Hon. Richard H. Hankinson

Hon. Richard H. Hankinson. As an all-around prominent man of North Dakota, no one of its citizens more justly deserves the title than Mr. Hankinson. He has been identified with the development and progress of the state, and particularly Richland county, from the early settlement of that region, and is now extensively engaged in farming in Brightwood Township, and also conducts a real estate and loan business in the town of Hankinson, making his home on his elegant estate on section twenty-two, but is found at his office in Hankinson daily. He owns about two thousand acres of land, and his home farm is beautifully located on the banks of Lake Elsie, a fine body of water, named for his daughter, Elsie. Every comfort and even the luxuries of life are afforded on his estate, and the buildings thereon are among the finest in the state of North Dakota. On another page is found a portrait of Mr. Hankinson.

Mr. Hankinson was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 7, 1841. He was reared in Grand Rapids, where he lived until the breaking out of the Civil war, when he enlisted, in August, 1861, in Company D, Eighth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and was with them until January 30, 1863, when he was discharged on account of wounds received at the battle of Wilmington Island, Georgia. He returned to Grand Rapids and re-enlisted in the Thirteenth Michigan Light Artillery and served to the close of the war. He participated in the battles at Pocotaligo, Port Royal, Fort Pulaski and Wilmington Island, and later at Antietam, South Mountain, Fredericksburg and minor engagements until the close of the struggle. He received a wound in the left wrist at Wilmington Island, which caused his discharge, and upon his re-enlistment in the Thirteenth Michigan Light Artillery was commissioned first sergeant. He was a loyal and true soldier, and served for the preservation of his country.

After his return from the war our subject went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he entered the service of the Northwestern Telegraph Company, and was with theist in the capacity of superintendent of construction and assistant general superintendent of the company, until 1881. He organized the Northwestern Telephone Exchange Company in 1878, and was elected general manager of the same, serving until March, I880. After leaving the service of the Northwestern Telegraph Company in 1881, he settled in Brightwood township, Richland County, North Dakota. He has a fine estate with excellent improvements, and engages extensively in farming. He has divided his time between that line of work and the contracting for construction of telegraph lines, and has built the following lines: Front Chicago to Minneapolis; from Louisiana, Missouri, to Kansas City, Missouri; the line for the bankers and merchants from Chicago to Minneapolis. These have been absorbed by the Western Union Telegraph Company. He also built the telegraph line for the Soo railroad and all their branches west of the Red river. He constructed the first telegraph line built in North Dakota, or British North America, in 1871, and personally superintended the construction from -Moorhead to Winnipeg, and also fronts Fargo to Valley Center, and from thence to Bismarck. He has engaged in the real estate business in Minneapolis since locating, on his farm and at his office in Hankinson now conducts the real estate and loan business and contracting,. He engaged in the mercantile business from t886 to the fall of 1897.

Our subject was married at Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 20, 1868, to Miss Sarah E. Martin, a native of Michigan. Mrs. Hankinson died in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in March, 1874, leaving one son, Herbert L., who is now in the grain business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our subject married Miss Etta M. Wilson, a native of Minnesota, September 27, 1876, at Minneapolis. One daughter has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hankinson named Elsie E. Mr. Hankinson is a prominent member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights of Pythias and the Masonic fraternity, and has passed the Knights Templar degree in the last named order. Ile was elected to the first state legislature in 1889, and served one term, and was again elected in the fall of 1896. He takes an active part in local affairs, and the town of Hankinson was named for him in appreciation of his services.

Source: Compendium and History of North Dakota 1900 Page 189

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