Ephraim K. HanksThis 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!
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.
A biographical sketch from the Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia (Contributed by Sherry Smith).
Books that have been written about Eph, and his family
Scouting for the Mormons on the Great Frontier, by Sidney A Hanks and Eprhaim K. Hanks. Salt Lake City; The Deseret News Press, 1948. This is a novel depicting Eph's life, written by Sidney Alvarus Hanks (a son) and E. Kay Hanks (a grandson). The original printing is available at the BYU Harold B. Lee Library (Call number BX 8670.1 .H19h). You can also sometimes find original copies at used bookstores, but they're rare. I have created a new, attractively-typeset version of the book available via Lulu.com at a modest cost, available to anyone who would like a copy.
The Tempered Wind, by Sidney Alvarus Hanks. This is a biography of Thisbe Read, who was a wife of Ephraim Hanks, written by their son. It's a beautiful story and offers a picture of Eph and his family that I hadn't really seen before. It was transcribed into an electronic format by Doug Allen, who has very kindly provided me with a copy, so I could put it up here. You should be able to open it in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, WordPad (but perhaps without all the formatting, footnotes might look funny too), or any Word Processor that can open Word files. It's a big download for a modem connection (would probably take at least half an hour or so, I imagine), but it's definitely worth it. I've also made it available as online HTML (thanks to OpenOffice), so you can read it that way as an option as well. I'd eventually like to make hard copies of the book available for purchase through sometihing like lulu.com, barring any copyright issues, and with permission of the family. There is also a hard copy available in the Special Collections of the BYU Harold B. Lee Library. Call number BX 8670.07 .H194.
From a histrical perspective, Sherry Smith tells me there are a few innacuracies in the book with respect to Thisbe's older siblings, but overall it's pretty reliable.
Microsoft Word Format (4.4MB -- Big!)
Eph Hanks, pioneer scout Richard K. Hanks Master's Thesis. BYU Harold B. Lee Library call number BL 19.02 .H365 1973. This is a very well researched work. Very much worth reading.
Eph Hanks: Fearless Mormon Scout, by Ivan J. Barrett. Published 1990, by Covenant Communications, Inc. According to the book itself it "is based on the life of Ephraim K. Hanks and has been carefully researched. However, the story is fictionalized and does not purport to be accurate in every detail." There are copies available at Amazon.com. A very good read.
- Descendants of Ephraim Knowlton Hanks. Complied by Teton Jackman Hanks, and printed in 1959. There are quite a few copies floating around among the older living descendants of Ephraim Hanks. Although somewhat dated, this has been an invaluable help in locating Eph's descendants.
Blog entries from this site related to Eph
- 2004-01-04 The Tempered Wind, and other site news
- 2004-01-26 HTML version of The Tempered Wind
- 2004-04-11 USS Columbus
- 2004-05-04 Eph Hanks on the USS Columbus
- 2004-06-01 Eph Hanks' grave
- 2004-06-29 More on the USS Columbus
- 2004-07-01 Ships of the Line
- 2004-07-11 Man of War Life
- 2004-07-30 Mormon Handcart Pageant
- 2004-09-12 Ships plans for the USS Columbus
- 2004-09-26 Hanks Ancestry
- 2004-09-26 House keeping
- 2004-09-26 Mention of Eph Hanks in a discourse by Heber C. Kimball
- 2004-12-05 More pictures of the USS Columbus
- 2004-12-08 References to Ephraim Hanks
- 2004-12-12 And yet more references to Ephraim Hanks
- 2004-12-28 Pension request letter from Ephraim Hanks to the Navy
Books, articles, and such that make mention of Eph:
Rescue of the 1856 Handcart Companies, by Rebecca Bartholomew and Leonard J. Arrington
A very good book that describes the various rescue efforts for the handcart pioneers of 1856. Mentions Eph a few times. You can purchase a copy at the book's website.
- Remarks at the funeral of President Jedediah M. Grant by President Heber C. Kimbal on 4 December, 1856. Mentions Eph in passing in connection with the recent handcart rescue (see paragrahs 22 and 23).
Documents hosted on this site:
- A collection of pension, marriage, death and other records transcribed and contributed by Sherry Smith.
- Ephraim Hanks patriarchal blessing
- If you search for "Ephraim Hanks" in the gospel library at lds.org, there's a _lot_ of stuff that comes up.
- The path to obedience, a talk given by President James E. Faust, in which he tells the story of the handcart rescue.
- Day of the Buffalo, fictional account, by Laird Roberts, New Era, July 1984, 15
- Time of Ripening, about Sidney A. Hanks
- "Ephraim Hanks: Obeying the spirit", a painting of Ephraim Hanks, by clark Kelley Price.
- Fire of the Covenant, by Gerald N. Lund. Available at Deseretbook.com or Amazon.com
- Link in all the stuff you currently have about Eph in the Library section
- Journal of Andrew Allen Jackson (1818-1884). (BYU Call number BX 8670.1 .AL54) "activities opposing Johnston's Army with Orrin Porter Rockwell, Lot Smith, and Ephraim Hanks"
- The murder of the deaf and dumb boy in Utah (BYU Call Number AC 901 .A1 no.425)
- Men of the Rockies, people I have known in the shadow of the hills Hanks, N. C. (Nymphus Coridon), 1882-1955. (BYU Call number F 825 .H3 1944)
- The handcart companies of 1856 and Arza Erastus Hinkley, 1980 Paul, Earl Stanley, 1889- BYU Call number MSS SC 1770
- Articles or other documents. This could also include the plat map from Capitol reef (note to self: Post this document on the site so everyone else can enjoy it...).
|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