Lena Belle Banks b 13 April 1870

Lena Banks was born 13 April 1870 in Aylesford, Nova Scotia, eldest child of eight, of John H Banks and Louise Serepta Hodges.  She was counted in the 1871 census with her parents, in South Aylesford.  Another sister was born in Aylesford.  John and Louise (also known as Lois) took the family to Massachusetts, and had five more daughters, and a son. 

While many Nova Scotians moved to New England, particularly Massachusetts, I have not found many who moved west.  However, Lena’s parents moved the family to Wisconsin.  They were counted in the 1880 census in Medford.

JH Banks was counted in the 1885 state census in Ashland, Wisconsin.  This census did not list all family members, but listed this family as 1 white male, 6 white females.  Lena’s brother Charles has been hard to track down.  He was counted in the 1880 census, but apparently missing in the 1885 census, so appears to have died at a young age.  The six females would have been Louise, plus daughters Lena, Eva, Sarah, Etta, and Francis.  The two final daughters, Molly and Hazel, were born after 1885.

Lena married Leander R Fleck on 28 August 1889, in Ashland, WI.  He was from Colchester County, Nova Scotia, of Scottish descent. 

This family was counted in the 1895 census in Washburn, WI.  Their name was recorded as “Flake” so perhaps that is a clue to the pronunciation.  The census recorded 4 males, 1 female.  This corresponds to Lena, plus Leander and their first three children, all boys.  (They later had two daughters as well.)

Lena and her family were counted in the 1900 census in Washburn.  Leander was a farmer.  Lena’s parents, and her married sisters, were all nearby.  The family was counted in the 1905 state census at Eilene, WI.  Again, her parents and sisters were listed in the same neighborhood. 

In 1910, the Flecks lived in Pilsen, WI where Leander worked as a farmer.  They were similarly recorded in 1920.  In 1930, they lived in Keystone, where Leander was a blacksmith.   

Lena’s three sons lived to have families of their own.  Her daughters were in the family in 1920, so we know they survived the flu epidemic, but they were not living with their parents in 1930.   I haven’t found marriage records for them yet. 

I do not have a death date or location for Leander.  Lena died 22 February 1961 in Ashland, and is buried in Benoit in the same cemetery as her parents and her sister Etta and family.  Leander is not listed, but I don’t know if the Find-A-Grave records are complete for that cemetery.


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