WILLIAM BENEFIELD, formerly extensively engaged in Turman township, this county, as a general farmer and stock raiser, is now a resident agriculturist of the Panhandle country of Texas. He is a native of Hamilton township, Sullivan county, a son of George Washington and Elizabeth (McGrew) Benefield. The father was a native of Lawrence county, Indiana, and, in 1904, died at Terre Haute, Indiana, the mother being still a resident of that city. George W. Benefield always followed the life of a farmer, with the exception of a few years which he spent in California, during the early days of the gold excitement. Starting from Sullivan with an ox team. March 4, 1852, he crossed the Wabash river at Merom, on the old ferry boat, and reached San Francisco in August. He remained oil the coast until 1856, returning by steamer, via Cape Horn, and stopping in Cuba for a few days. Thence he resumed his voyage to New York City, and from that city readied his home by rail. His trip was successful, financially, and like most of the California pioneers, the experiences of both his overland and sea trips were always considered the most interesting chapter of his life. After his return from California Mr. Benefield farmed in Hamilton township until 1893, when he and his faithful wife moved to Terre Haute. Politically the elder Mr. Benefield was a Democrat, and in church relations his wife was a Baptist. They were the parents of the following children: Chauncy, now residing at Dallas, Texas; Leona, wife of Ezra Coble, of Terre Haute, Indiana; Felix G., also of that city; George, who is an insurance man of Dallas; William, of this sketch; Robert, also in the insurance business at Dallas; and Anna, wife of Herbert Osborn, of that city.

William Benefield was reared on a farm in Hamilton township, received his education in the district schools, and worked at home until he was twenty-one years of age. He then went to Mound, Louisiana, where he worked a year, after which he returned to the farm where he now resides. Remaining there a year and a half, he next located at Hymera and lived there three years, during this period being engaged in the meat business as well as in mining. In 1893 he returned to Turman township and resumed farm life, his place finally consisting of one hundred and three acres of fine land bordering on the plat of Graysville. At that location he conducted grain and stock farming. Among other enterprises with which he was also connected was that of the Big Springs Threshing Machine Company in which he was a stockholder. In September, 1908, Mr. Benefield sold his farm and removed to Texas, having visited various sections of that state and purchased a fine tract of land in the Panhandle country. There he has erected a substantial set of buildings and is engaged in general farming and stockraising.

Politically Mr. Benefield is a Democrat. In his fraternal connections. while residing in Sullivan county, he was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Masonic order, and with his wife, he belonged to the Eastern Star lodge at Graysville. Mr. Benefield was married January 26, 1889, to Mary Brewer, who was born November 2, 1866. on the farm which became the family homestead. She is the daughter of William and Mary (Hawkins) Brewer. Her. father, a native of Ohio of Scotch-Irish descent, was born March 20, 1824, and died in Turman township, October 24, 1899. When a child he was brought to this country by his parents, John and Mary Ann (Cook) Brewer, who located at Graysville. John Brewer, the maternal grandfather, operated a general store at Graysville for a number of years. William Brewer, the father, reached manhood in Turman township and there followed agricultural pursuits, finally purchasing three hundred and eight acres of land, which he handled in a most successful manner. Upon this homestead his wife died in 1868, the deceased being born in 1832, a daughter of Major and Sallie (Earnest) Hawkins. In 1871 William Brewer married Amelia Miles, a native of Gill township, and the family moved to Sullivan, where William Brewer formed a partnership with Thomas Burton, under the name of Brewer and Burton, which firm continued in trade several years. Then disposing of his business, he lived a retired life. Mr. Brewer's second wife died August 16, 1893, and in 1895 he married Mrs. Rebecca Thornberry. In the following year he moved to her farm in Turman township, where he died. The widow now resides with her daughter in Turman township. Mr. Brewer was a member of the Masonic fraternity at Merom; also connected with the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics a Republican. By his first marriage Mr. Brewer had six children; by the second and third unions there was no issue. By the first wife these children were born: John and Solon, deceased; Sarah E., wife of Robert Watson, of Rockford, California; Emily A., deceased, who married John Kirkham; Leanna, who married Rolland Hanchett, and now resides at Harlan, Nebraska; and Alary, Mrs. William Benefield. Mrs. Benefield was educated in Sullivan, Indiana, attending its high schools and remaining at home until a year before her marriage in Nebraska.

Mr. and Mrs. William Benefield have children as follows: Herbert Milton, born October 2, 1890, living at home; June Elizabeth, born November 17, 1894; and William Brewer, born May 4, 1899. Mrs. Benefield and daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and connected with the Eastern Star lodge.