BANNING, Joseph Brent

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Joseph Brent Banning (1861-1920)
Inglewood Park Cemetery

BANNING, Joseph Brent (1861-1920), second son born to Phineas and Rebecca Banning. Joseph Banning acted as onsite island owner/manager after he and his brothers purchased Santa Catalina Island in 1892. He built a cottage in Avalon where he and his wife and family lived much of the year. In 1909 he built a home at the Isthmus on Santa Catalina Island with commanding views of Two Harbors. Today this historic house serves as the Banning House Lodge.

Banning married Katherine Stewart (1866-1954) of Minnesota, and they had three children: Joseph Brent Banning, Jr. (1889-1969) who married Alice Mira Morse (1895-1970; Katharine Mary (1890-1965) who married Francis Porter Graves (1895-1963); and William Phineas (1899-1981) who married Evangeline Victoria Grier (1900-1980). Joseph Banning served on the board of the Santa Catalina Island Company for 25 years.

» Santa Catalina Island Company


In the News~

January 11, 1893 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon is preparing for a lively season the coming summer… The Bannings will have new cottages next summer for their private use. Captain J. B. Banning will have his cottage in the first canyon north of Avalon Bay, and Hancock Banning has already begun work for his cottage in the next canyon above…”


March 8, 1896 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. J. B. Banning and family are cozily ensconced at the Metropole.”


August 28, 1901 [LAT/SCat]: “J. B. Banning and family and the family of George S. Patton went over on a special boat this morning to prepare for their tally-ho trip to the northern part of the State.”


January 29, 1902 [LAT]: “Captain F. P. Whittley, owner of the yacht Nellie, which plied about the waters between San Pedro and Santa Catalina Island, and one of the best known men on the coast, died at his residence in this city yesterday. Forty-eight years ago, when he was but 6 years old, Captain Whittley came from Ensenada with his parents, and landed on the island, which ever since has been his home... ‘He was a man of the strictest integrity and honesty in all his dealings,’ said J. B. Banning, last night. ‘He was very popular, being a favorite with everybody…”


February 4, 1903 [SBI]: “Captain John [Joseph] Banning made the statement in Los Angeles yesterday that if the citizens of Catalina wish the island opened to the general public and all classes of traffic gratis, the Wilmington Transportation Company will not oppose it. Captain Banning stated further that the bill now before the senate making all the islands along the local coast free of entry to the public generally, was prepared at the insistence of the Pacific Coast Yacht Club, whose members are outsiders in every sense of the word. The controversy arose over the action of the company in exacting a landing fee of $2.50 from all whose boats touched at Catalina Island.”


February 16, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “Another vessel has been added to the fleet of the Banning Company… The Cabrillo, in all her appointments, is a beautiful vessel… The launching of the Cabrillo was witnessed by a large crowd, including many ladies and officials of the Wilmington Transportation Company. Among those present were Captain J. B. Banning, Hancock Banning, William Banning, Reese Llewellyn of the Llewellyn Iron Works, Joseph Schoder of the Union Metal and Hardware Company, Edward Maher, superintendent, and Andrew Young, master machinist of the Banning Company.”


January 2, 1908 [LAT/SCat]: “Avalon. J. B. Banning, Jr., who, with two of his student friends, has been spending several days shooting at the Isthmus, returned to the mainland today in the launch Cricket.”


April 14, 1914 [TI/Avalon]: “Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Banning and family spent the past week on the island. A day’s outing was made to the Isthmus.”


July 27, 1915 [TI/Avalon]: “Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Banning and family arrived Saturday, and left for their beautiful summer home, which overlooks Isthmus harbor. The family are planning to spend the summer on the island.”


April 4, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Banning and family are to remain for several weeks at the Isthmus.”


April 18, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Banning and family have returned to the mainland. Mr. Banning’s health is considerably improved.”


June 6, 1916 [TI/Avalon]: “Mr. J. B. Banning, Jr. and party, on board the cruiser San Juan, were in town Sunday.”


February 5, 1918 [TI/Avalon]: “Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Banning and daughter Katherine of Los Angeles spent a few days at their Sumner Avenue cottage last week.”


April 23, 1918 [TI/Avalon]: “Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Banning are entertaining the following friends at their Sumner Avenue home: Mrs. J. J. Mellus, Miss M. A. Bannng, Lieut. T. J. MacKinnon and Mr. A. Howard.”


May 28, 1918 [TI/Avalon]: “Judge J. B. Banning and son, William, were Island visitors Friday.”


November 1, 1920 [LAT]: “Pioneer's condition critical. Joseph Banning, leader in harbor and Catalina development, is very ill. Joseph B. Banning of 947 Westlake Avenue, noted for his share in developing Los Angeles Harbor district and Santa Catalina Island, suffered an attack of apoplexy yesterday and a considerable anxiety is felt for him. The family is hopeful, but state Mr. Banning is very ill. Dr. R. Wernigk, the physician in attendance, said last night that his patient suffered a cerebral hemorrhage Saturday and that change either for better or worse may be expected today. Mr. Banning is slightly less than 60 years of age. He is one of the Banning brothers who opened up Catalina Island and conducted navigation activities at Los Angeles Harbor for many years. He was a member of the Banning Company until its interests were sold to William Wrigley, Jr. a few months ago. Mr. Banning has a wife, two sons and a daughter residing here.”


November 5, 1920 [LAT]: “Joseph B. Banning taken by death. Joseph Brent Banning, for many years one of the leaders in the transportation world of Southern California, died early this morning at his residence, 847 Westlake avenue, Los Angeles. He suffered an attack of apoplexy last Sunday. Mr. Banning was a son of the late Gen. Phineas Banning and Mrs. Rebecca (Sandford) Banning. He was born in Wilmington, Aug. 12, 1861. He early became identified with his father's large interests at what is now Los Angeles Harbor. He was first employed in farming and sheep raising and then became manager of the grain and lumber business. Afterward he was made first vice-president of the famous Banning Company, vice-president and treasurer of the Wilmington Transportation Company and first vice-president of the Santa Catalina Island Company. When the Bannings disposed of their harbor business to the Wrigley interests, Joseph Banning practically retired from business. Joseph Banning was a member of a number of clubs, including the California, Craggs Country, Lomita Gun Club and others. He also belonged to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He leaves a widow, two sons and a daughter residing here.”


November 7, 1920 [LAT]: “Throng gathers at the funeral of Joseph Banning. A special boat from Avalon was necessary to bring the people who flocked from Catalina to attend the funeral services for Joseph B. Banning at the Banning home, 945 Westlake avenue—at 2 0'clock yesterday afternoon. The city of Avalon sent an immense floral piece, and hundreds of friends were on hand to pay their last tribute to a man who had taken a leading part in business development in this section. The services were conducted by Rev. C. S. Patton of the First Congregational Church. Interment was at Inglewood. The active pallbearers were Elpinge Brown, James A. Gibson, Jr., Herbert Howard, Reese Taylor, Louis Cass, John C, Macfarland, George Hugh Banning and Edward Lannon. The honorary pallbearers were W. E. Dunn, Dr. R. Wernick, Dr. E. A. Bryant, Edward Stanton, George W. Thompson, David P. Fleming, J. H. Patrick, J. N. Crowell, Harry Crowell, William R. Rowland, George S. Patton, Tom H. Schumacher, Tom C. Cline, George Cline, Judge James A. Gibson, Albert Crutcher, James A. Mellus, Richard Lacy and William Lacy."