San Francisco earthquake deaths historian passes away

This popped up on my news feed a few days ago. I remember reading about Gladys’ quest to document all the San Francisco 1906 earthquake deaths. Many historical and genealogical publications carried news of her search and request for information from others.

I hadn’t heard her name in several years and what make this news a bit strange is that I was recently thinking about her quest. Last year I wrote about possessing a pre-earthquake marriage record.

The news release stated “Gladys Hansen, San Francisco’s longtime city archivist, and a renowned expert on the city’s history, died last Sunday of the infirmities of old age. She was 91.

Mrs. Hansen was best known for her research on what she called the hidden history of the 1906 earthquake and fire. She believed the death toll from the disaster was much higher than the city admitted at the time. Her research showed that between 3,000 and 4,000 men and women died in the quake and the fires that followed, a number much higher than the official list of 478 people who lost their lives.”

I still need to read the book on the subject that she co-authored, Denial of Disaster.

The full article on her death and history is here on SF Gate.

© 2017, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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