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George C. Hansen

Portrait & text George C Hansen City Surveyor(1885-1857,1862-1864,1865-1868,1869-1870)

George Hansen was one of the first Civil Engineers to make his home in what is now the Los Angeles County. Born in 1824 in Fiume, Austria, he came to California via Peru and Cape Born in 1850. He became established in Los Angeles in 1853, a place where he would spend the remainder of his life.

In the early 1850s, Major Henry Hancock was employed by the City of Los Angeles to survey the city and from 1853 to 1854, Mr. Hansen assisted Major Hancock in this undertaking. His biography states that "in 1855 he was himself elected City Surveyor and served until May of 1857. He served again in this capacity during 1862 1870; from December of 1882 to the following April he occupied the double office of City Engineer and Surveyor."

When the Canal and Reservoir Company was organized with a capital of $200,000 in 1868, Mr. Hansen was chosen president. This company contracted to build a dam twenty feet high across the canyon where Echo Park is now located in order to supply water to hill sections of the city.

In the many problem and projects concerning public and private ownership of the city's water supply, which occupied politicians and officials of the early days, Mr. Hansen was a moving figure.

Mr. Hansen was the superintendent who perfected and directed the plan for a German colonization settlement on the barren sandy wastes of Anaheim in 1857. The colony was organized as the Los Angeles Vineyard Company, under a board of trustees and as designed, it was the largest vineyard in the world.

Historians quote Mr. Hansen as being a man possessing unusual erudition for the times. In addition to his native German and French, he spoke English and Spanish and was said to have a knowledge of some of the dead languages.

Though a popular member of society, he remained a bachelor. Upon his death, which occurred November 10, 1897, he left his estate to his partner, who was also his adopted son, Alfred S. Solano.

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