Melvin Leo Hole, M. D., who is among the most successful of the younger physicians and surgeons of Danville, is a veteran of the World War. He was born at Hutchinson, Kansas, August 5, 1888, the son of Dr. Oliver C. and Lucy (Castle) Hole.

Dr. Oliver C. Hole was born at Ridge Farm, Illinois, July 28, 1859, the son of Dr. Jonah and Margaret (Rice) Hole. Jonah Hole was a leading dentist at Ridge Farm and Metcalf, Illinois. Both he and his wife are deceased and are buried at Ridge Farm. Their son, Oliver C, was reared and educated at Ridge Farm. He was a telegrapher early in life and was employed in Indiana and later became express messenger at Hutchinson, Kansas. Subsequently, he attended the University of Iowa and was later graduated from Temple University, Philadelphia, with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. He practiced at Danville for many years and retired in 1922. His death occurred January 22, 1925, and he is buried at Ridge Farm. His widow lives in this city. Doctor Hole was a Republican and a member of the Methodist Church. The three children born to Doctor and Mrs. Hole were : Melvin Leo, the subject of this sketch; Mary Laverne, married Harold Sheffield, lives at Florida City, Florida; and Margaret Louise, married Robert Hartman, lives in Chicago.

Melvin Leo Hole attended the public schools of Danville and was graduated from Danville High School in 1907. He then entered Northwestern University, from which he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1911. He served as interne in the Metropolitan Hospital, New York City, in 1911-13, and spent five months as ship's surgeon in New York for the Quebec Steamship Company, running from New York to British Guinea. In September, 1913, Doctor Hole came to Danville, where he engaged in practice with Dr. Stephen C. Glidden until 1916. He then established a private practice. In December, 1917, he volunteered for service in the World War and was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas, with the rank of first lieutenant. In June, 1918, he was transferred to Camp Dodge, Iowa, and in September of that year sailed for France with Base Hospital No. 88 as detachment commander. He was located at Langres, France. He was discharged in August, 1919, with the rank of captain. Upon his return to Danville, Doctor Hole resumed his practice with offices in the Temple Building. He is a member of the staffs of Lakeview and Saint Elizabeth's hospitals, and is surgeon for the Illinois Terminal Railway System, and medical examiner for the Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce.

In 1916 Doctor Hole was united in marriage with Miss Inez Gass, the daughter of Levin W. and Eva (Hulce) Gass, native's of Illinois. He is deceased and his widow lives at Danville. To Doctor and Mrs. Hole have been born three children: Inez Marie, John Levin, and Mary Louise Hole.

Politically, Doctor Hole is a Republican. He is a member of St. James Methodist Episcopal Church; Anchor Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Danville Consistory, thirty-second degree; Ansar Temple; Gao Grotto; Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, No. 332; and American Legion.

Doctor Hole is identified with the Vermilion County Medical Society, Illinois State Medical Society, American Medical Association, Illinois Industrial Medical and Surgery Society, and American Railway Surgeons Association. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.


ILLINOIS HISTORICAL SURVEY, 100 Years on the Ridge, BLUEGRASS PRINTING, Potomac, Illinois 61865 (exerpts here only)

Dentists were Dr. Mendenhall at Vermilion Grove, 1877; Dr. Jonah Hole and son. Dr. Frank Hole; and Dr. Strauss. The stand for Dr. Hole's drill is still in use here. It is the base for a stand for Herb Baird's parrots. [ .... ]

[ .... ] Hugh Gilkerson, an architect, was the son-in-law of Dr. Jonah Hole. [ .... ]

Dr. F. M. Hole, Dentist
Louis W. Hole, Fine Candies, Cigars and Tobacco
[ .... ]

In 1881, L. W. Hole, agent for the Clover Leaf, received notice his salary was increased. On the same day, an official notice from Washington, D. C, said our Post Office was made a Presidential Office, with another salary increase for Mrs. L. W. Hole, Postmistress.

