John Frederick Bender, superintendent of the Arkansas City public schools, is a young man who has already won prominence in the state as an educator of exceptional strength and ability. Mr. Bender is a native Kansan, having been born on his father's farm near Turner, in Wyandotte county, Nov. 24, 1879. His parents, Theodore and Gertrude (Schuch) Bender, were both born in Germany. Theodore Bender came to America in 1853 and first settled at Belleville, Ill., where he remained three years engaged at his trade as a blacksmith and wagon maker. He then was engaged for a similar period in Kansas City, Mo., before making his first trip across the plains to California. A second trip to California was made before he located on a farm near Turner, Wyandotte county, Kansas, which he had previously purchased. From that time until his death, in February, 1911, his whole attention was given to farming and stock raising, in which he engaged extensively. In 1885 he sold his farm near Turner and bought another west of Holliday, Johnson county, where he resided until his death. This homestead comprises 480 acres of valuable and well improved land and there the wife and mother still resides. Five children survive the father: Elizabeth, the widow of Henry Feilbach, a farmer of Holliday, Kan.; Amelia, the wife of Otto Weber, a farmer of Olathe, Kan.; Emma, the wife of Conrad Widmer, a farmer of Seneca, Kan.; William P. Bender, a farmer at Holliday, Kan.; and John Frederick. A daughter, Katherine, the wife of William Bauman, a farmer of Holliday, died in 1909. Both parents were members of the Lutheran church.
John F. Bender supplemented his common school education received in Johnson county, Kansas, by a four-years high school course at Kansas City, Mo., and then for several years was engaged in teaching. Entering the University of Kansas he was graduated from the literary department in that institution in the class of 1906 and was made principal of the Arkansas City High School for the school year of 1906-07. The following year he was elected to the superintendency of the Arkansas City schools and has very ably and very acceptably filled that position to the present time.
In 1909 Mr. Bender married Miss Margaret von Unwerth, the daughter of Bertram von Unwerth. Mr. von Unwerth was born in Selicia, Germany, and emigrated to the United states, where he was successively located in New York city, Chicago and Kansas City, Mo., and at each place engaged in his vocation as an architect. He was a veteran of the Franco-Prussian war. He took an active interest in the questions of the hour and was independent in his political views. His death occurred in Kansas City, Mo., on June 28, 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Bender are the parents of two children: John Bertram, born Aug. 6, 1910, and Herman Robert, born Sept. 23, 1911. Mr. Bender is a Republican in his political views but takes no part in political affairs. He and his wife are both members of the Lutheran church. Fraternally Mr. Bender is a Knight Templar Mason and is recorder in the Commandery at Arkansas City. He is also a member of the Kansas Teachers' Association.Pages 1326-1327 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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