He was of German ancestry.
He came to St. Paul in 1854 according to Minnesota in Three Centuries. Minnesota Place Names and the Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1861 list 1855.
Minnesota in Three Centuries lists his birth place as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Minnesota Place Names lists Wilmington, Delaware. The Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1861 lists Indiana.
He was engaged in banking, which he continued until 1861, when he joined the Union Army and was appointed commissary of subsistence with the rank of Captain. He afterwards became President of Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad Company, and visited London, England, to negotiate bonds for the Company." (Minnesota in Three Centuries, 1908)
His party affiliation was determined by A History of the City of Saint Paul and of the County of Ramsey, Minnesota, 1876; it lists him as a member of the Republican Party in the 1860 election.
"He was a candidate for Governor on the Democratic ticket against John S. Pillsbury in 1877." (Minnesota in Three Centuries, 1908)
The settlement of Banning is named for him. (Minnesota Place Names)
Banning State Park is also named for him. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website says that he was the president of the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad. Minnesota in Three Centuries says that he was president of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad Company.
He died in St. Paul, Minnesota.