Weenona Hanson

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Weenona Hanson

Weenona White Hanson (born c. 1876 in Uniontown, Perry County; died January 1933) was the founder of the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs and the wife of Birmingham News publisher Victor Hanson.

Weenona was the daughter of John Henry and Ella Sims White of Uniontown. She studied piano at the Bellewood Seminary in Anchorage, Kentucky and at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, graduating at age 19. She spent another year studying in New York City before returning to Uniontown as a private tutor. She married Victor H. Hanson on June 28, 1897 and moved with him to Montgomery, where he was employed with the Montgomery Advertiser. They moved to Birmingham in February 1909, where he purchased a one-third interest in the News, and took over as president and publisher at the death of Rufus Rhodes just over a year later.

Mrs Hanson was very active in local and national music clubs, serving four times as president of Birmingham's Music Study Club and on the board of directors for the National Federation of Music Clubs. She founded the statewide chapter, with 22 member clubs, on May 18, 1916 and was its first president.

She funded two scholarships granted by the federation for female music students at Women's College (now Huntingdon College) in Montgomery and the Alabama College for Women (now the University of Montevallo) in Montevallo as well as a scholarship for women from Alabama to study music at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. Huntingdon's Weenona Hanson Hall, erected as a dormitory in 1924, is named in her honor.

References

  • Owen, Thomas McAdory and Marie Bankhead Owen (1921) History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. 4 volumes. Chicago, Illinois: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
  • Musical Alabama (1925) Montgomery: Alabama Federation of Music Clubs/Paragon Press
  • Musical Alabama Volume 2 (1936) Federated Music Clubs of Alabama. Tuscaloosa: Weatherford Printing Company