This venerable and enterprising stockman and agriculturist is one of the industrious men who have made the reservation country blossom as the rose, thereby adding materially to the wealth of the country.

Absalom B. Banks was born in Stokes County, North Carolina, on November 19, 1828, being the son of Squire and Elizabeth Banks, natives of North Carolina and born in 1807 and in 1820 and died in 1882 and 1886, respectively. The father was a pioneer of North Carolina, as was his father, who was a patriot in the Revolution and experienced many, thrilling adventures and narrow escapes.

When our subject was three the family went to Indiana, thence to Kentucky and later again to Jennings County, Indiana. There our subject was reared and remained until manhood’s estate. He gained his education from the pioneer schools of the day and when thirty, having been interested until that time with his father, he bought a farm and settled to labor on his own account.

When thirty-two he went to Iowa and took land in Marion County. Four years later he sold and removed to the southern part of the state. Later he sold there and removed to central Kansas. Six years there and he removed to northeastern Iowa, where he remained for twenty-six years. Next we see him in Harrison County, Missouri, where he remained for eight years. On October 26, 1901, Mr. Banks landed on his present farm, which he purchased. It is a good place and lies about one mile east from Ilo.

In 1857 Mr. Banks married Miss Susan, daughter of Jefferson and Elizabeth Little, farmers and natives of Kentucky. Mrs. Banks has two brothers, George and Wayne. Mr. Banks has the following brothers and sisters who are living, from a family of six brothers and six sisters: Emma, Albert, James. Six children have been born to this worthy couple: James, George, Andrew, Isabella Phillip, Mary Simmons, Cora Jane Miller. Mr. and Mrs. Banks are members of the United Brethren Church and are highly respected people. Mr. Banks was a member of the home guards in Kansas and desired to go south and fight but was held in Kansas.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903