HANLEY, JOHN HENRY. - The mining interests of Sangamon County have developed and brought to the front men of unusual business and executive ability; men who have made their own way in the world, forging ahead through aggressiveness, intelligence and determination to succeed. The school of mining is not an easy one; it takes men of more than ordinary ability to succeed, and as a result we find some of the county's foremost men engaged in this business. One of the self-made men of Springfield who has been identified with mines and mining nearly all of his life is John Henry Hanley, who was born near Lima, Allen County, Ohio, October 15, 1857, the son of Patrick and Bridget (Byron) Hanley.
Patrick Hanley was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, March 17, 1826, and when he was eighteen years of age came to the United States, landing in New York and going thence to Ohio, where he worked on a railroad for a few years. He then came to Springfield, Ill., and from there went to Will County, where for many years he was engaged in farming, although for the past ten years he has lived retired in Wilmington, Ill. His wife died in 1907, in the faith of the Catholic Church, of which he is also a member. He has been a Democrat all of his life. Mr. and Mrs. Hanley had the following children: John Henry; James, of Joliet, Ill.; Michael, of Punxsutawawney, Pa.; William, a resident of Wilmington, Ill., and Mary, who married Daniel Tobin, of Chicago.
John Henry Hanley was but an infant when his parents came to Illinois, and he was reared to the life of a farmer, being sent out to do his share of the farm work when he was but eight years of age, and as a consequence not having much chance for learning, although close observation and much reading have made him a well-educated man. At the age of twenty-six years he left home and became engaged in selling coal-mining machinery, and in this way came to Springfield. After some years spent in this manner he became manager of the Old North mine, later held the same position with the Chicago & Kansas City Coal Company, and then became manager of the Springfield Mining Co. During the year following he served as County Mine Inspector, and for five years was manager of the Chicago-Virden Coal Company, accepting his present responsible position in 1905. Probably no man in Sangamon County knows more about mines and mining that does Mr. Hanley, and his selection by this large company as manager goes a long way towards proving it. His experience has been long and varied and he has learned how to meet every situation and how to overcome every obstacle.
In Odell, Ill., in April, 1883, Mr. Hanley was married to Miss Elizabeth Kane, daughter of timothy and Mary (Dalton) Kane, and to this union there were born six children: Mary, who married Patrick Foley, of Peoria; William F., who married Elizabeth Slocum; and John Edward, Nora, Bessie and Esther, all at home.
Mr. and Mrs. Hanley are members of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, in which he is serving as a member of the Board of Trustees. He was Trustee for a long time of Ridgely, before it was incorporated with the city of Springfield, and has always been a stanch and active Democrat. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic order of Foresters and is District Vice President of fourteen counties for the latter order.