C. C. Hanson

... and the Hansonhurst Creamery



"Throughout Memphis Charles Clinton Hanson is spoken of in terms of admiration and respect.  His life has been so varied in its activities, so honorable in its purposes and so far-reaching and beneficial in its effect that it has become an integral part of the history of the city and has left an impression  upon the annals of the state."
  - from the Barbour County (Alabama) website.

 When Historic-Memphis.com read that paragraph about C. C. Hanson on the Barbour County website,  it was embarrassing to us that Alabama could speak so highly of a man whom we knew nothing about.  This web page is being developed to correct that omission.

C. C. Hanson       


Click on small photos to see an enlargement


Charles Clinton Hanson was born in 1867 near Opelika, Alabama.  His early life was typical of an Alabama farm boy.  His early education was with the local schools, and although there was no college for him, he still developed a deep love of literature and science.  Possessing the ability to instill confidence in others he secured a position as railroad telegraph operator in Eufaula, Alabama and quickly moved up to become the agent for the railroads there.  Shortly afterwards he accepted a position as chief clerk of the Ocean Steamship Company and the Central of Georgia Railroad - both at Savannah, Georgia.  Again he quickly moved forward to "Special agent" for the railroad and the Steamship Company. 

Opelika, Alabama       



To seek wider opportunities Hanson moved into new areas and eventually to a major position as a representative of the Cotton Industry.  He had originally leased the cotton compresses of the railroad and steamship companies and within three years he was head of Atlantic Compress Company in Atlanta.  Not long afterwards he became president of the Gulf Compress Company, with headquarters in Memphis.


Central of Georgia

Ocean Steamship Co.


Gulf Compress      



C. C. Hanson arrived in Memphis in 1908 at 31 years of age.  Everything was "right" for him in Memphis and in short order he owned compresses throughout the mid-south, operating them under the name of Churchill Compresses.  He was financially secure.

Because he was so involved in business one would think he had no time for "volunteer work" or for Community involvement.  Not so at all - Anything that gained his interest was given his total support.  He became the citizen who was simply into  "everything".  Throughout Memphis he is spoken of in terms of admiration and respect.

C. C. Hanson  

Memphis 1908

Memphis 1908

Memphis 1908

Churchill Compress






Hanson must have had the energy of a dozen men because in Memphis he became involved in so many activities that a weaker person would have crumbled.  No one had a greater respect for education than he did.  For seven years, he was a member of the State Board of Education, a trustee of the Shelby County Industrial and Training School, a trustee of Bolton College.  And he was part of the committee who convinced the state of Tennessee to select Memphis as the site of the State Normal School.



1910 Report

1918 School Board


Industrial Training School

Industrial Training Students

Indust Training     


State Normal School:  In 1909 the Memphis Board of Education began plans to bring the State Normal School of West Tennessee to Memphis.  A strong committee was appointed to make this happen.  C. C. Hanson was a "working" member of this committee, and they immediately began to raise funds.  And various building sites were selected.  Competition throughout west Tennessee was tough.  In December the State Board of Education met in Nashville to select the school's site.  Three members of the Memphis committee were chosen to attend - including C. C. Hanson.  After two days of intense sessions, the state board unanimously awarded the school site to Memphis.  Work began on the school in 1911.  When the building was finished, a board of Trustees was formed and C. C. Hanson became a member of the board.

 Plans for Normal School  

1912 Construction Photo

Administrative Bldg.

1914 Board Member

1918 Member

Com Appeal item




Bolton College  Prominent land Owner (and Slave Dealer) Wade Bolton set aside 1200 acres for the founding of an agricultural college prior to his murder in 1869.  The school was built on Bolton's Hoboken Plantation land in 1887 and was active until 1911.  In 1925 it was designated as a secondary school and has remained that ever since.  As Bolton High School, it is one of only two public schools in Tennessee with its own endowment.  C. C. Hanson lived across the road from Bolton College and along with Judge J. P. Young, was a major trustee for the school.  Bolton College was located in Brunswick, Tennessee, better known today as Rosemark or Arlington.

Wade Bolton  

Bolton marker

Bolton bequest

Location today

Location today


1919 article



Hanson was able to attack everything with such enthusiasm that his vigor was contagious to all who knew him.  He had a personal library of over 3,000 books at his home that was equal to the public libraries - and he allowed students to use it, as well as the swimming pool on his property.  He was President of the Bureau of Municipal Research ... President of the Memphis International Business Science Society.  He was head of the Audubon Society for Shelby County and was so devoted to the preservation of birds that his farm was literally a bird sanctuary.  And there's much more ...


  C. C. Hanson



 Bureau Municipal Research

Business Science

Audubon Society

Bird Sanctuary


Hanson was President of the Memphis City Club ... a member of the Chamber of Commerce ... secretary and treasurer of the Mississippi Valley Compress Association.  The Memphis City Club was actually a "watch dog" group to see that government was doing their job.  It dealt with specific aspects of city planning and recommended that various civic groups join to promote he appointment of an official planning commission.  C. C. Hanson was the very active and well liked president of the City Club.  Would you believe that he also wrote and published the weekly magazine and mailed it without charge to anyone who asked for a copy?


