GEORGE WASHINGTON BANTA
1857-1937

    George Washington Banta was the son of David Riley Bnta and Margaret Jane Keith Banta.  He was born on October 18, 1857 in Burnet County, Texas and married Mary Ann Ogle on July 29, 1878.  She was born in Burnet County on January 15, 1861.
   George W. and Mary Ann moved to McCulloch County shortly after their marriage and established a horse and mule farm about a mile south of Voca.  They were neighbors and friends of the Jim Longley family, borther of the notorious outlaw Bill Longley.   When the Mob shot Jim Longley in a famous assassination atempt in 1890, George W. Banta loaded Jim into his buckboard and drove him to Voca for medical treatment.  He then waited while Longley stormed up and down the deserted Voca streets, daring his would-be assassins to come out and face him in a fair open gunfight.  After none responded to the challenge, George Banta drove Longley home and sat up with him all night in fear that the Mob would come back and finish the job.  Since Jim was famous for his ability with a sixgun and George was known as an expert marksman with a Winchester rifle, they felt they could withstand the Mob.
    George and Mary Ann had nine children, eight of whom were born at Voca.
    1, Fanny, born in 1879
    2. Anderson (Ance) born in 1880
    3. Etta born in 1883
    4. James born in 1885
    5.  Vaughn was born in 1888
    6.  Len Louis (Louia) born in 1890
    7. alar (Ala) was born in 1891
    8. Asa (Ace) born in 1893
    9. Pearl, the youngest, was born in 1901 after the family had moved to New Mexico Territory.
    Around 1900, George W. and his brother Oliver Wilson, bought several brands of wild horses running on the open range and moved them to their ranch in the Guadalupe Mountains in south-eastern New Mexico.  Several years later, Wilson left, but George continued the business, selling horses to some of the large cattle companies that were beginning to form.  He also sold horses to the U. S. Cavalry. All of his sons grew up riding horses and were excellent ranch hands and later took top prizes in bronc riding contests.
    After several years George left the ranch and operated a wagon yard in Roswell and later returned to McCulloch and Tom Green County, Texas, continuing to deal in horses.
    George and Mary Ann spent their latter years in San Angleo.  He died there on February 13, 1937 and Mary Ann died on August 1, 1937.  Both are buried in the Voca Cemetery.

    Information taken from a family sketch  by
John Gray Banta that appeared in
McCulloch County History, Vol. II, 1980
Compiled by Wayne Spiller
Submitted by Louann Hall