Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

THE TRUE STORY OF GEORGE EMIL BANKS

The 'Diamond City'

Wilkes-Barre (David Lohr)
Wilkes-Barre
(David Lohr)

The city of Wilkes-Barre is situated along the scenic Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania. Settlers from Connecticut, who built the town around a square, following the New England custom, founded this picturesque place in 1770. By the turn of the century, the Wilkes-Barre area boasted a newspaper, post office, and courthouse.

During the late 1800's, thousands of immigrants flocked to the region to work the growing anthracite coalmines. This transformed the lush green valley from an isolated farming area into a growing metropolis. The success of the coal industry brought a steady stream of entrepreneurs who formed many new businesses. Silk and garment mills quickly became major employers with companies such as the Empire Silk Mill importing silk from Japan.

Wilkes-Barre was nicknamed the Diamond City. Originally, the citys seal contained a diamond, which symbolized the "black diamonds" of anthracite coal, as well as the diamond-shaped town square. Currently, the city of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania has a population of nearly 50,000 people. One of those residents was George Emil Banks.

 

 

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