A. F. Banta was born in Indiana in 1846, and came to the Territory in 1863. He was one of the chief Government guides and scouts, with headquarters at Fort Whipple, from 1865 to 1871. He was a member of the 10th Legislature, and introduced and passed a bill organizing the county of Apache, of which he became District Attorney, holding the office two terms, 1879-80 and 1889-90. He was Probate Judge of the same county in 1881-82; a member of the Legislature in 1883-84; Justice of the Peace at St. John in 1876; at Springerville in 1877-78, and County Assessor in 1880.
He was the chief guide of the Wheeler Exploration Expedition, and also the 100th Meridian Expedition in 1873.
He served as United States Marshal and Deputy Sheriff in the 80’s. He was the first postmaster at Springerville during President Hayes’ administration. At various times he has been an editor.
His last adventure of this kind was editing the “Observer” at St. Johns, Apache County. His personal adventures would fill a volume. In the enjoyment of all his faculties, and in perfect health for one of his age, he is still scouring the country and prospecting.
The writer saw him a few weeks ago when he was organizing an expedition to find what is known as the “Lost Dutchman Mine.”