Monday, April 6, 2009
Wesley Johnson Banks Family History
This article was transcribed with permission from page 136 of Appanoose County, Iowa (1986) compiled by the Appanoose County Historical Society, Centerville, Iowa.
It was 1865 when Wesley J. Banks and his wife, Nancy (Talbot) Banks left their home in Greencastle, Indiana and set out for Centerville, Iowa. They had three young sons, the youngest being only eighteen months old. The family was six weeks enroute. Wesley had been to Centerville several times previously to visit his brother, John, an early Appanoose County Sheriff.
Wesley, a Mexican War soldier was the son of an American Revolutionary War soldier, William and his wife, Elizabeth (Brown) Banks.
After settling in Appanoose County on a farm near Jerome, Wesley and Nancy had six more children. Four of these children died at early ages and along with their parents are buried at Oakland Cemetery in Centerville, Iowa. Five boys grew to manhood in this county: James, William, Dan, Tom and Frank.
James, father of Elmer and Ethyl, died at an early age.
William migrated west to Kansas and later to Colorado.
Dan married Eliza Jane (Horn) and they had one daughter, Julia. Dan worked for a number of years in Kansas but returned to Appanoose County to care for his aging father, Wesley J. who was bedfast on eight years prior to his death in 1913. Dan and his family lived on the farm which is now owned by John Vidas east of Streepyville. Dan and Eliza's daughter Julia married Bruce Watts of Moravia and they farmed the home place until 1931; they moved to Ottumwa and had two children both of whom are deceased. Bruce Watts died in 1992 and Julia lives in Ottumwa.
Tom Banks married Eva Criswell of Jerome and they had one daughter, Lennie. Tom was a farmer and worked in the City Gardens where the Golden Age Manor now stands. Lennie married William Dwight Hughes and they had five children, all raised in Appanoose County: Harold, Raymond, Marje, Wayne and Glenn.
Frank Banks married Lottie Streepy. They own the farm east of Streepyville now owned by Raymond Hughes. They had one son, Harry who grew to manhood in Centerville, served in World War II and later became associated with General Motors in Detroit.
Raymond Hughes is the only descendant of Wesley J. Banks living in Appanoose County.