William BanfieldWilliam Banfield was born on 15 June 1854, the only son of Charles and Harriett (Jones) Banfield. On the 1861 census the family (Barnfield) were residing in the Blaenau Gwent district of Abertillery but the street name was not recognizable. By the time of the 1871 census the family had moved to West Bromwich, Staffordshire where Charles was listed as a tin bailer and William a firemam
The Banfield family emigrated to the United States in 1872 and upon arrival in the country both father and son secured work at the country's first tin plate mill at Leechburg, Pennyslvania, where William Banfield was a heater and roller for seven years before being made manager, a position he held for a further six years. In October 1885 William Banfield moved to Irondale, Ohio, and with others established the Irondale Boiling Mill Company. The company under the name of Wallace, Banfield and Company Limited, made fine grades of black and galvanized iron and soft sheet metal, and it became one of the leading industries of Jefferson County. In 1892 they converted part of their plant into a tin mill, being the first to become extensive manufacturers under the McKinley Tariff. The company was sold in 1889 and Banfield moved to Chester, West Virginia, where along with other capitalists he erected the sheet mills there. Although the mills were sold to the American Tin Plate Company upon their completion Banfield was chosen and served as district manager for the concern for five years, until moving to Steubenville, Ohio, where he became associated with the Follansbee brothers. Banfield played a significant part in the then thriving town of Follansbee and was made general manager of the tin plate mills there.
William Banfield married Daisy Kirk who appears to be his second wife and he fathered seven children. The family made their home in Follansbee and a street in the town is named after William Banfield.
In 1908 a group of Welsh singers toured America and met up with William Banfield, he told them of his childhood memories and claimed that one Joseph Kidner was proclaimed as the first teetotaller of Abertillery.
William Banfield was a Republican: he was the president of the East Ohio Sewer Company at Irondale, president of the Union Savings Bank and Trust Company at Steubenville, and a director of the Citizens Bank at that place. He was an elder with the Second Presbyterian Church at Follansbee and a trustee at Beaver College.
William Banfield died on 04 January 1928 at Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, at the age of 73. At the time of his death he was residing at the Fort Steuben Hotel, Steubenville, Ohio. He was buried on 07 January 1928 at Spring Hill Cemetery, Wellsville, Ohio.
His death made front page newspaper headlines throughout Ohio where he was described as a Pioneer, Financier and Industrialist.