Above: "Aunt Ruth" (Ruth Ross Banister Morrison) is shown with her nephew, Arthur Williams Banister.

Arthur W. was: 1) the great-grandson of James A. Banister, and 2) the beloved late father of your host.

The "James A. Banister & Sons circa 1900" family photo (top of page) was authenticated by Aunt Ruth,

who was born on 10.22.1907. She died on 9.22.1999. Ruth was the only daughter of Arthur Chadwick Banister and Mabel Ross.

Arthur C. and Mabel also had one son, James Henry, who was the father of Arthur Williams (above) and James Henry, Jr., (not shown).


Below: Your host with her father, Arthur Williams Banister, in Cocoa Beach, Florida, 2013


JAMES A. BANISTER & SONS

circa 1900 (est.)


Lydia Slater Birdsall (September 23, 1833 - August 22, 1875)

& James Albert Banister (March 25, 1831 - February 4, 1906)

Married: September 22, 1850




























James A. Banister


James Albert Banister, of Newark, died at his home in Roseville, February 4, 1906 after an illness of more than a year. He was born in Middletown, N.Y., in 1831, where he spent his early life. In 1844 he came to Newark with his parents, and for a time was in the drug business (!), but in 1852 engaged with his father, Isaac Banister, In the shoe manufacturing business. In 1861, Mr. Banister received the business from his father, and had since conducted it with ever increasing success, having over five hundred employees upon his payroll, with whom he had never had any serious labor trouble.

     

Ever since his conversion in 1850, Mr. Banister had been actively and prominently identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, especially in the Halsey Street and Roseville charges. He was president of the Board of Trustees and chairman of the building committee when the latter church was erected. He was always the pastor's friend, a loyal supporter of the spiritual and material interests of the church: a man of sterling qualities of character, which were manifested in his business, integrity, lofty ideals of right, purity of mind, worthy motives, and manly sympathy: but chiefly in his unswerving faith in Christ and devotion to His service. He was identified with  many business and philanthropic interests. As president of the Newark Young Men's Christian Association for the past ten years, his character was recognized as one of rare integrity and Christian manliness, a man of religious as well as civic convictions, one who was bound to be right. For more than thirty years he served as a trustee of St. John's (colored) Methodist Episcopal Church in Newark, whose people loved him “because all men to him” they said, “irrespective of race or color, were brothers.”


In the business world Mr. Banister was, as a director, connected with two banks and a fire insurance company, the Fairmount Cemetery Association, and the Shoe Manufacturer's Association, and was also a member of the Board of Trade. He was married to Miss Adelaide Corwin, of Newark, Oct. 24, 1876, who survives him with their children, Robert Louis, Mrs. William Talbot and Miss Mary W. He is also survived by fives sons of a former marriage:* William J., Isaac, James B., Albert L. and Arthur C.


A service was held at the house, his pastor, the Rev. T. Coultas, offered prayer, and a brief address was made to the family by the writer. The formal service was held in the Roseville church. The Scriptures were read by Rev. A. H. Tuttle and the Rev. J.W. Marshall, former pastors; a comforting and inspiring service was preached by the pastor from the text, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life,” after which prayer was offered by the writer, a former pastor.


Jonathan M. Meeker


THE TEN CHILDREN OF

LYDIA SLATER & JAMES ALBERT BANISTER


1. William Jackson – born September 19, 1852; died ?

Married: Francis E. Decker - October 20, 1887


2. Lydia Adelaide – born June 30, 1854; Died November 11, 1855 16 months old


3. Isaac (middle name?) Jr. – born August 13, 1856; died ?


4. Marianna (middle name?) – born April 19, 1859; died April 12, 18678 years old


5. James Bryan – born November 13, 1860; died December 1, 194383 years old

Married: Jennie (Jenett) M. Ford - June 9 1889


6. Harry(?) Day – born November 18, 1862; died September 13, 186311 months old


7. Albert Lincoln – born August 4, 1864; died ?

Married: Fannie Gordon Baldwin - June 7, 1888


8. Lydia Louise – born December 7, 1867; died April 30, 188316 years old


9. Arthur Chadwick – born September 28, 1869; died (day?) 1933 64 years old

Married: Mabel Ross – April 23, 1903


10. Freddie Lyman – born October 20, 1871; died July 2, 1872 9 months old


THE FOUR CHILDREN OF

ADELAIDE CORWIN & JAMES ALBERT BANISTER


1. Ethel Adelaide – born December 13, 1877; died ?

Married: William Talbot on October 2, 1901


2. Robert Louis – born March 9, 1879; died ?

Married: Emilie Hobbie


3. Mary Williams – born January 21, 1883; died July 17, 188?

Married: Dr. Harry W. Redfield


4. Howell Corwin - born October 9, 1885; died March 7, 18882-1/2 years old


Above:


