Banana Cake

Let’s meet the author of this recipe.

Based on the number of recipe cards with her name on them and other ephemera that connect the box to Medicine Lodge, I think this Florence Travis was the owner of this box. Here’s Florence’s family in the 1940 census; her husband Roy managed a grocery store.

The recipe box was sold in Great Bend, where Florence was born Florence Elizabeth Lonnon in 1906 and where she died in 1995 at the age of 89. For most of her life, though, she lived about 70 miles away in Medicine Lodge with her husband, returning to Great Bend less than a year before her passing. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the Order of the Eastern Star.

In the 1920s, Roy worked for one of the J.S. Dillon and Sons grocery stores; by 1940, he had his own shop at 201 North Main Street in Medicine Lodge. He sold it in 1943; in the 1960s, it was purchased, renovated, and turned into the main branch of the Lincoln Library.

The location of Roy Travis’ grocery store as seen in the 1960s, prior to being renovated into a library. From

An early mention of banana cake appeared in the November 23, 1882 edition of The (Brazil, Indiana) Democrat:

Banana Cake Three-fourths of a cup of butter, one and three-fourths cups sugar, one cup of milk, whites of five eggs well beaten, three teaspoonfuls of baking powder, three and one-fourth cups of sifted flour; flavor with banana extract and bake in layers. For filling, pare and grate two apples, yell of one egg, one cup sugar; let boil, and when cold flavor with banana; make separate frosting.

From the box of F.T. from Great Bend, Kansas.

Banana Cake

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 c. bananas
1/4 c. water
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Bake at 350 deg. for 40 minutes. Cupcakes: 25 minutes.

3/4 c. shortening
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 c. bananas
3/8 c. water
3 c. flour
3/4 tsp. soda
3 tsp. baking powder

Bake 350 deg. for 40 minutes.

From the recipe file of Florence Travis.

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