"And when it is understood that every move the lawyer makes, whether he drafts a common contract or pleading...we must realize he is constantly in the field of battle."
-Autobiography, Hans A. Anderson
Hans A. Anderson was born in Norway on March 4, 1855. His father passed away early in Hans' childhood so his mother remarried. The family decided to come to America for a better life. They arrived in Big Slough, Jackson County in the summer of 1867.
At an early age, Hans decided to broaden his knowledge and to learn the American language. He went to school, mainly in the winter, because of his commitment to working for his family. Later he worked on railroad construction work in North Dakota.
He married Oline Fristad on December 10, 1877. Mr. Anderson had educated himself enough by that time to be able to pass a teacher's examination. In 1884, the couple moved to Whitehall and he began to study law. To make ends meet, Hans did many odd jobs including sawing/splitting wood, janitoring the church and school house, and other tasks.
He attended the University of Wisconsin in 1887--even though money was tight. He completed the two-year course in just one year and later passed the bar exam. The year was 1888.
Hans was elected district attorney and received a salary of only $500 per year. Therefore, Anderson did not run for district attorney again. He continued private practice after that. In 1908 he was elected county judge succeeding Judge Cowie. He served for 10 years.
He was founder of the Trempealeau County Historical Society and it is due to him that much of our county's history is preserved.