N. P. Banks

    N. P. Banks, one of the practical and progressive farmers of Hobart Township, resides on Section 6, and for many years has been a resident of the county. He was born in Lake County, Ohio, September 25, 1845, and in the paternal line is of Holland-Dutch lineage. His great-great-grandfather was born in Holland and, coming to America, served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Orin Banks, the father of N. P. Banks, was born in New York and was reared and married there, the lady of his choice being Miss olive Brown, whose birth occurred in the Empire State and who was of English descent. He emigrated to Ohio in an early day, settling in Lake County, whence in 1845 he removed to LaPorte County, Indiana, establishing his home just within the boundary limits of LaPorte City. He afterward lived in Scipio Township, that county, and in 1852 he came to Lake County, settling in Ross Township, where he carried on farming. His last days, however, were passed in Hobart Township, where he died at the age of fifty-seven years. He was a very public spirited man, and was Justice of the Peace for a number of years. He also belonged to the Baptist Church, was very active and zealous in its work, filled the office of Deacon and did everything in his power to advance the cause of Christianity in his community. His life was honorable, his actions manly and sincere and he left to his family the priceless heritage of an untarnished name. His wife, a most estimable lady, lived to be about seventy-two years of age. In their family were twelve children, of whom two died in infancy, while ten reached manhood or womanhood and eight are now living.

    N. P. Banks is the youngest son and eleventh child of the family, and was but six weeks old when he landed in LaPorte County, Indiana, with his parents. Seven years later he came with them to Lake County, and was largely reared in Hobart Township, acquiring his education in the public schools. He was but sixteen years of age when in 1862 he enlisted in Miller's Chicago Battery for three years service. He was No. 4 on the gun, and was afterward Corporal Chief of the caisson and gunner. During the last year of his service he held the rank of Sergeant and received an honorable discharge in 1865, after having been a member of the army for almost three years. He was the youngest man in his company, and he took part in seventeen important battles and thirty-four skirmished, including many of the mostly hotly contested engagements of the war. Among the number were the battles of the Atlanta campaign, and though he was soften in the thickest of the fight he did not receive even a scratch in all of his service. When the country no longer needed his aid he was honorably discharged at Chicago in 1865, and returned to his home in Lake County with a most creditable military record.

    Desirous of enjoying better school advantages Mr. Banks then attended high school for one term, and later he engaged in teaching school through four winter seasons, while in the summer months he worked for wages on the farm.

    On the 14th of February, 1869, Mr. Banks was united in marriage to Miss Clara E. Chandler, a daughter of T. P. and Betsey (Woodmansee) Chandler. The parents were natives of Vermont and in their family were four children, of whom Mrs. Banks is the youngest. Her birth occurred in the Green Mountain State January 1, 1850, and by her marriage she has become the mother of six children:

  1. Mary, the wife of J. M. Sholl.

  2. Carrie E., who is attending college at Oberlin, Ohio.

  3. Myrtle L., who is engaged in teaching in the schools of Hobart.

  4. Bessie, the wife of Rev. Dunning Idle, a celebrated minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

  5. Flora, who is attending school in Hobart.

  6. Marian, deceased.

    After his marriage Mr. Banks located upon a farm in Hobart Township and has since been engaged in general agricultural pursuits. He now has two hundred and forty acres of land, which is a well developed property, the fields being highly cultivated, while upon the farm are good buildings, and all modern equipments. This constitutes one of the attractive features in the landscape, and a glance indicates to the passerby the care and supervision of an enterprising, progressive owner. Mr. Banks is a stockholder and also a Director in the First State Bank of Hobart. Mr. Banks is a Director of the Lake County Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, organized some years ago on a small scale, and now embracing the whole county. There are 1,310 policies and the insurance in force is about $2,150,000.00, which exists amongst the best farmers of the county. There are five Directors, four of them being N. P. Banks, Albert Foster, Star A. Brownell and John Borger. In public affairs he has also been prominent and influential, and his influence is always given on the side of right, reform and improvements. He was Township Trustee of Hobart for five years, and he has always been a stanch Republican, putting forth strenuous effort in behalf of the party. He maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his membership in Hobart Post No. 411, G. A. R., and he also belongs to the Odd Fellows Society, No. 333, at that place. In matters of citizenship he is a true and loyal as when he followed the nation's starry banner upon the battlefields of the south.

SOURCE: Encyclopedia of Genealogy and Biography of Lake County, Indiana, with a compendium of History 1834-1904 . A record of the Achievements of its people in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. By Rev. T. H. Ball of Crown Point, Editor-in-chief. The Lewis Publishing Company, 1904, page 388-391.