Denny, treasurer, and James B. Banister, secretary. Mr. Banister held the office of president until his death in 1906. From Nos. 218-220 Market Street the business was moved to Nos. 257-259 Market Street, where a fire occurred in 1884, necessitating temporary location of the business in Mechanic Street. Property at Nos. 185-187 Washington Street was acquired later in order to meet the need of increased business and they moved there in 1888. Further expansion became necessary later, and in 1916 the present commodious, fireproof and up-to-the-minute factory at Orange Street and the Morris Canal was completed and the business was transferred to the new plant. While the removal was under way there was a destructive fire in the plant of the Boyden Shoe Company, and the latter concern took advantage of the opportunity to resume its business in the old Banister factory.

     Every move of the Banister Company has been because of, and has resulted in the advancement of its business, and through all the generations it has maintained a superiority in the shoe manufacturing trade. Its footwear is known throughout the world, and when exhibited in competition has carried off first honor at Vienna in 1873, the Philadelphia Centennial in 1876, the Chicago Exposition, 1893, the Cotton Exposition in 1884, and the Paris Exposition in 1900. The present Banister factory is equipped to turn out 3,000 pairs of shoes a day.

     Isaac Banister made himself a pair of shoes while but a boy, and when he was sixteen and had become so expert a shoemaker that he left home and began an individual career. He tells some interesting things concerning this period in his autobiography, from which the following excerpts are taken.


In order to be understood in those later days, I must explain some of the habits and customs of that age of my country's history. Shoemakers and tailors kept no shops as a general thing. They had a room in their house where they kept their tools and did some small jobs. Their principal work was done in the farmer's houses; fall and spring the farmers would get their leather from the tanners, who tanned their hides and calf skins on shares and gave half the leather. As a rule, they had no money to buy the hides with. The farmers spun their own wool and flax, and the woolen cloth was taken to the mill and frilled for men's and women's wear, as the wants required. Then the tailor or the shoemaker was called to come on a set day to do up the boots and shoes or the boys' and men's coats and pants, and to cut out the clothes for the smaller children. This was called (technically) “cat whipping.” The tailor as well as the shoemaker that traveled around to do their work in this was called a “cat whipper.” Allow me here to explain more fully how this name came into general use. I think it was by Divine Injunction, the same as John Baptist was named when they asked his father. He said, "His name is John because God made him John.” So the cat whipper came into the world in this wise: as the cord-weaver was running off his cord from the ball, the young cat would catch the ball to play with, and to no small annoyance of the son of Christian, who in his unpleasant mood, would set his trap on the poor innocent kitten, who happened to think this was next to chasing a mouse.


Two years I followed cat-whipping, as proud a young man as ever carried a kit of tools on his back. I had been persuading my father for two years to go to some village, hire a shop, put me in the shop and let me work, let him collect the pay, and let me act as general superintendent. He promised to do it, but he was a penurious man and a hard master; that drove me to think of going out on my own hook. He told me one day at evening, (when he came home, after leaving me at picking stones and building a stone fence), that I had made but a poor show of a day's work for a boy 16 years old. He said to me, "You must earn your own living." I said then in my inmost, "It shan't cost you much more, hereafter, to bring me up; I will bring myself up, or I'll go down alone.”


(Missing text)


Rome. I hired his shop on a three months' contract, and then later started a shop on my own hook, which I hired for ten dollars a year.


The name was spelled Bannister by Elijah Bannister, but his son Isaac dropped an “n” and his descendants have followed the spelling Banister. The family were of Scotch-English blood, and pioneers in the settlement of Connecticut and Massachusetts, coming later to New York and Pennsylvania, where they literally hewed their homes from the virgin forests and cultivated comfortable homestead farms. They rendered valuable service as scouts in the early wars, one of the family narrowly escaping death in the Wyoming Massacre, and another died at the head of his company during the battle of Minnesink.

