George Banfield committed suicide on September 17, 1929. He died with the burden of debt hanging over his head from the heavy losses suffered by their brother-in-law when the Pillsbury Studio burned in November of 1927.
My father and his siblings were not close to the Banfields, AEtheline's brothers, who were their father's age. After AEtheline died in 1948 they lost touch with each other.
AEtheline was their father's wife, who had declined taking a mother's role in their lives when their uncle, Arthur C. Pillsbury, adopted them on November 14, 1911, six weeks after their parents were both killed in an automobile accident on Casitas Pass, just at the boundary between Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
Relations were civil between AEtheline and the three children, but not warm, as it was between them and their father, Arthur C. Pillsbury.
The Banfield brothers worked for Pillsbury in various roles and had started a company, Banfield Brothers Co., to carry on the work of Pillsbury's Pictures, Inc., when Pillsbury focused his attention solely on Yosemite after 1918.
In 1924 Pillsbury was granted a long term Concessionaires Agreement for the work he had done, single-handedly through his lecture tours, to publicize the National Parks, and Yosemite in particular. George Banfield invested in the venture for a new and larger studio and expected this to provide to him an income in his older years. Instead, he faced paying off a share of the enormous debt left hanging over everyone who had supported the venture. Unable to even find work after Pillsbury lost his main source of income, he killed himself with arsenic.
Pillsbury had suffered yet another life-altering event which sapped his optimism and forced him to redouble his efforts to support his family and pay off the debt which haunted him the rest of his life.