Fonds - Elhanon Hanson fonds

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Elhanon Hanson fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1913-1957, 1979-1980, 1989, 1992, 1999 (Creation)
    Elhanon Hanson

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60 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Elhanon Hanson was a writer and business owner who lived in Alberta. Hanson wrote articles and stories for a number of Jewish publications, often under the name “Trader Ed” Hanson. He owned number of business in Calgary and Edmonton in addition to being a farmer for periods of his life. He was also active in a number of Jewish organizations in Edmonton.

Elhanon Hanson was born Elhanon Handin in 1888 in Popovgora, Russia, changing his name to Hanson after being involved in an anti-semitic brawl early in his life in Canada. Hanson originally moved from Russia to Calgary, where he worked a variety of manual labour jobs. After marrying Sonja Belkin in 1909 the couple began homesteading on land near Cochrane, Alberta. After living there for several years the land was sold and Hanson opened a store in Calgary. This store remained open for a number of years before the family moved to a dairy ranch in Clover Bar, Alberta in 1914. Elhanon and Sonja had five children: Mitchell, Marie, Becky, Max and Phyllis. Shortly after moving to the ranch, four year old Mitchell wandered into the nearby woods and died after being lost for two days. This prompted the family to move to Edmonton. In Edmonton, Hanson owned and operated a number of different business throughout the years, including grocery stores, a restaurant, an ice cream store, a second hand clothing store and a building contractor.

Throughout his life, Elhanon Hanson also wrote articles and short stories for a number of different Jewish publications, mostly in Yiddish. These publications included New York Forwards, Der Tog, Yiddishe Kempfer, Israelite Press, Jewish Post, Zukunft, and the Morning Journal. His ‘Trader Ed’ stories were based on nephew Chemeh (Ed) Hanson who lived and worked at trading post in Ft. McMurray, Alberta. He used the pseudonym “Alhanan” for much of his writing.

Hanson was also a prominent member of a number of Jewish organizations in Edmonton. This included being Secretary of Edmonton Chevra Kadisha, co-founding the Edmonton Arbeiter Ring, the Free Loan Society, the Arbiter Ring Schule and the Junior Congregation. He also worked with Paole Zion Group, Geverkschaften Campaign, Histradut, Jewish National Fund (JNF) Keren Hayesod and United Jewish Appeal (UJA).

Elhanon Hanson died in Edmonton in 1956.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records of Elhanon Hanson relating to his writing and his involvement with Paole Zion and other Jewish organizations in Edmonton. Records include manuscripts of his writings, meeting minutes and personal correspondence.

Handwritten and typed manuscripts include articles and short stories, mostly in Yiddish. The topic of most of the articles are related to Zionism but also include other subjects related to the Jewish community in Edmonton.

The correspondence mostly relates to his writing but also reflects his work with Jewish organizations and some of a personal nature.

Also included in these records are the minute books and correspondence of Paole Zion of Edmonton.

Other records include pamphlets for community events and published material on Zionism and on anti-semitism.

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  • Yiddish

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Many of the records in this fonds are in Yiddish.

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