William R. Bankston
William R. Bankston (born April 4, 1813 in GA) first shows up in Butts County, Jackson, Georgia in 1837, the year in which he married. He is believed to have been in the county much earlier with his parents.
He married Mahala Collins on October 5, 1837 in Butts County, Georgia.
He served as Clerk of Inferior Court from January 11, 1838 - 1843 and January 12, 1850 - 1868.
The Inferior Court was abolished in 1868.
He served as Clerk of Superior Court from: January 13,1844 - 1847
January 12,1850 - 1868
February 12,1870 - 1872
February 19,1873 - 1876
He was removed from office in 1876 for failing to give new bond.
Was appointed as Postmaster on April 15, 1849, serving only 5 months. The business Directory of Butts County (1879-1899) lists him as a Justice. On January 8, 1842 he was listed as a trustee for the Jackson Male and Female Academy and was still serving in 1844.
Mahala Collins Bankston, wife of William R. Bankston died on December 26, 1856. Three years later he married Jane McClure Deason on February 20, 1859 in Butts County.
During the 1864 Census for Butts County Georgia for re-organizing of the Georgia Militia, William R. Bankston was the Enrolling Officer.
On November 6, 1864, while service as Clerk of Superior Court in Butts County, it was learned that Sherman had started his march and would reach Jackson, Georgia the next day. W. R. Bankston, a cripple, was at the courthouse when he heard of Sherman's army coming into town. As the Federals rode into town and saw him, they shot at him and just grazed his forehead (History of Butts County).
May 3, 1875, William R. Bankston, Administrator of the Estate of Jane McClure Deason Bankston (second wife) applies for leave to sell land (a town lot) belonging to Jane McClure Deason Bankston. (Jane was married to Benjamine Deason who died after 1850. (Document dated August 3, 1875 and recorded August 1, 1878. Book K Page 29)
Late 1870, William R. Bankston sells his home on corner of Second Street and Momosa Lane, was purchased by the circuit riders who made it their Jackson Headquarters
After selling his home and leaving the position of Clerk of Suprior court in 1876, medical problems and his declining health forced him to move into the home of his his daughter, Elizabeth Bankston McGough at Jenkinsburg, Georgia (1880 Census). He continued to live in the household of Elizabeth and James Robert McGough until his death December 10, 1891. No Obituary has been found. His burial place is unknown, but most likely he is buried beside his first wife, Mahala Collins Bankston in one of the unmarked graves in the Jackson Georgia City Cemetery.
After his death the following Resolution appeared in the Jackson Argus.
RESOLUTION OF THE DEATH OF MR. W. R. BANKSTON
To the Worshiped Master, Warden's and Brother's St. John Lodge No.45 and A.M. We your committee to draft suitable resolution upon the death of our Brother W. R. Bankston who has been called to pay the last debt of life submit the following.
Our deceased brother was first instructed in the mysteries of our order about the year1846. In the prime of life he was a useful member and bright Mason. In his early manhood so nobly did he exemplify the teachings of this noble institution that the confidence of his fellow citizens was gained and appreciation they extended to him was a long and useful life in the places of Public Trust. In evidence of this, we call to memory that he was selected to Clerk of Superior Court of Butts Co. about 1838, and continued in that place until about 1876. We refer to the records of that court and to the court of Ordinary and of the Inferior Court, and find there recorded more Wills, written by our Brother than by the lawyers of the county, showing the implicit confidence reposed in him by his friends to even their dying bed.
2nd. We bow with submission to the will of God in calling hence our Brother, and can only trust that his reward is eternal happiness. In his late years he was afflicted, but always cheerful till he became aware of the fact that the Silver Cord was loosened. While his generous heart prevented an accumulation of wealth, yet he raised an honorable and industrious family. He lived until December 8,1891 and died at the ripe and honorable age of 80 years.
Resolved that to his memory a blank page be left upon the minutes of this Lodge and these Resolutions be recorded and published, and a copy under the seal of this Lodge be furnished to the family. H.N. Byars, Chairman; R.F. Gilmore, Y.A. Wright, Committee
Mahala Collin, died from severe burns after the pallet she was laying on caught fire from sparks in an open fireplace. Ref: Newspaper Obituary
A few days since Mrs. Bankston, the estimable wife of William R. Bankston, Clerk of the Superior and Inferior Courts, of Butts County, residing in Jackson, came to her death in a most distressing manner. It appears from information which we have received, that she had lain down before the fire on a pallet with her little child, and fell asleep. While in this condition, her clothes caught on fire, and before assistance could be rendered, she was so severely burned, that she died in a very short time.-Griffin Empire State.