Alexander Hanna, Sr. was born either in Scotland or Ireland in 1737, emigrated to America in 1771 and settled in York County, Pennsylvania. In 1798, Alexander, and his wife Martha, their four children and three grandchildren moved to Milford Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Alexander Sr. died in 1809 and was buried at the Cross Roads Cemetery near Harnedsville. He was a veteran of the American Revolution.

James, the only son of Alexander and Martha, was born in Ireland in 1770 and come with his parents to America when young and died in Milford Township in 1819. James served as Representative to the Legislature and was a State Senator; he was also Brigade Inspector for three counties. He married Ann Leech in 1794 and was the father of John, Mary, Thomas, James, Alexander, William, Phoebe, Jane, Martha and Anna.

John, the eldest son of James, was born in York County in 1795, thereby being only three years old when the entire Hanna clan moved to Somerset County. John was a member of the Legislature and was elected as a Justice of the Peace in 1825 for the Addison and Turkeyfoot Townships. He Officiated at many local wedding ceremonies for the entire region.

John was married to Sarah McNeil and in 1825 built a large brick home on the Southeast side of the Casselman River beside the road. This building is still standing and is in excellent condition. Today it is a "Bed and Breakfast Inn" and is known as "Hannahouse", a tribute to the pioneer family of bygone days.

John Hanna died in 1882 at 87 years of age and was buried in the "Jersey Cemetery".

Alexander, another son of James, was born in 1802 and was a legendary character who lived in Harnedsville. He built the first log building on the road leading from the Old Fort on the River, which was located below the Old Red Bridge site. This building was located on the river bank and was used for many years as a Hotel.

The first elected Justice of the Peace in the villiage of Harnedsville was Alexander Hanna. He served six terms. He was Major of the Militia and a Brigade Inspector.

Major Hanna was a man of powerful build and strength weighting two hundred and forty pounds when he was eighteen years old. Many tales have been recorded of his almost unbelievable feats, among which one is told of a battle he had with the McClintocks on a "Mustering Day". One of the McClintocks slashed him across the abdomen with a knife, so that his bowels gushed through the slit. Holding his intestines in with one hand, he thrashed his assailants with the other. Fortunately, some witnesses intervened and the brawl was broken up. Hanna then went to a doctor for surgical attention.

At another time, when the National Pike was being build, some young men who wished to test his courage, fastened a bear in a dark pen and dared Hanna to enter. He went in, and when the bear attacked him, he struck the animal with his fist and broke its jaw.

Another amazing feat which Hanna performed was the lifting of a casting weighing fourteen hundred pounds.

Alexander was first married to Jane Rush who died at the age of 39 and was buried in the Cemetery at Pattytown, Pennsylvania. His second wife was Rachael Holliday. He fathered eleven children to his first wife and also eleven children to his second wife.

Major Hanna died in 1881 and was buried in the Cross Roads Cemetery near his Grandfather and Namesake.

Submitted by: Lawson L. Duckworth for the "Old Petersburg-Addison Historical Society" who compiled this information. (llduckworth@hotmail.com)

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