Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

LEWIS F. BANFIELD. Among the successful farmers of Greene county of a past generation, was the late Lewis F. Banfield, who was progressive in his ideas of husbandry, and in connection with his sound judgment and foresight he had the proper industry and perseverance to make his chosen life work a success. Like so man of our citizens of his generation he came from Tennessee and he had the sagacity to see in this locality splendid opportunities for the tiller of the soil, for no state in the Union has a more complete and rapid system of natural drainage, or a more abundant supply of pure, fresh water than Missouri. Both man and beast may slake their thirst from a thousand perennial fountains, which gush in limpid streams from hillsides innumerable, and wend their way through verdant valleys and along smiling prairies or through shady forests, varying in size, as they onward flow, from the diminutive brooklet to the giant river. Our subject was a good farmer, good soldier and good citizen.

Mr. Banfield was born in Tennessee, August 16, 1845. He was a son of Qualles and Lucy (Warren) Banfield, both of old Tennessee families. There these parents grew to maturity, were educated in the old-time schools and there were married and established their home. The father devoted his life to farming and stock raising, first in his native state, remaining there until 1846, when he moved his family to Missouri, his son Lewis F., of this memoir, being then a year old. The family located on a farm in Greene county, not far from Springfield, and here the elder Banfield applied himself with his usual skill and diligence and made a success, and here he and his wife spent the rest of their lives, dying respected by their neighbors and friends. Their family consisted of six children, three sons and three daughters, all surviving at this writing but the subject of this sketch; the brothers and sisters are, Columbus, John, Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, a widow; Mrs.. Samuel Dishman and Lucy, wife of Benjamin Potter and subject, Lewis F. Most of them still live in Greene county.

Lewis F. Banfield was reared on the farm and assisted with the general work there when a boy, and he received his education in the public schools of his day. He was working on the farm when the Civil war began, and he unhesitatingly proved his courage and patriotism, although but a mere boy, by offering his services and his life, if need be, in behalf of the Union, serving three years and three months in the Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteer Infantry in which he saw much hard service, taking part in many important campaigns and engagements, including the battle of Chattanooga. He proved to be a brave, gallant and faithful soldier, never shirking his duty no matter how arduous or dangerous. He was but twenty-one years of age when he was honorably discharged from the service.

After returning home from the army Mr. Banfield resumed farming, which he made his principal life work, and became owner of valuable farming land in Greene county, a few miles west of Springfield, which he brought up to a high state of cultivation and improvement, and ranked among the best farmers of his township.

Mr. Banfield was married July 13, 1865, to Nancy C. Gibony, a daughter of Andrew and Sarah A. (Hackney) Gibony. -Mr. Gibony was a successful contractor and builder. Andrew Gibony was born in the South and died in Springfield. He built the first court house in this county, the one that stood in the center of the public square. Mrs. Gibony was born in Boone county, Missouri, and was a daughter of H. Hackney, who was an early pioneer in Boone county.

Mrs. Banfield is one of a family of six children, three sons and three daughters, namely: Mrs. Mary E. Foster; James; John P.; Elizabeth; subject's wife; and one that died while young. Mrs. Banfield was educated in the public schools of Greene county. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Banfield, namely: Qualie W. died at the age of thirty-one years, leaving a widow; George Frederick, who is engaged in merchandising at McKinley, Lawrence county, Missouri, with his mother, is married and has one child, Ruby; his wife was Alice Irby prior to her marriage. Nona E., third child of our subject, married Charles Aven, a farmer in Christian county; this state, and they have two children, Bertha and May; Mary A. married Thomas Carr, a farmer of Christian county, and they have two sons, Ralph and Fred; Sterling E., a steam fitter, married Addie Gruebaugh, and they live in Salt Lake City, Utah; Lucy E. married Ralph Wardell, who is connected with the Springfield Seed Company, and they have two daughters, Nona and Mildred; Louis Harvey died at the age of eighteen years.

Politically, Mr. Banfield was a Republican, but never very active in public affairs. He belonged to the Cumberland Presbyterian church and was a liberal supporter of the same. He belonged to the Sons of Veterans.

The death of Mr. Banfield occurred February 20, 1903. He was known as a good business man, a kind husband and father and a good neighbor. Mrs. Banfield, a woman of much executive ability in business matters, lives in Springfield, owning a home on West Walnut street, and also valuable farming land in the county.


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