Eph Hanks Pioneer Scout



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B. NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS
The Contributor (Salt Lake City), 1893.
Harper's Weekly (New York), 1859.
Juvenile Instructor (Salt Lake City), 1904.
The Improvement Era (Salt Lake City), 1908, 1914, 1915.
Valley Tan (Camp Floyd, Utah), 1858.

C. SECONDARY SOURCES
Brown, James S. Giant of the Lord. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960.
Hanks, Harriet Decker Little. Descendants of Ephraim K. Hanks. Provo, Utah: Copy Cat Printers, 1959.
Hanks, N. C. Men of the Rockies. New York: N. C. Hanks, 1944.
Hanks, Sidney Alvarus, and Hanks, Ephraim K. Scouting for the Mormons on the Great Frontier. Salt Lake City: Deseret Press, 1948.
Hitchcock, Caroline Hanks. Nancy Hanks. New York: Doubleday and McClure Company, 1889.
Jensen, Andrew. "Church Emigration; Ephraim K. Hanks' Narrative," The Contributor, XIV (1893), 202-203.
Kimball, Solomon F. "King of the Western Scouts," The Improvement Era, XVIII (1914-1915), 103-111, 209-217, 316-325.
_________. "Our Pioneer Boys," The Improvement Era, XI (1908), 839.
Lazenby, Moroni. Personal interview. April 2, 1933.
Little, James H. Biographical Sketch of Feramorz Little. Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor, 1898.
Roberts, B. H. A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. Vol. III, IV. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1930.
Tullidge, Edward W. The History of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City: Edward Tullidge, 1886.
________. Tullidge's Histories. Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor, 1889.

EPH HANKS, PIONEER SCOUT

Richard K. Hanks

Department of Church History and Doctrine

M. A. Degree, April 1973

ABSTRACT

Ephraim K. Hanks was a rugged frontiersman dedicated to Brigham Young and the Mormon church who underscored his commitment in building the kingdom through courageous feats and daring ingenuity. He was a scout and a frontier mailman, completing fifty round trips between Salt Lake City and the Missouri River. Few men knew that stretch of wilderness better than he. Among non-Mormons he thought to be one of Brigham Young's "Destroying Angels," a "vile villain," and a "Mormon Desperado."

During the first five decades of the Mormon Church in the Mountain West, he contributed generously to its growth in the fields of Indian affairs, communication, military campaigns, peace keeping, mining and homesteading. He is probably best known for his rescue of the snowbound handcart companies on the Sweetwater in 1856. His major contribution to history lay in his ability to take the dreams of his leaders and spark them into reality. He was singularly suited for this role in a frontier setting. His life experiences are a study of Mormon history highlights during these years.

COMMITTEE APPROVAL: Milton V. Backman, Jr., Committee Chairman


Russell R. Rich, Committee Member
LaMar C. Berrett, Department Chairman

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The writer gratefully acknowledges the willing assistance rendered him by Dr. Milton V. Backman, Jr., and Dr. Russell R. Rich in the preparation of this thesis. Without their patience and long-suffering this work might not have fruition.

Also the service rendered by the Church Historian's Office in Salt Lake City for over a decade while researching this project has been invaluable.

To the scores of relatives and friends who have been plagued with letters and interviews the writer owes a debt of gratitude.

A special acknowledgment is due the writer's father, E. Kay Hanks, who along with Sidney Alvarus Hanks, initiated this investigation long before the writer's interest in it, and who unselfishly opened their files to him.

Appreciation is expressed to Carolyn Kirkham for her excellent work in typing the final manuscript.

And, but for the patience and understanding of his wife, Suzan, during long hours of solitary confinement; the project might yet be in the planning stage.



1 In light of reasonable doubt the author has double checked source materials for many of Eph's more spectacular feats only to find reassuring verification for them. The more questionable accounts have been omitted entirely.

