Friday, May 23, 2014

Wesley Johnson Banks, 1825-1913

History of Appanoose County, Iowa
Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1878
  W[esley] J[ohnson] Banks, farmer, Section 8, Bellair Township, Appanoose County, Iowa; Post Office Centerville is of English descent. He was born in Grant County, Kentucky, July 28, 1825. He is related to General Banks of Massachusetts. His grandfather was a soldier of the Revolution, enlisted when sixteen years of age and served for 7 years. He was among the first settlers of Kentucky, moved to Putnam County, Indiana where he was also an early settler. He was a farmer, his half-brother, Linn Banks served 12 months in the War of 1812, under Richard Johnson of Kentucky. He had his horse shot from under him. He was beside Tecumseh when he fell. When W. J. Banks was fourteen years of age his father died. He and his elder brother, Daniel P., kept house alone until June 1846 when he and his half-brother, James R., enlisted for the Mexican War. He was in the 1st Indiana Infantry under Col. James P. Drake. He was Corporal of Company A. His brother died the first year, he re-enlisted as wagon Master and served until the close of the war. He then went with a company of troops to California as teamster.  He was 6 months on the road from the mouth of the Rio Grande, some of the time living on one and one-half crackers a day. After losing the greater part of an extensive and
valuable train in crossing the desert they arrived in Los Angeles.  He was discharged at Monterey, March 31, 1849.  He kept a livery stable and mined for one and one-half years.  He returned to Indiana on December 23, 1852.  He married Nancy Wells Talbott.  She was born in Putnam County, Indiana in 1831, the daughter of Thomas Talbott, the youngest son of Edward Talbott who served in the Revolutionary War, afterward a pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  At a meeting of the relatives of her father held at his residence in Indiana in 1851, there were 180 members of the family. Her mother's maiden name was Rankin, died in September 1853. In 1864, Mr. Banks settled in Appanoose County where he now resides, owns 270 acres of land valued at $25 per acre. They have 5 children: William E., a druggist in Russell, Russell County, Kansas, born in Indiana in 1855; James W., born in 1858; Thomas W., born in 1860; Daniel V., born in 1862; Frank T., born in 1866, all at home, except the eldest. Mr. Banks was a Whig in politics, now a Democrat. He held the office of Township Trustee. Mrs. Banks is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Centerville Journal
28 August 1913 – Page 1
  Wesley J. Banks, familiarity known to many residents of Appanoose county as “Uncle”.  Wesley Banks, one of the earlier pioneer citizens of the county and for years one of the potent influences in its development, a veteran of the Mexican war and a man well respected and loved by all who knew him, passed away Sunday forenoon at 11:30 at the home of his son with whom he had made his home. The deceased had just past his 88th birthday on the 28th of July upon which occasion he had received many more than a hundred remembrances from his friends throughout the county.
  Wesley J. Banks was born July 28th 1825, in Gerrard county, Kentucky, died August 24, 1913, aged 88 years and 24 days. He was united in marriage to Nancy Talbot Dec. 21, 1852.  To this union was born nine children three dying in infancy and a daughter at the age of 14.  One son James died May 3, 1902. He is survived by four sons, D. V. Banks, with whom he made his home, William of Loveland, Colo., T. W. of near Cincinnati, and Frank of near Centerville, and by a host of relatives and friends who mourn their loss. The funeral services were held at 1:30 Monday from the late home of the deceased, conducted by Rev. J. H. Carr, an old friend of the family accompanied by the members of the G.A.R. who attended in a body. The interment was made in Oakland cemetery.

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