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Perhaps you have heard the tale of Michiganís oldest resident who lived in Bangor and died at the age of 126.  It's a true story.  Henry Banks was born in 1792 and died in December of 1918.  He was a young man in the war of 1812 and had a part in transferring troops to New Orleans.  At this time, he was a slave from Kentucky.  He made his escape to Canada before the Civil War via the Underground RR.  After the Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln, he came back to the U.S. and settled near Detroit where he worked for farmers and supported himself by the results of his own labors for the first time.  He married Hannah Richards a free woman and started back south after the Civil War.  He got as far as Richmond, IN where they heard from slaves coming from the south of mistreatment there.  He came back to Michigan and settled with his family near Decatur.  He later purchased land near Bloomingdale where he lived until the death of his wife in 1872.  At this time, according to the Bangor Advance, he finished raising his three children at the age of 80.  After his children left home, he lived alone on a farm near Bangor.  His only daughter cared for him in his later years.  The newspaper stated that, "He died of pure old age and no disease."

 

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