Tamsel Hahn – 1997 Inductee

One of Osborne’s Best Known and Best Loved Women
Passes Away at Concordia Thursday Morning

“Miss Tamsel Hahn, one of the best known and best loved women Osborne has ever claimed as a citizen, passed away early last Thursday morning at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Concordia [Kansas], where she had been taken the day before for treatment. Miss Hahn was taken sick early in May with something akin to nervous breakdown, and while it was known that her condition was serious, her many friends had no idea the end was so near and the news of her sudden death came as a great shock to her family and her friends. Heart failure was the immediate cause of her demise.

Miss Hahn was born in Knox County, Illinois, July 28, 1859, and died June 10, 1926, and at the time of her death was aged sixty-six years, ten months and thirteen days. The fifth of seven children, she came with her parents and family first to Knox County, Missouri, then to Osborne County in 1880, and located [in Hawkeye Township] near Bloomington. She was educated in lllinois and Missouri and also attended Gould College at Harlan [Kansas] when that institution was flourishing. Her parents, the late Josephus and Nancy (Warmac) Hahn, died in February and May of 1905, respectively. She is survived by her two brothers, S. A. Hahn and J. M. Hahn, and by numerous nieces and nephews and cousins.

Tamsel Hahn was probably known to more people than any other woman in Osborne County. She was for many years engaged in teaching as a profession and three times served as Osborne County Superintendent of Schools, being elected first in 1887 and again in 1890 and in 1892, serving six years in that capacity with marked ability. Tamsel was the first woman ever elected to public office in Osborne County. During the years of 1894 and 1895 she served as matron of the Girls’ Industrial School at Beloit [Kansas], a position she filled with her customary ability. After leaving Beloit she entered the Farmers National Bank in this city [Osborne], of which her brother, the late Charles Hahn, was cashier at that time, remaining there until his death, which occurred in 1918. Since that time she has given her time to looking after and handling the property interests left by her brother. She was a woman of fine business ability and the family came to depend much on her judgment and experience. She was possessed of a high sense of honor and integrity, and was generous and broad in her charities, and she made many gifts of which the public knew nothing.

It was generally known in Osborne that there had been a tragedy in the life of this splendid woman which undoubtedly changed the whole course of her life. She met and loved a young man named William Schultz, but in 1892, just a short time before they were to be married, he was stricken with illness and died in a short time. His body was buried in the Hahn lot in the Osborne Cemetery, and the only romance in her life was buried with him. She met eligible men every day of her life thereafter, but she kept her tryst with the dead, and last Saturday her own frail body was laid to rest by his side. And thus Death, which parted them years ago, has reunited them for eternity.

Instead of allowing the great sorrow which came into her life to sour her disposition, and warp her perspective, it only seemed to sweeten her character and the great love which she bore for all mankind. The young and beautiful girl was transformed into the gentle and lovable woman, who went about doing good and scattering smiles and sunshine in her pathway. There is no way of knowing this side of the Pearly Gates just how many hearts she has cheered by the kindly, encouraging word, or how many burdens she has lightened by the radiance of her smile. In bearing she possessed that gentle dignity that marked her as one to the manner born, but she was withal so democratic in her demeanor toward all and so genuinely gracious in her social intercourse with her friends that she drew every class and creed to her heart and bound them with hoops of steel in an indissoluble bond of friendship. She was one of the most remarkable women this writer has ever known. She was the personification of womanly nobility, loftiness of mind, gentleness of heart and purity of soul.

Tamsel Hahn with her ward, Madeline Rae.

Several years ago Miss Hahn became interested in Madaline Rae, now Mrs. Madaline Trimble, when Madaline was four years of age, and while she never formally adopted the child, she gave her all the loving care of a mother and provided her with an opportunity to secure a fine education. She looked after her and cared for her until Madaline was grown and married and had a home of her own.

Miss Hahn joined the Congregational Church in Osborne, July 3, 1892, just thirty-four years ago, and since that time has been a faithful and helpful member. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and when in good health was a regular attendant. She was always greatly interested in every movement for the betterment of the community and took an active part in the social, religious and political life of the city and county. In politics she was an ardent Democrat and was an active supporter of that party in every campaign, but she was broadminded and tolerant with those of a different political belief and her list of friends knew no politics, no creed and no distinctions of class.

Funeral services were held at the home last Saturday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock, attended by friends from all parts of the county. It was one of the largest funerals ever held in Osborne. As a mark of respect to the deceased and family all the places of business in the city were closed for the funeral hour. The services were in charge of Reverend Ludwig Thomsen of the Congregational Church, assisted by Reverend W. J. Lloyd, now of Sheridan, Wyoming, but who was a former pastor of the Christian Church in Osborne. Special music was furnished by the full Congregational choir with Mrs. Mildred (Hardman) Raney at the piano. The casket bearers were the nephews of the deceased, as follows: George Hahn, Clyde C. Hahn, Floyd Hahn, Clyde E. Hahn, Fred Hahn and John Hahn. The body was laid to rest in the family lot in the Osborne Cemetery between the graves of her affianced husband and those of her parents.” — Osborne (KS) County Farmer newspaper, June 7, 1926.

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