Above: President Abraham Lincoln's 2nd Inauguration Ball - invitation to Mrs. J. A. Banister (Lydia Slater Banister)

        National Inauguration Ball

MARCH 4TH, 1865



The honor of

Mrs. J. A. Banister's

Company is requested

Lydia Banister's Obituary - August 22, 1875

An Elect Lady

Mrs. Lydia S. Banister, the beloved wife of James A. Banister, of Newark, N.J., after a long and painful illness, fell asleep in Jesus on August 22, at the age of forty one, and in the prime and vigor of her womanhood. She was converted to God, and united with the Halsey-street Church in this city, under the ministry of Rev. W. P. Corbit. Since that time she has been a faithful, devoted and consistent Christian. In her personal appearance, she was tall and imposing; in her manner she was quiet, gentle and inobtrusive; in her religious professions she was meek and humble; in her attendance on the means of grace she was regular and constant, whenever possible for her so to be; in her attachment to her pastors, she was steady, sincere, and faithful; and in her wifely and maternal duties she was a model.

Her life was a benediction not only to her family, but also the whole Church of which she was a member. She made her home, what every woman should endeavor to make her own, the dearest, brightest place on earth. Her large family, consisting of five sons and one daughter, were under the ready control of her gentle and loving voice, and the deep impress of her instruction and example must ever abide upon them. For them she lived and labored, and to them she clung with undying interest when death was hushing into stillness the throbbings of her heart. We often say that “the last tie which is sundered in a mother's heart is that which binds her to her children.' But why say it is sundered at all? Can it be that the love which burns with such lambent flame of her earthly existence, expires and dies when she enters into her heavenly rest? May we not fondly indulge the thought that our mothers-our parents-love us still, although they are no longer with us?

Our departed sister bore her long illness with unmurmuring fortitude and patience. When told that the separation between her and her loved ones could not be very long, and they would come. Following on after her, she sweetly replied, “Yes, and I shall be there longer.”

     Thus heaven is gathering one by one in its capacious breast

     All that is pure, and permanent, and beautiful, and blest;

     The family is scattered yet, though of one home and heart,

     Part militant in earthly gloom, in heavenly glory part

     But who can tell the rapture, when the circle is complete

     And all the children, scattered now, before the Father meet?

     One fold one Shepherd, one employ, one universal home!     

     “Lo, I come quickly!” Even so, Amen. Lord Jesus come!

~ L.R.E.

Above: BANISTER, MRS. J. A., 206 Roseville ave., Newwark, N.J.-Eastern Assn. Wells Coll.

BANISTER, MISS LYDIA, 69 S. 10th st., Newark, N.J., Alumnae Woman's Coll. Balt.

Mrs. J. A. (Lydia Slater) Banister had two daughters named after her. Her first daughter, Lydia Adelaide, died at the tender age of 16 months old. A second daughter, named Lydia Louise, apparently died at 16 years of age. One would think this reference is of the second daughter, yet the date of her passing would suggest she could not have yet attended the Alumnae Women's College in Baltimore.

The mystery remains.


~ Newark Female Charitable Society

Since Mrs. J. A. Banister died in 1875, the reference number on the top righ of "1889" suggests that this compendium included her in a broad range of years.

"She made her home the dearest,

brightest place on earth."

Above: Illustration of a Victorian woman. As of 2019, no images

of Lydia Slater Birdsall Banister have been located,

yet Your Host can imagine her looking like this.


WALTER  CLAYTON  BANISTER, New York, N.Y. (N.J. 35745). Son of Isaac and Luella (Clayton) Banister; grandson of James A. and Lydia Slater (Birdsall) Banister; great-grandson of Isaac and Cynthia (Baird) Banister; great2-grandson of William and Elizabeth (Vail) Baird; great3-grandson of Benjamin Vail, Captain, Orange County, New York Militia, killed in battle.

-1921, SAR magazine

Walter Clayton Banister

Grandson of Lydia S. Banister

Lydia Slater Banister

September 23, 1833 - August 22, 1875

Beloved first wife of James A. Banister

Mother of: William Jackson, Lydia Adelaide, Isaac III, Marianna, James Bryan, Harry Day,

Albert Lincoln, Lydia Louise, Arthur Chadwick & Little Freddie Lyman

Above: The Inaugurational Ball for Abraham Lincoln's second term as President of the United States. It was held in the Great Hall of the Patent Office in Washington D.C., which is now the home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. This is the ball to which Mrs. James A. Banister was invited. One month and ten days later, on April 15, 1865,

Abraham Lincoln was killed due to a single gunshot wound to his head by the assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

President Lincoln was 56 years old when he died.

Above (Top): President Abraham Lincoln

Above (Bottom): Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson at the second National Inauguration Ball