Robert M. Hanft was born March 17, 1914 to Jennie and Frank Hanft in Marinette, WI and passed November 29, 2004 in Paradise,
CA. He was married to Annabelle Jane Lester on April 7, 1942 in Long Prairie, MN. They were married 57 years. Annabelle
died Dec. 11, 1999 in Paradise, CA.
During the depression years, he could be found riding the rails, hobo style, to find work wherever he could. His passionate
interest in photography led him to start "Lakeside Photo Service" in Brainerd, MN in 1939. Hanft enlisted in the U.S. Army
from 1941-1945 where he was posted in Hollywood making army training films.
He educated himself with help from the G.I. Bill and achieved a B.A. in Psychology, a master’s degree in Business Administration
and a P.h.D. in Philosophy. During his working career, he was employed by Standard Oil, University of California, Berkeley;
California State University, Fresno and California State University, Chico. Hanft joined the faculty at California State
University, Chico in 1967, where he was named Professor Emeritus in Management.
He was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Fraternity, U.C. Berkeley Alumni Assn., U. of Washington Alumni Assn., The Nature Conservancy
and nearly every Railway and Trolley Historical Organization in the United States from Maine to California.
Hanft developed a historical collection of railroad and trolley photos from age 15 and on through his life.Hanft was the author
of three books on railroads; Red River: Paul Bunyan’s Own Lumber Company and its Railroads (1979); Pine Across the Mountain:
California’s McCloud River Railroad (1971); San Diego and Arizona Railway: The Impossible Railroad (1984).