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William Dennison Bannister, Sr
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Birth: Feb. 3, 1862
East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Death: Feb. 3, 1928
Columbia
Tuolumne County
California, USA

William Dennison Bannister immigrated to the United States in 1884. He married Catherine Sproul, a lady who was from Northern Ireland, and four children were born to them.

On March 24, 1895, tragedy struck in the Bannister family. One year old William Dennison Bannister, Jr. passed away. He left behind his parents, two brothers and one sister.

In addition to William Bannister, Jr., their children were Anthony Bannister, who was born February 1889, and Albert G. Bannister, who was born January 1891. Their daughter, Minnie, was born November 1894.

Catherine and William divorced. The Union Democrat published the following October 30, 1897.

In the Divorce Court.

The case of Bannister vs. Bannister came to a final close in the Superior Court last Thursday, when Judge Nicol granted Catherine Bannister a divorce from W. D. Bannister on the ground of desertion, and awarded her the custody of the three minor children. Other conditions of the decree are that the ex-wife be allowed $250 attorneys' fees, $25 per month alimony for herself and $15 for the support of the children. Added to this she will receive $3000, $500 of which is to be paid down, and the remainder in installments of similar amounts at stated intervals during the ensuing two years.

William Bannister married Florence in 1898.

1900 The Bannister Household
Home in 1900: Stewart Street, Block #4, Sonora, Tuolumne County, California
Name: William D Bannister
Age: 38
Birth Date: Feb 1862
Birthplace: England
Immigration Year: 1884
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Father's Birthplace: England
Mother's Birthplace: England
Spouse's Name: Florence E Bannister
Marriage Year: 1898
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 2
Occupation: Marble Quarry Owner

Name: Florence E Bannister
Age: 23
Birth Date: Aug 1876
Birthplace: Missouri
Relationship to head-of-house: Wife
Father's Birthplace: Missouri
Mother's Birthplace: Missouri
Spouse's Name: William D Bannister
Marriage Year: 1898
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 2
Occupation: Homemaker

Name: Anthony Bannister
Age: 11
Birth Date: Feb 1889
Birthplace: California
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relationship to head-of-house: Son
Father's Name: William D Bannister
Father's Birthplace: England
Stepmother's Name: Florence E Bannister
Mother's Name: Catherine Bannister, Nee Sproul
Mother's Birthplace: Ireland
Occupation: Schoolboy

Name: Albert G Bannister
Age: 9
Birth Date: Jan 1891
Birthplace: California
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relationship to head-of-house: Son
Father's Name: William D Bannister
Father's Birthplace: England
Stepmother's Name: Florence E Bannister
Mother's Name: Catherine Bannister, Nee Sproul
Mother's Birthplace: Ireland
Occupation: Schoolboy

1917 draft registration of Albert "Bert" Bannister

At the age of 26, Albert "Bert" Bannister was a patient at Stockton state hospital, a mental facility. He may have been able to sign but not complete a WWI Draft Registration form. There is no indication that the signature was not his, but there is very little information given that one should be able to give about themselves.

Death of Mrs. Florence E. Bannister

Destroys Herself in Her San Francisco Apartment

Mrs. Florence E., wife of W. D. Bannister, swallowed some dichloride tablets in San Francisco Tuesday morning, March 15, 1910, and later in the day passed away from the effects of the poison. The fatal dose was taken in the quarters occupied by Mrs. Bannister in the American Apartments, at 2159 Mission Street.

A nurse administered temporary treatment and the unfortunate woman was hurriedly conveyed to the Mission emergency hospital. The hospital doctors worked hard to save her life but to no avail.

The poison was taken with suicidal intent, there can be no doubt, for she left a note addressed to her husband telling of her contemplated act, expressing regret that she had caused him to be unhappy and directing him how he was to distribute her jewelry.

Mrs. Bannister was a resident of Sonora for several years. She was a woman of high intellectual attainments, kind-hearted and charitable, and deep regret is expressed at her ending.