2 Hereafter cited as Mormon Church.

3 Solomon F. Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," The Improvement Era, XVIII (February 1915), p. 212.

4 Ibid., p. 320.

5 Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, July 31, 1896, located in the Church Historian's Office; hereafter this collection is cited as Journal History.

6 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 108.

7 Journal History, November 30, 1856.

8 Josiah Rogerson, Sr., Diary, November 24, 1856, located in the Church Historian's Office, hereafter cited as such.

9 The mine was later known as "Old Pinion Mine"; now known as "Alliance." The mine that mad Park City famous was not discovered until January 19, 1872.

10 Eph Hanks papers, newspaper article in possessio of Sidney A. Hanks, son of Eph Hanks, Los Angeles, California; hereafter this collection is cited as Sidney Hanks collection.

11 Sidney Alvarus Hanks and Ephraim K. Hanks, Scouting for the Mormons on the Great Frontier (Salt Lake City: Deseret Press, 1948), p. 19.

12 N. C. Hanks, Men of the Rockies (New York: N. C. Hanks, 1944), p. 23.

13 Ibid., p. 23.

14 Caroline Hanks Hitchcock, Nancy Hanks (New York: Doubleday and McClure Co., 1899), p. 41.

15 Ibid., p. 46.

16 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, pp. 23-24.

17 Hanks, Scouting for the Mormons, p. 28.

18 Sidney Hanks collection.

19 Ibid.

20 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 103.

21 Sidney Hanks Collection.

22 Ibid.

23 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 103.

24 Sidney Hanks Collection.

25 Hanks, Scouting for the Mormons, p. 41. Hanks family tradition has it that this stranger could have been one of the three Nephites. According to Mormon belief, Christ promised three of his disciples on the American Continent they would never taste of death. They were to remain on earth helping to save souls until the Millennium. The Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1964), 3 Nephi 28.

26 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 103.

27 Journal History, June 9, 1896.

28 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 103. Such supernatural conversion experiences were not uncommon in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, particularly in the early history of the Church.

29 Journal History, July 31, 1896.

30 Statement by Arthur E. Hanks, son of Ephraim K. Hanks, personal interview, August 15, 1958.

31 Journal History, July 31, 1890.

32 There are several offices in the Mormon Church, each with particular responsibilities. The least of which is the office of deacon, then teacher, priest, elder, seventy and high priest. The office of seventy is primarily a missionary calling.

33 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 105.

34 Ibid.

35 Journal History, July 31, 1890.

36 B. H. Roberts. A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930), III, p. 107.

37 Sidney Hanks Collection.

38 Ibid. The writer has been unable to determine if this is the same attack by bulls that partially destroyed the Battalion camp. It is probably not.

39 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 26.

40 Sidney Hanks Collection; an account written by John R. Young.

41 Sidney Hanks Collection.

42 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 26.

43 Sidney Hanks Collection.

44 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 27.

45 Ibid.

46 Ibid.

47 Eph Hanks papers, written note in possession of Arthur E. Hanks, son of Ephraim K. Hanks, Provo, Utah; hereafter cited as Arthur Hanks Collection.

48 Ibid.

49 Ibid.

50 Ibid.

51 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 323.

52 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 26.

53 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 105.

54 Ibid., p. 107.

55 Ibid.

56 Journal History, July 31, 1890.

57 History of Brigham Young, MS, entry for February, 1849, p. 25.

58 Roberts, op. cit., IV, pp. 27-28.

59 Journal History, July 18, 1851.

60 Feramorz Little, Mail Service Across the Plains, 1887, MSS P-F 28, Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California.

61 Ibid.

62 Ibid.

63 Ibid.

64 Ibid.

65 Ibid.

66 Ibid.

67 Ibid.

68 Roberts, op. cit., IV, p. 29. Later that same winter as Eph was heading east again with the mail, the courier traveling to Salt Lake City, a Mr. Arnolls (sic), with a wagon load of mail "presumed the snow to be one hundred feet deep in places on the upper Sweetwater" where he was detained three days. At Strawberry Creek, where he was halted four more days by the blowing snow, four mules froze to death and near South Pass he wintered out another twenty eight days, "the snow not being less than five feet deep on the average." Journal History, March 12, 1851.

