Biography of Charles Elda Banker

Charles Elda Banker, city clerk of Salina, had been a resident of Saline County forty years, and his family is one of the best known in this section of the state.

His father was the late John A. Banker, who was especially well known for his services as a landscape gardener in Saline County, and also had the distinction of establishing the first nursery in the county. John A. Banker was born near Germantown, Ohio, December 25, 1848. He followed farming for many years in Ohio, subsequently became a merchant at Germantown, but in 1877 brought his family to Kansas and bought a tract of raw land in Saline County five miles northwest of Salina. That land he developed largely as a nursery, and this nursery supplied the stock for many of the earliest orchards planted in this and surrounding counties. He also established a general store at the station on the Union Pacific Railway known as Trenton, and for a few years he served as station agent. He finally retired from active business in 1892 and spent his last years in Salina. As a landscape gardener he designed many of the most beautiful properties in that city and his services were greatly in demand throughout this section of the state. He served as park commissioner of Saline County for four years, and while in that office he laid out the beautiful Oakdale Park in Salina. He was a stanch supporter of the republican party and filled several minor offices in Kansas. He was both a member and official in the United Brethren Church. The death of this honored citizen occurred at Salina, September 12, 1908.

On December 22, 1868, John A. Banker married Miss Susan McLain, who was born near Germantown, Ohio, August 9, 1847. They became the parents of eight children, five sons and three daughters: Charles Elda; Courtney, who died in infancy; Christopher Wilber, who is now a farmer at Center, Colorado; Iva M., who was married in 1915 to George Kerns and they live in Salina; Victor A., a contractor at Minneapolis, Minnesota; Myrtle E., who was married in 1904 to Amos Barth of Salina; Lizzie H., who in 1908 became the wife of William Kerns of Salina; Frank, a farmer and automobile dealer at Fellsmere, Florida.

Charles Elda Banker was born on a farm near Germantown, Ohio, February 22, 1870, and was seven years of age when the family came to Kansas. He acquired considerable instruction in the public schools of Saline County, but benefited mostly by his training in the school of experience. He grew up on a farm, and at the age of fifteen took charge of his father’s store at Trenton. In 1888 he left home and for one year worked as a printer in a newspaper office at Eureka Springs, Arkansas. That work proved too confining and detrimental to his health and returning to Kansas he then bought his father’s store at Trenton. He remained a merchant in that village until 1893, and since then had lived in Salina. In 1898 he entered the employ of the city and held various appointive offices. Since December, 1910, he had been city clerk.

Mr. Banker is a republican, a member of the Congregational Church, and fraternally is affiliated with the Masonic order and the Mystic Shrine and the Modern Woodmen of America. On January 10, 1892, at Salina, he married Miss Sylvia M. Richardson, a daughter of B. F. and Matilda (Thomas) Richardson. Mrs. Banker was born January 10, 1870, and her parents were natives of Indiana and personal friends and neighbors of the late James Whitcomb Riley, the Hoosier poet. Mr. and Mrs. Banker have two children. Hattie Ethel, born November 16, 1892, was married in 1915 to John Garber. Hazel O., born December 29, 1896, is a member of the class of 1917 in the Salina High School.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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