The subject of this biographical review is one of the eminent men of Clay county, both in business and civic affairs, whose indomitable courage, persistent and aggressive efforts and his excellent management have brought to him the prosperity which is today his. He has ever stood ready to do what he could in pushing forward the wheels of progress and advancing commercial prosperity in this vicinity and his career, both public and private, has been one worthy of the high esteem and praise which those who know him so freely accord.
Samuel A. Stanford, the popular County Treasurer of Clay county, was born in Stanford township, this county, October 25, 1867, and, unlike many of his contemporaries who sought precarious fortune in other fields, he has been contented to remain at home. He is the son of Oren W. Stanford, who was also a native of Stanford township, having lived all his life on a farm there. He was a member of Company A, Ninety-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served about two years in the Civil war. He died when our subject was twelve years old, in January 1879. Samuel A. Stanford, the subject's grandfather, was of Scotch-Irish stock, having migrated from his homestead reservation in Pennsylvania to Illinois, when a young man, being one of the first settlers in Clay county, having located on a farm in Stanford township, which he purchased from the government on which he lived until his death in January 1879. The subject's mother was known in her maidenhood as Mary Michaels, whose people were natives of Indiana. She is at this writing living in Flora. The parents of the subject were always known to be people of much sterling worth. Their family consisted of the following children: Mrs. Emma Dunmoyer, of Flora, this county; Samuel A., our subject; John and James are twins, the former living in Piedmont, Missouri, and the latter in Flora, this state; Mrs. Bertha Thomas, of Flora; Mary died in infancy; Charley O. lives in Odin, Illinois, where he is in the mercantile business.
Mr. Stanford spent his boyhood days on a farm, where he attended the country schools, later attending the high school at Flora, but at the death of his father he gave up schooling and went to work on the farm. In 1892 he engaged in the mercantile business in Flora, which was a success from the first. His was a grocery business and the manufacture of cigars and tobacco, having been thus engaged for about thirteen years, his business having constantly grown until he had an extensive trade throughout this locality. Then he sold out for the purpose of making the race for County Treasurer in 1906, on the Republican ticket, to which office he was duly elected and is at this writing, 1908, very creditably serving, with entire satisfaction to everyone concerned, being regarded by members of both parties as one of the best county officials Clay county ever had. He has a thorough knowledge of the affairs of the office and is courteous and obliging to everyone with whom he deals, thereby rendering himself popular with all classes.
Mr. Stanford was united in marriage November 25, 1890, to Opha Dedrick, daughter of Perry Dedrick, of Loogootee, Indiana, and to this union have been born eight children, namely: Eulalie, Hallie, Orren Perry; Samuel A., the fourth child is deceased; Robert Leland, Lester, William and Edwin. These children are receiving good educations and careful home training and they all give promise of successful careers.
In his fraternal relations Mr. Stanford is a member of the Masonic Order at Louisville; the Knights of Pythias at Flora, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Flora; also the Woodmen at Louisville, and the Eastern Star at Louisville. He is a member of the Christian church and Mrs. Stanford is also a faithful attendant of the same.
Mr. Stanford is a staunch Republican in politics, and since moving to Louisville, December 26, 1906, he has taken much interest in the development of the town and is regarded as one of the representative citizens of the place. He is unswerving in his allegiance to what he believes is right, and upholds his honest convictions at the sacrifice, if need be, of every other interest. Everything calculated to advance the interests of Clay county, whether materially or otherwise, receives his support and hearty cooperation.
Extracted 27 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay & Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 101-102.