They were raised in a orphanage in Moline IL.
"The John Brown Home for Contrite Boys". This home was for wayward boys that wished to turn over a new leaf in life. In the sad case of The Hannies they were all young boys and ruffians..picked up by the police for a mixed bag of petty crimes and living on the streets. The charges against them ranged from stealing chickens to defacing U.S.currency . Another odd aspect of the lads is that they have no last name.
They each arrived at the John Brown Home with no birth records or any idea of their last names.
Never-the-less, from the start all of the boys had a bond... and that has developed into a brotherhood.
The name "The Hannies" is a name they all took, out of respect for a fry cook in a small eatery near the John Brown Home. His name was "Slappy Hannie " .
He was the first person to see the talent in
"Works Hannie" ( the oldest ).
After his shift "Slappy" would take "Works " out back and show him chords on a old guitar he had. This to was to be pivotal in the development of "Works " guitar style. Slappys guitar had only 4 strings on it, so "Works " was destined to become the "Master of the 4-string guitar". A trade mark of "The Hannies ".
"Silvain Hannie" (Drums, percussion) His story starts off with his being left at the door of the Slingerland Drum Company in Chicago IL. There he was found and taken in by a street person by the name of Crazy Jill. Jill was kind but crazy. The night watchman would let Jill and Silvain stay in one of the storage sheds on cold nights. This was Silvains' first exposure to the world of Drums. After the passing of Jill, Silvain was left on his own and soon found himself at the John Brown Home and in a life long Brotherhood.
"Atticus Hannie" His story begins with the "Leach & Dingle Circus". It was crossing the North Atlantic for its yearly European tour aboard the freighter the "S.S. Madame Shick". A fight broke out between Matt "The Egg Sucking Chinchilla Boy" and "First Mate D. McFarb", over two dozen missing duck eggs that were stage props. As the account is told, push came to shove, with dire results. With a quickness that McFarb did not expect the Chinchilla Boy flipped McFard into a steam valve. The 240 pound McFarb crimped the valve off, causing the boiler to over heat and explode. This created a 17 inch hole in the side of the S.S. Madame Shick. It was sent to the deep in 28 minutes. Of the 19 man crew and 140 Circus performers, only 60 were alive when the rescue ships arrived. Among those rescued was a 7 year old boy found floating in a box marked "Bombay". In the box along with the boy was three stringed instruments: a Banjo , Oiud and a Sitar. After arriving back in the U.S., Atticus and his instruments were placed in the John Brown Home were a love of music and performing soon had him becoming fast friends with Silvain. As a member of the Hannies, Atticus brings to the band a exotic style of string play, the perfect counter-point to Works Hannie.