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Madera Biographies: BANTA

CHRISTOPHER H. BANTA

The owner of a pleasant home and farm in Fresno County, C. H. Banta, of Dos Palos Colony, is widely and favorably known as justice of the peace for the First District of Fresno County, which includes almost all the west side of the county.  Liberal and enterprising, he is also noted for his keen intelligence and sound judgment a public official, his decisions being marked by fairness and impartiality.  A son of William J. Banta, he was born April 22, 1855, near Clinton, Henry county, Mo.  His paternal grandfather, A. Banta, was one of the hardy pioneers that assisted in settling Missouri. He afterward removed to Colorado, and there spent the declining years of his live, dying in 1883.

Although born in Kentucky, William J. Banta grew to manhood in Missouri, and there commenced life for himself as a farmer.  Removing with his family to Colorado, he settled first near Pueblo as an agriculturist, but went from there to Cripple Creek, where he discovered and opened mines that proved of great value.  He accumulated great wealth in his operations, and now has two homes, one in Idaho, and one in Dos Palos, Cal.  His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Goff, was a native of Tennessee.

The oldest of a family of nine children, C.H. Banta spent the days of his boyhood and youth in Colorado, going there when eight years old, and receiving his early education in the public schools.  Turning his attention to agricultural pursuits, he afterward worked on cattle ranches and as a teamster for a while.  He subsequently traveled extensively in Colorado, becoming acquainted with all parts of the state, for a short time. Being employed as clerk in Durango.

Coming to California in 1884, Mr. Banta located in what is now Kings County, and for two years followed farming for a living.  Locating in Firebaugh in 1886, he worked during the summer seasons for Miller and Lux for a number of years, while in the winter he was busily employed in hunting, supplying the local and city markets with ducks and geese.  In 1899, Mr. Banta settled in Dos Palos Colony, his residence and farm being in Fresno County, where he operates ten acres of land.  Being elected justice of the peace in November 1002, he took the oath of office in January 1903, and has since served ably and faithfully in this position, his services being recognized and appreciated by all concerned.  The territory over which he has official jurisdiction embraces a large part of the west side of Fresno County, and he has two offices, one at Firebaugh and one at Mendota.

Mr. Banta married, in Fresno, Mrs. Sarah P. (Johnson) Dye, who was born in West Virginia, and came to Dos Palos in 1894.  By her former marriage four sons were born, Homer, Clarence, Frinzy and Evert.  The only child born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Banta is a son, named Leonard.  In his political views Mr. Banta is a stanch Republican, and is an active member of the Republican count central committee.  Fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, of the Knights of the Maccabees and of the Fraternal Aid.

Guinn, J. M., History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, (Chicago: Chapman Publishing, 1905).



Last update: June 19, 2000
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