Preserve O. Sefton, a well-to-do and successful farmer of Pleasant Township, was born in Decatur County, this state, July 19, 1834, being the son of Henry and Sarah (Brown) Sefton, both of whom were natives of Ohio. They were reared and married in their native state, but removed to Decatur County, Ind., in an early day. They both spent the rest of their days in that county. His father was married three times. His second wife was Sarah Stine, and his third wife was Emma Vert. After his death his last wife married Orrin Custer, with whom she now resides in Greensburg, Decatur Co. The paternal grandfather of our subject was William Sefton, a native of Ohio. His maternal grandfather was Preserve O. Brown, who was born in Ohio, and for whom our subject was named. He grew to manhood in his native county, and was married there in 1855, to Lucinda Draper, daughter of Thomas and Catharine (Harbert) Draper. Shortly after his marriage Mr. Sefton came to Johnson County, and located in Pleasant Township, near his present home. He has now been a resident of that township since February, 1856. His first wife died where he first settled, February 28, 1864, and on the 22nd day of June, 1866, he was married to Mrs. Mary E. Hendrickson. She was born in Clark Township, this county, November 14, 1836, and was the daughter of Samuel and Maria L. (Harbert) Billingsly; the former was a native of Guilford County, N.C., and the latter a native of Dearborn County, Ind. Her father was born November 16, 1809, and was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Billingsly. Her mother was born October 5, 1817, and was the daughter of Ebenezer and Mary M. Harbert. The marriage of her parents was solemnized in Clark Township, in which her father spent the rest of his life, and in which her mother still resides. Mrs. Sefton was married to Isaac Hendrickson, September 7, 1858. He was born in Clark Township, October 13, 1836, and was the son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Dawson) Hendrickson. He died October 5, 1864. Mr. and Mrs. Sefton removed to their present home in 1868. The whole attention of Mr. Sefton is given to farming. He owns a good farm of eighty acres, which is a very desirably situated. Mrs. Sefton owns a farm of forty acres which adjoins the eighty mentioned above on the east. Besides this Mr. Sefton own a one-fifth interest in an undivided two-thirds of ninety-six acres in Howard County, this state. By his first wife, Mr. Sefton became the father of four children: Catharine A., born October 10, 1855; Sarah S., September 7, 1857, deceased; Thomas H., April 21, 1861, and Rachel E., January 6, 1864. By her first husband Mrs. Sefton became the mother of two children; Clurisa J., born May 9, 1861, and Samuel I., March 4, 1863, deceased. Mr. Sefton and his present wife have had four children: Robert W., born May 7, 1868; George W., November 7, 1870; John D., March 9, 1875, and Edwin W., March 7, 1877, deceased. The wife of Mr. Sefton is a member of the Christian Church. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Sefton was twice drafted during the War of the Rebellion, and for both substitutes, and to clear his township of a draft, he paid $1,680. In politics, our subject is a democrat. He is a progressive man and a model farmer. He and Mrs. Sefton are very highly esteemed and respected.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 812.