relations with the St. Louis, Missouri State and American Medical Associations.
On the 24th of October, 1900, in St. Louis, Dr. Hanser was married to Miss Ida J. Gruen of this city, a daughter of Jacob and Sophie (Somers) Gruen, who were of German lineage, although the family has long been represented in St. Louis. The Somers family came from Rock Island, Illinois, where they had resided for many years. Dr. and Mrs. Hanser have become parents of a daughter, Helen, born August 13, 1905
Politically Dr. Hanser is a republican. He belongs to the University Club and is a member of the Trinity Lutheran church. During the World war he was connected with the Medical Corps at Fort Riley and at Camp Sherman, being associated with the field hospital before being transferred as a regimental surgeon to the Three Hundred and Seventy-ninth Infantry of the Ninety-fifth Division, stationed at Camp Sherman. He was commissioned a captain and honorably discharged December 18, 1918. Dr. Hanser greatly enjoys travel and when possible indulges his taste in this direction. He is a man of scholarly taste and attainment who has ever realized the fact that the keenest pleasure comes from intellectual stimulus and who has always used his talents wisely and well.