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John Hill Binford
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Birth: Apr. 13, 1844
Hancock County
Indiana, USA
Death: Apr. 20, 1912
Hancock County
Indiana, USA

John Hill Binford was the son of Robert and Martha (Hill) Binford. He was born to Quaker parents, and married Lucy Coggeshall in 1873 at New Garden Friends Meeting in Wayne County, IN. He and his wife left the Friends, however, and became Methodists. Following his first wife's death, he married in 1891 Florence Clark. By his first marriage he had six children: Gertrude, Edgar Allen, Robert John, Paul Franklin, Frank Leslie, and Florence. By his second marriage he had two children: John Clark and Morton C. John Hill Binford was a distinguished attorney in Hancock County.

"The Greenfield (IN) Daily Reporter, Saturday, April 20, 1912


John H. Binford age 68 years, educator, historian, lawyer, banker and churchman, and one of the community's most prominent and best beloved citizens answered the summons of the death angel Saturday morning at 9:30 o'clock, as he was surrounded by his sorrowing family at the Binford home on West Walnut street.

Probably no citizen has ever stamped the impress of their personality upon the community as has Mr. Binford whose death is sincerely mourned by the hundreds who have called him friend, all of whom honor him in their memory as the best and truest type of a good citizen and one who was worthy to be called friend in all that the endearing and sacred term implies.

Mr. Binford lived a busy life crowded with important matters, but he was never too busy to greet a friend of whatever station in life, and express an interest in his welfare, at this interest was always genuine hearty. Forty years spent in the school and college rooms fitted Mr. Binford for even better things in a professional and business way, and he was equally as successful as a historian, lawyer, banker and business man as he was in the educational field. He had been Greenfield's most prominent commercial lawyer for twenty years. His banking interests were large, as he was one of the organizers, large stockholders and president of the Capital State Bank of this city; also, a large stockholder and director in the Morristown and New Palestine banks, and of Indianapolis banks. He also owned considerable land and took a keen interest in farming and stock-raising, especially the latter, and he had an extensive brokerage business. It is probable that no man has meant more to the educational and business interests of the city and county than Mr. Binford, and as a churchman, he has been looked to as a leader and example. Notwithstanding his many and varied business interests, a part of his time was always available for the work of the church and of his substance he gave freely that the church might prosper and mean all it should mean to the world and especially to the people of his own community.

Mr. Binford had been critically sick for about three weeks, prior to his death, with blood poisoning and other complications, and although everything possible was done for him, hope was given up several days ago, as it was known that he could not long survive. His children who live in other states, or were attending school away from home were summoned several days ago and have been watching by his side.

Mr. Binford leaves to mourn their loss, the widow, six children, Robert J., Paul F., Frank J., Florence, John Clark and Morton C. Binford, two children, Edgar A. and Gertrude having preceded him in death. He also leaves four brothers, William Penn Binford, Joseph L. Binford, Robert B. Binford, and Nathan C. Binford, of this county, and three sisters, Mrs. Alice Bacon, of Kansas, Mrs. Martha J. Elliott, of Blue River township, and Mary L. Bruner, of this city. His oldest brother, Benjamin H. Binford, met his death about two years ago at the I & C crossing at Morristown, when the wagon in which he was riding was struck by a car.

The funeral services will be held at the Bradley M. E. church Monday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock, by the pastor, Rev. Leslie J. Nafzger, and others.

Friends may call Sunday afternoon and until after the church service Sunday evening, at the home, No. 224 Walnut street.

John H. Binford, son of Robert and Martha Binford, was born in Blue River township, Hancock county, Indiana, on April 13, 1844.

Mr. Binford's mental training was commenced at an early age, as he was taught to spell, read, and write when he was but 5 years old. He entered school at the age of 6 and attended three months a year until he was old enough to plow and do other farm work, when his school privileges were cut to a six-weeks term during the winter. In 1862 he entered Earlham College for a five-months term, and during the winter of 1863 he taught his first school, at Hopewell, Blue River township. He received $75, or $25 a month and boarded himself. Subsequently, Mr. Binford taught about forty terms in graded and ungraded schools, normals and colleges, in this and other states.

After teaching a few terms in the district schools and attending school at Walnut Ridge and Spiceland, Mr. Binford entered the National Normal School of Ohio, which he attended for two years. He was compelled to give up his studies there, however, because of declining health, and went South, where he became principal of the graded schools of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Mr. Binford had the honor, while in the South, of aiding in the organization of the first county and state teachers' association of that state, and was sent as a delegate to the National Teachers' Association at Trenton, N. J., and also the State Teachers' Association at Ithaca, N.Y., both of which he attended.

