BANKS, Harlow O.
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church. Chicago: Clarke Publishing Company, 1905, pp 156-9
Harlow O. BANKS, who was well known in business circles of Rockford, being general agent here for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of NY, and also active and prominent in community affairs, serving as county surveyor of Winnebago County [IL], took up his abode in this city in 1889, removing from Detroit [Wayne County], MI. He was however a native of NY, his birth having occurred in Chenango County in 1833. His father was born in New Baltimore [Greene County], NY, 17 Aug 1792, while his mother's birth occurred in Greenfield [Saratoga County], NY, 16 Jul 1796. They spent their entire lives in the state of their nativity, and Mr. BANKS was a surveyor, always following that pursuit as a life vocation.
Harlow G. BANKS acquired a liberal and practical education in his native state, where he afterward taught school, following that profession for several years, or until the time of his first marriage. While attending and teaching school in the east he also studied surveying, and subsequent to his marriage he entered the employ of the Grand Trunk Railroad Company, and before the construction of its line in the east he executed the survey work all over the state of NY. Subsequently he removed to Detroit, MI, where he accepted a general agency for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of NY, and with characteristic energy he began the building up of the business in the west, and for 17 years was connected with insurance business in Detroit. In 1889 he removed to Rockford and was again made general agent for the Mutual Life Insurance Company, thus continuing in the insurance business until his death. Through the management of his department he largely increased the business of the company in this section of the country.
Mr. BANKS was twice married. His first wife died in Detroit in 1888. They were the parents of four children: Angela, who now resides in Des Moines [Polk County], IA; Archie W., a resident of Rockford, who is now agent for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of NY; Willie, a dentist of Detroit; and Martin Adelbert, who is one of the leading and prominent dentists of Rockford, with offices in the Brown building. After losing his first wife, Mr. BANKS was married to Mrs. Addie E. (BEARDSLEY) COREY, a native of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and a daughter of John and Experience (PATTERSON) BEARDSLEY, both of whom were natives of Nova Scotia, where the father was engaged in the lumber business. He afterward removed to Port Huron [St. Clair County], MI, where he continued in the same line until his death. Mrs. BEARDSLEY is now living with her son in Grand Rapids, MI. Addie E. BEARDSLEY was first married to John COREY, who died in Port Huron, MI, leaving two chidren: Georgiana, now in Chicago; and Frederick J., who is agent for the Adams Express Company, in LaCrosse [LaCrosse County], WI.
Subsequent to his removal to Rockford, Mr. BANKS was elected county supervisor of Winnebago County, and acted in that capacity for two years. He was a stanch republican in his political views, took an active and helpful part in political work, and did everything in his power to promote the growth and insure the success of [p 159] his party. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Court Street Methodist Episcopal church, to which his widow also belongs. He died in Rockford on 08 Dec 1903, respected by all who knew him. He had gained many friends during his residence here and was recognized as a reliable business man, whose character was such as commanded uniform esteem and confidence. He was loyal in citizenship, faithful in friendship, and unfaltering in his devotion to his family. In 1893 he erected a nice residence at No. 1008 Franklin Avenue, which is now owned and occupied by his widow. Mrs. BANKS is well known in social circles of Rockford, and the hospitality of the best homes is freely accorded her.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.