Daniel A. Banta, of Great Bend, who occupies the bench of the Twentieth Judicial district of Kansas, is an Ohio man by birth, but came to Kansas in 1884, and in the quarter of a ceutury or more that has passed since then he has acquired wide prominence as a criminal lawyer and a high rank among the legal talent of the state. He was horn Sept. 9, 1851, at Union City, Ohio, to Albert N. Banta and his wife, nee Hannah Allen. The parents were natives of Ohio, the father born at Redlion in 1835, and the mother near Greenville in 1895. Her parents, also, were natives of Ohio. Albert N. Banta devoted his whole active career to agricultural pursuits. He came to Kansas in 1880 and located at Lyndon, where he made his home with his son, Allen M. Banta. While visiting another son, Frederick, in Oklahoma, in 1906, he took sick and died, at the age of eighty-seven years, and was buried at Topeka, Kan. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Christian church. Hannah (Allen) Banta, the mother of Judge Banta, was also a member of the Christian church she died at Lyndon, Kan., in 1901. Of the union of these parents were born six childrenfour sons and two daughtersall of whom are now living (1911). Allen M., born Aug. 10, 1849, is a retired farmer; Frederick resides in Oklahoma; Daniel A. is the next in order of birth; Sarah, born in 1854, married R. R. Irvin, in Henry county, Indiana, in 1868Mr. Irvin died at Topeka, Kan., in 1900, and is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters; Alice, born in 1861, is now Mrs. Morris, whose husband is a farmer in Idaho; and George W., born in 1864, is a contractor at Topeka, Kan.
Judge Daniel A. Banta acquired his education in the public schools of Hamilton, Ohio, and had been employed as a stationary engineer by the time he reached his sixteenth year. In 1866 he accompanied his parentsto Henry county, Indiana, where he assisted his father in farming until 1870. That year he began his independent career, when he removed to Jonesboro, Ind., and became a painter and sign writer, continuing to he thus employed until 1875. Having decided to take up the profession of law as his life work, he became a private student in the law office of Asbury Steele, the father of George W. Steele, the first territorial governor of Oklahoma and later in Congress from Indiana. Judge Banta was admitted to the bar in 1879, at Marion, Ind., and practiced law there until 1884, when he removed to Great Bend, Kan. There he formed a law partnership with C. F. Diffenbacher, which relation continued twelve years, until the latter's retirement from active practice, in 1896. From that time until 1910 Judge Banta continued to practice alone and established a wide and lucrative practice as a criminal lawyer. A stanch Republican, he has always been an active worker in his party's behalf and assisted in the work of each campaign prior to 1904, by stumping the state for the Republican ticket. In 1910 he was nominated judge of the Twentieth Judicial district by the unanimous request of the Republican members of the bars of Barton, Rice and Stafford counties, defeating by a handsome majority C. F. Foley, the Democratic nominee, at the following election. Judge Banta is a man of well-rounded character, finely balanced mind, and one of splendid intellectual attainments, and though his service upon the bench has covered but a short period thus far, he has discharged most acceptably the arduous and delicate duties of his position. He has one of the best, largest and most practical law libraries in the west half of the state, consisting of 1,600 volumes, and there he spends mulch of his time, familiarizing himself with the technical features of every case that comes under his consideration.
In 1886 Judge Banta married Miss Mabel C. Day, of Great Bend. Kan. She was born Feb. 14, 1869, at La Grange, Mo., daughter of Samuel J. Day, an attorney, now deceased. Mrs. Banta was a teacher before her marriage and taught for several years in Barton county and at Great Bend. Judge and Mrs. Banta have three sons, each of whom has chosen a useful profession and has entered upon his active career. Daniel W., the eldest son, born at Great Bend, Kan., Jan. 24, 1887, graduated in the Great Bend High School in 1907, and after attending Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, one term, entered Strassberger Conservatory of Music, at St. Louis, Mo., where he was graduated, and he is now a member of the conservatory's faculty; he married Miss Beulah Button, of St. Louis. Arthur Clair, the second son, born Oct. 20, 1888, at Great Bend, graduated in the Great Bend High School in the class of 1908. After reading law under his father two years he entered the law department of Washburn College and was graduated in 1911. He at once took the state examination and was admitted to practice in the supreme and inferior courts of the state, and is a member of the law firm of Banta & Allphin, of Great Bend. George W., the youngest son, born Sept. 5, 1890, is a mechanical engineer at Great Bend. Fraternally, Judge Banta is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Knights of Pythias. As a citizen he is alert and progressive, and through his useful and honorable life he is amply deserving of the high respect and esteem in which he is held in this community.Pages 316-318 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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