Obituary of Nathaniel P. Banks
Obituary of Nathaniel P. Banks. Hobart Gazette, page 4, Friday, 13 May 1927.
Nathaniel P. Banks was a native son of Ohio and an adopted son of Indiana. he was born in Lake county, Ohio, Sept. 25, 1845, and in paternal line was of Holland-Dutch lineage. He was the youngest son and one of twelve children born to Orin and Olive (Brown) Banks who emigrated to Laporte county, Indiana, 1845, and to Lake county, Indiana, in 1852 where Mr. Banks was raised and educated and ever since resided, nearly three quarters of a century in Hobart township. When little past 16 years of age, Mr. Banks enlisted in Miller's Chicago Battery and saw three years of active service in the various campaigns of the Middle West. He held the rank of sergeant the last year of service and was called the "kid of the company." He was in the great battle of Chickamauga and was also at Chattanooga. His command was a part of the Fourth Army Corps, to which a large share of the credit for the defeat of Hood's army was given. In one battle, Mr. Banks was the only man left alive at the guns. He returned home after three years' service, at the age of 19, having received an honorable discharge. He was in 17 important battles and 34 skirmishes and was never wounded or even scratched. Upon his return from the service, he attended high school and engaged in teaching for several years.
On Feb. 14, 1869, he was married to Clara Eliza Chandler and to this union were born six children, three of whom and the good mother having preceeded him in death, Mrs. Banks having died Jan. 9, 1921, Marian, Nov. 20, 1880, Mary Scholl, March 29, 1907, and Carrie, Sept. 24, 1914. Three daughters survive, Mrs. Myrtle Iddings of Lowell, Mrs. Bessie Idle of Dowagiac, Mich., and Mrs. Flora Naumann of Hobart.
After his marriage, Mr. Banks located upon the farm southwest of town and engaged in farming. This home was widely known for its good cheer and hospitality. Mr. Banks was a most agreeable host and enjoyed entertaining his friends. They resided on the farm until 1909, when the family came to Hobart to live and soon thereafter built their new home on the east banks of Lake George, a commanding spot for a view up the river.
Mr. Banks served as township trustee for about five years in the late 90's and the plan of hauling high-school children to Hobart was his conception. During his administration the first gravel road in the 10th congressional district was built in Hobart township from the Clinton corner, through his farm to Hobart and on to Lake Michigan. He was one of its staunches [sic] advocates and soon thereafter he brought about the establishment of the first rural mail route. It was during this period of his civic activity that Mr. Banks became a stockholder and director in the First State Bank and later its president, being interested in that banking institution for about 23 years.
Politically, he was a staunch republican and always took an active part in his party's affairs. He never forgot his relations with the old soldiers and took a warm interest in G. A. R. circles. Neither did he slight the farternal [sic] side of life, being an Odd Fellow, a Mason and an Eastern Star.
Mr. Banks was prominent in agricultural affairs throughout the county for many years and was a director and secretary for Lake County Farmers' Mutual Insurance Co.
His was a life well lived, active and progressive, and we doubt if ever a man enjoyed to live more than he and his achievements will benefit the future.
The funeral was held Monday, May 9, and was in charge of Hobart Post, American Legion. The remains were taken to the Methodist church at 1 o'clock and lay in state for one hour, when religious services were conducted by Rev. V. B. Services of Culver, a former pastor in Hobart, assisted by Rev. G. F. Craig of Hobart and Rev. E. A. Dougherty of Lowell. Interment was made in Hobart cemetery.