Brinkerhoff�s History of Marion County Illinois

By Prof. J.H.G. Brinkerhoff
B.F. Bowen & Company, Publishers
Indianapolis, Indiana
Pages 541-542.


When it is stated that the subject of this review had made his home for more than half a century on the fine farmstead in Omega township, where he now resides, there comes the incidental revelation that he is to be numbered among the pioneers of the county, although he was not of that body of stern-visaged men who blazed the trails of the early settlers. However, Mr. Hanks was among those who followed in the footsteps of the first settler and helped carry on the glorious work which they began to such opulent issues as we see today.

James S. Hanks was born in Warrick county, Indiana, August 14, 1851, the son of Nicholas A. and Cassinda (Anderson) Hanks, being the second son in order of birth in a family of eight children, composed of an equal number of boys and girls. The early education of our subject was obtained in the district schools of his own home. He left the school room when eighteen years old and went to work for his father on the farm. Nicholas A. Hanks was born in Kentucky in 1799. His father, William Hanks, was the brother of Nancy Hanks, mother of Abraham Lincoln. Nicholas A. Hanks A. Hanks died at the age of eighty-one years in the year of 1880, in Marion county, Illinois.

When James S. Hanks reached maturity he married his first wife, Nancy Simons, October 24, 1878, and to this union three children were born, namely: Lulu, deceased; Ollie married Maud Phillips and lives in Xenia, Clay county, Illinois; Lloyd married Bessie Combs and they live in Omega township. The subject�s first wife passed to her rest March 10, 1885, and Mr. Hanks was married a second time, his last wife being Mrs. Laura Connelly, of Clay county, Illinois. Her maiden name was Laura Monical, the daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Allen) Monical, she being the eighth child in order of birth in a family of eight children, an equal number of boys and girls. To our subject�s second marriage the following children were born: Fred and Guy, both living at home.

James S. Hanks owns the old homestead where he lives a very prosperous and comfortable live, having lived here for the past fifty-five years, during which time he has noted the great progress that has taken place in the community around him, and he has so carefully managed this farm that it is a productive today as it was when he first took charge of it. He owns two hundred and forth-five acres, nearly all of which is under cultivation. He has a fine orchard of two acres, consisting of a splendid variety of trees. He owns a good grade of live stock being an especially good judge of cattle and horses sired from Bonny Blaze, Eclipse, Junior; also Morgan and Coach, all well known and much admired by all who have seen them. He also owns some fine running stock which are prize takers. He always keeps a large number of fine Poland China hogs which he prepares for market, feeding the corn that the place produces to them and his other stock. His cattle are mostly Herefords and Durhams.

There is a vast improvement in Mr. Hanks� place compared with half a century ago, when he first began to work on it. He cleared the major portion of the same and placed it under the plow and harvester. He has shown by his able management of the farm and the business connected therewith that he possesses great natural ability as an agriculturist, and never neglects his opportunities. He has served his county most efficiently as Supervisor of Omega township for two terms; as Highway Commissioner for one term.

Politically he is a Democrat and always takes a great interest in his party�s affairs, believing in placing the best men possible in the local offices. He cast his first vote for Horace Greeley. In religious matters his mother and wife are members of the Methodist church. His father was never a member of any orthodox body of believers, neither was our subject. He carries his Christianity in his deeds of kindness and good cheer and actual benevolence. He loves nature in all its forms, and is a pleasant man to know.



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