At the close of his second year's work at Little Rock, he returned home, fully recovered in health, and went to Ohio to complete his normal course. In 1871 he graduated from the Normal College and took a position at New Salem. During the same year he was elected superintendent of Hancock county by the trustees, and at the close of his school term he took active control of the work of the office and filled it for two years.

In August, 1874, while he was county superintendent, Mr. Binford was appointed by J. C. Denny, attorney-general, as his assistant in and for Hancock county. Mr. Binford organized and conducted the Hancock County Normal, the first ever held in the county. In May 1875, he was appointed as deputy treasurer by County Treasurer, E. H. Faut, for the townships of Blue River, Brandywine and Center, including Greenfield. In the fall of 1875, he was elected principal of the Greenfield Graded Schools, and continued in that capacity for two years. While engaged as an instructor and school official, Mr. Binford visited the schools of many southern states and brought home to his schools the best methods employed by them.

Mr. Binford did not abandon the school room until 1877, when he engaged in the profession of law. He read law at home the first year and then in the office of New & Barrett. He had been admitted to the bar and entered actively upon the practice of law when he received a call from the Central Indiana Normal College, of Montgomery county, to take charge of the law department, and he accepted the offer for one year.

Retiring the third time in Greenfield, he began the practice of law again, and continued in the practice here. He engaged in the brokerage and banking business also, to a large extent, and was unusually successful in all, building up a large business that gradually increased his financial standing until he became one of the wealthiest men of the county.

In 1882 Mr. Binford compiled and published a history of Hancock county, which is thorough, concise and accurate. The history covers the period from 1818 to the date of the publication of the history, and is illustrated with views, maps, charts, plates, portraits, sketches and diagrams. It was an immense undertaking, but was never given up until completed and stands as a monument to the memory of Mr. Binford, for preserving the early happenings of the county, the establishing of township boundaries, etc.

On the 26th of June, 1873, Mr. Binford was united in marriage to Miss Lucy Coggeshall, of Wayne county. To this union were born six children, Edgar A., Gertrude, Robert J., Paul F., Frank L., and Florence. In the fall of 1899 Mr. Binford lost his wife, who died of typhoid fever, and on March 25, 1891, he was married to Florence Clark of Fort Wayne. To them were born two sons, John Clark and Morton G.

Mr. Binford was a member of the Bradley M. E. church of this city, and was a member of the board of trustees and treasurer of the church. He always took an active interest in the church work and was one of the most active workers in planning for and building the present splendid edifice. He is a past superintendent of the Sunday school.

Politically, Mr. Binford was a Republican and has always taken a keen interest in the trend of public questions and events. He traveled a great deal and had broad views. He was always keen and alert, and showed deep interest in all those about him and numbered his friends by the hundreds. He was an interesting conversationalist, and although he had large business interests in many localities, he always took time to greet his friends and acquaintances pleasantly. Notwithstanding the act that he was well-to-do from a financial standpoint, he was one of the most unostentatious of the open-hearted and candid."

"The Knightstown (IN) Banner, Friday, April 26, 1912
John H. Binford, sixty-eight years old, and one of Greenfield's most prominent citizens, died last Saturday at his home there, after a three week's illness with blood poisoning. Mr. Binford has been an educator and local historian, and was also a lawyer and banker. He was president of the Capital State bank, of which he was one of the organizers. He was one of Hancock County's wealthiest men. He leaves a widow and six children."

Family links: 
  Robert Binford (1813 - 1884)
  Martha Hill Binford (1819 - 1899)
  Florence Clark Joslin Binford (1854 - 1939)
  Lucy Coggeshall Binford (1852 - 1889)*
  Gertrude Binford (1874 - 1889)*
  Edgar Allen Binford (1875 - 1903)*
  Robert John Binford (1879 - 1953)*
  Paul Franklin Binford (1880 - 1935)*
  John Clark Binford (1892 - 1944)*
  Benjamin Hill Binford (1838 - 1907)*
  Isaiah Binford (1839 - 1842)*
  John Hill Binford (1844 - 1912)
  William Penn Binford (1846 - 1933)*
  Robert Barclay Binford (1850 - 1926)*
  Joseph L Binford (1852 - 1914)*
  Mary Ladd Binford Bruner (1855 - 1942)*
  Nathan C. Binford (1859 - 1947)*
*Calculated relationship
Park Cemetery
Hancock County
Indiana, USA
Plot: Lot 20 Grave 4 Block 3
Created by: Mary Louise Reynolds
Record added: Dec 09, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 101945080
John Hill Binford
Added by: Mary Louise Reynolds
John Hill Binford
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Greg
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Click on image for full size.

- Tom "Homer" W.
 Added: Sep. 11, 2013

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