Mr. Bannister, who was attending to his duties at the marble quarry beyond Columbia, left Wednesday morning to attend to the funeral arrangements.

The marriage of William Bannister and Catherine Schoettgen

On December 8, 1912, William Bannister married Columbia native and divorcee, Catherine Ann Schoettgen, the former wife of George Lawrence Adams, a self-reliant woman with no children.

The death of William Bannister

The news of Mr. Bannister's health was greatly sought during the weeks leading up to his death. The local newspaper stated that there were many inquires as to Mr. Bannister's health and condition. The first mention was that he "continues to be quite sick". A week later, the columnist wrote that he was about the same.

One newspaper, the Banner, printed the following obituary:

William D. Bannister answered the last call at his home at the Columbia Marble Quarry last Friday night about 9 o'clock, after a long illness, ending in heart disease.

For over 35 years he made Tuolumne County his home, most of that time as a resident of Sonora and Columbia. He early began working for establishment of electrical generating plants and other industries and was the prime mover in the little plant on the Stanislaus river, also interested for years in the marble company.

For the past ten years or so he has resided at the quarry, of which up to a few years ago, he was superintendent.

He belonged to Tuolumne Lodge No. 21, I.O.O.F., of Columbia, and under direction of the order his body was given the last rites in the Odd Fellows hall in Columbia Sunday afternoon with burial in the order's plot in the Columbia City cemetery.

Quite a number of friends went over from Sonora to pay their last respects to a good friend, a firm believer in a great future for Tuolumne County and a man generally respected by all who knew him.

He leaves a widow, Mrs. Catherine Bannister of Columbia, and a daughter and two sons by a former marriage.

Mrs. W. G. Barrow, the daughter, came up the day following the funeral, and has visited with relatives since.

During his lifetime, Mr. Bannister enjoyed hunting and fishing with his friends.

The Union Democrat, the other Sonora newspaper printed a similar obituary in their "Items in Brief from Columbia" column.

After an illness of several months dating from October 25, 1927, when he was stricken with a rather light stroke of paralysis, W. D. Bannister of the Columbia Marble Company passed away at his home at the quarry about 7:00 p.m. Friday, February 3rd. He was a native of Hull, England, and is said to have been born February 3, 1862. He had reached the age of 66 years. He passed away the evening of his birthday.

Mr. Bannister was survived by his wife, Kate Schoettgen Bannister and two sons and a daughter by a former wife. They were Anthony in Ireland, Bert in Santa Cruz, California and a daughter, Mrs. Minnie Barrow of Marshfield, Oregon.

The funeral took place at 2:00 p.m. from the hall of Tuolumne Lodge No. 21, I. O. O. F., of which he had been a valued member for many years. Interment was made in the Columbia cemetery of that order following the funeral ceremonies in the hall and at the grave.

Miss Carrie Burden, G. P. Morgan and Mrs. G. E. Trask sang "Lead, Kindly Light" at the hall and "Nearer my God to Thee" at the grave. The funeral was under the direction of Burden's undertaking parlors of Sonora.

The following acted as pall-bearers: Anthony Solari, W. S. Elkins, Vic Filiberti, Frank Dondero, E. C. Duchow and M. H. Ellis.

The funeral was very largely attended, many coming from distant points, and many, not being able to attend, sent floral emblems and flowers as mute tokens of the respect and esteem in which the deceased was held.

David Hearfield, his lifelong friend, associate and partner, was present during the last days of his illness, and at his burial.

Mrs. Jonathan Crooks, their associate in the marble quarry, was unable to be present, but sent a floral emblem with letter of respect and sympathy.

Howard Ling and wife, nee Edna Kimball, and William Grant and wife nee Ruth Kimball, came up from Oakdale for the funeral. A very large number from Sonora and other parts of the county and nearly everyone in Columbia attended, and everyone from the marble quarry and every quarry worker, present or past, was also there.

