WILLIAM BENDER, a prosperous farmer and stock-raiser of Waldo township, residing on his valuable farm of 316 acres situated in section 23, was born near Bethlehem, Marion County, Ohio, November 1, 1867, and is a son of Philip and Caroline (Benzler) Bender. The Bender family occupies a prominent place among the old pioneer ones of Marion County. Justus Bender, the grandfather of our subject, was a weaver by trade and prospered in a small way in his native village in Huttengesass, Germany, where he owned his own loom and engaged in the weaving of cloth. As he grew older, however, he saw that working conditions were growing more difficult in his own land and as land agents and old acquaintances continually represented the fertile and yet unoccupied farming land in Ohio, to he secured at small outlay, he decided to remove with his family to America. After some 60 days on a sailing ship on the Atlantic Ocean, the party was safely landed at the port of New York and immediately started for Marion County, Ohio. At that time no railroads were running in the section through which they desired to travel and they secured a covered wagon and in it started overland. When they reached Marion, they found but a small village which they passed through, continuing to Waldo township, to the place now called Bethlehem. Justus Bender found all this section covered with a heavy growth of green woods and, as it had never been drained, a large part was under water a considerable portion of the year. He bought 40 acres of this land and immediately set to work building a log cabin, chopping down the first tree ever felled on the place. A round-log house was constructed and as he and his son, Philip, then 15 years of age, were able, they cut other trees, split them and made rude furniture, which sufficed for their needs and probably was of the same construction as that owned by their neighbors. Later Mr. Bender added more land, increasing the farm to 160 acres. On this first farm Justus Bender died in advanced years; his widow died on our subject's present farm, at the age of 85 years. Philip Bender, father of our subject, was the only son of the parental family. His sister Margaret later married Daniel Augenstein, a well-known resident of Marion County. The early youth of Philip Bender was one filled with hard work as he was his father's only helper and often he would go into the woods alone and cut and split trees, when he was but a boy in years. He helped his father clear all the land and was married before the death of his parents. He continued to live in Marion County, doing general farming even when the grain had to be hauled to Sandusky to be disposed of, and he was considered one of the most progressive and fore-handed men in his township. He owned one of the two old-fashioned power threshing machines then in Waldo township and this was a source of considerable income, as he did the threshing over a large territory. He kept on adding and improving his land and became one of the most substantial men of his section. Philip Bender was married September 15, 1848 to Caroline Benzler, who was born December 2, 1827 in Horrheim, Wuerttemberg, Germany and had accompanied her mother to Bethlehem in Prospect township, Marion County, when about 18 years, of age. Her father, Joseph Benzler, had died in Germany. Philip and Caroline Bender had the following children: George, deceased in infancy; Hannah, deceased, who was the wife of Frederick Stoble; Philip, deceased Catherine, wife of Jacob Hecker; William, of this sketch; Margaret, deceased at one year George, deceased; Susan, widow of Philip Almendinger; Caroline, wife of Jacob Denman; and Charles, deceased, aged seven years. Philip Bender was one of the leading Democrats of Waldo township but he was never willing to run for office. His fellow-citizens however, elected him school director and also made him road supervisor. He was one of the early members of the German Reformed Church in the township and was a member of its board of trustees. He lived to the age of 77 years and 13 days, dying October 1, 1903. He was an industrious and hard working, farmer through all his active years, was careful and economical in the management of his farms, was honest in all his dealings with his neighbors and is remembered with feelings of respect by all who knew him. His widow still survives, approaching her 80th year, a member of our subject's household. William Bender followed closely in the footsteps of his father, in his boyhood, as regards hard farm work, but he had more educational opportunities, although nothing like those given his own children and grand-children His father kept adding land to the original tract and this land had all to be cleared and put under cultivation, and as he was the eldest surviving son he early had heavy responsibilities. He can remember when almost all of the farm work was yet done by hand. His father owned a threshing machine but the greater number of the machines, which now do farm work with such accuracy as to almost seem human, had not yet come from the brain of the inventor, and those already on the market were so high priced as to make their us impossible by the ordinary farmer. Mr. Bender bought 106 acres of land from his father and the rest of the homestead farm was left to his mother. He manages both his own and his mother's property and is largely interested in the buying, feeding and selling of stock-horses, cattle, sheep and hogs. His land is well adapted to the growing of grain and he is one of the largest shippers of his section. The old home still has in it pieces of the old furniture that has belonged to the family for years, and there are many samples of the grandfather's weaving here, some of which he did after coming to Marion County. Mr. Bender prizes these old quilts and comforts made by his grandfather, as none now on the market are so well woven as those made on the old German hand loom. On January 30, 1892, Mr. Bender was married to Emma Fazler, who is a daughter of Christian and Philomena (Gornflo) Fazler. Both parents of Mrs. Bender came to America Unmarried, the father when 14 and the mother when 19 years of age. They reside on their valuable farm in Prospect township, Marion County, on which Mrs. Bender was born, August 21, 1871. They are prominent residents of that section. They had the following children : Emma (Mrs. Bender); Sarah, who married Christian Benzler and has had three children-Madilla (deceased), Clara and Oliver; Clara, wife of Albert Folk; and Sophia, wife of Edward Leffler. Mr. and Mrs. Bender have had five children, as follows: Edna and Edwin (twins), the latter of whom died in infancy, the former, On August 1, 1899; Arthur; Irene and Leroy. Politically, Mr. Bender is a strong Democrat, but he has no aspirations toward office. He is a universally respected man and one of the best farmers and citizens of Waldo township.