Anton Hansen was born on January 30, 1878 as the family’s fourth son. At the age of eight Anton became a student at Sääsküla Parish School, situated 10 km from his home farm, and studied there for two years. Anton’s educational path next led him to Prümli School (35 km from home) where a relative served as a teacher. The youngster, eager to learn, thereafter continued his studies at Väike-Maarja Parish School (1896-1897) and Tartu Hugo Treffner Private Gymnasium (1898-1903).
During his Gymnasium years, the boy that dabbled in composing verses for his own amusement became an author of realistic village stories, adopting the pseudonym A. H. Tammsaare. The writer’s closer ties with his home farm were cut in the course of his pursuit of education. He visited Tammsaare-Põhja (Tammsaare-North) Farm only a few more times.
In 1903-1907 Tammsaare kept busy as a journalist in Tallinn, thereafter continuing his studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tartu (1907-1911). A serious pulmonary condition forced the writer to take action to restore his health. He took up residence with his brother in a solitary Koitjärve (Dawn Lake) forest village. For further recuperation, Tammsaare traveled far, to the Black Sea, staying in the Estonian village in Krasnaya Polyana.
Anton Hansen Tammsaare emerged as a mature author alongside the birth of the Republic of Estonia. All of Tammsaare’s more important works were published in 1922-1939. In 1920 Anton married Käthe Amalie Veltmann (1896-1979) and settled in Tallinn. Käthe and Anton had two children: daughter Riita (1921 – 2004) and son Erik (1928 – 1980).
As from 1932 the Hansens resided in the apartment at Koidula 12A in Tallinn’s city district of Kadriorg; their residence today houses an A. H. Tammsaare Museum.
The writer died on March 1, 1940 at home in Kadriorg.