69 Journal History, August 4, 1857.

70 Ibid., June 23, 1857.

71 Ibid.

72 Solomon F. Kimball, "Our Pioneer Boys," The Improvement Era, XI (September, 1908), p. 838.

73 Ibid., p. 839.

74 Journal History, August, 1857.

75 Kimball, "Our Pioneer Boys," p. 839.

76 Ibid.

77 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 109.

78 Eph Hanks papers, recorded statement of Patriarch Moroni Lazenby to Teton Hanks Jackman, April 2, 1933, in possession of Teton Hanks Jackman, hereafter cited as Teton Jackman collection.

79 Sidney Hanks Collection, letter of Allen Taylor, written to Walter E. Hanks, Loa, Piute, December 29, 1890.

80 Ibid.

81 Flora Bean Horne, Autobiography of George Washington Bean and his Family Records (Salt Lake City: Utah Printing Company, 1945), p. 102.

82 Ibid.

83 Ibid., pp. 102-103.

84 Journal History, October 14, 1850.

85 Ibid.

86 Ibid.

87 Horne, op. cit., pp. 104-105.

88 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 324.

89 Journal History, July 18, 1853.

90 Ibid., September 16, 1858.

91 Cajon Pass.

92 Journal History, November 20, 1850.

93 Ibid.

94 Ibid., July 31, 1896.

95 Ibid., June 1, 1952. See also History of Brigham Young, MS, p. 55.

96 Roberts, op. cit., IV, p. 30.

97 Solomon F. Kimball, "Our Pioneer Boys," The Improvement Era, XI (September, 1908), p. 839.

98 Ibid.

99 Statement by Dave Rust, personal interview, May 4, 1956.

100 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 33.

101 Josiah Rogerson, Sr., Diary, November 23, 1856, located in the Church Historian's office.

102 Andrew Jensen, "Church Emigration, Ephraim K. Hanks Narrative," The Contributor, XIV (March, 1893), pp. 202-203.

103 Kimball, "Our Pioneer Boys," p. 839. Consecrated oil is an olive oil used by the LDS Church in the ordinance of healing the sick by the laying on of hands.

104 Ibid.

105 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 210.

106 Statement by Dave Rust, personal interview, May 4, 1956.

107 James A. Little, Biographical Sketch of Feramorz Little (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor, 1898), p. 49.

108 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 211.

109 Ibid., pp. 211-212. See also Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 33.

110 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," p. 213.

111 Ibid., p. 215. Although it is most unusual for mules to eat cooked meat, on a later trip Hanks and Little were able to reach Independence, Missouri on time because three buffalo beef-eating mules pulled their wagon after their other animals had perished from hunger during a storm.

112 Ibid.

113 Ibid.

114 Ibid.

115 Ibid.

116 Ibid.

117 Ibid.

118 Little, op. cit., pp. 41-42.

119 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 324.

120 Jensen, op. cit., pp. 203-205.

121 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, pp. 36-38.

122 Teton Jackman Collection.

123 Ibid.

124 Statement by Dave Rust, personal interview, May 4, 1956.

125 Parenthesis added by author.

126 Statement by Dave Rust, personal interview, May 4, 1956. Mormon polygamists were thought to be orthodox, abstaining from tobacco and alcohol.

127 Statement by Dave Rust, personal interview, May 4, 1956.

128 Ibid.

129 Ibid.

130 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 40. Also statement by Dave Rust, personal interview, May 4, 1956.

131 Statement by Dave Rust, personal interview, May 4, 1956.

132 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 40.

133 Journal History, July 31, 1896.

134 Kimball, "King of the Western Scouts," pp. 211-212.

135 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 324.

136 Ibid., p. 109.

137 Hanks, Scouting for the Mormons, pp. 187-189. Kimball describes Eph in playing this role as singing songs, dancing jigs, making faces, displaying a double row of front teeth, tearing tents, turning somersaults, chasing ducks, breaking bows, banging buckets, burning bedding and many other insane things.