It is known that Masons came eariy to Ridge Farm and by October 5, 1869, had been actively holding meetings under special dispensation of the Grand Lodge of Illinois, at which time Ridge Farm Lodge No. 632 was granted a charter to operate, independent of any other lodge except the Grand Lodge. [ .... ] The Grand Lodge of Illinois named Jonah Hole as Worshipful Master, [ ....]

[ .... ] Dr. Jonah Hole and son, Frank, had their dentist office on that street where Steve Kelley now lives; the office was in their home. When Jonah's eyesight had deteriorated to where he had to use a magnifying glass to read, he was still practicing dentistry. [ .... ]




William Franklin Banta is a highly esteemed and widely known citizen of Ridgefarm, where he has spent his entire life. He was born in Elwood Township, Vermilion County, December 9, 1857, the son of James Henry and Mary (Russell) Banta.

James Henry Banta was a native of Flat Rock, Bourbon County, Kentucky. The Banta geneology, printed in 1893, states that the Bantas are descendants of Epke Jacobse, who came from Friesland, Netherlands, to New Amsterdam in February, 1659. The present Banta family at Ridgefarm is the ninth generation of this family. The history of the family also states that they were a very religious people. James Henry Banta, father of the subject of this sketch, was a farmer and was also interested in the grain business. Both he and his wife are buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Ridgefarm. They were the parents of the following children: James A. Banta, deceased; William Franklin, the subject of this sketch ; Nancy Elizabeth, deceased ; Sarah Ann, deceased ; Margaret Ellen, lives at Dana, Indiana ; Amy Dorcas, lives at Danville, 111. ; Andrew Jackson, lives at Long Beach, Calif.; and John Harley, lives at Ridgefarm.

William Franklin Banta remained with his parents on the farm until he was 12 years of age, when the family removed to Ridgefarm. He received a limited education but never failed to take advantage of opportunities to supplement his education and early in life was recognized as a well informed young business man. Mr. Banta served an apprenticeship at the miller's trade and followed this business until 1882, when he purchased the mill property, which he continued to own and operate until his retirement from the grain business in October, 1908. The original mill building was erected in 1871 by Davis & Company. It was later equipped with a full set of rollers, operating by gradual reduction process and which utilized Nordyke Norman & Company's system of milling. This mill turned out the very best of flour, the Peerless brand being fine and pure. The Ridge Farm Mill grew steadily in popularity and Mr. Banta shipped about 700 carloads of grain annually and 300 cars of hay. He gave employment to many men and never failed to advance the business interests of his town. Since his retirement from the grain business in 1908 Mr. Banta has been interested in the stock and bond business with offices in the City National Bank Building, Ridgefarm.

On November 14, 1889, Mr. Banta was united in marriage with Miss Buena V. Jerome, born in Milwaukee, Wis., the daughter of Oliver and Sarah Jane (Crawford) Jerome, natives of Ohio and Canada. The Crawfords were early settlers of Vermilion County. Both Mr. and Mrs. Jerome are deceased. Three children were born to Mrs. and Mrs. Banta: Russell Crawford Banta was born December 30, 1890, and died July 3, 1917. He married Miss Edith Elder of Georgetown, 111. She now resides in Hollywood, California. One child was born to this union, William Russell. Helen T. Banta was born December 8, 1893, and died January 6, 1919. She was married to Russell P. Jones of Ridgefarm. To this union three children were born: Billie Banta, and twin daughters, Helen Elizabeth, and Anna Buena. The twins are being reared by Mr. and Mrs. William F. Banta. Robert Jerome Banta was born December 20, 1902, married Ida Gerlough Terry of Sidell, Illinois. They have one son, Robert Terry Banta.

Politically, Mr. Banta has always been a Democrat, and he has served as a member of the local school board for thirty-two years. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and belongs to the Masonic Lodge, thirty-second degree, and since November 3, 1880, he has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mr. Banta has without doubt inherited from his sturdy ancestors those qualities of character which are inseparable from the successful business man and useful citizen.