Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
WILLIAM H. BENDER is a prosperous farmer residing eight miles south from Harrington. He is a native of Stark county, Ohio, born September 27, 1839, and was the son of John and Rachel (Young) Bender. The father who was of German ancestry, was born in Pennsylvania, and died in Indiana in the year 1884, aged eighty-three years. The mother was born in Dublin, Ireland, and died in Stark county, Ohio.
William H. Bender is the eldest of a family originally comprising eight children, seven of whom are still living, all with the exception of himself, east of the Mississippi river. He grew to manhood on a farm and received a medium common school education. On October 5, 1860, he was married in Canton, Ohio, to Rebecca Helsel, a native of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, and daughter of Samuel and Lena (Barnhart) Helsel. The father was born in Pennsylvania and the mother in Maryland. Mrs. Bender is a member of a family of thirteen children, only five of whom are now living. She, too, has no relative west of the Mississippi river.
In 1862 Mr. and Mrs. Bender removed to Michigan, but soon returned to Ohio, remained a short time, when they again went to Michigan and spent one year, after which they went to Indiana. In 1879 they started for Spokane but stopped in Jasper county, Missouri, where they lived eight years, and in 1887 they came to Gilliam, King county, Washington, where they remained one year, then removed to Lewis county and engaged in farming. Mr. Bender sold his interests in Lewis county in 1901 and came to his present home. Here he has one hundred and sixty acres all of good quality and under cultivation, good improvements, live stock in plenty and a thriving young orchard. In all respects he is a well-to-do and contented farmer.
For the past twenty-four years Mr. Bender has been a member of the I. O. O. F., holding at the present time, membership in the lodge at Winlock, Washington. He is also a member of the Encampment, and has passed through all the chairs of both lodges.
Mr. and Mrs. Bender have been parents of four children, Elmer E., Cora, Ella, and Harry. Elmer E. is a resident of Lincoln county, the others being deceased.