     Elijah Bannister was a farmer and a shoemaker, and his son Isaac inherited his ability as a mechanic and with it a spirit of independence that caused him to leave home at sixteen years, but a skilled shoemaker, He was gifted mentally and physically became a well-read man and a leader in the public debates, then so popular. He settled first in Mount Hope, Orange County, new York, later in Middletown, and in 1841 in Newark, New Jersey, the family then consisting of father, mother and five children. In 1845 he began the factory manufacture of shoes, and in 1863 retired from the business, and his son, James Albert, continued.

     James Albert Banister, son of Isaac and Cynthia (Baird) Banister, was born in Middletown, New York in 1831, and died in Newark, New Jersey February 4, 1906. He was early taught to read, and a part of his duty before he was ten years of age was to read aloud to his father and his workmen from the best literature the father could procure. He hoped for college education, but his father endorsed notes that he had to pay, and the savings of year were swept away. This caused the removal of the family to Newark. New Jersey in 1841, and there his school years were soon completed. He soon began work in a dry goods store on Market Street, near Broad Street, but later obtained a position in the drug store of Roswell Van Buskirk, on the northwest corner of Broad and Market streets, and there he remained until 1851, when he opened a drug store in Paterson under his own name. He married in 1852, and soon afterward returned to Newark, where he became associated with his father in the manufacture of shoes.

     The present officers of the James A. Banister Company are: Arthur C. Banister, president; George M. Denny, treasurer, and William A. Brown, secretary.

     No man did more than James A. Banister to win world-wide recognition of the American shoe product: “No man lived a life of greater activity in the trade and won more laurels with a fuller measure of esteem and respect.” He held the confidence of his employees and he valued the trust they reposed in him. He was a man of quiet, simple tastes, unbonding in his integrity, and his life was both an inspiration and example. Although absorbed in business, he was keenly alive to all the responsibilities of life. He valued the church and gave it the endorse-


(Missing text)


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"The name was spelled Bannister by Elijah Banister, but his son Isaac dropped an "n" and his descendants have followed the spelling 'Banister.'"

James A. Banister married (first) in 1852 (should read 1850), Lydia (Slater) Birdsall, who died in 1875, leaving ten children, four of whom are living: Isaac; James Bryan; Albert Lincoln; and Arthur Chadwick. James A. Banister married (second) Adelaide Corwin, who survived him by for eleven years. She was the mother of four children, three of whom are living: Ethel Adelaide, who married Dr. William Talbot, of Newark; Dr. Robert Louis Banister, who married Emilie Hobbie; and Mary Williams, who married Dr. Harry W. Redfield.


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Morristown, April 1, 1892

Committee reported James A. Bannister, of Roseville, for permanent Chairman, and John C. Day, of Newark, as Secretary, and they were duly elected. After a short address by the chairman, Mr. Bannister, Mr. William H. Beach, of West Side Avenue Church, Jersey City, was unanimously chosen to represent this body before the ministerial Conference.


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ADELAIDE CORWIN & JAMES ALBERT BANISTER

Married: October 24, 1876


Adelaide Corwin married James A. Banister on October 24, 1876. Together, they had four children, one of whom is pictured in the photo above, Robert Louis. Adelaide lived for eleven years

following the death of her husband, James.

