The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 Mary Una Elizabeth <I>Pedigo</I> Hanks

Mary Una Elizabeth Pedigo Hanks

Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky, USA
Death 15 Nov 1926 (aged 43)
Heyburn, Minidoka County, Idaho, USA
Burial Summer Shade, Metcalfe County, Kentucky, USA
Memorial ID 106424122 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Daughter of James M. Pedigo and Albina Frances Sartain

Married Mr. Shive

Married Nymphas Coridon Hanks, 13 December 1919, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Summer Shade Cemetery

Newspaper - Sightless He Sees, Handless He Works, Is Prophet and Seer

N. C. Hanks Direct Relative of Abraham Lincoln on His Grandfather's Side, Arrives at Harvard for His Second Course in Social Ethics-Has Been Blind and Handless for Fifteen Years-A Remarkable Character with Exceptionally Clear Vision

Although Harvard University has trained many rare personalities, it is doubtful if a man of more penetrating discernment ever studied within its walls than N. C. Hanks, a native of Heber City, Utah, and third cousin of Abraham Lincoln--his grandfather and Lincoln being cousins. Mr. Hanks arrived in Cambridge about two weeks ago to take a course in social ethics department of Harvard University--his second year here. Mr. Hanks arrived in Cambridge about two weeks ago to take a course in social ethics department of Harvard University--his second year here. It looks, however, that Hanks will not be able to make it, as he showed the writer this week telegrams from Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, New York and Lancing, Mich., requesting his presence at these places at once for lectures. Mr. Hanks, since an accident 15 years ago at a silver mine he had an interest in out in Utah, has developed into one of most compelling lecturers in the field, and those who hear him once want him again. The Perkins Institution for the Blind at Watertown had him this week for the fourth time, and he nearly raised the roof. He is one of the most quaintly humorous lecturers since Mark Twain. Hanks has the middle and far West vernacular harnessed up to Southern dialect Eastern mannerisms, and pacific slope optimism, in a manner, which, mixed with rate patho and humor, keeps his audiences either roaring or crying when not on the fence--thinking. For two whole years, after Hanks was blown 40 feet into the air through a dynamite explosion, he was strapped to hospital beds, but the Lincolnian strain of blood in him, coupled to the sufferings and reflections of those awful months, and his subsequent years of struggling in finding out how to make a living in the world, have developed a personality, a force and an insight into the depths of human living given to but few men, consequently his lectures and his philosophic code, a bit of which is given below are most gripping. Hanks is an educator, prophet and seer, with a style all his own. Blind, handless, apparently helpless, he is a leader of men, as he is master of his fate, and few come from his talks without a firmer grip on themselves, as hundreds of thousands, who have listened to the blind orator, testify. He is wholly self-made, culturally. Up to the minute of the min explosion he was a prospector-intent on getting the previous metal-with no thought of education, and having had only a few years of it. After two years in the hospital he determined to try lecturing to make a living, and, although minus hands and eyes, managed, through odd jobs, to exist while he took a seven-years' course in oratory at a Utah school. After that he took a four-year course at Stanford University, California, and was here all last winter at Harvard, arriving again two weeks ago to resume his studies. Through all this period Hanks has supported himself and paid his way at school by his lecture. He is known and is in demand everywhere in the country and in Canada. He will be actually forced against his plans and wishes to break away from Harvard College, to meet insistent lecture calls from various school groups. He has been married for some years, his wife, a former nurse, being a Kentucky woman. Mr. Hanks is now 40. He is an athletic, straight-poised man, his face, with its high cheek-bones, bearing a strong resemblance to the smooth-faced Lincoln-to whom he is related. Mr. and Mrs. Hanks are doing a very fine work in the world, all based as Mr. Hanks affirms, "on leading of Providence." "I have but one object in life to do good."

Cambridge Tribune, Volume XLV, Number 52, 17 February 1923

Family Members






  • Created by: SMSmith
  • Added: 9 Mar 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 106424122
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Una Elizabeth Pedigo Hanks (25 Jun 1883–15 Nov 1926), Find A Grave Memorial no. 106424122, citing Summer Shade Cemetery, Summer Shade, Metcalfe County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .