William McAfee Hanna, MD

by Edmund Starling, 1886


WILLIAM McAFEE HANNA, M. D.,  Physician and Surgeon, was born September 25th, 1837, in Shelby County, Kentucky. His father, John S. Hanna, was a farmer by pursuit and a man of note in his county. His mother was Miss Jane King, of Harrodsburg, Ky., her family being among the early settlers of the place. The Doctor inherits the Scotch-Irish blood, the best blood known to the human race. Dr Hanna received a fine collegiate education, having graduated with honor at Centre College, Danville, in 1858. He began the study of medicine under Dr. A. S. Frederick, at Shelbyville, entered the medical department of University at Louisville, and received the degree of M. D. from that institution in 1862. A short time subsequent, he loacted in Henderson and began the practice of medicine, but the alluring charms of war were too much for him to withstand. Being endowed of a spirited, bold and fearless nature and of warm Southern blood, he soon entered the army and served, both as a soldier and in the medical department, until the close of the war, participating in many of the great battles.

He served under Col. Adam R. Johnson until his capture in November. When exchanged in December following, he was assigned to Col. Basil Duke's regiment, Morgan's brigade, as Assistant Surgeon and accompanied that distinguished cavalryman in most of his adventurous raids. In the fall of 1865, at the close of the war, he returned to Henderson and resumed the duties of his profession, in which he has proven exceptionally successful, having established a fine practice and taken rank among the foremost physicians of the State. Dr. Hanna has served for several years as a member of the City Board of Health, and has been prominent in the Henderson and district medical societies, frequently serving as presiding officer. As a public spirited and valuable citizen, he stands deservedly high. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and has held the office of Elder for eleven or twelve years. He has ever been actively engaged in furthering the best interests of his church and community. He was mainly instrumental in the building of the First Church Chapel, located on Green Street, in the Third Ward, and is the Superintendent of the Sunday School. He is a member of the Knights Templar, but devotes the greater part of his unoccupied time to the good of his church. He is a man of genial and attractive manners and prepossessing person. Dr. Hanna was married in 1865, at Shelbyville, to Miss Mary Matthews, daughter of Rev. W. C. Matthews, a brother of Rev. John Matthews, who, at one time, was in charge of the First church at this place. He has a happy family, a wife of high social accomplishments and unqualifiedly a superior woman in every sense of the word, and three children, Mary, John and Janie.

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