Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 640-641 transcribed by Ryan Kemp, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on 10/23/00.


William Robert Banning

WILLIAM ROBERT BANNING, for many years a resident of Wyandotte county, now deceased, was engaged in various occupations. At one time he was employed as a quarryman; at another as a carpenter and then as a grain elevator man; later he engaged in the confectionery business and subsequently in the dairy business. In each of these various activities he quietly attended to his work, intent on the performance of his duty and desirous of leading a life of rectitude. That he succeeded in his endeavors his host of friends and neighbors bear witness.

Mr. Banning was the son of James and Minerva Banning, residents of Macon county, Missouri, where their son, William Robert, was born July 7, 1853. When a mere lad the family moved to Vernon county, where he attended the public schools and grew to man's estate. On the termination of his school life he gained employment in a stone quarry but soon determined that the life of a quarryman was not the one he would choose to follow. He learned carpentering and for many years he was identified with that trade, his work being skilful and accurate. Again desirous of changing his occupation, he secured a position with an elevator on Genesee street, Kansas City, where he was eminently successful in his work, but in May, 1891, he was seriously injured; in the performance of his duties his arm was caught in a set screw, drawn through the machinery and so badly lacerated that it had to be taken off, the operation being performed at the city hospital. The accident naturally incapacitated him for further mechanical work of any kind, and as soon as he was sufficiently recovered, he opened a confectionary store, which he successfully conducted for a period of two years, at the expiration of which time he moved to South Park and engaged in the dairy business. Commencing with only two cows, he gradually increased his business until he owned twenty-seven cows; and made many pounds of butter a day, which he sold, together with the buttermilk, in Kansas City. When death summoned him he was the proprietor of a thriving business, opposite the Geyser Spas in Rosedale.

On January 16, 1881, Mr. Banning was married in Kansas City to Miss Laura Hawkins, daughter of Bird and Susan (Holloday) Hawkins, old settlers of Pettis county, Missouri, where Miss Laura was born December 4, 1854. When she was only seven years of age she was left an orphan and the little girl succeeded in making her own living until her marriage. Her only daughter, Ida, was born in Belton, Missouri, December 4, 1874 and has been twice married. In 1896 she was united to Lawrence Rock, born in 1870 at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and later a resident of Kansas City, Missouri. One evening on his return from work he was getting out of the way of a train and was killed by a runaway car. This accident occurred February 11, 1901, and his body was taken to Pennsylvania, where it lies in the cemetery near his old home. The young widow later married Elmer Hite, February 8, 1909, a contractor living at South Park. Mr. and Mrs. Banning adopted a little girl, Della, born April 9, 1901, now a student in the South Park school.

From his childhood Mr. Banning was a member of the hard shell Baptist church, always an active worker. In his family relations he was ever a good husband and father, affectionate and considerate. His widow carries on the business in which he was engaged at his death; her early experiences stand her in good stead, as through them she is qualified to conduct the business in a successful manner.



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