From: Randy Willis []
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 5:44 PM
Subject: Mary Stark Oliver Hanks

My Great-grandmother
Mary Stark Oliver Hanks

(b. Jan. 18, 1860; d. Jan. 08, 1931)

by Randy Willis

She traveled by covered wagon with her parents, John M. Stark and Marie Deroussel, to Branch, Louisiana and later, in 1910,  to Lecompte, Louisiana. She often spoke of the panthers screaming in the woods there, she said "they screamed just like a women."

Mary Stark's first husband was Charles D. Oliver (b. Jan. 14, 1858; d. July 28, 1887 in Prairie Hays, Louisiana).   Charles D. Oliver and Mary Stark married January 17, 1878 and had six children before his premature-death, at age 29. Their children were Wayne Oliver (b. Oct. 26, 1878; d. Oct. 25, 1942), John Pat Oliver (June 16, 1880; d. Apr. 25, 1960), Clarinda "Clara" Oliver (Dec. 07, 1881; d. Dec. 07, 1940), Rufus Oliver (b. June 19, 1883; d. Nov. 29, 1963), Alice Oliver (b. June 07, 1886; d. June 18, 1971) and Edna "Charlie" Oliver (b. Sept. 29, 1887; d. Aug 26, 1967).

Mary Stark then married my great-grandfather, Arthur Allen Hanks  (b.Aug. 27, 1877; d. Aug.  22, 1942) on Oct. 17, 1895.  He was the son of William "Billy" Hanks and Francis Cordelia Soileau Hanks Stark (b. March 18, 1851; d. June 26, 1948 and is buried at Elizabeth Memorial Baptist Church Cemetery, near Branch, Louisiana, next to her second husband, Rufus A. "Ike" Stark).
Arthur Allen Hanks was 17-years younger than Mary Stark. Mary Stark and her husband, Arthur Allen Hanks, owned a meat market in Lecompte. Their log home was located right in the middle of where IH 49 is today (approx. 500' south of Highway 112) near Lecompte. The Children of  Arthur Allen Hanks and Mary Stark were: my grandmother, Lillie Gertrude Hanks (b. Dec.  29, 1897; d. July 02, 1973),  Ivy "Buddy" Lee Hanks (b. Nov. 18, 1898; d. Dec. 10, 1982),  William Hanks, b. Nov. 18, 1898;  d. Dec. 16, 1898), Callie Hanks (b. June 18, 1901) and Mary Cordelia "Delia" Hanks (b. Apr. 04, 1902; d. Aug. 20, 1946). My grandmother told me that each day, after school, her mother, Mary Stark, would say "little lady, get a potato and work in the field." My Uncle Howard Willis, told me that his grandmother Mary Stark, reminded him of Grandma Walton on "The Walton's" TV show.
Arthur Allen Hanks left Mary Stark Oliver Hanks and later married (date unknown) Gertrude G. Jenkins (b. Aug 11, 1900; d. Jan. 15, 1973) and moved near Quay and Yale, Oklahoma.  Gertrude Jenkins first husband was a Laughful Miller;  they had four children.  Gertrude died in Tulsa on Jan. 15, 1973 and is buried in Cheneyville, Louisiana next to her parents.   Arthur Allen Hanks and Gertrude Jenkins also had four children: Wilma Ruth Hanks (b. Mar. 14, 1928 in Quay, Ok.), Mary Hanks (b. June 24, 1930 in Augusta, Kansas; d. Oct. 10, 1962 with her husband in an auto accident), Donna Faye Hanks (b. June 24, 1938 in Quay, Ok; d. Sept. 25, 2003) and Edwin Lavelle Hanks (b. Dec. 17, 1941 in Yale, Ok).  Arthur Allen Hanks is buried in the Lawson Cemetery north of Yale, Oklahoma in an unmarked grave.  He farmed, worked on the railroad and worked for the Carter Oil Company. He also, lived in Augusta, Kansas briefly, around 1930, but moved back to Oklahoma.
Mary Stark Oliver Hanks died January 8, 1931, and is buried at the Paul Cemetery near Lecompte.
1)  Photo 1): Mary Stark Oliver Hanks
2)  Photo 2): Mary Stark and her second husband, Arthur Allen Hanks, and their children. Left to Right: Ivy Lee Hanks,  Arthur Hanks (sitting), Mary Delia Hanks (in father Arthur's lap), Callie Hanks (standing in center), Mary Stark (sitting), Leone Johnson (in Mary's lap), and my grandmother Lillie Gertrude Hanks (standing on right side; she married my name sake, Randall Lee Willis).
3)  Letter 1): Letter from Rufus Stark to his sister Mary Stark (Hanks) dated May 11, 1922.