David D. Banta is the business manager and principal owner of the Riverside Mills. This mill was built by the Riverside Mill Company, Walker & Banta, in May, 1887, and conducted by that firm until the death of Mr. Walker in 1888, since which time Mr. Banta has had the sole management of the enterprise. The Riverside Mills ranks as one of the leading industries of the city, being 106 x 40 feet, and is fitted with the most improved machinery for the manufacture of doors, sash, moldings and all class of work required in building and interior finishing. Mr. Banta, a skilled workman of years of experience, is one of the largest employers of skilled labor in the city, engaging some fifteen men, most of whom are mechanics. The machinery of his works is run by steam, requiring an engine of thirty-horsepower.
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Mr. Banta was born in Bergen County, New Jersey, in 1859, and was reared and schooled in his native place until eighteen years of age. He then went to New York City and entered upon an apprenticeship at the carpenter and builder’s trade. After serving as an apprentice for four years he engaged as a journeyman, working in that city. He spent nearly six years in New York City and then started Westward, and was engaged as a carpenter and builder in Chicago, and later in Kansas City. In 1883 he came to California, and after six months in San Francisco located in Stockton, and was there employed as a foreman by the firm of P. A. Buell & Co., and later as their bookkeeper. In February, 1887, he came to Southern California and located in Riverside, and in May of that year established his present business. In addition to his mechanical abilities he is a thorough trained businessman, and much of the success of the enterprise is due to his management of its affairs. Mr. Banta identifies himself thoroughly with Riverside and her interests, and can always be counted upon as supporting public enterprises that add to the prosperity of the city. In political affairs he is an ardent supporter of the Republican Party. He is a consistent member of the Methodist Church, and is also a member of Truth Lodge, No. 52, I. O. O. F., of Stockton.
In December 1885, Mr. Banta married Miss Emma Stults, a native of Ohio. She is a stepdaughter of his late partner, A. E. Walker. There has been born from this union one child: Clare W.