When I first started researching my family history in 1998 one mistake I made was not asking enough questions. Now, the people who have the answers to the questions I didn’t ask have passed away.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day and on this day I wanted to share with my cousins the family story of a broken hearted father. In reality I don’t think many of my cousins even know this father, grandfather, great grandfather and great, great grandfather.
Below is the printed transcription of a three page letter dated June 21, 1904, from Nathan Brink Hancock to Lulu Brace Hancock. Brink, as he was called by his family, and Lulu were married December 19, 1902 in Narka, Kansas. When he wrote this letter on June 21, 1904, Brink Hancock was living in Fairbury, Nebraska and Lulu was living at her parents home in Narka, Kansas with baby Bernard Floyd Hancock who was born May 18, 1903. After Bernard’s birth Lulu was very ill and needed help to care for herself and her baby.
Fairbury June 21 – 04
I thought as I was not busy today I would answer your letter of last week. I my self am not feeling the best in fact not well at all. I was sorry that you wanted me to come down Sat. night and that I couldn’t be with you. I am sure there is no one who wants to see any one worse than I have you for a long time.
I was looking at our picture when I opened my trunk. So if this letter isn’t wrote all right don’t think anything of it for it almost gets away with one when I look at such a nice picture and to think that our lives should be bloted as they have in the past.
I walked down to the docket this morning when the train came in and I was quite sure I saw Bobby Hall on board. I didn’t pay much attention. I think now that I will come to Narka next Sat. perhaps to stay a week. I don’t know just how long but not for good as I haven’t any home to stay at any more. If I come I will make it a point to see you while there but maybe not Sat. night. For if the folks are in town I can ride out with them and save walking. I will have to close for this time for lack of time if I get this off on the eve. mail.
I would be glad to hear from you before Sat. if convenient.
I am yours.
Written across the blank top of page 3 is the following message:
I hope this will find you in good health as its an awful thing to feel “bad”
I have seen a copy of a letter sent to the Republic County, Kansas court house by Bernard’s mother in 1935 asking for records on the father of Bernard Floyd Hancock. The clerk replied the records no longer existed because of a fire. I have been told that Bernard searched for years for his father but could not locate him.
In 1910 Lulu Hancock married John Baber. I have a copy of the marriage license for Lulu and John Baber which includes the date of divorce from Nathan Brink Hancock. My conctact, Bev Porter, from the Hancock family tells me that when Brink was notified of the divorce he came to Colorado but could not locate Lulu and therefore never met his son Bernard Floyd Hancock.
Brink lived in Lincoln Nebraska and worked for the University there. Brink did re-marry and had a son named Leland Merle. Brink died in 1949, Merle died a few years ago but census records indicate he has two sons.
For me this is a sad story. What force kept Lulu and Brink apart? Bernard was lucky to have John Baber for a step-father, he loved him very much. But, he always knew his father was out there somewhere. All that time passing by and they never connected.
Nathan Brink Hancock
Bernard Floyd Hancock