The Definitive Dwiggins no. 190—Henry King Hannah and Frederick Siegfried

Several members of W.A. Dwiggins’ family on his mother’s side—the Siegfrieds and Hannahs—played roles in his professional career. I have already detailed the substantial place that his first cousin Laurance B. Siegfried (1892–1978) occupied vis a vis Dwiggins in The Definitive Dwiggins no. 93. This post focuses on Henry King Hannah (1865–1920), Laurance’s brother-in-law, and his older brother Frederick.

Henry King Hannah was born in 1865 in Georgetown, Ohio in the southern part of the state to William Henry and Ella Hannah. [1] His family moved during his childhood to Augusta, Kentucky, thirteen miles away on the banks of the Ohio River. He was still there in 1880, but the next sighting of him is in Boston in 1890 where he is working as a salesman. His younger brother Samuel Dudley Hannah is also in Boston at that time, working as an advertising clerk. [2] How the two Hannahs ended up in New England is unknown, but for the next several years their fortunes were closely intertwined. By 1892 Henry was listed as a partner in Sherman, Hannah & Co. and Samuel had started S. Dudley & Co. Both businesses were real estate firms located in the Ames Building in downtown Boston. The two brothers continued to dabble in real estate in the Boston area and on Cape Cod through the end of the 1890s, sometimes with property being exchanged between their two companies. [3]

However, at some point in the first half of the decade Henry King Hannah had decided to become a minister and enrolled in the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge. He received his degree in 1896 and that year was one of the fourth-prize winners in the Newspaper Sermon Association contest for the best sermon for newspaper publication. Hannah married Mary E. Siegfried, the older sister of Laurance B. Siegfried, in October 1897 in Philadelphia. In May 1898 he became the rector of Trinity Church in Concord, Massachusetts. Seven years later Hannah’s household included himself, his wife Mary, three sons, his wife’s youngest brother Laurance B. Siegfried, his wife’s grandmother Margaret Hetrick, and two servants. The financial burdens of supporting such a large household led him to resign his rectorship in October 1906 and move the family to Montclair, New Jersey where his brother-in-law Frederick H. Siegfried was then living. [4]

Cover of The Bible for the Sick: A Compilation by Henry King Hannah (New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1905). Design, illustration, and lettering by W.A. Dwiggins. Image courtesy of Trinity Episcopal Church, Concord, Massachusetts.

Frederick H. Siegfried was the second child of Addison and Mary H. Siegfried, falling between Mary E. and Laurance. He was born in 1876 in Louisville, Kentucky. [5] The family moved to Montclair in 1884 when his father became the eastern representative in New York for the Chicago Daily News. But in 1893 Addison Siegfried became the general manager of the Ladies’ Home Journal and the family moved to Philadelphia. [6] Frederick attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1898. That same year he married Mary L. Delano and moved to Boston to work for The Boston Globe. While working as a reporter for the newspaper he was also active in real estate circles. In November 1898 he joined with Samuel D. Hannah and John Summer to form Tacon Realty Co. Presumably he met Samuel Hannah through his sister Mary’s marriage to Henry King Hannah the year before. [7]

Frederick Siegfried did not remain in Boston for long. He moved to New York in the latter half of 1900 where he initially worked for The New York Herald before becoming the business manager of The Engineering Record, published by the McGraw-Hill Book Company, in 1902. Following that job he was the executive head of unnamed textile and pharmaceutical publishing companies. [8]

In 1907 Henry King Hannah and Frederick Siegfried joined forces on an array of business ventures. They formed The North Jersey Realty Company in January; The Morris and Essex Realty Company in February; The Watsessing Trust Company in May; and the Realty News Bureau in November. At some point prior to November Siegfried established the Siegfried Advertising Agency and the two of them founded Hannah & Siegfried, a real estate concern. They had offices at 21 Park Row in New York City for the latter two entities. [9] The Realty News Bureau was created to promote real estate development in Brooklyn where the Siegfried Advertising Agency had many clients. To achieve the same ends in rural Staten Island the brothers-in-law helped form the Staten Island Publicity Association. [10] Additionally, Siegfried was a charter member of the New York Advertising Agents’ Association when it was established in 1911.

Advertisement for Henry King Hannah Advertising in Printers’ Ink (December 22, 1910), p. 95. Lettering by W.A. Dwiggins.

