Clayton Vince (CV) Hanna

                                                  (As told by Court with help from Howard and Mark)
“Boys, what would you rather do or go fishin?” Those were watch words on the Hanna Farm SW of Coolidge in the 1950’s and 60’s. Farming, mostly cotton, was important but it had its place and time and right then, it was time to go fishing.

For the record, Clay Hanna was born on the 2nd of March, 1911 in Burley, Idaho to George Albert Hanna and Mary Elvina Smith. He had two brothers, Herb and George and sisters, Bernice and Kerma. The 1920 US Census has them living and farming in Tucson; Clay came to Pinal County by way of Marana certainly by 1935 as a solo farmer and had hired hands by 1940 at the ripe old age of 29. Along the way he worked as a butcher at either or both Boree’s Market, 2 miles West of Coolidge and the Bell Boy Store East of Coolidge. Clay married Margie Lee Storie on March 5, 1950 and adopted her son G. Court in 1953. They had two more sons, Howard Clayton, born July 23, 1951 and Mark Woodman, born January 22, 1954. Mark brought into this world his only grandchildren, Chase Hanna and Lauryn Hanna, just starting their own lives as adults now.

Dad never seemed to tire of the farming life. Indeed he seemed to grow into it with each passing season. If alive today there is no doubt he would stand among the brightest and best Cotton farmers in terms of methodology, stewardship and production. And he would stand beside the best community leaders. It is wholly fitting that he is represented today in the present company of CHS Hall of Fame inductees.

Dad would never accept singular recognition for the accomplishments in his life. He always believed it was much more than a solo effort. Yet even in so believing, he was often at the very vanguard of leadership by example. His faith in his sons was evident even when they made mistakes so common to youth. As long as it was not a malicious or evil mistake, it was something to be learned from and could be forgiven.

When he joined the Coolidge School Board, becoming its president, that same care and concern for the “kids” was his overriding motivation. From his humble beginnings, growing up through the Great Depression, and he reaching only the tenth grade, Clay understood the value of education. Not just book learning, the three R’s if you will, but life lessons; whether on the farm, at a Boy Scout gathering or chairing the School Board he knew there was more to be taught. When the boys got home from school, it was homework first, then chores then time for play.

Dad passed away on February 23, 1965. Court had turned 18 the day prior, Howard was 13 and Mark 11 and Mom left to run the farm and raise the boys. It is a life story common to our culture certainly but no less painful in its effect. The successes we have had in our own lives are directly attributable to the teachings and parenting of Mr. C.V. Hanna. His life deserves to be the inspiration that it is. Who in this world cannot benefit from the words ….”What would you rather do or go fishin’?”

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