CITY OF NEWARK                    723


Fairmount Cemetery Association, Office, No. 183 Market Street.—The want of a new cemetery in the city of Newark, which should be sufficiently large for many coming generations and be commensurate with the growing importance of the city and the adjacent villages, was met by the organization, in the autumn of 1854, of the Fairmount Cemetery Association, which was duly chartered in 1855. The first Board of Managers was composed of the instigators and promoters of the enterprise, Joseph A. Halsey, Joseph N. Tuttle, Roswell Van Buskerk, Samuel H. Pennington, M.D., James G. Barnet, Aaron Carter, Jr., George F. Tuttle, Theodore Macknet, Gabriel Grant, M.D., Charles Nichols, Alfred L. Dennis, William M. Lewis, and James A. Banister. The cemetery is beautifully situated, about one mile from the Courthouse, on South Orange Avenue, and is some eighty acres in extent, fifty acres of which are now in lots. A large amount of money has been expended in beautifying it; the avenues laid out in classic design and taste and stone and graveled; the ground raised in many places; trees removed, to open up avenues; shrubbery planted, a residence built near the entrance gate for the keeper, the building of a receiving value, fencing, posts, etc., until now the Fairmount Cemetery is one of the handsomest burial places in the country. Lots are now sold at from $100 to $300 each, and 1,800 of them have been sold. The total number of internments in November 1, 1882, was 13,000, while the present annual average is 800. The officers at present are as follows: President, William Ward; secretary, John J. Henry; treasurer, Horace T. Brumley; Managers, William Ward, John J. Henry, Horace T. Brumley, Charles Nichols, James A. Banister, Frederick C. Tichenor, Herman Lehlabach, Julius Stapff, George F. Tuttle. The general superintendent is Mr. Charles Nichols, who has occupied that important position almost from the organization down to the present. He is a pleasant, courteous gentleman, and a worthy and efficient officer, always to be found at his office, No. 183 Market Street, during office hours. The dedicatory services, which occurred on the 5 of September, 1855, were of a most fitting character, and were witnessed by a vast concourse of people.


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"For more than thirty years, he served as a trustee of St. John's (colored) Methodist Episcopal Church in Newark, whose people loved him 'because all men to him' they said, 'irrespective of race or color, were brothers.'"

~ Jonathan M. Meeker

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1906

4th, James Albert Banister, president of the James A. Banister Co.. prominent shoe manufac-tureres of Newark, N.J., died at his home in Newark, of a ... Mr. Banister is survived by a widow, five sons, William J., James B., Arthur O. (should read Arthur "C"), Albert and Louis Banister, and two daughters Mrs. William H. Talbot and Miss Mollie Banister.

N E W A R K  

The employees of the James A. Banister Company, shoe manufacturers, Newark, N.J., hold their third annual excursion Saturday, Aug. 6. They go to Oscawan Island, taking the Jersey train from the Broad street station, Newark, at 8 A.M.


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Above: James A. Banister with his father, Isaac Banister

RESOLUTIONS ON DEATH OF

JAMES A. BANISTER.


Manufacturers' Association of Greater

     New York Pays Tribute to an

     Old and Honored Shoe Manufacturer.


At a special meeting of the Shoe Manufacturers' association of Greater New York held Wednesday, February 7, 1906*, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:


Resolved, That we deem it fitting, while bowing to the Divine Will, that doeth all things well, to record our sense of the loss sustained in Mr. Banister's demise. He was the connecting link between the older generation of those engaged in our business many years ago and those whose service dates back with the present decade or two. Of high character, his own personality was stamped on the product of his factory, and in his daily walk of life he exemplified the instincts of those who have the betterment of humanity at heart. Simple tastes and unbending integrity characterized his career, and his life work is at once an example and incentive to all our brethren of the trade.


James A. Banister


James Albert Banister, of Newark, died at his home in Roseville, February 4, 1906 after an illness of more than a year. He was born in Middletown, N.Y., in 1831, where he spent his early life. In 1844 he came to Newark with his parents, and for a time was in the drug business, but in 1852 engaged with his father, Isaac Banister, In the shoe manufacturing business. In 1861, Mr. Banister received the business from his father, and had since conducted it with ever increasing success, having over five hundred employees upon his payroll, with whom he had never had any serious labor trouble.

     

Ever since his conversion in 1850, Mr. Banister had been actively and prominently identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, especially in the Halsey Street and Roseville charges. He was president of the Board of Trustees and chairman of the building committee when the latter church was erected. He was always the pastor's friend, a loyal supporter of the spiritual and material interests of the church: a man of sterling qualities of character, which were manifested in his business, integrity, lofty ideals of right, purity of mind, worthy motives, and manly sympathy: but chiefly in his unswerving faith in Christ and devotion to His service. He was identified with  many business and philanthropic interests. As president of the Newark Young Men's Christian Association for the past ten years, his character was recognized as one of rare integrity and Christian manliness, a man of religious as well as civic convictions, one who was bound to be right. For more than thirty years he served as a trustee of St. John's (colored) Methodist Episcopal Church in Newark, whose people loved him “because all men to him” they said, “irrespective of race or color, were brothers.”


