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Ephraim Knowlton Hanks (1826-1896) was born in Madison, Ohio, a son of Benjamin Hanks and Martha Knowlton. He became our uncle in 1848, in Salt Lake, by marrying our (3G) Aunt Harriet Amelia Decker Little, daughter of (3G) grandparents Isaac and Harriet Decker, widow for two years of Uncle (3G) Edwin Sobieski Little and mother of four-year-old cousin George Edwin Little. Ephraim adopted little George, and Harriet gave him another seven children.1

Folks have written books2 and spun endless yarns about our Uncle Eph Hanks. His adventures as a frontier scout and peripatetic entrepreneur compare in Wow!-content to his spiritual exploits. Like fellow-frontiersman Uncle Orrin Porter Rockwell, he left no personal journal, and so we have to take other people’s word for what we choose to believe. I’ll quote a few sources, some more reliable than others.

1Uncle Eph also had seven children by his second wife, Jane Capener, and twelve by his fourth, Thisbe Quilley Read Hanks.
2I’m particularly fond of two books that we owe to Sidney Alvarus Hanks, Eph’s seventh child by Thisbe:
Hanks, Sidney Alvarus, The Tempered Wind: The Life Story of Thisbe Read Hanks, and
Hanks, Sidney Alvarus and Hanks, Ephraim K, Scouting for the Mormons on the Great Frontier,
both out of print, but both available here and there. See And I have a PDF file of each, whether I should or not; you’re welcome to read them.

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