Biography of William H. Gifford
North Central Ohio Biographies

William Henry Gifford is among the representative and widely known men of Mansfield, where he has engaged in the practice of law for almost 40 years. He was born in Weller Township, Richland County, April 17, 1862, the son of James and Mary Ann (Hale) Gifford.

James Gifford was born on the Isle of Thanet, Kent, England, March 28, 1832. He came to America in April, 1857, and after a short visit with an uncle at Berea, Ohio, he proceeded to Weller Township, Richland County, where he worked as a laborer. In 1880 he removed to Crawford County, Ohio, and engaged in farming near Tiro. In 1884 he purchased a farm in Morrow County, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died Feb. 16, 1913. Mr. Gifford was a Republican, in early life a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but later identified with the Evangelical Church. He was married Sept. 30, 1859, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, to Miss Mary Ann Hale, who was born at Hodges, Hertfordshire, England, Feb. 3, 1833. She died Feb. 18, 1913. Their children were: E. J. H., lives at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; William Henry, the subject of this sketch; Ada C., who died in September, 1884; Hon. Thomas L., attorney, died in Toledo, Jan. 21, 1925, had served two terms as state senator from Lucas County; Elizabeth R., who died in August, 1902; and Charles B. Mr. and Mrs. James Gifford are buried at Johnsville, Morrow County, Ohio.

William Henry Gifford attended the district schools of Weller Township and in 1887 received the degree of Bachelor of Science at Ohio Northern University. Later he received the degree of Master of Science from the same institution. Mr. Gifford taught school for a time in Crawford and Morrow counties, later at Emporia and Kansas City, Kan. He read law in the offices of Cunningham & McCarthy, Emporia, and in 1891 was admitted to the Kansas bar. He returned to Ohio in December, 1892, being admitted to the Ohio State bar in March, 1893. He has since engaged in private practice in Mansfield, and is recognized as one of the able attorneys of Richland County. He has offices at 74 1/2 North Main Street. Mr. Gifford is identified with the Richland County Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, and American Bar Association, and has been a member of the board of the Richland County Law Library Association for a period of 18 years, during this time having held numerous offices.

In 1918 Mr. Gifford was united in marriage with Miss Florence McBride, the daughter of Thomas and Barbara (Brandt) McBride, natives of Virginia, both deceased Mr. McBride was a leading attorney in Mansfield during his lifetime.

By a former marriage Mr. Gifford has four children: 1. Helen, married Roy McFee, lives at Detroit, Mich., and they have two children, Kathleen and Douglass. 2. Harvey Harold, who is president and general manager of the Palmetto Tire Company, Tampa, Fla., a subsidiary of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He married Miss Blanche Copeland. 3. Lillian Hazel, married Clayton Bennaway, lives at Detroit, and they have two children, Mildred and Robert. 4. Paul McKinley, who is an adjuster for the Mansfield Tire & Rubber Company, Mansfield. He married Miss Hildred Clelland. He is a veteran of the World War, having served in France with the U. S. Marine Corps as a member of the Sixth Regiment. He also served in Germany with the Army of Occupation and was discharged as a private in 1919.

Mr. Gifford is a Republican and has served as a member of the Board of Education and on the civil service commission for six years. He holds membership in the First Presbyterian Church and is a member of the following fraternal bodies: Mansfield Lodge, No. 35, F. & A. M.; Mansfield Chapter, R. A. M., No. 28; Mansfield Council, R. & S. M. M., No. 94; Mansfield Commandery, K. T., No. 21; Toledo Consistory, 32d degree; Mansfield Scottish Rite Society; Modern Woodmen of America; and Mystic Club.

Mr. Gifford lives at 777 Park Avenue West.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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