In the business world Mr. Banister was, as a director, connected with two banks and a fire insurance company, the Fairmount Cemetery Association, and the Shoe Manufacturer's Association, and was also a member of the Board of Trade. He was married to Miss Adelaide Corwin, of Newark, Oct. 24, 1876, who survives him with their children, Robert Louis, Mrs. William Talbot and Miss Mary W. He is also survived by fives sons of a former marriage*: William J., Isaac, James B., Albert L. and Arthur C.


A service was held at the house, his pastor, the Rev. T. Coultas, offered prayer, and a brief address was made to the family by the writer. The formal service was held in the Roseville church. The Scriptures were read by Rev. A. H. Tuttle and the Rev. J.W. Marshall, former pastors; a comforting and inspiring service was preached by the pastor from the text, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life,” after which prayer was offered by the writer, a former pastor.


- Jonathan M. Meeker


*(On September 22, 1850, James married his first wife, Lydia S. Birdsall, in Newark, New Jersey. Lydia died at the age of forty-two on August 22, 1875. James A. was a widower with five sons for fourteen months prior to his second marriage to Adelaide Corwin.)


Three of James A. Banister's Descendants

Errors in Census:

The son of James A. Banister was named Albert L. (Lincoln) Banister, not Albert S. Banister. He was born August 4, 1864. Note: census states he was born "Abt (About) 1865."

Errors in Census:

Albert S. should read, "Albert L."

Lyda Banister should read, "Lydia Banister."

Arhtur C. Banister should read, "Arthur C. Banister."

Below: This chart shows cursive handwriting from the 1900s. If one compares the capital "L" with the capital "S" from that time period, it is no wonder an error might have been made when census documents were recorded by hand. A simple misinterpretation of one letter could forever change the record of that person's history. How many among us will have descendants who care enough about our individual lives to find and correct such clerical errors? Will the records of our lives be accurate?

Albert Lincoln Banister

James A. Banister, of the James A. Banister Co., Recovering Rapidly - Herbert Pl. Gleason, of the National Association of Shoe Manufacturers, Talks on Trade Conditions-Newark Sends a Good Many Shoes Abroad.

James A. Banister, head of the James A. Banister Co., who suffered a slight set-back a couple of weeks ago, has again sufficiently recovered to drive out daily, and is fast gaining his former strength. Talking with Mr. Banister, Jr., regarding special and general conditions, he said: “Business in our factory is good. In fact we are having all we can do, yet we are unable to  make any money. At the beginning of the season, we are given to understand by the leather people that we will have to pay a certain price for leather. We go ahead, get out samples, change our prices accordingly and start our sales off. After they have been on the road for several weeks, booked many thousand dollars worth of business, which we are committed to deliver at certain prices, then along comes the leather man and tells us that we will have to pay another advance in order to procure the select stock that we must have for our grade of work. What are we to do? We must, of course, stand it, which consequently lessens our profits. Just where or when this advance is going to stop, seems to me most difficult to predict. Then, on the other hand, the retailer is continually trying to work down the prices. A case in question came before us recently which will illustrate what I mean. One of the merchant princes of this country said to one of our salesmen: “I will give you an order for 50,000 pairs of shoes, and duplicate the order later, providing that you will go to your factory and figure out what it will cost to makes these shoes, allowing 10 percent for the and 5 percent for that and let me know what it amounts to.” If that doesn't come very near telling us what we will manufacture shoes for, I don't know what it means.”


James A. Banister

~ The Shoe Retailer, circa early 1900s




Front row, from left to right:  Arthur Chadwick Banister, son, James Albert Banister, father of the Banister family shoe company, and James Bryan Banister, son.

Second row, left to right:  William Jackson Banister, son; Dr. Robert Louis Banister, son; Albert Lincoln Banister, son; Dr. William H. Talbot, DDS, son-in-law (husband of half-sister of Arthur).

Not shown: Lydia Adelaide, Isaac, Marianna, Harry, Lydia Louise, Freddie Lyman, Ethel Adelaide, Mary Williams and Howell Corwin.

