Horatio Hanks

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"Horatio Hanks, the seventh child (twin) and fourth son of Benjamin Hanks and Alice Hovey, was born in Mansfield, Connecticut in 1790.  After a varied career, he died in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1838.

The "Boston Budget" newspaper, date unknown, of Boston, Massachusetts had this item: "In 1810, the first silk mill in America run by water-power was erected by Rodney Hanks and his nephew, Horatio Hanks."

Horatio left Mansfield, Connecticut in 1816 and came to Gibbonsville, New York where his father Benjamin, and his brother, Julius, were then engaged in the bell, clock and mathematical instrument manufacturing business.  About 1820, he left Gibbonsville and went to Auburn, New York where he began making surveyor's compasses and casting bells.  He was in Auburn until 1826.  Andrew Meneely was a workman with him from 1823 to 1826.  Horatio came to Troy, New York in 1826 and advertised in the Troy Sentinel from July 14, 1826 through December 1826.  He did not stay in Troy very long because in the Albany, New York directory of 1828 he is listed as an engineer.  He had just started to make steam engines when his shop burned down and he lost all the tools that he had been accumulating for years.

He is in the New York City directories from 1828 to 1833, sometimes as a workman in a number of manufacturing establishments.  He then moved to New Bern, North Carolina where he manufactured bucket6s until 1836.  In that year, he went to Cincinnati, Ohio where he was employed by Hanks (L. B.) & Niles until 1838.  In that year he went to Vicksburg, Mississippi where he erected a sawmill on the Yazoo River.  He died there of typhoid fever in 1838."

Reference:  Smart, Charles E.   The Makers Of Surveying Instruments In America Since 1700  Troy, New York:  Regal Art Press.  1962  



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