Monday, February 13, 2012

Meneely Hitchcock Hanks (1842-1882)

Portrait courtesy of Find-a-Grave.

   When it comes to compiling profiles for some of these obscure politicians, some are easier to research than others. On more than one occasion I've been surprised by the amount of information that comes to light when "digging up the dirt" on some of these long-dead individuals! On the flip side of that coin, however, a great many of these elected officials have just one or two snippets to work off of, and worse yet, some have only one source mentioning their name and whatever office they may have held.
   Our subject today falls into the latter category. Mr. Meneely Hitchcock Hanks was a 19th century resident of Tolland County, Connecticut, and his political service was that of a representative in the Connecticut State Legislature for one term in 1869. I discovered Hank's name in an 1881 work entitled the Roll of State Officers and Members of the General Assembly, 1776-1881. This particular work has proven to be quite the blessing when it comes to new names to post here, of which Meneely H. Hanks is the most recent addition.
  Other than the mention of his service in his state's legislature, little else can be found on Hank's life. The Find A Grave website (where the above picture of Hanks was found) indicates that he was born on May 12, 1842, in the town of Mansfield, Connecticut, the son of Edmund and Achsah Loomis Turner Hanks. Meneely Hanks later married Martha Royce on May 2, 1865, and they later had one son, Edward M. Hanks, who died at age 24 in 1896.
   Meneely H. Hanks was elected to the Connecticut State House of Representatives in 1869, where he served but one term. Research indicates that he was the owner of a gristmill at some point during the 1870s and he sold this property to "a man from Ellington" in April 1881. Meneely H. Hanks died shortly before his 40th birthday on April 8, 1882, in his native town of Mansfield. It is known that he was survived by both his wife and mother, who died in 1909 and 1887, respectively.

You Can Help!
  I am currently searching for more information on the life of Meneely Hitchcock Hanks and need your assistance! As there is next to nothing available online information wise on this interestingly named man, maybe someone out there knows more than what is already stated in this article! If any reader/lurker/amateur historian wants an interesting project to fill their time with, see what you can dig up on this obscure Connecticut resident!

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