Abbie Lavinia Banks m George Edward Nelson 15 April 1878

Abbie Banks was born 30 Dec 1852 in Harmony, Kings County, Nova Scotia, the first of eight children of Alexander Banks and Helen Amoret Morse. 

In 1870, Abbie L Banks, dressmaker, sailed from Margaretsville NS to Boston, on the schooner “Talisman”, arriving 13 June 1870.  This was just in time to be counted in the 1870 census.  She was living in Dedham MA, occupation “domestic servant”, in the William Morrell family.

George Edward Nelson was born about 1845, in Providence RI.  He and Abbie were married 15 April 1878 in Southbridge, MA.  He was a carpenter.  It appears that the marriage was short-lived.  By 1880, George E Nelson, carpenter, was living in Worcester MA.  Abbie Nelson was a servant in a different household.   I did not find a death record for George.

About May 1887, Abbie married Sylvanus Boardman Hodges, in North Dakota.  She was his second wife.  They had known each other previously, possibly as neighbors, in Nova Scotia. 

In 1892, Abbie travelled back to Nova Scotia for a visit.  She returned on the ship Boston, from Yarmouth NS to Boston, arriving 12 October 1898.  She was counted in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census in Ellendale ND.  BS Hodges was in the shoe and clothing business, had homesteaded a ranch, and also served in the ND state legislature.  Boardman’s only child Ruth was raised in Ellendale by her grandparents when his wife died. (Ruth married Alexander Wright, the local newspaper publisher.) Abbie had no children.  She and Boardman provided homes for young men, including Abbie’s nephew Orvis Banks. 

Abbie and Boardman also invited his grand nephew Albert Hodges to come west and work for him at the Hodges Stock Farm, but Albert’s father Frank had died, and Albert had to stay home to help the family.  Or was it Frank who was invited, but his father Jonathan had died and Frank was the man of the family…

Boardman died in 1927, and Abbie went back to live with relatives in Massachusetts, although I have not been able to find her in the 1930 census. 

Abbie died 1 April 1939 in Ellendale, ND, and her obituary was published: 

PIONEER OF COUNTY PASSES (April 6, 1939):  Mrs. Boardman S. Hodges, step-mother of Mrs. Alex. R. Wright of this city, passed away at the George Rose home after a two weeks illness.  She was over 86 years old and had been a resident of Dickey County for 44 years.  The remains were brought to the Sterling Funeral Home here and will be removed to Ellendale today.  Ritualistic services of the Order of the Eastern Star, as requested by Mrs. Hodges, will be held in the Masonic Temple at Ellendale this afternoon at 2 o’clock.  She was a member of the Ellendale chapter of the O.E.S.  Burial will be made in the family lot at the Ellendale cemetery.  Mrs. Hodges (Abbie L. Banks) first came to this country in 1886 and in May of the following year was united in marriage to Boardman S. Hodges.  After his death about twelve years ago Mrs. Hodges returned to her former home in Massachusetts, where she remained until 1936.  Since that time she had been residing in Ellendale.

SERVICES TODAY FOR MRS. HODGES (April 6, 1939)  Well-Known Ellendale Resident Dies Monday Evening, Following Brief Illness – Funeral services will be conducted this afternoon at the Masonic hall for Mrs. Abbie L. Hodges, well known Ellendale resident who died at about 11 oclock Monday evening following an illness of approximately two weeks.  O.E.S. ritualistic services will be used and interment will be made in the Ellendale cemetery beside her husband, who died Feb 27, 1927.  Abbie L. Banks was born Dec 30, 1852, in Nova Scotia, where she spent her girlhood.  Early in 1887, she came to Dickey county and her marriage to Boardman S. Hodges took place in June of that year, following which they lived for several years on a farm five miles west of Ellendale.  Later they purchased a home in Ellendale and moved to town where her husband engaged in the shoe business and where they lived until his passing.  After the death of her husband she went to Massachusetts where she made her home with relatives for nine years, returning to Ellendale in 1936 to again establish her home among her old friends.

For the past three years, she had lived at the home of Mrs. C. P. Crary, but when stricken with her recent affliction she was moved to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Rose because of the illness of Mrs. Crary. Although every care was tendered her, she passed peacefully into the Great Beyond late Monday night.

Surviving her passing are her step-daughter, Mrs. A.R. Wright of Oakes, a nephew, O.A. Banks of this city, a sister, Mrs. Hattie Dunham of Haverhill, Mass., and a brother, Burpee Banks of Oakham, Mass.

Abbie, Boardman, and other relatives are buried at the Ellendale Cemetery.


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