Louise (Lois) Hodges born 5 January 1851

Louise Serepta  (or Ceretha) Hodges was born 5 January 1851, in Aylesford township of Kings County, Nova Scotia.  Her parents were John Clear Hodges, originally from Ireland, and Rachel Parker, whose ancestors moved to Nova Scotia at the time of the American Revolution.  Louise was the 11th and last child.  All her siblings lived to be adults.  Her first name is seen as Lois in later records, so perhaps it was pronounced as Lois rather than Louise. 

On 28 August 1869, Louise married John H Banks at the Baptist church in Factorydale, a small community near Morristown NS.  John was the son of George Edwin Banks and Sarah Ann Taylor.  Louise and John were distant cousins. 

Louise’s first daughter, Lena Belle, was born 13 April 1870 in Aylesford. John’s occupation was recorded as “yeoman”, which meant land-owning farmer. Louise must have had family support to help her at this time, as John sailed on the Oriental from Margaretsville NS arriving in Boston two days later.  The 1871 Nova Scotia directory listed John’s family as living in the Jacksonville area of Aylesford Township, a small town of about 100 people on the South Mountains, five miles from the community of Aylesford.

The 1871 census shows Louisa (recorded incorrectly as Eliza) living with her husband John and one-year-old daughter Lena, living in the area called South Aylesford.  This part of the township would also include the communities of Morristown, Nicholsville, Millville, Factorydale, and Windermere. She was neighbors of her brothers Jonathan C and Joseph, and her uncle, Jonathan Hodges.  The family was recorded as Baptist, of English descent, and her husband was a shoemaker. 

Louise’s second daughter, Eva Louella, was born 31 January 1873 in Aylesford.  The family moved to Wayland, MA.  Sarah Ardena was born 10 September 1874 in Cochituate (a town now absorbed into Wayland) and John was listed as a farmer. The mother’s name was written as Lois (rather than Louise) and seems to appear that way from this time forward. 

When Etta Sophia was born on 6 February 1876 in Wayland, her father’s occupation was listed as well digger.  The next move was to Natick MA, where Lois’s first son, Charles, was born 13 Aug 1877.  John continued his work as a well digger.  During this time, Louisa’s cousin Jonathan and family (son of Jonathan and Ruth Hodges) also lived in the Cochituate area, and also worked as a well digger.  I wonder if John and Lois helped his wife Henrietta when Jonathan was ill and dying, and she was pregnant with their fourth child.  I do not currently have access to city directories from Cochiuate, Wayland, or Natick for the years of interest, so don’t know if they lived near each other. 

By the time of the 1880 census, the family had moved to Medford, in Taylor County, in the north-central part of Wisconsin.   John worked in a saw mill.  Lena and Eva attended school.  Charles was 2 and this is the last record I have for him. 

Lois’s family moved to Ashland, Wisconsin, a town in Ashland and Bayfield counties, a port city on Lake Superior, at the north end of the state.  Daughter Francis Sophrona was born there 31 May 1883.  The 1885 Wisconsin state census listed JH Banks in Ashland town, Ashland County, and recorded that the family consisted of one male and six females.  Only the head of the household was recorded, and no occupation was listed.  If John was the only male, that would indicate that his and Lois’s son Charles had died between the time of the 1880 federal census, and the 1885 state census.  I have not yet found an actual death record for Charles.  The unnamed females would have been Lois, and the daughters Lena, Eva, Sarah, Etta, and Francis. 

Lois’s seventh child, Molly Abina, was born 20 December 1886 in Ashland.  It appears that Lois next gave birth to twin boys, Warren and Orrin, in 1890.  Orrin died 4 August 1890, and Warren died 2 September 1890.  I have not yet located their birth records, but the index for their deaths lists them both age 0, meaning they had not yet reached their first birthday.  Lois’s final child, Hazel S, was born 15 November 1891. 

The 1895 state census lists JH Banks in Bayfield, Wisconsin.  The household consists of one male and four females.  John would be the male.  The females would be Lois, and the as yet unmarried daughters, Francis, Molly, and Hazel. 

In 1900, the Banks family lived in Washburn, Wisconsin.  John worked as a carpenter.  Fanny, Molly, and Hazel were still in the household.  The census doesn’t list an address, but describes the location as Township 47, Range 6W, Benoit. This location would be west of the south end of Chequamegon Bay and Ashland.  This record says that Lois had ten children, seven still living.  With the recent “discovery” of the twins, all Lois’s children have been identified.  Daughters Sarah Ardina, Etta, and Lena are all on the same census page with their own families, so it appears that even after the daughters married, they were living close to each other.  A soon-to-be son-in-law also lives next door.  Only Eva has moved away and was living in Asotin WA. 

The 1905 state census lists the family in Eileen, WI, a small community southwest of Ashland. The household consisted of John Lois, Hazel, and John’s brother Charles.  John was a farmer. Daughters Lena, Etta, and Fanny all lived nearby. 

Lois’s husband John died in 1908, and Lois moved to nearby Pilsen, WI to live with her daughter Frances.  The 1910 census also reported that she had ten children, seven still living.    No home address was listed. 

In 1920, Lois was living with her daughter Molly and family in Ashland at 121 7th Street.  The household also included daughter Hazel Jenkins, listed as a widow.  In 1930, Lois was living in Ashland with her youngest daughter Hazel (recently remarried). Their home address was 815 3rd Avenue West.   

Lois Banks died 13 August, 1938, at age 87, and is buried with her husband John at the Benoit Cemetery.     

Lois’s daughter Lena married Leander Fleck, and died in 1961.  Eva married Adam Lamb, and moved to Asotin WA by 1900.  Since Lois reported seven children still living in 1910, I am assuming that Eva died after that.  Sarah married Jay Wood, and their family ended up in South Carolina, where Sarah died in 1955.  Etta married Hiram E Hubbard, and died in 1912.    Francis (Fanny) married Samuel Horn, and died in 1974.  Molly married William Smith, and my last record for them is the 1930 census.  Hazel married a Jenkins, then Joseph Cross, and died in 1977.  Lois had at least 18 grandchildren.     

 

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