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Banning Company Records, Addenda II
mssBanning Company records addenda II  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Materials in the Huntington Library
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Banning Company Records, Addenda II
    Dates: 1841-1989
    Bulk: 1854-1944
    Collection Number: mssBanning Company records addenda II
    Collector: Banning, Katharine Stewart.
    Extent: Approx. 1,683 items
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The collection consists of correspondence, business and financial papers, family notes, bound volumes, and ephemera related to the Banning family of Southern California, chiefly dating from 1854-1944, that was collected by Katharine Stewart Banning.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Banning Company Records, Addenda II, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Acquired in 1996 as an addenda to the Banning Company Records.

    Related Materials in the Huntington Library

    Historical Note

    The Banning Company was started by Phineas Banning (1830-1885), a transportation leader in the Los Angeles area and founder of the city of Wilmington, California.
    Phineas Banning (1830-1885) was born in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1861 he arrived in San Pedro, California, and worked as a store clerk and stagecoach driver before starting his own staging and shipping company, which rapidly expanded throughout California as well as to Arizona and Utah. In the late 1850s, he joined a group of investors who purchased 640 acres of land near San Pedro to expand the port. This land was later named Wilmington after Banning’s birthplace. By the 1860s Banning was heavily involved in most of the operations of San Pedro Harbor. During the Civil War he was given the honorary title of Brigadier General of the California First Brigade, and continued to use the honorarium “General” for the rest of his life. In the 1870s he became a California state senator and campaigned for more elaborate transportation connections between Los Angeles and San Pedro port. Banning’s first wife was Rebecca Sanford, with whom he had three children who survived to adulthood: William, Joseph Brent, and Hancock. After Rebecca’s death he married Mary Hollister, and they had two surviving daughters, Mary Banning Norris (1871-1953) and Lucy Tichenor Banning (1873-1929). By 1880 Banning had scaled back his business ventures, and after several years of illness died in San Francisco.
    In 1888 Joseph Brent Banning (1861-1920) married his cousin Katharine Stewart Banning (1866-1954), the daughter of Phineas Banning’s older brother William Lowber Banning (1814-1893), a railroad executive and politician from Minnesota. Katharine was a co-founder of the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and was actively involved in war relief efforts during World War I. She died in Los Angeles

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of correspondence, business and financial papers, family notes, bound volumes, and ephemera related to the Banning family and collected by Katharine Stewart Banning. It includes most of her original notes on the Banning family, focusing on family traditions (particularly Christmas), genealogy, and the organization of their homes. The correspondence consists primarily of Banning family letters and correspondents include Ellen Banning Ayer, Frederick Ayer, Elizabeth Lowber Banning, George Hugh Banning, Hancock Banning (1865-1925), Joseph Brent Banning (1861-1920), Katharine Stewart Banning, Phineas Banning, William Banning, William Lowber Banning, William Phineas Banning, Beatrice Ayer Patton, and George Hugh Smith. The legal, land, and financial papers include contracts, deeds, titles, and statements of account for Banning properties. The miscellaneous manuscripts include sewing instructions from the American Red Cross, notes on Santa Catalina Island, and some photographs, as well as copies of printed articles on the life of Phineas Banning. Volumes include "Memories of Phineas Banning" (c.1895-1909), a Yale scrapbook belonging to Joseph Brent Banning (1889-1969) with accompanying ephemera, a Virginia Military Institute yearbook (1914) owned by Hancock Banning (1892-1982) with accompanying photographs, embossed volumes used to copy stories and poems and owned by Ellen Barrows Banning (Ayer) and May Alice Banning (1876), a Banning Rancho log book (1889-1894), various family scrapbooks assembled by Katharine Stewart Banning, various notes on "Bills' Comfort Bag for Soldiers and Sailors" (c.1917-1941), and Katherine Banning's Los Angeles Children's Hospital notebooks, as well as a diary kept by Katharine Banning aboard the Lusitania in 1914. Also included in the collection are various published books owned by the Bannings and miscellaneous ephemera.


    The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by author. The collected notes and ephemera are arranged chronologically. The original arrangement of the volumes has been maintained. They are not organized alphabetically or chronologically.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Personal Names

    Ayer, Frederick, 1822-1918.
    Banning family.
    Banning, Hancock, 1865-1925.
    Banning, Hancock, 1892-1982.
    Banning, Joseph Brent, 1861-1920.
    Banning, Phineas, 1830-1885.
    Banning, William Lowber, 1814-1898.
    Smith, George H. (George Hugh).

    Corporate Names

    American Red Cross--History--Sources.
    Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.
    Virginia Military Institute--History--20th century.
    Yale University--History--20th century.


    Domestic relations--California.
    Land use--California.
    Lusitania (Steamship)
    Transatlantic voyages.
    World War, 1914-1918--Civilian relief.

    Geographic Areas

    California--History--19th century.
    California--History--20th century.
    England--Description and travel.
    Santa Catalina Island (Calif.)


    Family papers--California--19th century.
    Family papers--California--20th century.
    Letters (correspondence)--California--19th century.
    Letters (correspondence)--California--20th century.
    Scrapbooks--20th century.
    Ephemera--20th century.