John Fletcher Hanson (November 25, 1840 in Monroe County, Georgia – 1910) was a self-made industrialist who lived in Georgia and helped establish the Georgia School of Technology (later known as the Georgia Institute of Technology). The son of a farmer-preacher, Hanson learned about the brick and furniture industries in Barnesville, Georgia. He later moved to Macon, Georgia and started the Bibb Manufacturing Company in 1876; it was a textile company that built and acquired mills, particularly in Columbus, Georgia.
In 1881, Hanson became the principal owner of the Macon Telegraph and Messenger, a republican opponent of the democratic Atlanta Constitution. It was reportedly at Hanson's request that Harry Stillwell Edwards composed a March 2, 1882 editorial in the Macon Telegraph that promoted a polytechnic college in the state of Georgia, in order to create a skilled workforce.
Major Hanson was also instrumental in electing Nathaniel E. Harris, another strong proponent of a technical school, to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1882. It was Representative (later governor) Harris who introduced a bill in 1882 providing for the establishment of a state technical school, which was chartered in 1885 and opened in 1888, and eventually became Georgia Tech.
Through his connections, Hanson became president of the Central of Georgia Railroad in 1903. One of Georgia Tech's residence halls, Hanson Hall, built in 1961, was named in his honor. He died in 1910 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery (Macon, Georgia).
- Dunn, Lee C. 2016. Cracking the Solid South: The Life of John Fletcher Hanson, Father of Georgia Tech. Mercer University Press.
- McMath, Robert C.; Ronald H. Bayor; James E. Brittain; Lawrence Foster; August W. Giebelhaus; Germaine M. Reed. Engineering the New South: Georgia Tech 1885-1985. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
- "GAILLARD, Crawford County" (Georgia history, section G, page 3/93), PDF webpage: KKrakow-section-G.
- "The Hopkins Administration, 1888-1895". "A Thousand Wheels are set in Motion": The Building of Georgia Tech at the Turn of the 20th Century, 1888-1908. Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2006-12-30.
- "Major John Hanson Residence Hall". Georgia Tech Office of Institutional Research and Planning. Archived from the original on September 2, 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
- "History of Riverside Cemetery". Riverside Cemetery. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
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