"He Stands Ever"

 A. G. Standiford, M. D. (1816-1894)

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Abram G. and Martha Reynolds Standiford

Bullet3.gif (148 bytes) From the book History of LaPorte County, Indiana, 1904, p.454-455.

Abram G. Standiford, M. D. The medical fraternity of LaPorte county is one of the leading departments in the history of the county, and to this class belong those noble men who have given up the best part of their lives for suffering humanity.  At the midnight hour or when winter's winds were sweeping across the bleak prairies these harbingers of good are called to the beside of woe and suffering and bring both scientific aid to the physical body worn with pain and comfort and consolation to the spirit weakened and spent with mortal anguish.  Among these worthy men is to be classed the name of Dr. Standiford, late of Westville, on the best known physicians in the county from an early date.  In fact he could be classed as the pioneer doctor.

He was born in Shelbyville, Kentucky, January 27, 1816 and died February 10, 1894, the youngest in a family of three children, two sons and one daughter, born to Rev. Francis and Rebecca (Smith) Standiford, all deceased.  Francis Standiford was born in Maryland, and his lineage traced to the little country of Wales, and the early progenitors of the family landed in America early in the seventeenth century, settling in Maryland.  They were related to the famous Patterson family, who were related to Jerome Bonaparte, of historic fame.  Francis Standiford was a Methodist clergyman of the old southern school, and freed his own slaves.  His wife, Rebecca Smith, was a lineal descendant of Revolutionary heroes, and her father, Captain Thomas Smith, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war under General Washington, and this fact entitles his descendants to become members of the great patriotic order of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution.

Dr. Standiford came with his parents to Greencastle, Indiana, when he was only ten years of age.  His first training was in the public schools and he then entered Wabash University, where he took a literary course for two years, and then engaged in the profession of teaching, which he followed for four years.   He was about eighteen years old when he determined to enter the medical profession, and he began his reading in the office of Dr. Knight, of Bowling Green, Kentucky.   After reading there for some time he cam to LaPorte, Indiana, there he graduated, and began his practice of medicine in Clinton county, Indiana, about 1836, where he remained till 1838, at which time he came to Door Village, Scipio township, LaPorte county, where his father was stationed.  He began practice there, during what was known as the two sickly seasons, and after remaining there two years came to Westville.

Dr. Standiford married, December 7, 1844, Miss Martha Reynolds, and four children, one son and three daughters, were born, only one of whom is now living, Clara M., now the wife of Clarence D. Hess.  Mrs. Hess was formerly the wife of Scott Walton, who was a native of Pennsylvania and was a locomotive engineer.   One child, Mrs. Mattie Walton Weed, was born, who is a lady of more than ordinary accomplishments and grace, is a pupil in the Chicago Musical College, and is well known as a vocalist.  Her social qualities and beaming good nature make her a prime favorite.   She is the wife of Daniel West Weed, one of the young business men of Westville.   Mrs. Hess was educated in the Westville high school, and is also an accomplished musician, having been a pupil under an eminent French teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Standiford was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, March 13, 1825, a daughter of Abram and Mary (Billington) Reynolds, who were parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters, but only three are living: Julia, wife of Daniel Shaw of Kingsbury, Indiana; Mrs. Standiford; Elam, a retired resident of Chicago.   Abram Reynolds was born in Worthington county, New York, in 1792, seven years before General Washington died, and he died March 13, 1872.  He was a farmer and a soldier in the war of 1812.  Politically he was a Jackson Democrat.  He was a cousin of Governor John Reynolds, governor of Illinois during the Black Hawk war.  He was a Mason, and he and his wife were member of the Baptist church.  It was the 15th of June, 1836, when Mr. Reynolds and his family arrived in LaPorte, Indiana, at which time it was surrounded by the Pottawottomie Indians, and Mrs. Standiford says the whites lived in constant terror of them.  Mr. Reynolds rented land near where Kingsbury now stands.  At that time there were no railroads through northwest Indiana to Chicago.   The mother of Mrs. Standiford, May Billington, was born in the old Bay State of Massachusetts, and traces her ancestry to the Mayflower, of which ship John Billington was a passenger when she brought the sturdy Pilgrims to the bleak New England shore.   Mrs. Standiford was reared in LaPorte county and educated in Kingsbury.

Dr. Standiford and his wife located at Westville in the spring of 1847, and here and at Dewey in the New Durham township was his field of practice until his death.  Dr. Standiford was known as a gentleman of high honor and manhood, and was an ornament to the medical profession.  It made no difference to Dr. Standiford who called him to the sick chamber, he always willingly responded, and many of the members of the homes of Westville and vicinity will stand up and call him blessed.   He was a man of high ideals and character, and the poor and needy never found him backward in the extending the hand of help.  His practice extended into Porter and Lake counties, and he traveled many a weary mile on horseback, with his saddlebags, after the manner of the pioneer physician and surgeon.  He was a very successful man in his business affairs as well as in his profession, and cared well for his family.  At his death the county lost an estimable citizen as well as worthy exponent of the medical profession.

Mrs. Standiford lives a contented and peaceful life in the pretty sylvan town of Westville, and is possessed of a sunny and genial nature.  Her home is open to friends and strangers alike.  We are pleased to present this review of such an estimable lady.

[Note: Francis Standiford was the son of Abraham and Susannah Chamberlain Standiford.]

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