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Lester G. Bangs, 1838


Posted By: Mona Sarratt Knight
Date: 10/24/2015 at 15:33:34

LESTER G. BANGS, Among the old soldiers now living in honored retirement should be named Lester G. Bangs of Carroll. He was born in Newburg, now a part of the city of Cleveland, Ohio, November 8, 1837, and is the son of James S. and Louisa (Gilbert) Bangs, the former of whom was born near Akron, Ohio, and the latter near Cleveland. The father became a physician and practiced in Cincinnati, Ohio, until after the death of his wife, which occurred in 1849, from cholera which was then raging in this country. He removed to Chicago and continued there until after the Civil War, then taking up his home at Brooklyn, New York, where he died in 1872 at the age of sixty years. He was for several years connected with the customs service at New York. There were two sons and two daughters in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Bangs, namely: Lester G., the subject of this review; Mrs. Irene McConnell, now deceased; Mrs. Alicia C. Clopper, a resident of Wichita, Kansas; and William H., who became a drummer boy in the Civil war at the age of twelve years and is now deceased. The paternal grandfather of our subject was James Bangs, who became a captain in the state militia of Massachusetts.

He was born at Williamsburg, Massachusetts, in 1769, and engaged as a shingle manufacturer. In 1790 he was married to Martha Nash. They spent their last days at Akron, Ohio. There were seven children in their family, namely: Theodore, Henry, Samuel, Elisha, Martha, Hortensia and Horatio.

Lester G. Bangs lived at Cuyahoga, Ohio, until about ten years of age, and then went with his parents to Cincinnati, where he attended the common schools. At the age of twelve he became a clerk in a wholesale and retail hat and cap store in Cincinnati. In 1859 he went to live with an uncle on a farm in Grant county, Wisconsin, and three years later removed to Chicago, Illinois, where he started to learn broom making. On April 17, 1861, he enlisted in the Civil war, in response to the first call for troops issued by President Lincoln, and was sent with two companies and a piece of artillery to guard the bridges near Cairo, Illinois. After three months the company was reorganized as Company A, Nineteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, the regiment participating in many of the most important battles of the Civil war, among which were Stone River, Chickamauga and Mission Ridge. At the battle of Chickamauga Mr. Bangs received a slight wound in one of his arms and at the battle of Mission Ridge he lost his right leg. He enlisted as a private and served three years and four months, being honorably mustered out as first lieutenant and adjutant. After the war he learned telegraphy and for two years was in the employ of the Chicago & Alton Railway Company at Lincoln and Chicago, Illinois. In August, 1867, he came to Glidden, Carroll county, as agent of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company, continuing in that capacity until 1881, when he went to Lake City and engaged for nine years in the hardware business. He was in the employ of the First National Bank at Carroll from 1890 until 1899, and then went to Cuba and had charge of the post office in the city of Batabano for fifteen months. Returning to Carroll, he served for three years as state oil inspector, since which time he has lived in honorable retirement.

On the 3d day of September 1863, Mr. Bangs was united in marriage to Miss Martha A. Hopkins, daughter of Aaron and Maria (Shelton) Hopkins. The father was born in Salem, Washington County, New York, and the mother in Troy, New York. Mr. Hopkins came west, reaching the present site of Chicago in 1835, when there was only one frame building there, the others being log cabins. He cultivated a farm near Lockport, Illinois, and later built a home in Lockport. In 1864 he removed to Fayette county, Iowa, and in 1881 took up his residence in Lake City. He died in January 1891, being then within a few months of ninety years of age. His wife passed away in October 1890, at the age of eighty-seven years. Mr. Bangs has one brother, Aaron. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Bangs was Nathan Hopkins, and his wife was Martha Robinson. In their family were William, Aaron, Nathan, Jane and Annie. Abijah Shelton, the maternal grandfather, was a native of Connecticut, and his wife was Ann Heermance. Three children came to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Bangs, namely: Lois, now of River Forest, Illinois, who married William B. Rowland, and they have one child, Leon B.; Bertha, also of River Forest, who married Edwin S. Wells, Jr., and they have two children, Edwin S., III and Lester G., and Walter G., who married Louise Blackman, and is now cashier of the International Harvester Company at Minot, North Dakota.

Mrs. Bangs is a lady of intelligence and discernment, and has with special ability served as librarian of the Carroll Public Library. Politically Mr. Bangs is an ardent adherent of the Republican Party. He cast his first vote for John C. Fremont for president of the United States and has never departed from the party he then espoused. Socially he is identified with Jeff C. Davis Post, G. A. R., of Carroll and is now its adjutant. He is a man of many sterling qualities and has a host of friends in Carroll County, being known as one of its representative citizens.

Source: History of Carroll County Iowa, by Paul MacLean, Illustrated, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company (1912) Chicago, Volume II, page 246.


Carroll Biographies maintained by Lynn McCleary.
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