â€œHistory of Huntington County, Indianaâ€1914 By Frank S. Bash pg.728-29
William P. Bender. A resident of Markle for thirty-five years, Mr. Bender has long been prominently identified with the mercantile activities of that little Huntington county city, and while busy with his private interests and in building up his individual prosperity has never neglected his share of duties toward the community.
Mr. Bender comes from that old and substantial community known as Berks county, Pennsylvania, where he was born December 12, 1847. His parents were John and Barbara (Mast) Bender. Both parents were likewise natives of Berks county, and represented good old stock in both lines. The parents some years after their marriage came west and located in Wells county, Indiana, and in 1850 settled on a farm in Rock Creek township, in that county, where they lived for many years. Their declining days were spent in the city of Bluffton, where both died. The father was a hard worker, and managed to accumulate a competency during his life in Wells county. He came there with very little means and his first purchase was forty acres in the midst of the woods. After clearing that and getting a little surplus, he bought more land, until he finally owned one hundred and twenty acres. All of this was cleared and improved under his own supervision, or by his own labors. In the Bender household were ten children, two of whom died in infancy, and the six living at the present time are: John H., who resides in Rock Creek township of Wells county; Susan, the widow of William Miller; William P.; Samuel, a merchant in Bluffton; and Jonathan, of Wells county.
William P. Bender was three years old when the located on a farm in Wells county, was reared in the country, had a common schooling, and was trained for life by hard work on the farm. His ambition early went beyond the horizon of country life, and his first goal was for educational work. He was a student at Bluffton, and in that way equipped himself to teach, and after getting a license was master of a school in Rock Creek township of Wells county for three winters. In the meantime he had continued to work on the farm, and gradually laid his plans for a commercial career.
In 1872 Mr. Bender married Miss Emma S. Edris. She is likewise a native of Berks county, Pennsylvania, and her family moved to Wells county, Indiana, in 1861. Mrs. Bender, who has a common school education, is the only one now living out of six children. In 1878 Mr. Bender started in business at Markle, at first in partnership with J. M. Brown. Twenty years later, in 1898, he bought the interest of Mr. Brown, and his since continued alone, and has built up a mercantile concern which for its long standing and reliable dealings is a very profitable establishment. Besides the buildings in which his business is conducted, Mr. Bender owns a new brick structure just across the street, and has one of the most attractive residences in Markle. He is also owner of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Wells county. Mrs. Bender is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Markle, and he is affiliated with Markle Lodge, No. 423, of the Knights of Pythias, and in politics is a republican.