     On September 22, 1850, James married Lydia Slater Birdsall in Newark, New Jersey. Together, Lydia and James had ten children. It is difficult to imagine the heartache suffered by this couple as they buried so many of their children. Lydia died at the age of forty-one on August 22, 1875. Thus, James A. was a widower at the age of forty-four. Although he was just two years older, James outlived Lydia by thirty-one years. Fourteen months after the death of Lydia, James A. married Adelaide Corwin (see below).


     In 2018, the Banister family was: 1) unaware that James A. had married a second time, 2) that any children other than those in the photograph (above) had been born to the couple, or 3) that Lydia had died as a relatively young woman. Lydia was understood to be the only wife of James A., probably due to heirlooms from her wedding still remaining with the family, and the stories that came along with them. Research from the Banister Bible and an article shared with your host by Timothy J. Crist led to the discovery of the fourteen children of James A. Banister.


Left:

Roseville Methodist Episcopal Church - built in 1889

525 Orange Street

Newark, New Jersey


"Mr. Banister had been actively and prominently identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, especially in the Halsey Street and Roseville charges."

The memorial service for James A. Banister was held in this church after a gathering in his home.

Right: Halsey Street Methodist Church


"The Halsey Street Methodist Church was founded in 1808. In 1852 they dedicated the church. It was demolished in 1852. Now, it is a parking lot used by Rutger's Law School. There was a cemetery behind the church in what is now the center of the parking lot. It is unknown if the graves in its cemetery were paved over."

Isaac and Cynthia Banister were devoted to The Halsey Street Methodist Episcopal Church, which was torn down by the time Isaac was 33 years old. The Roseville Church became the next church with which the Banister family was associated. James A. (son of Isaac) was a founding father. He was very active in the development of this church and of the Fairmount Cemetery.

In July of 2019, Gerrina, of the Fairmount Cemetery was able to locate the gravesites of James A.; his son, Arthur; his father, Isaac ; and his mother, Cynthia. Lyman S. Tichenor and the beloved wives of James A. are likely adjacent to his. Their locations will be posted once located. Your Host will forever be indebted to Gerrina, who cheerfully answered so many questions and researched the gravesites over a several-week period. She was able to do, in a few weeks, what Your Host couldn't accomplish in several years!

Above:

St. John's Methodist Episcopal Church

142 Maple Avenue

Newark, New Jersey


"The (Franklin-) St. John United Methodist Church played an important role in breaking the color barrier in the former Newark Annual Conference. Many future African American Methodist leaders within the denomination would occupy St. John's pulpit. For 144 years, Franklin-St. John United Methodist Church stands as a testimony to United Methodism's witness for the people of Newark by serving its African American constituency with holy piety and social justice. The church, through its various pastors, has shaped African 24 American United Methodist leadership to what is it is to this day."


Click here for this historical overview of the Franklin-St. John United Methodist Church

Fairmount Cemetery

"Fairmount Cemetery is situated on South Orange Avenue, about one mile from the Court House, and a short distance beyond the 'high service reservoir.' It was incorporated, February 9th, 1855, and contains over sixty acres. Until bought by the Cemetery Association the grounds were owned by the First Presbyterian Church since the settlement of Newark. The situation of the Cemetery is very fine, within the city, yet overlooking the beautiful country toward the Orange mountains. From the gateway, with its neat cottage lodge, winding avenues lead past  and around reserved circular plots, tastefully planted with shade trees. Advancing by one of these avenues to the left, several very handsome monuments first meet the eye. An elegant shaft of Peterhead granite being especially observable. From this point the foilage deepens, and the white columns and lowlier headstones thicken to the view. The grounds are laid out mainly in circles, and the avenues and walks lead round and through them in graceful curves. The lots are carefully enclosed and neatly kept, and each year adds to their beauty.

~ "Hand book and guide for the city of Newark, New Jersey:

carefully edited and compiled from authentic sources"

~ Newark Daily Advertiser Print, 1872.

James Albert Banister

March 25, 1831 - February 4, 1906

President of the James A. Banister Company from 1881 to 1906

Son of Isaac Banister ~ Father of James Bryan Banister, Arthur Chadwick Banister & siblings


Below:

James A. Banister Co.

Newark, N.J.

1897

Above: Advertisement in the Whitman College Pioneer, January 16, 1902.