City Club Logo   

1919 Article

1919 Article

1925 Bulletin

1925 Bulletin

1910 Letter

Club Officers


C C Logo C C Logo 1919 Article 1919 Miss Compress 1913 Miss Compress

If the above involvements weren't enough, Hanson  was a Mason, a member of Scottish Rites...Mystic Shrine...Knights of Pythias ...Knights of Khorassan... Kiwanis Club ... as well as a member of the Memphis Country Club.

Plus he wrote articles for the Business Philosopher Magazine and was an officer of the Union Planters Bank and the Madison Bank and Trust Co.

Shriner Scottish Rites Knights of Pythias Knights of Khorassan       Kiwanis Club

Memphis Country Club 1910      

Author 1922

Author 1922

Union Planters

Madison Bank-Trust

Madison Bank-Trust

In 2020, Kasie Nolan sent us the photos on the right along with this message:  "This silver pitcher has been used for Christmas eggnog as long as I can remember.  My grandparents were using it in 1940".  There's an inscription on the bottom of the pitcher, dedicated to C. C. Hanson from Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite: 


Silver Pitcher


The dedication reads:  Presented to C. C. Hanson 32o   . by the Officers of Oct 1910 Class of A.A.S.R as a token of their brotherly love and regard and for services rendered our class.  E. S. Brown - Pres, W. G. Erskine - Vice Pres, Chas Rasenhul, 2nd Vice Pres, Billing Sibley - Sec, A. E. Piison - Treas, W. L. Stooksbury -Orator, Chas E. Popoweh - Associate Orator.



In addition C. C. Hanson was happily married to Adele M. Shorter in 1889.  She is the daughter of Col. Henry R. Shorter, of the distinguished Alabama family.   There are reports that Mrs. Hanson is "the most queenly woman" you'll ever meet.  The Hanson's live across the road from Bolton College in a home called "Bide-a-wee".  At this time, we have not been able to locate  any information about children.



1919 Article

1919 Article 1920 Article


And then there was "Hansonhurst" and "Hansonhurst Creamery"

In 1922, C. C. Hanson built the Hansonhurst Creamery on his property at Brunswick, thirty miles northeast of Memphis.  It was built with the best modern equipment to manufacture butter, ice cream and cheese which was delivered daily to Memphis by 4 trucks which were purchased for this service.  Hanson purchased cream from local farms and the Creamery could turn out 6,000 pounds of butter a day.  It was served by a two floor ice plant with 25 tons of refrigeration, along with a 35,000 gallon water tower. 


Hansonhurst 1922


The Creamery was part of a master plan to build Hansonhurst, a model community that would have greater wealth, per capita, than any other town in the nation.  To call attention to the community, he placed a checkerboard marker at every curve along the crooked road to Hansonhurst.  The primary business was the Creamery.  Future plans called for building an entire model community with large estates, several stores, a large dairy plant, refrigeration plant, a cotton gin, large swimming pool, and a small amusement park.  At the opening were the Hansonhurst Service Store which sold standard merchandise at chain store prices, the Hansonhurst Creamery,  the ice plant, warehouse, and the pool.


Creamery article 1922


Creamery article 1921 Creamery article 1922 Radio article 1922

The pool was 40 x 100, to a depth of 12 feet at the deep end.  It was located between the Creamery garage and the Churchill Warehouse.  It was open from early morning to 9 PM.  Showers and dressing rooms were also available.  The original charge was 15 cents which included the use of a "sterilized bathing suit".  The pool was surrounded by grass lawns, walks, flowers and shrubbery.  There were plans to add a bowling alley next to the pool, but it was never built.


Hansonhurst Pool 1922


Aerial View 1922

Opening Day 1922

Hansonhurst 1922

Hansonhurst trucks 1922

Email from John Gmail:  2/23/2019:  "...just thought you might be interested in knowing about the Hansonhurst Silent Theater.  It was over the ice plant and I have been there when the ammonia from the ice plant below would come up and make it hard to breathe.  I was just about 7 or 8 - born in 1920.  The long building on the right was a dance hall."

Hansonhurst Pool 1922

1925 ad

1922 ad

Employees 1922

1922 Bulletin

1924 Directory

Hansonhurst may have been built at the wrong time and it was never completed.  It failed in 1929, with the hit of the Great Depression, and went into foreclosure.  At that time, in addition to the original structures, only 5 homes had been built, along with 3 stores, a silent movie theater, bird sanctuary, and a dance pavilion.  In 1930, everything was sold at auction for $30,000.  Today you can drive by Hansonhurst without knowing you've been there.

            Foreclosure !  

We have not been able to locate any additional information on C. C. Hanson after the failure of Hansonhurst - no obituary or grave.  It appears that the paper trail literally stopped after that.  Hopefully viewers of this page will have more information?          





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