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Banks Dairy Farm gets historical marker
Honored by Historical Society for its great impact on local community
W 031413 BANKS DAIRY MARKER 01
Descendants of Banks Dairy Farm founder D.C. Banks gather as the Bulloch County Historical Society dedicates a marker for the farm Thursday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    Operating for nearly 100 years, Statesboro’s Banks Dairy Farm managed to stand out in a county built on farming.
    Thursday, the family operation was honored for its great impact on the local community.
    The Bulloch County Historical Society and descendents of the farm’s founders gathered aside an open field on Banks Dairy Road, to unveil a new marker that shares the farm’s story.     The plaque is the ninth in a series of markers dedicated by the historical society that celebrate prominent places throughout Bulloch County.
    “The Banks family has been instrumental in the Bulloch County area for as far back as the 1860s,” said Bill Waters, who serves on the Historical Society’s Board of Directors — Waters, Program Vice-President Brent Tharp and Project Coordinator Virginia Anne Franklin Waters presented the marker Thursday afternoon. “We want to make sure the public is aware of the importance of this family and this farm.”
    The Banks Dairy Farm was officially established in 1908, when David Callaway Banks (D.C.) and wife Sara Juliann Banks purchased the first part of what would become a 900-acre site, just a short drive from Westside Road.
    Later, the family would establish the City Dairy Company in Downtown Statesboro and become an important provider of dairy and crops for area residents.
    “The main concentration of the Banks Dairy Farm was dairy operations, with most of the milk going to the family-owned City Dairy Company,” according to the marker placed at the site. “The Farm also produced other livestock, wheat, cotton, tobacco, peanuts, watermelons and corn.”
    The dairying operation of the farm ceased in 1982, but much of the site remains intact.
    “We are thrilled to honor Banks Dairy” Tharp said. “(The farm) had such a significant history in the business and cultural life of Bulloch County for so long.”
    During its tenure, the Banks Dairy Farm became a central aspect of life for every member of the Banks family.
    D.C. Banks performed specific jobs on the farm and allocated several others to his children and, eventually, grandchildren.
    His son, Osborne Banks, for example, was in charge of feed crops.
    Thursday, Osborne’s grandson, John Banks, and John’s two sons, were on-hand for the dedication.
    “Whatever comes and goes in life the farm has always been here. It has been an important part of my life and now it is so to my children and wife,” Banks said. “Having this marker dedicated is huge. I can feel my father (Skip Banks), grandfather, and great-grandfather smiling down from heaven right now. The marker is really something.”
    The Bulloch County Historical Society plans to dedicate several new markers this year.
    A marker honoring the Old Harville House, on Harville Road, will be unveiled Saturday. The project is funded, primarily, with money from the local Jack N. and Addie D. Averitt Foundation.
   
    Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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