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    Genealogical research about Ephraim Knowlton Hanks, his family, and his ancestors.
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Ephraim K. Hanks

This page was a precursor to what is all now on the HanksPlace Wiki. You can find lots more about Eph and his family on the Eph Hanks wiki page. Enjoy!

Biographical Sketch

Ephraim Knowlton Hanks was born 21 March, 1826, in Madison, Lake County, Ohio, to Benjamin Hanks and Martha Knowlton. At 16 years of age, Eph ran away from home, and worked on the Erie Canal for a few months. He subsequently signed up for what he thought to be a 'freighting job on the ocean' which turned out to be a nearly 3-year stint with the Navy as a 'first class boy' on board the man-of-war USS Columbus. He returned home to his native Ohio after this voyage and found his brother Sidney had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Eph himself was soon converted to the church's teachings and became a member in 1845. In time he left Nauvoo, Illinois with many of the members of the church and started on the trek West with them. While on the trek West he left the main body of the emigrants with the Mormon Battalion, and marched with them to San Diego, as a private in Company B. Eph eventually arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and soon after married Harriett Amelia Decker. In time he married 3 other women in plural marriage, Jane Maria Capener, Hannah Hardy, and Thisbe Quilley Read. In 1856, Eph played a role in the rescue of the Martin handcart company.
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A biographical sketch from the Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia (Contributed by Sherry Smith).

Books that have been written about Eph, and his family

Blog entries from this site related to Eph

Books, articles, and such that make mention of Eph:

Documents hosted on this site:

Miscellaneous items:


A small portrait. Source unknown.

A young ephraim. Contributed by Sherry Smith.
Ephraim in later years. Contributed by Sherry Smith.
Harriet Decker and Jane Capener, wives of Ephraim Hanks. Contributed by Sherry Smith. If you're curious about the text at the bottom of the image, I believe the image was copied out of The Tempered Wind (available in its entirety in the Books section above.. The text refers to the following excerpt about the day Ephraim married Thisbe Read:

When Eph came for her he laughed and joked. "Where's Thisbe?" he asked Thisbe when she rushed to open the door to his knock. "Yesterday I left a young-un here and today I find a great lady." Then he grew sober, "Harriet and Jane will meet us at the Endowment House. Everything will be in order." They waited for Ma to smooth her hair, then the three walked together toward the Endowment House."
Thisbe Read, wife of Ephraim Hanks. Contributed by Sherry Smith.

© 2008, Daniel C. Hanks