William A. Banks, a well known farmer, owning and operating three hundred and sixty five acres of land in Knoxville
township, was born in Danbury, Connecticut, November 25, 1863, a sun of John and Cynthia (Judson) Banks. The father
was born in Westmead, near Dublin, Ireland, of Scotch and English parentage, but was brought to New York city when
a child of three years. He grew to manhood there and subsequently resided for a time in Zanesville, Ohio. In 1860
he was married in Connecticut and not long afterward removed to Marion county, Iowa. He had first visited this
county in 1854 and was very favorably impressed with its opportunities at that time. He continued to reside here
after the removal of the family to this county until his death in 1895. His widow survived for a number of years,
her demise occurring in 1909. They were members of the Separatist church, a dissenting organization which withdrew
from the Episcopal church. He was a republican in politics and held a number of local offices, including that of
trustee. His agricultural activities returned to him a good income and he was one of the substantial men of his
community. Much of the land which he owned was purchased for a dollar and a quarter per acre as he was far sighted
enough to take advantage of the low price of land prevailing here in the '60s. In 1849 he went to California, where
he spent three years, and had many interesting experiences.
Seven children were born to John and Cynthia Banks, William A. being the second in order of birth. The next youngest
died in infancy and the others are as follows: John Edward, a civil engineer, who after graduating from the Iowa
State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts at Ames took a course at Cornell University at Ithaca, New York,
and is now a minor official of the American Bridge Company, stationed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Alfred J., a
graduate of the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts; Clara J., who makes her home with the subject
of this review; Sarah, a resident of Denver, Colorado; and Charles, who resides with his brother, William A., and
is associated with him in business.
William A. Banks was reared in this county, as were all of his brothers and sisters, and attended the common schools.
In his boyhood and youth he received valuable training in agriculture through assisting his father and since coming
to years of maturity has continued to follow that occupation. In addition to cultivating the fields he raises full
blooded Polled Angus cattle and the sale of his grain and stock yields him a good income annually. The farm comprises
three hundred and sixty five acres and its value is increased by its favorable location, as it is about six miles
from the city of Knoxville. Everything about the place is kept in excellent repair, the fertility of the soil is
conserved by wise methods of cultivation and the latest machinery is employed in the farm work.
Mr. Banks is a republican and has acceptably served as trustee of Knoxville township, looking after the business
of the township as carefully as if it were his own. His membership in the Plymouth Presbyterian church of Knoxville
township indicates his religious belief.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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