Lasting Legacies


Nathaniel Moore Banta was born December 3, 1867 in Rensselaer, Indiana to Henry and Mary Jane Banta. He was the eighth of ten children. He was active in school teaching and administration for 16 years. Banta came to Arlington Heights in 1900 as principal of the public schools. He married Minnie Muller on July 17, 1901.

He was the first President of the Community Library Board in 1926. He was an author of 27 books, including the "Brownie Books" for children and many books about nature and bird life. These books were widely used as supplemental texts in area schools. He also served as President of the Park Board from 1925-1928 and was an early environmentalist. His early leadership in preserving recreational areas was the beginnings of a highly regarded Park District.

During his tenure, the District took over control of the railway parks and war memorial park. The efforts of Mr. Banta in providing good schools, parks, and a public library made Arlington Heights attractive to developers in the late 1920’s. The developments, which were begun then, made the community one of the fastest growing suburbs in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Banta died of myocarditis on Friday, February 5, 1932. He left behind his wife Minnie, and daughter Elizabeth Banta Mueller. According to his obituary, Banta as a "leader in almost every activity of a community nature in Arlington Heights".

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Nate Banta

Year Honored: 2019

Birth: 1867 – 1932

Born In: Rensselaer, IN

Achievements: AHPD Board President, 1st Library Board President, Author

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