Hannah, independently of Siegfried, set up as an advertising agent in June 1909 with offices located at 277 Broadway in New York. He specialized in advertising for the insurance industry, but also handled the New York Stock Exchange and various banks. Who’s Who in Advertising said this of Hannah in 1916:

Responsible for the first modern fire insurance advertising campaign, that of the Hartford Fire Insurance Company. Also identified with success of Travelers and Aetna Insurance Companies’ advertising campaigns. His slogan that of “Aetnaize.” Was first to use white margin of advertising page for coupon. [11]

Hannah continued in both the real estate and advertising businesses until at least 1918 and possibly until his death. In December 1914 he organized the Mern Products Corporation, a manufacturer of fertilizers and related items. [12] Both he and his brother Samuel were listed as officers of The Publicity Patents Corporation, which had been formed in 1914—though to what end is unclear. [13] Hannah also dabbled in tourism around 1916 and continued to preach on occasion in Montclair. He also painted watercolors which were exhibited. [13]

Comp for check for The Nassau National Bank of Brooklyn by W.A. Dwiggins (1911). Image courtesy of Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College.

Meanwhile, Frederick Siegfried also continued working in the advertising and real estate fields. [15] In 1914 he established the Advertisers’ Service Bureau in Montclair to serve the advertising needs of local businesses. At some point he also became the publisher of the Montclair Theatre Bulletin, a business he sold in July 1917. Siegfried was also active in the civic affairs of Montclair. He died in Redlands, California on May 26, 1918. Henry King Hannah died two years later on July 22, 1920. [16]

Between 1905 and 1913 Henry King Hannah and Frederick H. Siegfried commissioned ten known jobs from W.A. Dwiggins. The first two were from Hannah during the latter years of his tenure as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord. In 1905 he asked Dwiggins to design the cover of his book The Bible for the Sick: A Compilation (New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1905) and in January 1907 he commissioned a bronze plaque, presumably for the church. [17]

In 1908 the Siegfried Advertising Agency asked Dwiggins for a letterhead for the Hannah-Siegfried Co., the real estate venture of the brothers-in-law. In March 1909 the agency had Dwiggins design a “paperhead” (masthead?) for The Hartford Agent, a house organ published by The Hartford Fire Insurance Company to keep their field agents in touch with the home office. Dwiggins create initial letters and an illustration of an elk for it. [18] The first issue of The Hartford Agent was June 1909. That month, Hannah apparently decided to sever connections with Siegfried since he commissioned Dwiggins to design a letterhead for himself. After that Dwiggins only did jobs for Hannah and none for his cousin. [19]

The jobs that Hannah gave Dwiggins’ were sparse, only five over the next four years: lettering for The Nassau National Bank of Brooklyn in 1911; a border for a Travelers Life Insurance Company advertisement in 1911; some unspecified lettering for the Travelers Life insurance Company in 1913; a notice card for Hannah himself in 1913, and lettering for a Prudential Insurance advertisement in 1915. [20]

Other than the cover for The Bible for the Sick, the jobs that Dwiggins did for Henry King Hannah and Frederick H. Siegfried were minor items. They are chiefly of interest for exposing the importance of personal contacts (especially family ones) for designers acquiring clients and jobs. And for seeing his first efforts with clients outside of New England.

