BENDER, William, wheelwright and carpenter, was born in Armstrong Valley, Jackson township, Dauphin county, Pa., January 17, 1842. He is a son of Leonard and Elizabeth (Shoop) Bender.
Adam Bender, his great-grandfather, kept a hotel at Halifax, and later removed to where Elizabethville now stands. John Bender, grandfather of William Bender, married Elizabeth Gipple. They had six children: Leonard, John, Elizabeth, Barbara, Katie, and Nancy. John Bender laid out the town of Elizabethville, and named if for his wife, Elizabeth. Leonard Bender, father of William Bender, was born in 1811, and is living at the time of this writing. His wife, Elizabeth Shoop, died February 2, 1872, at the age of fifty-four. They had six children: Samuel, married Barbara Shraeder; William; Susan, wife of Isaac Keiter; Sarah, deceased, wife of Emanuel Hoover; John , married Sarah Snyder, who died, and he married Sarah Warfel, widow of James Warfel; Louisa, deceased, wife of David Griesemer.
William Bender was at school for a few months of each year until he was fifteen; but this periods of attendance at school alternated with seasons of busy employment, and from his sixteenth to his twenty-first year his time was wholly taken up with assisting his father, both on the farm and in the wheelwright shop. He thus acquired a practical knowledge of both agricultural and mechanical business. Thinking it well to try work away from home he was for a little less than a year in the employ of the Northern Central Railway Company, after which he worked for a time with Levi Straw at carpentry.
On September 6, 1864, Mr. Bender enlisted at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, in Capt. Solomon B. Bowerman’s company A, Two Hundred and Tenth regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, under Col. William Sargeant. The regiment was sent to the Army of the Potomac, and assigned to the Third brigade, Second division, Fifth corps. It was ordered from Baltimore to City Point, and from City Point to the front of Petersburg, where it remained during the operations at the point during 1864 and 1865. In the following spring the regiment was sent to Fort Stedman, thence to Hatcher’s Run, thence to Gravel Run, where they lost their colonel, William Sargeant, thence to Five Forks, thence to Appomattox, where they remained for three days, thence to Petersburg, thence to Richmond, thence to Fredericksburg, thence to Harper’s Ferry, thence to Arlington Heights, and thence by way of Washington to Harrisburg, where the war having ended, the regiment was honorably discharged.
Mr. Bender, after his discharge, returned to Jackson township, spent a short time at home, and was then for about six months in the employ of the Northern Central Railway Company. Then for six months he worked at his trade with George Yeager, at Millersburg, after which he engaged at carpenter work with Theodore Dechant, and remained with him during the summer of 1866. The next year and up to the spring of 1867 he spent with his father, working on the farm or in the shop, wherever his help was most needed. After a short visit to Michigan, from which he returned in the following June, he was again engaged at his trade until 1871; in the spring of that year he was occupied throughout the season with the building of a barn on his father-in-law’s farm, in Halifax township. In the winter of 1871-72 Mr. Bender bought a tract of land at Lenkersville, near Millersburg, where he built his present homestead, to which he removed in the spring of 1873, and which he has been his residence ever since.
For the next six years Mr. Bender was employed by David Kuhns, in carpenter work, and for three years after that by Mr. Bell, in bridge building. He then again worked for Mr. Kuhns, as a carpenter, and later did the same kind of work for Benjamin Jury. For four years he was again employed by the Northern Central Railway Company, then engaged for the third time with Mr. Kuhns, carpentry; then he worked for John R. Miller, and afterwards engaged in carpentry on his own account.
William Bender was married, September 16, 1866, to Mary E., daughter of Jonathan and Joanna Hoffman. Mr. and Mrs. Bender have five children: Emma L., born August 19, 1867, wife of Clinton Tobias, has five children, two of whom are deceased, Ralph Lester, born September 3, 1866, died September 3, 1890, and Mary Edna, born February 27, 1888, died June 24, 1888, also Anna Dora, born November 18, 1887, Harry Edwin, August 28, 1890, and Mark, June 1, 1895; Charles Irwin, born July 14, 1869, married Lizzie Bilger: Annie Dora, born May 6, 1871, wife of Ramsey Beller, has two children, Rose M., born September 29, 1890, and Esther May, May 24, 1891; Harry Edwin, born April 3, 1875; and Sarah Florence, born February 13, 1885,
Mr. Bender is a member of Kilpatrick Post, No. 212, G. A. R., at Millersburg, and is a pensioner of the late war. He is a Republican. The family attend the Lutheran church.
Jonathan Hoffman, father of Mrs. Bender, died June 29, 1884, aged seventy-two; his wife died December 30, 1893, aged sixty-nine years, six months and two days. They had twelve children: Nicholas, Mary E., James, Charles, Isaac, Daniel, Samuel, Jacob, Sarah, Susan, John and Wellington.
Historical Review of Dauphin County