Daniel Rhodes Hanna - Businessman and Newspaper Publisher
Daniel Rhodes Hanna was an accomplished businessman and newspaper publisher who sought to preserve his famous father's legacy.
Dan Hanna was born in Cleveland on December 26, 1866, the son of Marcus Alonzo Hanna and Charlotte Augusta Rhodes Hanna. His father, Mark Hanna, founded the M.A. Hanna Company and managed the successful presidential campaigns of William McKinley. Mark Hanna was also United States Senator from Ohio from 1898 until he died in 1904.
Dan Hanna became a partner in the M.A. Hanna Company in 1891 and remained with the company until 1915. As a partner, he was responsible for managing a major iron-ore company with involvement in mining, processing, and distributing minerals and energy related activities.
In 1910, Hanna purchased the Cleveland Leader, one of Cleveland’s major newspapers. Two years later, in 1912, Hanna purchased the Cleveland News from Charles A. Otis, Jr. By January 1913, he assumed full responsibility for the direction and policies of both newspapers. Hanna published both newspapers until 1917, when he sold the Cleveland Leader, which published six days a week, to the Plain Dealer. He retained control of the Sunday Leader, which he merged with the Cleveland News and renamed the Sunday News-Leader. He remained involved in both newspapers until his death.
In 1913, Hanna built the Leader Building at Superior Avenue and East 6th Street to house his newspapers. Architect Charles Adams Platt designed the limestone-clad building in the Beaux-Arts style.
In 1921, Hanna built the Hanna Building and the Hanna Theatre as part of a large complex in memory of his father. He again employed Charles Adams Platt as the design architect. Both father and son had an appreciation and fondness for the theater and theatrical people. On March 28, 1921, the new theater opened with its first production, William Faversham's adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain.
Throughout his life, Hanna acquired several large estates, including Gordon Hall In Bratenahl, a remodeled Rhodes-Hanna house and farm in Ravenna, Ohio, and estates in Lenox, Massachusetts and Ossining, New York. He loved racing horses and was a noted yachtsman. In April 1913, he donated funds to Western Reserve University in Cleveland to begin a journalism department.
Hanna married three times and had eight children. He married Carrie May Harrington on August 9, 1887. They had three sons, Mark A., Carl H., and Daniel R. Hanna, Jr. The couple divorced in June 1898.
Hanna married Daisy Gordon Maud on February 19, 1900, at the cottage at Gordon Park. While married to Daisy, Hanna built Gordon Hall in Bratenahl. They had one daughter, Elizabeth. The couple divorced in June 1907.
Days after his divorce was finalized, Hanna married Mary Elizabeth Stuart on June 24, 1907. They had four daughters, Natalie, Ruth, Charlotte, and Mary. The couple divorced in June 1916.
Daniel Rhodes Hanna died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Ossining, New York, on November 3, 1921. His funeral was conducted in Cleveland Heights at the home of his son Daniel R. Hanna, Jr. He is buried at Lakeview Cemetery in the Hanna Mausoleum, near his father's body.