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Below is a family biography included in the book,  Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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L. BANTA, the subject of this sketch, now in his forty-fifth year, was born and reared in the West. He is a Westerner by instinct and education. He is moulded after the broad and generous plans of all Western products. He practices the free and liberal methods characteristic of the people of the boundless prairies. He is a typical rustler of the better sort. He possesses in an eminent degree the happy genius of the typical Westerner for getting on in the world. His career has been that of the successful man of the world, beginning in the humble walks of life. His record is of value because it is helpful.

L. Banta was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, April 25, 1846. He is a son of Abraham and Rachel (Van Arsdale) Banta, his father being a native of Kentucky.

He was reared in his native county, learned the blacksmith’s trade when a lad, following it when he grew up as a journeyman. He resided in Iowa till 1878, when he came to Nebraska and took a homestead in Harlan county, near the present town of Oxford. He lived there four years and moved then to Holdrege, which has since been his home. He married, in 1872, Miss Roxie Van Nuys, daughter of Albert Van Nuys, of Des Moines county, Iowa. His wife died September 5, 1889, leaving six children, who, with their father, mourn her loss. These are — Grace L., Albert A., Minnie M., Nellie B. and Aurel M. Mr. Banta married again March 2, 1890, Mrs. M. F. Wilkins.

Mr. Banta stands high in a number of the benevolent orders, being a zealous member of the Masonic fraternity, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Grand Array of the Republic. He is also an enthusiastic prohibitionist and an active and consistent member of the Methodist church.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Biographical Souvenir of the Counties of Buffalo, Kearney, Phelps, Harlan and Franklin, Nebraska published in 1890 by F. A. Battey & Company. 

View additional Phelps County, Nebraska family biographies here: Phelps County, Nebraska Biographies

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