Bio: Banister, George F. (1914)


Surnames: Banister, Stearns, Peat, Upham, West, Dempsey, Burton

----Source: History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin (1914) pages 641-642

George F. Banister, retired, was born in Genesee county, N. Y., July 27, 1836. His parents, Joseph and Polly (Stearns) Banister, were natives of Massachusetts and New York, respectively, of Scotch-Irish and English descent. Mr. Banister was reared in Jefferson county, New York, until he was ten years of age, then spent two years in Pennsylvania. He came to Wisconsin in 1849 with his parents, who settled on Indian land in what is now Portage City, but then called Moundville. In 1866 they came to Eau Claire county and settled in the town of Washington and there engaged in farming. They had a family of thirteen children, nine of whom grew to maturity. Those now living are: George F.; Lucy, wife of George M. Dempsey; Mary J. married Ira Burton; Daniston C. and Lyman S. Of those deceased John died in Kentucky while serving as a soldier in the United Sates army; Daniel S. was killed in the civil war; Frederick C, and La Salle.

Mr. Banister received a limited education in the common schools and after coming to Wisconsin in 1849 he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner and in 1856 came to Eau Claire county, and the following year purchased a farm of 85 acres in what is now Section 6, Washington township, to which he subsequently added 80 acres. He cleared and improved 100 acres and there made his home until 1879, when he sold out and moved to the city of Eau Claire and resumed the carpenter business, which he followed off and on until 1908 and then retired. In February, 1865, he married Harriett West, daughter of Derrick and Mary (Upham) West, of Columbia county. Three children were born to them, as follows: Mary, who followed the occupation of teacher, is deceased; Lucy, deceased, and Phoebe M., wife of Charles Peat, of Portland, Ore. Mr. Banister was a soldier in the civil war, enlisting December 15, 1861, as a private in Company L, Second Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry.

He participated in the siege of Vicksburg and in many other battles and skirmishes, and was honorably discharged January 23, 1865, by reason of the expiration of his term of service. He is now a member of Eagle Post, No. 52, G. A. R., of Eau Claire, and the Old Settlers' Association, and is one of its oldest members. While living on the farm Mr. Banister was honored by the people of his town by being elected to various offices, served one term as supervisor and held other minor offices.



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