DAVID W. STANDEFORD
|From: History of the State
of California & Biographical Record of Coastal Counties by James
Miller Guinn, pub. 1904; p. 1209
DAVID W. STANDEFORD. Although more than the allotted number of years have passed over the head of David W. Standeford, he still maintains that watchful energy and vitalizing business sagacity which have place him among the representative commercial agencies of Oakland. The president of the firm of Burnham-Stamdeford Company, owners and proprietors of the Oakland Planing Mills, was born in Greencastle, Putnam County, Ind., May 29, 1830, and comes of southern stock, his father, Gen. John Standeford, having been born in Virginia in 1795, and his mother, Hannah (Collier) Standeford, in Maryland in 1794. She is a descendant of Colonel Crissop who served in the Revolutionary War. John Standeford served as a soldier in the war of 1812-14 and was one of the pioneers of Indiana, and as early as 1827 started a merchandise business and built a woolen mill in Greencastle. While in Indiana he became prominent in the state militia and was promoted to the rank of general, in after years removing to the state of Kentucky, where his death occurred at the age of eighty-seven years, his wife dying at the age of seventy-five years in Greencastle.
In the small town of Greencastle, David W. Standeford passed an uneventful youth, attending the subscription schools, assisting his father in the store and woolen mill, and clerking four years in a drug store. He was naturally much impressed with the reports of gold on the coast, and from his seclusion ventured forth with a spirit as dauntless as it was hopeful and venturesome. Starting out with an ox train April 14, 1849, and after a short and rather disappointing experience in the mines turned his attention to teaming between different points. In time he engaged in the stock business with his brother, William W., now deceased, remaining on a ranch in Sacramento County until 1855, and experiencing a fair measure of success. Overcome with the longing to again be among his people in Indiana, he returned to Greencastle, in 1855, and was soon engaged in a merchandise and stock business. The spirit of the progressive west was with him, however, and in perspective seemed to take on an importance he had hardly appreciated in the old days. Accordingly, he again crossed the plains in 1859, and in Placerville was employed as agent of the South Fork canal and later at Diamond Springs was made superintendent of the Eureka canal and also served two years as county clerk of Eldorado county, removing to Oakland in the spring of 1867. Soon afterward was started the business which had proved so important a factor in the upbuilding of Oakland, and which has for years been considered a stable landmark of the community. Long since Mr. Burnham, the senior member of the firm, has died, leaving the entire management of the large business in the hands of Mr. Standeford. The mill covering an area of two hundred by two hundred and twenty-five feet, is operated by from city to a hundred men on an average, although in the busy season a hundred and forty men are often on the pay-roll. The Burnham & Standeford portable houses are in demand in camps and wherever expeditious construction is desired, and the building materials are acknowledged to be of superior make.
An ardent Republican since casting his first presidential vote, Mr. Standeford has been prominently before the public as a conscientious and efficient public servant, holding among other offices that of clerk of Eldorado County for two years. His popularity was attested during the mayoralty election of 1889, when he was defeated by but two hundred votes. He is one of the favored few who have taken the thirty-third degree in Masonry. He is a member of the California Society of Pioneers of San Francisco. In 1864, Mr. Standeford lost his wife, formerly Mary A. Dunn, a native of Indiana, who to his care three children: Lulu May, now the wife of George McBoyle; Ada S., now the wife of Joseph McBoyle; and Josephine N., the wife of F. W. Smook.
Throughout his meritorious career, Mr. Standeford has met with that success which is assured by indefatigable industry, loyalty to high ideals, and a regard for the rights of his associates. He is the kind of man to make and retain friends, and his generosity to those temporally in need, to charities and worthy demands upon his time and purse, is proverbial. He resides at No. 903 Market street, with his two daughters, Mesdames George and Joseph McBoyle.
Back to Main Menu Back to Biography Selection Back to David Standiford's Lineage