The lure of gold and riches drew a number of men (and a few women) to leave their comfortable Ohio homes and head for California. Some of these hardy souls were eminently successful; some were lucky to return alive; and some lost out on both counts.
One of the successful gold seekers was Isaac Banta of the Bellevue area. A newspaper report from April of 1849 located him at Independence, Mo,, with the Bellevue Mining Co., with a group of 18 other men, preparing to cross the plains and mountains to the west.
Isaac had been born in New York State and came to Ohio as a young. In 1846, he was married to Mary Hooper of Hunt's Corners in Lyme Township. They settled on a farm there but the lure of gold in 1849 took Isaac away from hearth and home. He apparently returned successful as he began buying farmland, and built the fine brick house at 4191 Ohio 547. Long-time residents know that farm as the Harold and Sadie Heyman farm. The 1877 tax lists show Isaac as owning 870 acres in Lyme, Ridgefield, and Sherman Townships.
Not only was he a large and successful farmer, but he was also an avid Republican in his politics. In August of 1872 he erected a 120-foot liberty pole on his property and sponsored a gala. Gen. Frank Sawyer of Norwalk was the main speaker; dinner was served to 200 people; and a dance floor was "laid in the grove" for entertainment. Music for the day came from the Monroeville Brass Band all at Mr. Banta's expense.