138 Evidently, according to Indian belief, killing a crazy man brings death to the tribe.

139 Hanks, "King of Western Scouts," p. 111 and 112. According to Kimball and Hanks' family tradition, Eph did have some duplicate teeth. I have included the statement here only as a possibility because of specific references made by Kimball even though the dental profession claims it to be improbable.

140 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, p. 39.

141 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 109.

142 Ibid., p. 320.

143 Statement by Dave Rust, personal interview, May 4, 1956.

144 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts, p. 109.

145 Sidney Hanks Collection.

146 Hanks, Scouting for the Mormons, pp. 119-121.

147 The Book of Mormon teaches that the Indians are God's covenant people.

148 Journal History, May 20, 1850.

149 Ibid.

150 Journal History, February 9, 1850. See also Kimball, "Our Pioneer Boys," p. 811.

151 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 108.

152 Sidney Hanks Collection.

153 Ibid.

154 Ibid., written statement of William Morley Black.

155 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 108.

156 Edward W. Tullidge, Tullidge's Histories, Salt Lake City: (Juvenile Instructor, 1889), II, p. 83.

157 Journal History, May 10, 1854.

158 Horne, op. cit., p. 105.

159 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 320.

160 Journal History, February 22, 1857.

161 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 322.

162 Sidney Hanks Collection.

163 Kimball, "King of Western Scouts," p. 213.

164 Harriet Decker Little Hanks, "Sketch of My Pioneer Life," Descendants of Ephraim K. Hanks, Teton Jackman (Provo, Utah: Copy Cat Printers, 1959), p. 15.

165 Josiah Rogerson, Sr. Diary, November 24, 1856, located in Church Historian's Office.

166 Roberts, op. cit., IV, 86-87.

167 Kimball says the winter of 1856 was the "severest experience for years," "King of Western Scouts," p. 210. Little comments: "Severe storms continued all winter on the plains that year," Biographical Sketch of Feramorz Little, p. 41. "Eph claims to have seen worse storms that they had that winter," "Church Emigration, Ephraim K. Hanks Narrative," p. 202.

168 Roberts, op. cit., p. 93.

169 Jensen, op. cit., pp. 202-205.

170 S. S. J., "An Incident in Handcart History," Juvenile Instructor, XXXIX (November 15, 1904), 692-693. Although this is undoubtedly the same incident related in Chapter Five, Footnote 110, the only common factor seems to be the buffalo tail. Thus, because of additional insights given of Eph, the narrative is being quoted at length.

171 Hanks, Men of the Rockies, pp. 38-39.

172 Josiah Rogerson Sr. Diary, November 23, 1856, located in the Church's Historian's Office.

173 Journal History, November 30, 1856.

174 Ibid., December 4, 1856, p. 4. Remark made by Heber C. Kimball at the funeral of Jedediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses, ed. Orson Pratt (London and Liverpool: Orson Pratt, 1856), IV, 137.

175 Journal History, July 31, 1896.

176 Roberts, op. cit., IV, p. 99, footnote 22.

177 Josiah Rogerson Sr. Diary, November 24, 1856, located in the Church Historian's Office.

178 See Chapter Four for details of trip.

179 Little, op. cit., pp. 55-56.

180 Ibid., p. 57. The Utah Expedition was a force of twenty five hundred government troops sent to quell the so called "Mormon Rebellion." Other names given this military expedition were "Buchanan's Blunder," "Contractors War," Johnston's Army, etc.

181 Roberts, op. cit., IV 235.

182 Journal History, June 23, 1857. The average traveling time between Salt Lake City and Independence was forty to forty five days.

183 Ibid.

184 Roberts, op. cit., IV 235.

185 Ibid., p. 237.

186 Eph Hanks papers, duplicate copy of orders in possession of Richard K. Hanks.

187 James S. Brown,
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