Warner was born in the valley of Gudbrandsdalen in Oppland, Norway. He emigrated to the United States in 1849 and settled in Dodge County, Wisconsin. In 1855, Warner settled in Ellsworth, Pierce County, Wisconsin. He was in general business and farming. Warner served in the 37th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. From 1869 to 1877, Warner served as county clerk for Pierce County. He then served as that state's 12th Secretary of State, serving two terms from January 7, 1878, until January 2, 1882. He was a Republican and served under Governor William E. Smith. From 1883 to 1887, Warner served in the Wisconsin State Senate. He then served as president of the Wisconsin Board of Control until his death. Warner died at his home in Ellsworth, Wisconsin and was buried at Maple Grove Cemetery.
- William J. Anderson; William A. Anderson, eds. (1929). The Wisconsin Blue Book 1929. Madison: Democrat Printing Company. p. 144.
- Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (ed.). "Chapter 8: Statistical Information on Wisconsin" (PDF). State of Wisconsin 2007–2008 Blue Book. Madison: Wisconsin Legislature Joint Committee on Legislative Organization. p. 721.
- Heg, James E. (comp.). The Blue Book of the State of Wisconsin. Madison: Democrat Printing Co., 885, p. 423-424.
- "Hans Warner Dead". Wisconsin State Journal, August 18, 1896, p. 4.
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