Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
WILLIAM TAYLOR HANKINS. Great changes "have come over the face of the land" since William Taylor Hankins first saw the light of day nearly sixty seven years ago and, having spent these long years in the same locality, he has been a most interested and by no means a passive spectator to the transformations of the eastern part of Greene county, having sought to do his full share in the work of progress here. For many years he was postmaster at Strafford, but is now living quietly on his farm. No one is better or more, favorably known in this community, for his life has been an exemplary and inoffensive one.
Mr. Hankins was born on a farm near Strafford, Missouri, on April 2, 1848. He is a son of Abraham and Sarah R. (Miller) Hankins. The father was born in Tennessee on March 23, 1808, and was reared there on a farm and attended the common schools. In youth he learned the tanner's trade. Remaining in his native state until 1835, he then emigrated to Greene county, Missouri, making the trip by wagon, drawn by an ox and a horse. He farmed and followed his trade here, and he owned many slaves and was a successful farmer. His death occurred in November, 1861. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was a prominent man in his community. The mother of our subject was born near Winchester, Kentucky, on June 3, 1809, was reared on a farm there and attended the public schools. She came to Greene county, Missouri with her parents, about the year 1835, and here met and married Mr. Hankins. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Her death occurred on June 30, 1878 on the home farm. To these parents five children were born, namely: Andrew Jackson, deceased; Benton T., deceased, William T., of this sketch; Letitia, deceased, and Mrs. Susan Potter, of Strafford, who is the youngest.
William T. Hankins grew to manhood on the old homestead near Strafford and he received his education in the district schools. He worked on the home farm until after his father's death, and his principal life work has been general farming. In 1896 he was appointed postmaster at Straffotd, the duties of which office he continued to discharge acceptably and satisfactorily for a period of seventeen years, resigning in 1913. He moved to his farm of one hundred and twenty acres, which joined Strafford, where he has a cozy home and is now living practically retired.
Mr. Hankins was married on March 7, 1871, to Mary Jane Comstock, who was born on November. 4, 1852, while her parents were emigrating from Tennessee to Greene county, Missouri. She is a daughter of L. B. and Nancy Comstock. She grew up on a farm in this state and attended the common schools, removing with her parents to Greene county during the Civil war. She was a member of the Baptist church, Her death occurred on April 5, 1889.
To our subject and wife three children were born, namely: Nathaniel Brown lives in Greene county; he married Sarah McCabe Fitch and they have two children, Hershel and Zenobia; Mrs. Florence Foster lives in Strafford and has two children, Joe and Helen, and Mrs. Manta Delzell, who married George G. Delzell. They have two children, Gregory and Sarah Marie. She makes her home with her father.
Politically Mr. Hankins is a Republican, and fraternally he is a member of the Masonic Order.
Springfield-Greene County Library