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 Hattie E. <I>Crosby</I> Banta

Hattie E. Crosby Banta

Deerfield, Oneida County, New York, USA
Death 10 Apr 1896 (aged 49)
Decatur County, Iowa, USA
Burial Lamoni, Decatur County, Iowa, USA
Plot 269
Memorial ID 80471127 · View Source
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Although Hon. Elijah Banta of Lamoni passed away in [March 19] 1889, there are many who remember him well and the influence of his life is still felt in Decatur county. He was for one term a representative in the state legislature of Iowa and was prominent in local political affairs. He was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, of Holland Dutch descent, on the 5th of January, 1823, a son of Peter A. and Mary (Voorhies) Banta, natives of Ohio. The mother died in 1828 and on the 29th of November, of the following year, the father removed with his family to Johnson county, Indiana, where he followed agricultural pursuits until his demise in 1851.

Elijah Banta was the ninth in order of birth in a family of ten children who grew to maturity, six boys and four girls. He grew to manhood in Johnson county, Indiana, but was married in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, October 6, 1846. A year or two following his marriage he returned to Johnson county, Indiana, and remained there until 1865. In 1864 he was elected to the general assembly of Indiana on the republican ticket and was the first republican elected from his district to the legislature. Moreover when elected county auditor he was the first successful republican candidate.

In the spring of 1865 he removed to Sandwich, Illinois, leaving Indiana one year before his term in the legislature expired. He resided at Sandwich until he came to Decatur county, Iowa, where he continued to live until his demise. He was the first president and manager of the Colonization Society, which was incorporated in 1871, and in the fall of that year he visited Decatur county, Iowa, with the late David Dancer and I. L. Rogers. The three men were agents for the First United Order of Enoch and purchased thirty-three hundred acres of land in Decatur county, the object being the founding of a colony of Latter Day Saints.

In 1872 members of that church began to settle upon the tract of land purchased by Mr. Banta, Mr. Dancer and Mr. Rogers, and the colony soon became an important factor in the life of Decatur county. The further history of the development of the settlement is given in the historical volume of this work.

Mr. Banta erected a number of houses on the company's lands and remained in charge of the interests of the company as president until 1876, when he was succeeded by David Dancer. Mr. Banta became the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 12, Fayette township, which he cultivated and improved and on which he resided until 1882. He then built a fine residence in Lamoni, which is now the Children's Home, and continued to live there until his demise. He also owned a stock farm comprising eight hundred acres in New Buda township and was one of the men of wealth of Lamoni.

Not long after his removal to Decatur county Mr. Banta became recognized as an important factor in local political circles and in 1872 took an active part in the campaign as a liberal republican, supporting Horace Greeley for president. In 1876, however, he avowed himself a democrat and in that campaign supported Tilden and Hendricks. Without his consent or knowledge he was nominated by the greenback party for the office of county supervisor and. as this nomination was endorsed by the democrats, he was elected by a fair majority, running ahead of the state ticket.

Although he was not in full accord with the liquor policy of the democratic party, which had not then adopted the local option plank, in 1883 Mr. Banta was nominated as the democratic candidate for state representative. He was elected to that office, leading the state ticket in Decatur county by one hundred and eighty-nine votes. Upon the expiration of his term he wished to retire from political life, but against his will was almost elected mayor of Lamoni in March, 1886. In all of his public service he placed the general welfare before personal aggrandizement and his record was highly creditable.

Mr. Banta was married in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, on the 6th of October, 1846, to Miss Emeline Campbell, a sister of Mrs. Marietta Walker, of Lamoni, mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Banta passed away in Decatur county on the 14th of May, 1876, when forty-nine years of age.

On the 29th of November, 1877, Mr. Banta married Miss Hattie E. Crosby, who was then living near Chatfield, Minnesota, although she was born in the state of New York. They became the parents of four children, as follows: William Elijah died when nine months old. Mary Crosby is residing in Lamoni. Ethel Margaret is a critic and training teacher for kindergarteners in the State Normal School at Moorehead, Minnesota. Albert Jefferds, a graduate of the State University of Iowa, is a civil engineer residing at Houston, Texas. He married Miss Jessie Pitkin, of Lamoni, Iowa, and they have two sons, Albert Maurice and William.

Mr. Banta was one of the most prominent and influential members of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints in this part of Iowa and for years was treasurer of the board of publication of the Saints' Herald. He also held the office of bishop's counselor and the work of the church felt the impetus of his enthusiasm and intense interest in everything pertaining to moral advancement.

As an agriculturist and business man he was very successful, as a man of public affairs he was characterized by devotion to the welfare of the people and by sound judgment, and in the private relations of life he manifested traits of character that endeared him to those who knew him intimately.

NOTE: Hattie E. (Crosby) Banta was born in 1847 and died April 10, 1896. Emeline and Elijah were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Lamoni IA. Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2014; updated July of 2015

Sources: 1. History of Decatur County Iowa and Its People
Illustrated, Volumne II. Prof. J. M. Howell and Heman C. Smith, Supervising Editors The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. pp. 217-19. Chicago. 1915.

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  • Created by: Karen
  • Added: 14 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 80471127
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hattie E. Crosby Banta (Jan 1847–10 Apr 1896), Find A Grave Memorial no. 80471127, citing Rose Hill Cemetery, Lamoni, Decatur County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Karen (contributor 47279283) .