W. D. Bannister had indeed a large circle of acquaintances and friends, and during his 37 years of residence in Columbia and at the quarry, he enjoyed the respect and esteem of all. As a man, as a citizen, as an employer, and in every way he was all that could be desired and many will mourn his passing.

William Dennison Bannister, with his partner, David Hearfield, arrived in San Francisco in 1884 from Hull England, both young and ambitious men. After a time they established a business under the name of the "Paris White and Whiting Works." They opened up an establishment on Breannan Street, San Francisco, and soon did an extensive trade with the large paint manufacturers, who took their entire product to use in their line of business. They owned a quarry on the seashore near Hull, England, from which they mined white chalky deposit called "Cliff Stone". This was quarried out and frequently sent as ballast on ships loading for San Francisco, and then crushed and refined there.

In 1891, their attention was called to the large marble deposit of the Columbia Marble deposit of the Columbia Marble Co., situated near Columbia. Hearfield and Bannister arrived in Columbia July 4th, 1891, to inspect the property. There was then a small marble mill on the quarry. They were very favorably impressed and concluded to buy a half interest from the heirs of Mr. Grant, the former owner, but before the deal was closed a terrible brush fire swept over the river hills and for miles to the east and northeast, burning the mill and almost every building around. In this fire, Katie McNamee, fine young daughter of John McNamee, who was in charge of the quarry, was burned to death, a tragedy which was remembered by many for the rest of their lives.

Soon after the fire, the deal was made and Hearfield and Bannister became interested and so remained, associated with Mrs. Jonathan Crooks, up to Mr. Bannister's death.


The death of Catherine Schoettgen Bannister

Just days before her death on November 26, 1933, Catherine Schoettgen Bannister's health was showing signs of improvement and it was thought she would recover. However, Catherine Ann passed away Sunday morning at 10:30.

Catherine Ann was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Joseph Schoettgen, pioneer residents of Columbia, where she was born and raised.

As an adult, Catherine Ann moved to Sonora where she clerked at the E. L. Rehm store. She returned to Columbia when she married the late William Dennison Bannister, a widower.

The funeral was held from the home of her niece, Mrs. Jack Grant, on Tuesday afternoon. Burial was in the Columbia Odd Fellows section of the Columbia cemetery. The Reverend B. W. Pearce officiated.

Mrs. Bannister was a member of the Gold Nugget Rebekah Lodge No. 313 under the auspices of which the services were held.

Mrs. Bannister was survived by a brother, Frank J. Schoettgen, a sister, Mrs. Louise Napoleon, both of Columbia, and several nieces and nephews.

About Mr. Bannister's first wife:

William Bannister's first wife, Catherine Sproul, was born in Northern Ireland in February 1868. Her father was born in Northern Ireland, and her mother was born in England or Ireland, depending on the source. In the early 1880s, she immigrated to the United States, sometime between 1880 and 1883, depending on the source. Two years later she married for the first time. She was the mother of William Bannister's four children. She lived continuously in Columbia after her divorce. In 1930 she was still living in Columbia in a house she owned which was worth about $2,000.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Catherine Ann Schoettgen Bannister (1865 - 1933)
  Florence E Bannister (1876 - 1910)
 
 Children:
  William Dennison Bannister (____ - 1895)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Columbia Odd Fellows Cemetery
Columbia
Tuolumne County
California, USA
Plot: 176
 
Created by: Mohr Historical Research...
Record added: Feb 26, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66149653
William Dennison Bannister, Sr
Added by: Anne Shurtleff Stevens
 
William Dennison Bannister, Sr
Added by: Anne Shurtleff Stevens
 
William Dennison Bannister, Sr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Mary Simonelli
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Anne Shurtleff Stevens
 Added: Feb. 8, 2016
The loss of your son took a toll on you, but now you are together again.
- Mohr Historical Researcher
 Added: Apr. 16, 2011
 
 
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