1. The Montclair Times 24 July 1920; and
2. Samuel Dudley Hannah was born in 1867. He is recorded in Census reports as Dudley Hannah but in city directories and newspaper accounts he is Samuel D. Hannah.
3. The details of Henry King Hannah’s whereabouts and those of his brother Samuel Dudley Hannah in the 1890s are taken from various city directories accessible at
4. For Henry King Hannah’s rectorship and household in Concord, Massachusetts see The Definitive Dwiggins no. 190, notes 3–5. Margaret Heterick [sic] died January 12, 1913 in Georgetown, Ohio. See The Montclair Times 18 January 1913. The obituary indicated that she had lived in Montclair, but no dates were provided.
5. New Jersey State Census of 1915 and The Montclair Times 1 June 1918.
6. Of the numerous obituaries for Addison H. Siegfried the most reliable is The Montclair Times 21 September 1895. He was described variously as the editor, the general manager, and the business manager of the Ladies’ Home Journal.
7. Information on Frederick H. Siegfried in the 1890s comes from various city directories accessed at and from The Boston Globe accessed at His first known foray onto Boston real estate occurred in March 1897 while he was still at college when he purchased seven single-story buildings in Revere from Sherman, Hannah & Co. He is identified as a reporter for The Boston Globe in the 1900 United States Census. His obituary says that he worked for The Boston Herald but provides no dates. See The New York Times 28 May 1918.
8. This information on Frederick Siegfried’s activities between 1900 and 1907 comes from his obituary in The Montclair Times 1 June 1918.
9. The various Siegfried and Hannah real estate companies are mentioned in The New York Times 30 January 1907; The New York Tribune 17 February 1907; The [New York] Sun 5 May 1907; and The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2 November 1907. Apparently, the formation of the Watsessing Trust Company was stalled due to The Panic of 1907 and in 1909 Hannah and Siegfried sold their interest in it. See The Montclair Times 6 March 1909. Their New York advertising and real estate businesses are listed in Trow General Directory of the Boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx City of New York for the year 1908 Ending August 1, 1908 (New York: Trow Directory, Printing and Bookbinding Company, 1908). In the latter Hannah is also listed as being in advertising, probably as part of his brother-in-law’s agency.
10. See The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2 November 1907.
11. Who’s Who in Advertising 1916 (Detroit: Business Service Corporation) pp. 31–32. Also see Printers’ Ink vol. LXXIII, no. 11 (December 15, 1910), p. 47.
12. It is unclear who the organizers of the Mern Products Corporation were besides Hannah. The American Fertilizer vol. XLI, no. 12 (December 12, 1914), p. 34 listed Guy Patton, H.K. Hannan [sic] and L.B. Siegfried; Steel and Iron (January 18, 1915), p. 105 listed J. Harold Dutcher, Henry Hannan [sic], and Lawrence [sic] B. Siegfried; and the Directory of Directors in the City of New York (New York: Directory of Directors Company, 1915), p. 288 and R.L. Polk & Co.’s Trow General Directory of New York Embracing the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx 1917 (New York: R.L. Polk & Co., Inc., Publishers, 1917) listed Henry King Hannah as president and his brother Samuel D. Hannah as vice-president. (Samuel was also listed as working for the Church Motion Picture Service company and living in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts; and Guy Patton was listed as an advertising agent.) In 1915 Laurance B. Siegfried, Frederick’s younger brother, was living in Boston. See The Definitive Dwiggins no. 93.
13. Henry King Hannah was the treasurer and Samuel D. Hannah was the secretary. See Directory of Directors in the City of New York (New York: Directory of Directors Company, 1915), p. 288. Arthur M. Langworthy was the president. See R.L. Polk & Co.’s 1915 Trow New York Copartnership and Corporation Directory Boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx (New York: R.L. Polk & Co. (Inc.), 1915),  p. 839. Previously, the Hannah brothers were trustees of The Homestead Trust, presumably a real estate investment company. See The Montclair Times 18 December 1915.
14. For Hannah’s preaching and artistic activities see his obituary in The Montclair Times 24 July 1920. There are also a number of issues of The Montclair Times that record occasions on which he either preached or officiated at a wedding.
15. In 1913 Siegfried was listed as being in the advertising business at 50 Church Street, New York with Samuel D. Hannah. Boston newspapers indicate that Hannah was living in New York as early as 1910, but he is not listed in the New York City or Montclair directories for 1910 to 1912. He moved to Buzzards Bay in 1917.
16. See Siegfried’s obituaries in The New York Times 28 May 1918 and The Montclair Times 1 June 1918; and Hannah’s obituary in The Montclair Times 24 July 1920. Siegfried had gone to Redlands in December 1917 for his health which apparently had been poor for a decade. See The Montclair Times 29 December 1917.
17. See the entries for 19 July 1905 and 30 January 1907 in Dwiggins’ account books. Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 81(1), Folder 2. The Bible for the Sick cover is the first entry in Dwiggins’ account book, indicating that it was his first job after setting himself up as a freelance artist in Hingham in the spring of 1905. Neither it nor Hannah are mentioned in W.A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design by Bruce Kennett (San Francisco: Letterform Archive, 2017). Trinity Episcopal Church has no surviving records about a bronze plaque being commissioned in 1907.
18. See the entries for 20 November 1908 and 26 March 1909 in Dwiggins’ account books. Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 81(1), Folder 2. An advertisement for the Hartford Fire Insurance Company designed by Henry King Hannah has an illustration of a stag that might be by Dwiggins, though I am skeptical. See The Graphic Arts vol. I, no. 6 (June 1911), p. 439. Similarly, although Dwiggins created a border for advertisements by The Travelers Life Insurance Company, I doubt that it is the simple one seen reproduced in “A Series of Distinguished Advertisements Prepared by Henry King Hannah, 277 Broadway, New York, for The Travelers Insurance Company, Aetna Life Insurance Company, and The Hartford Fire Insurance Company” in The Graphic Arts vol. III, no. 6 (June 1912), pp. 447 and 448.
19. See the entry for 26 June 1909 in Dwiggins’ account books. Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 81(1), Folder 2.
20. See the entries for 15 February 1911, 13 June 1912, 18 October 1911, 24 January 1913, 5 May 1913, and 27 May 1915 in Dwiggins’ account books. Boston Public Library, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Box 81(1), Folder 2. The notice may have been for one of Hannah’s many businesses.