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 Admer Nelson Standiford

From: History of Stanislaus County California,, pub. 1921;  p. 293

          ADMER NELSON STANDIFORD.  Among the most distinguished pioneer residents of Stanislaus County, Mr. and Mrs. Admer Nelson Standiford can not fail to receive from their contemporaries all the homage that is due, and from posterity heartfelt gratitude.  They are still living on the old home place occupied by the family since 1876, and where they dispense that delightful hospitality for which California families in particular have long been famous.

          Mr. Standiford was born near Vincennes, Crawford County, Ind. on December 16, 1835, the son of John and Jane (Osborne) Standiford, his father being a native of Kentucky and his mother of Indiana.  While he was a small child, the family moved to Cass County, Mo., and later they moved to Schuyler County, where Admer grew to manhood.  In 1863, most of the Standiford family crossed the plains to California, moving across the Missouri River at Omaha, and then following the old emigrant road along the north shore of the Platte, after which they traversed the Carson route, and when they had looked over San Joaquin County, they settled not far from where Mr. Standiford now lives in Stanislaus County.

          In 1864 our subject returned East as far as Denver, Colo., with a team of horses and at Boulder, Colo. on March 2, 1865, he was married to Miss Virginia M. Buford, a daughter of William and Mary (Jones) Buford--the former a native of Virginia and of English and Colonial forefathers, and the latter likewise a native of the Old Dominion who accompanied her parents to Schuyler Co., Mo., where she was reared in a period when the Indians were still numerous there.  Grandfather Jones was farming on a large scale at Tippecanoe, Mo., and William Buford had a store there and later at Lancaster, in that state.  Mr. Buford came across the plains with ox teams to California in 1849 to mine for gold and was very successful, and after two years returned via the Isthmus to Missouri, where he had left his wife and children.  Then he moved to Denver, then a village, during the Civil War, and suffered a heavy loss by the emancipation of the slaves; he had really come to Colorado and Pike's Peak on account of the rush for gold, having left his family in Missouri; but in 1863 they joined him in Denver.  After the War, he went back to Missouri to take charge of his large farms in Schuyler County, one of which contained as many as one thousand acres.  He made a trip to California in 1897 with his wife, and after her death he made another in 1907, to visit his daughter.  He died in 1914 in his ninety-third year.

         About the middle of June, 1865, Mr. and Mrs. Standiford set out for California as a part of a large train, and there was every reason to believe that no mishap could befall the 111 wagons; yet within a week the first danger was encountered as the travelers approached Medicine Bow.  Although the settlers had never relaxed their guard, even when camping, the savages suddenly appeared at the rear end of the train, threw themselves upon the guard there, and killed on of the company, William Sharon, from Audrain County, Mo.  The rest of the train prepared for a fight, but the Indians slunk off, and the emigrants were able to reach Medicine Bow and to pitch their camp, under heavy guard, for the night.  One of this guard, upon whom so much of the responsibility fell, was Admer N. Standiford, and so well did they keep watch that the pioneers were able to move off unmolested the next morning, and to reach Fort Halleck, where the funeral of their unfortunate comrade, Mr. Sharon took place.  During the rest of the trip, owing to the alertness of Mr. Standiford and his fellow guards, the Indians were kept at a safe distance, and eventually the party reached California and Mr. and Mrs. Standiford established their home where, except for one or two departures, they have since resided.  In 1867, owing to the poor health of Mrs. Standiford, they returned to Missouri; but six years later they came back to Stanislaus county, where they had remained save for a year spent in Washington.

          As Fortune smiled upon Mr. Standiford, he added to his holdings, and finally possessed some 640 acres of as fine ranch land as could anywhere be found.  He farmed wheat extensively, and both he and his devoted wife worked hard for all that they acquired.  In 1888, when such modern conveniences as the electric light were not generally introduced into houses, they built their own substantial residence, and since then they had added all the desirable improvements, and now even cook by electricity.  Mr. Standiford's first purchase of land was 160 acres, which he bought from William Brown, who had purchased it from Frank Wyruck, a homesteader, who built a house and resided there for years to hold his claim; this house still stands, and is popularly called the Pioneer Landmark House, and was for several years the home of Mr. and Mrs. Standiford and family.  As the years passed and this family grew, the considerate parents gave away most of their holdings, retaining ninety-five acres.

          On March 2, 1915, Mr. and Mrs. Standiford celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, first with a dinner party given at the home of their granddaughter, Mrs. A. P. Meily of Modesto.  Golden acacias added to the lavish decorations of the cozy residence, and good-fellowship and keen appetites made each guest appreciative of the elaborate feast prepared by the hostess, assisted by her mother, Mrs. J. H. Boren, and her aunt, Miss Maggie Standiford.  Those who were bidden to sit down were, besides Mr. and Mrs. A. N. Standiford, Mr. and Mrs. Torence White of Denver, Mrs. O. A. Wise and Mrs. J. R. Forsyth of Longmont, Colo., Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Ladd, Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Young, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Boren and son, Standiford, Miss 'Margaret Standiford, Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Meily, Mrs. and Miss Ruth 'Reed of San Jose, and Leland Stokes of Oakdale.  A surprise feature of the anniversary was the wedding party given at the Sylvan Club soon after the dinner.  The stage was decorated with golden flowers and streamers, forming a canopy for the bridal couple; there was a musical and literary program, Mrs. S. W. Hull played Mendelssohn's wedding march, Rev. E. R. Linn led the way, followed by Mr. and Mrs. S. W. Coffee--who had known the Standifords in Colorado before they were married--as groomsman and matron of honor, and little Florence and Thomas Giovanetti as ring bearer and page, while Mr. and Mrs. Standiford completed the procession.  "There under the canopy," said the local newspaper of the day, "the solemn vows to love 'until death do us part' were taken again in the words of the real ceremony--a ceremony that was indeed impressive to the friends who witnessed it, for every vow had been faithfully kept for fifty years, and all who listened knew that this was merely a renewing of them, just as they must have been renewed many times in the steadfast years that have flown quickly."

           Mr. and Mrs. Standiford have two children--Mary Etta, the wife of J. H. Boren, and she has two children, Mrs. Mildred Buford Meily and A. N. Standiford Boren; and Margaret, popular among her large circle of friends as Maggie.  Both Mrs. Standiford and her daughter Maggie are members of the Sylvan Club.  It will be seen, therefore, how far-reaching for good has been and still is the influence in the development of a larger, better, and greater California of this pioneer couple to whom have been granted, so many years, and with the years' health, affluence, culture, ideals and friends.


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