|Birth: ||Jun. 30, 1852|
|Death: ||Feb. 6, 1924|
ANOTHER PIONEER OF THE EARLY '80's PASSES: Wm. M. Benefiel died at his home last Wednesday morning--ill for more than two years.
William M. Benefiel, one of the pioneers of this county, passed away at his home in the north part of the city at 4 O'clock Wednesday morning, following a brief illness from pneumonia. Mr. Benefiel had been in failing health for the past two years and was scarcely able to leave his home. However during the past two months he had seemed very much improved. On Saturday he seemed to be suffering from a cold but did not complain of any trouble in his lungs until late Tuesday evening only a few hours before his death.
Mr. Benefiel is survived by his wife, two sons, Rev. George Benefiel of Brawley, CA, and Dr. W. M. Benefiel of this city, and two daughters, Miss Bessie Benefiel, a teacher in the city schools, and Mrs. Helen Plank of Winfield. He also leaves two grandchildren, a sister, Mrs. John Wolf of CA, two brothers, T.S. Benefiel of Colorado Springs, and M.F. Benefiel of Montrose, CO and a half sister living at Columbus, KS.
William M. Benefiel was born in Davis county, IA, on 30 June 1852, being therefore aged 71 yr 7 mo 7 da at the time of his death. When a smalll child the family moved to Bates co., MO, where he grew up. After finishing the common schools, he entered DePauw Univ. at Greencastle, IN, for further training.
He was married on 12 Mar 1881, at Prairie City, Mo, to Miss Mattie B. Rawlinson..a few months after their marriage they moved to Kingman county where Mr. Benefiel took a claim near Old Bross. His father, Rev. T. S. Benefiel, then a retired Methodist, and several of his brothers also took claim in that section of the county. Mr. Benefiel's claim and the claim of his father is now known as the Polson estate.
Later, Mr. Benefiel and his family moved to Old Bross which was then the second largest town in the county. Here he conducted a hardware store and also served as postmaster...in 1892 Mr. Benefiel came to Kingman and conducted a grocery store for several years...after about five years in this business he returned to his ranch, but thirteen years later went into the feed business in Kingman which he conducted until ill health came upon him eight years ago. Since then he had not been active in any line.
Mr. Benefiel was the son of a Methodist minister, and having been brought up in a Christian home, he never departed from his early training. He united with the church early in life and always lived close to the teachings of his Master. For many years he had served faithfully as a steward in the Kingman Methodist Church. Mr. Benefiel was a thoroughly conscientious, Christian man and his influence for the right has meant much to this community and his passing is deeply felt by scores of Kingman people.
A BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF CENTRAL KANSAS, 1903 pgs 769-799
William M. Benefiel, who is engaged in general farming and stock-raising in Kingman county, his home being on section 35, Kingman township, was born in Davis county, Iowa, June 30, 1852, and is of Scotch and Irish descent. His great-great-grandfather came to this country from England in Colonial times, while his great-grandfather, James Benefiel, was born in 1765 and served during the latter part of the Revolutionary War. Subsequently he removed westward and died in Putnam county, IN. He was a Methodist minister. His son, John Benefiel, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Jan. 1795, Kentucky probably being the state of his nativity. He removed from that state to Wayne Co., IN and later took up his abode in Putnam county, whence in 1849 he went to Iowa. The year 1858 witnessed his removal to Bates county, MO., but in 1860 returned to Putnam county, IN, where his death occurred in Jan. 1864. His second wife, who born the maiden name of Elizabeth Montgomery, died in Hendricks co, IN about 1870. Her ancestors came to this country from Ireland. Mr. Benefiel was a prominent and influential men in the various localities in which he resided and was always a land-owner in those localities in which he made his home.
In his father's home William Benefiel spent the days of his boyhood and youth and pursued his early education in the district school of Bates county, MO, while later he attended a high school, then the Greenfield Academy, and completed his education in what is now the De Pauw University, at Greencastle, IN, where he spent one year. Returned to Bates co., MO, he engaged in farming through the summer months and in the winter he taught school until 1881. On the 12th of March of that year, in Bates county he married Miss Mattie B. Rawlinson, who was born in Brooklyn, NY, Jan 1, 1853, but was living in Indianapolis, IN at the time of her marriage. Her parents, her grandparents, her father's brother and three of her father's sisters came to this country from England in the same ship in the fall of 1852. Her parents both died during her early childhood.
After his marriage Mr. Benefiel removed to Kingman co., pre-empting a farm in Section 23, Kingman township, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising until March 1884. He then began dealing in hardward and implements in the town of Bross, still conducting his stock business, and devoted his energies to the dual pursit until the town of Bross was abandoned and in 1887 he sold his store. He then returned to the farm, where he remained until 1892, removing thence to Kingman, the county seat, and for four years engaged in the grocery business. On the expiration of that period he once more sold out and returned to the farm, but he retains his residence in Kingman where his family spends the winter months, passing the summer season upon the ranch. Mr. Benefiel owns and operates two hundred and forty acres of land on sections 26 and 35, and he also leased four hundred acres for grazing purposes. he cutlivates two hundred acres of land, keeps on an average one hundred head of cattle, and part of the time feeds a number of head in the stalls. He makes a business of buying and feeding cattle and finds it a profitable industry. His farming interest are well conducted and his practical methods and untiring labors have brought to him a good degree of success.
Since residing in Kingman County, Mr. Benefiel has served as justice of the peace and township treasurer, proving a capable and efficient officer in both positions. For eight years he was also a notary public and from Nov. 1883, until the final settlement of the Orsage trust lands in this county he was engaged in taking filings and final prooofs of settlers for the United States land office. In his political views he is a Republican and has often been a delegate to county and congressional conventions. Socially he is connected with the Odd Fellows Lodge of Kingman and with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has a wife acquaintance in his adopted county and enjoys the friendship and regard of all who know him.
Mattie Bertha Rawlinson Benefiel (1853 - 1934)
Elizabeth A Benefiel (1882 - 1957)*
George Julian Benefiel (1884 - 1976)*
Wilbur Marion Benefiel (1887 - 1962)*
William M Benefiel
1852 - 1924
Walnut Hill Cemetery
Plot: OOB - 0-16-02
Created by: Sharon Benefiel Palmer
Record added: May 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70356625