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The Hankinson Family

The Hankinson Family

by Sue Hunter Weir The Hankinson family monument is one of the most substantial and well preserved of the cemetery”'s early markers. Although it is now surrounded by many other graves, when Myrtle Hankinson was buried in 1870, the Hankinson family plot was the only one in Section G, near what was then the cemetery”'s northern boundary. Most of the other family plots in use at the time were located near the Lake Street side of the cemetery, but the Hankinsons chose a burial site nearly a block away. Their marker, sitting alone in one full section of the cemetery must have been an imposing site. Myrtle was the six-day-old daughter of Richard H. and Sarah Martin Hankinson. Her parents were married in Minneapolis on January 20, 1868. A little over a year later, in late April 1870, Myrtle was born but died soon after from valvular insufficiency (a heart defect). Four years later, her parents had another daughter, Olive. Olive died on July 29, 1874, at the age of five months and 20 days; the cause of her death was not recorded. One year later, Sarah, the girls”' mother, died from “softening of the brain,” at the age of 28 and was buried next to her two daughters. Richard Hankinson, the girls”' father, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1842. In 1861, at the age of 19, he enlisted in Company D, Eighth Michigan Volunteer Infantry. He served until he was discharged for disability (a gun shot wound in his left wrist) in January 1863. Nine months later, in October 1863, he re-enlisted, this time in the Thirteenth Michigan Light Artillery where he served until the end of the war. At that point he moved to Minneapolis and began his career with the Northwestern Telegraph Company. He started out repairing telegraph lines, but after four years was promoted to superintendent of construction, and after three more years, he was promoted to assistant general superintendent. (more…)

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