It must have been that Isaac Washington Banta was so well known that having “Pappy” written on his individual gravestone meant everyone in Shelby and Henry counties knew exactly who he was. His devoted wife, Belle Dooley Banta, has “Mammy” written on hers. Both were born in 1849, just 38 days apart. Belle was born February 2nd, Isaac was born March 12th.
Isaac was the son of Henry Griffith Banta and Virginia Elizabeth Kelly. Isabella, affectionately known as Belle, was the daughter of Jabez and Rebecca Dooley, of Montgomery County. Isaac’s family in the 1860 census of Shelby County – H. G. Banta is 38, a brick mason; Elizabeth, 35; William A., 17; Griffin D., 15; Isaac W., 12; George H., 11; Ellen, 5; Virginia, 4; and Cassandra, 1. Belle’s family in the 1850 census of Montgomery County – Jabez, 42; Rebecca, 37; Anne E., 18; Obediah, 16; Robert T., 14; Samuel, 12; Mary C., 10, James, 8; Sarah J., 4; Isabella, 1.
Isaac and Belle were married in Montgomery County December 25, 1872, by H. Riance Walker at her father’s home, witnessed by Will H. Winn and J. B. Dooley. I would like to know how the two met!
Isaac took his bride back to Shelby County where they made their home; he was a farmer. In the 1880 census Isaac was 31; Belle, 30; Claude, 6; Leslie, 5M; Elzey, 3 M; and Carrie, 9/12, born in August. Two daughters were born in the time between 1880 and 1900 – Minerva R. and Hazel P. By 1910 all children were married, had homes of their own, leaving Isaac and Belle, both 61, living in their home. Ten years later they decided to move to Pleasureville in Henry County.
A list of the children of Isaac and Belle:
- Claude, 1874-1953, married Mary, I have no maiden name.
- Leslie, 1875-1931, married Bessie, I have no maiden name.
- Elzey, 1877-1892, never married.
- Carrie, 1879-1970, married Nicholas J. Koenigstein.
- Minerva, 1881-1947, married Patrick H. List, and after his death, Edward F. Wallace.
- Hazel P., 1888-1913, married Warren L. Russell.
Elzey Banta died 1892 at the young age of 15.
The first newspaper article I found about this family was about a silver wedding party given by Mr. I. W. Banta and wife of near Shelbyville. A Mr. John Wilson and Miss Sadie Robertson ‘visited friends and relatives in Eminence, Shelbyville and other points’ and also attend the party given by the Banta’s. The newspaper was The Mt. Sterling Advocate of Tuesday, January 4, 1898. Since Belle Dooley Banta was from Montgomery County perhaps these were her relatives? Could this silver wedding party have been for Isaac and Belle? They were married December 25, 1872 – perhaps just a little late?
‘Miss Hazel Banta, of Eminence, and Mr. Warren Russell, of Beards, were married Thursday evening at 8 o’clock at the home of the bride’s brother, Mr. L. M. Banta, in the Highlands. The bride is the daughter of I. W. Banta of Shelby County. The groom is a prosperous young farmer of Oldham County. After an extended southern trip, they will be at home at Beards.’ The Courier Journal, November 1, 1908.
Hazel P. Banta Russell died at the young age of 25. The only notice of her death in the papers was from The Courier Journal, of Louisville, ‘Mr. and Mrs. George Yeager and Mrs. Burnett attended the funeral of Mrs. Warren Russell in Pleasureville Sunday.’
There were two notices of Isaac W. Banta’s death, both in The Courier Journal, April 15, 1923. I chose to share this one since it gave the maiden name of his wife.
‘Saturday, April 14, at 4 p.m., Isaac W. Banta, age 74 years, beloved husband of Belle Banta (nee Dooley) at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. P. H. List, 239 Haldeman Avenue. Remains will be taken to Pleasureville, Ky., this evening at 6 o’clock. Funeral services at Baptist Church, Pleasureville, Monday, at 11 o’clock. Interment in Pleasureville Cemetery.’
Leslie Banta died December 23, 1931, in his home in Louisville. From the December 24, 1931, The Courier Journal:
‘Leslie M. Banta, 56 years old, retired superintendent of the Cherokee Branch of the United States Postoffice, died at 1:15 o’clock Wednesday morning at his home, 1735 Chichester Avenue. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Bessie Banta; a daughter, Mrs. Harry Brown; his mother, Mrs. Belle Banta; a brother, Claude Banta of Shelbyville, Ky., and two sisters, Mrs. N. P. Koenigstein and Mrs. T. H. List of Shelby County, Kentucky. Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock Friday afternoon at the residence. Burial will be in Resthaven Cemetery.’
Belle Dooley Banta lived ten years after her husband’s death, following him to the grave November 11, 1933. The only reference to her death was in The Park City Daily News of Bowling Green where daughter Carrie lived.
‘Mrs. N. J. Koenigstein, who resides on the Nashville Road, received word today of the death of her mother, Mrs. Belle Banta, of Pleasureville, Ky.
‘Mrs. Banta was the widow of the late I. W. Banta and made her home with another daughter, Mrs. P. H. List, at Pleasureville. There are no other survivors. [This is not accurate – brother Claude was still living at this time.]
‘Funeral services will be held tomorrow from the residence at Pleasureville.’
Minnie Banta List Wallace died July 2, 1948. From The Courier Journal, July 4, 1948:
‘Mrs. Minnie List (nee Banta) Wallace, age 67 years; residence, 4118 Shelbyville Road; Friday morning, July 2, 1848, widow of Edward F. Wallace; devoted mother of Seibert B. List, Billings, Mont., and the late Hillis List; also survived by her grandchildren, Kenneth, Paul, John and Patricia List; her sister, Mrs. N. J. Koenigstein, Bowling Green, Ky., and brother, Claude Banta. Remains at Ratterman Bros. Funeral Home, 3711 Lexington Road. Funeral services in the chapel Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Interment in Pleasureville, KY.’
This short notice in The Park City Daily News of September 20, 1953, was the only account I could find of Claude Bonta’s death.
‘Mr. and Mrs. N. J. Koenigstein have returned from Shelbyville, Ky., where they attended the funeral and burial services for Mrs. Koenigstein’s brother, Claude Banta.’
The last surviving child of Pappy and Mammy lived another 17 years. Dying at the age of 90 years on January 30, 1970, Carrie Banta Koenigstein, passed away at the Masonic Home in Louisville. She had lived in Bowling Green for 35 years and was the widow of Nick Koenigstein who operated a sheetmetal business there. The only survivor listed was a sister-in-law.
As with all families it seems the story is too short, time passed too quickly, and the family’s story ended. But they live on in their descendants.
Pleasureville Cemetery is known to some as the Dutch Tract Cemetery. Many of the early Dutch settlers came to this area in the early days, had large families, prospered. I was fortunate to attend the annual meeting the of Dutch Cousins in 2019, held in Frankfort, Kentucky. What a fun group of people! For more information – Dutch Cousins.
Categories: Family Stories