Miss Mary H. Bankerd, superintendent of the Greene County Children's Home and one of the best authorities on eleemosynary work in this part of Ohio, was born in this county, has lived here all her life and is thus thoroughly familiar with conditions hereabout, particularly in so far as these conditions relate to the noble humanitarian labors in which she has been engaged for years, her service in that connection having been begun during the time her late father was serving as superintendent of the county infirmary. Miss Bankerd was born at Xenia, daughter of Henry C. and Catherine (Manor) Bankerd, the latter of whom, a member of one of Greene county's old families, is still living.
The late Henry C. Bankerd, a veteran of the Civil War and for many years one of Greene county's best-known and most useful citizens, was a native of Maryland, born in the city of Baltimore on September 17, 1846, son of Peter and Hannah (Greiner) Bankerd, the former of whom was born in Morgan county, Virginia, in 1816, and the latter in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1818. Peter Bankerd was a glass blower, and his son, Henry C, was trained in the same art. When the latter was but a boy the Bankerds moved from Baltimore to Lenox, Massachusetts, and there remained until 1863, when the elder Bankerd disposed of his interests in the East and came with his family to Ohio, buying a farm one mile northwest of Xenia with the expectation of turning his attention permanently to farming, but a year later he returned to Lenox, where he resumed his vocation as a glass blower and where he remained until 1866, in which year he accepted the position of manager of the DePauw glass works at New Albany, Indiana, and removed to that city. A year later, however, he returned to Xenia and re-established his home on his farm in the vicinity of that city and there he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives, both living to ripe old age. Peter Bankerd and wife were the parents of four children, the late Henry C. Bankerd having had three sisters, Margaret, who married D. S. Heath and is now living in Missouri; Mary, wife of John C. Andrew of Xenia, and Georgia, wife of Joseph S. Wade, of Xenia township.
Having been but a child when his parents moved from Baltimore to Lenox, Henry C. Bankerd received his schooling in the latter city and under the direction of his father became a skilled glass blower. He was not yet seventeen years of age when he came with his parents to Greene county in 1863, but in the following February, he then still being under eighteen years of age, he enlisted for service as a soldier of the Union and went to the front as a member of Company D, One Hundred and Eighty-sixth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which command he served, principally engaged in garrison duty in towns taken by the Union forces in Georgia, until the termination of his term of enlistment and was mustered out of service at Nashville, Tennessee, in February, 1865. Upon the completion of his military service Mr. Bankerd rejoined his parents in Lenox and with them presently moved to New Albany, Indiana, where he was engaged in the glass works until the family returned to this county, when he became associated with his father in the operation of the home farm on the outskirts of the city of Xenia, after his marriage in 1867 establishing his home there. In 1896 Mr. Bankerd was appointed to the position of superintendent of the Greene county infirmary and for years rendered useful service in that connection. After his retirement he continued to make his home in this county and here he spent his last days, his death occurring on December 27, 1914, he then being sixty-eight years of age. Mr. Bankerd was a Republican. He was an active member of Lewis Post No. 347, Grand Army of the Republic, and had filled all the offices in that patriotic organization. He also had filled all the offices in the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the local encampment of the Patriarchs Militant. As noted above, Mr. Bankerd was married in 1867. To hirn and his wife were born five children, namely: Rosa, who died at the age of eleven years; Esther, who is still living at Xenia, widow of Parker J. Wilson: Mary H., the immediate subject of this biographical review; Peter C, who married Belle McCarty and is still residing on the home place in Xenia township, and Myrtle, wife of Charles Faulkner, of Columbus, this state. The mother of these children is still living. She was born in Xenia, Catherine Manor, daughter of John W. and Margaret A. (Scott) Manor, the latter of whom also was born in this county, daughter of James A. and Elizabeth (Shannon) Scott, who were married in Pennsylvania and who in 1815 established their home on a farm in Xenia township, this county, remaining there until 1827, when they took up their residence in Xenia, where they spent the remainder of their lives, James A. Scott dying there on August 12, 1881, and his widow, October 24, of that same year.
John W. Manor was a Virginian, bom in the vicinity of the city of Winchester, in Frederick county, August 24, 1824, son of Benjamin and Catherine (Marsh) Manor, both of whom also were bom in the Old Dominion and who in 1828 drove through to Ohio with their family of eight sons and three daughters and located in a house on Main street in Xenia, where they remained until March of the next year, when they established their home on a farm just east of town on the Dayton pike. There Benjamin Manor and his wife spent the rest of their lives, the former dying in 1860, he then being seventy-two years of age. His widow survived him for fourteen years, her death occurring in 1874, she then being eighty-six years of age. Another child was born to them after they took up their residence in this county and they thus were the parents of twelve children, of whom eight grew to maturity and reared families of their own, the Manor connection in the present generation hence being a numerous one. John W. Manor was but four years of age when his parents came to this county and here he grew to manhood. He early learned the trade of carpenter and in time became one of the leading building contractors in the county, making his home in Xenia. He was a Republican, for some time served as chairman of the Greene county Republican central committee, served a term as coroner of Greene county, was for years a member of the board of directors of the county infirmary and for nearly ten years served as superintendent of the infirmary. Mr. Manor was a member of the Reformed church and, fraternally, was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with the encampment of that order. On June 12, 1844, John W. Manor married Margaret A. Scott, mention of whose parentage is made above. To that union were born nine children, all of whom grew to maturity, those besides Mrs. Bankerd being David T., William A., Samuel H., Asbury L., Nettie, Benjamin L., James S. and John E. The father of these children died at his home in Xenia on December 12, 1897, and his widow survived him until August, 1906.
Mary H. Bankerd received her schooling in the Xenia schools and upon leaving school became engaged as a clerk in a commercial establishment in that city. During the period of her father's connection with the county infirmary as superintendent of that institution she acted as housekeeper for the institution and in this manner early became familiar with the details of institutional administration and at the same time developed a strong sympathetic interest in behalf of the less helpful of the county's charges. When Miss Bankerd later was made matron of the Greene County Children's Home this sympathetic interest was displayed in countless helpful ways in behalf of the little charges who thus came under her care and she did much to elevate the standard of administrative efficiency that marked the management of that institution. She did much to promote the plans for the erection of the new and beautiful home for children just west of the city, and on September 16, 1912. was made superintendent of the Home, a position she has since filled, her thoughtful and intelligent attention being given to the welfare of the youthful charges under her sympathetic care. Greene county is fortunate in having one of the best and most prudently managed Children's Homes in the state and it is a source of much satisfaction to the people of the county to know that the administration of the affairs of the Home is in such capable and experienced hands. Miss Bankerd having for years devoted her energies unceasingly and tirelessly to the important administrative duties that thus became incumbent upon her. Miss Bankerd is a member of the Presbyterian church at Xenia, a member of the local corps of the Woman's Relief Corps, a member of the local lodge of the Daughters of Rebekah, and a member of the Daughters of Veterans.
From History of Greene County Ohio, Its People, Industries and Institutions, vol. 2. M.A.Broadstone, editor. B.F.Bowen & Co., Indianapolis. 1918