Mildred Ruth Hansen Dawson
1905 - 1992
Mildred Hanson Dawson was an accomplished pianist and organist who taught in Seventh-day Adventist schools in the late 1920s and 1930s in the Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon, areas and later in Southern California. She and her sister, Grace, a violinist, toured widely in their younger years and played frequently together later in life.
Mildred was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 28, 1905, the older of two daughters of William A. and Margaret Ugland Hansen. Both she and her sister were talented children who grew up in Chicago and had excellent training in piano and violin, respectively. Mildred started piano lessons at an early age and graduated from the American Conservatory of Music, where she was awarded the Frank La Forge Award in performance. She launched a concert career when she performed with the Chicago Orchestra at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. She and her sister subsequently toured widely as soloists.
They were hired to teach violin and piano at Chicago Conference Academy in the fall of 1926, three years after it was founded. They then taught together at Laurelwood Academy, beginning in 1929 and continuing until 1932. At that time Mildred married Herbert Mitchel Dawson.
The Dawsons resided in the Midwest for a short time, where she taught piano at Broadview Junior College, now Broadview Academy, in Illinois for a year. They eventually settled in California, where she performed as the pianist in oratorio productions at Pacific Union College and other SDA institutions in central and southern California, taught at SDA schools in the Los Angeles area, and served for many years as Sabbath School organist at the Glendale SDA Church. She frequently performed as a soloist and with her sister in Adventist churches.
She was living in Santa Ana, California, when she died on February 27, 1992, at age 86.
Sources: 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census Records; Lake Union Herald, 18 August 1926, 4; 5 May 1936, 4; North Pacific Union Gleaner, 20 August 1929, 12; 8 October 1929, 2; 11 November 1930,12; Pacific Union Recorder, 7 December 1953, 4; 5 April 1954, 3; 6 December 1954, 5; 25 March 1963, 4; HansonBodins Family Tree, Ancestory.com; SDA Yearbooks, 1932-35.