From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 327-328
John W. Hefner is one of the influential agriculturists of Huntington county, Indiana, and occupies a prominent place in Jefferson township, where he now resides. He was born in Wayne township, this county, September 21, 1854, his parents being Peter and Sarah (Hawkins) Hefner. The father was of German descent and the mother of English, and came to this county many years ago, settling in Wayne township during its earliest years. They were the parents of five children, three boys and two girls, John W. being the second of the family. The sisters of Mr. Hefner are Clara C., who married Rufus Williams and resided in this county until about ten years ago, when they moved west; and Mary E., the wife of George McFarren, a well-known resident of Huntington county.
John W. Hefner has occupied his present farm for the past thirty-four years. He attended the common schools of his township, obtaining a good education, and remained with his mother, taking care of and supporting her. After his marriage he rented the home farm for a time and finally purchased forty acres of it, paying two hundred dollars down and obtaining time for the balance. He was industrious and economical, and was able to pay his notes before they were due, and in six years' time he had not only paid for this forty, but had purchased another farm. He bought the entire homestead and ten years ago he bought an additional one hundred and thirty-three acres. His plan was to cultivate his farm during summer and in winter buy up timber and get it ready for market, and in this way he has managed to accumulate a neat property. It was his misfortune to be sick for three years of this time, during which he was unable to do much work or even get to his barns to see that his stock was properly looked after, but notwithstanding this detriment he proved a skillful manager and carried on his business successfully and is to-day one of the leading, progressive farmers and most highly esteemed citizens of Huntington county.
On December 28, 1876, Mr. Hefner was united in marriage with Miss Alice A. Heaston, daughter of Henry Heaston, who was an old and honored resident of Huntington county, and whose ancestors were from that sturdy, energetic class of Germans who settled in Pennsylvania during the early history of that state, noted for their thrift and prosperity and known and honored as "Pennsylvania Dutch." Five children have blessed the marriage of this estimable couple, three daughters and two sons, Charles R., Lora E., James L., Mertie G. and Clara E. Mr. Hefner is a member of the Christian church and his wife is a member of the German Baptist. They are earnest Christians and take a prominent part in pushing on any good work in their locality. Mr. Hefner is a strong advocate of the Republican policy and has frequently been chosen to represent this party in county and state conventions, where his voice and vote are sure to be on the side of right and justice.