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Cartwright, Carol Lohry; Shaffer, Scott; Waller, Randal / City on the Rock River : chapters in Janesville's history
(1998)

14. Notable people,   pp. 249-261


Page 252

Green, Myron F.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Janesville's most important
commercial activity centered around tobacco. Farmers in southern Dane and northern Rock
counties grew large quantities of the crop, and its trade was important to several communities
including Janesville. Myron F. Green was a Rock County farmer who began trading tobacco
before 1900. He became very successful, constructing a large warehouse in 1900. Of more than 30
tobacco warehouses that were operating in Janesville in 1902, the Green Tobacco Warehouse at
207 N. Academy St. is one of the few historic resources remaining in the city directly related to
this important commercial activity. (Portrait and Biographical Album 1889:710)
Hanson, Magnus
Janesville had a wide-ranging industrial base in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Magnus Hanson operated a successful furniture factory in the city during that time. Hanson, a
Norwegian immigrant, began manufacturing furniture in 1855. By 1870, his sales were over
$40,000 per year. Housed in a substantial four-story brick building by 1902, Hanson Furniture
specialized in the manufacture of fine and medium-quality tables. The entire Hanson family
worked in the business. (Brown 1908:599-605)
Harris, James
James Harris was one of the most important industrialists of the late nineteenth century in
Janesville. Harris established a farm equipment and machinery shop in 1859, and for the next
20 years, he patented and manufactured a number of improved agricultural implements. By
1869, the company employed about 125 workers producing reapers, mowers, plows, and other
agricultural implements. In 1881, Harris and Allen P. Lovejoy incorporated the company as the
Janesville Machine Company. In 1882, Harris left the company, which was later purchased by
General Motors. After leaving the Janesville Machine Company, Harris, with D. P. Smith,
purchased a barb wire manufacturing company in Illinois and moved it to a large factory
complex in Janesville. By 1921, the company had been reorganized as the Janesville Fence and
Post Company, producing steel fence posts and barb wire. By 1938, the company has been
transformed again into a hardware and appliance retailer, a business still in operation today
as Harris Ace Hardware.
Holt, Charles
Charles Holt was the owner and editor of Janesville's most important newspaper during its
formative years. The Janesville Gazette first published as a weekly in 1845. In 1848, Holt
bought a half interest in the paper and owned it until 1864. During the time of Holt's
ownership, newspapers came and went with regularity, Holt and his partners successfully
operated the paper for almost 20 years. An attempt to make the paper a daily during the 1850s
failed, but eventually the Janesville Gazette did become a daily. Today it is the major local
newspaper in the community. (Butterfield 1879)
Jackman, Claremont
Claremont Jackman was an important businessman in Janesville in the late nineteenth century.
Jackson was the one of the sons of pioneer businessman Timothy Jackman. Educated in Janesville
schools, Jackman served in the Civil War. After the war, Jackman was a partner with one of
his brothers in a mill, then went to Montana to pursue mining. In 1867, he returned to Janesville
and entered his father's banking house, the Rock County National Bank. Claremont worked
Notable People
252


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