December 12, 1916 San Francisco Examiner

Fortune Hangs on Baby Girl

Child Put Forth as Heir

 In the settlement of a big English estate owned by David Hanbury, the mystery of the parentage of Maria Mansfield, four and a half years old. Has come to be an important question.

David Hanbury , a wealthy Englishman who owned island no. 10 in the Delta region, died in 1910, leaving a son as heir. The son is now ten years old.

Mrs. Hanbury, his widow, married again and is now Mrs. W.H. Banta, wife of a Martinez hotel man. They have one child.

Between 1910 , when her first husband died and 1912 when she married Banta, Mrs. Hanbury left in the care of Mrs. Anna Porteous of San Rafel, Maria Mansfield, a baby girl. She was to pay $20 a month for the care of the child. Mrs. Porteous has brought suit against Mrs. Banta for payment of the $20 a month. Mrs. Banta denies that she is the mother of the child. Dr. Edward Topham, on the witness stand yesterday, testified that he attended Mrs. Banta in April of 1912 at the King Edward Apartments in San Francisco and that on that date a daughter was born to her. He gave the name of the nurse as Miss Emily Shattuck.

 Mrs. W.H. Bant
Who was Mrs. David Hanbury, and who denies that she is Maria Mansfield's mother.


In the face of testimony, Mrs. Banta denied that she was the mother of Maria Mansfield. She said she was the mother of two children, David Hanbury , by her first husband, who is heir to the estate and the child born after her marriage to Banta.

Superior Judge Edward T. Zook who is hearing the case, instructed District Attorney Edward I. Butler to prepare charges of perjury against Mrs. Banta. He concludes that she testified falsely as to the parentage of Maria Mansfield.

 Mrs. Banta, with her husband, came to San Francisco yesterday and held a conference with their attorney, Frank J. Golden, and the district Attorney Butler. Mrs. Banta continued to deny that she was the mother of any other children than David Hanbury Jr. and the child born since she married Banta.


She makes no attempt to explain the existence of Maria Mansfield. Mrs. Porteous says the child was left with her by Mrs. Banta who at the time was still Mrs. Hanbury. Dr. Topham says that a daughter was born to Mrs. Banta in April, 1912. Mrs. Banta rests the case by denying that Maria Mansfield is her daughter and offering no further explanation.

Mrs. Banta, not under oath, but making a statement in court said: "These people who produce these witnesses to-day offered Mr. Banta $10,000 dollars."

She did not explain her remark, but it was taken to indicate that she would claim that someone interested in the Hanbury estate was trying to place obstacles in the way of it falling to David Hanbury Jr., her son, for whom she is still guardian.

To clear up this mystery Judge Zook instructed District Attorney Butler to prepare the charges of perjury against Mrs. Banta.

part2 part3 Part 4 Part5

a letter from Mrs. Banta to Little 1941

Nanny Rie's page This page is for my Nannie Rie (little Maria) all sorts of pictures of Marie and the Porteous'

The Hanbury's Married life!

David T. Hanbury's Death

Mansfield Genealogy - Family tree and source info

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