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Charles Arthur Standiford

From: Biographical review of Calhoun County, Michigan; pub. 1904, Hobart & Mather; p. 456-458

          Charles Arthur Standiford. A fine representative of the younger generation of business men of Calhoun county is Charles Arthur Standiford, who was born in Sherwood township, Branch county, Michigan, November 8, 1866.  His father, James Standiford, now a retired resident of Athens, was for many years identified with the agricultural interest of this section of Michigan, as well as occupying a substantial position in the business life of Calhoun county.  He is the representative of an eastern family, have been born in Baltimore county, Maryland, January 28, 1818, the son of Clement and Mary (Fitzpatrick) Standiford, both parents being natives of Maryland, the mother a descendant of Scotch ancestry.  Mr. Standiford was reared upon the paternal farm and interspersed his home duties with an attendance at the common schools wherein he acquired a fair education.  He was the eldest of the six sons born to his parents, and of the four who attained maturity, he is the only one now living.  He remained at home until he had attained his majority, when he began to work at the carpenter's trade, his instruction for the first three years being the greater part of his renumeration, as he received only about seventy-five cents per day.  A few years before the Civil war he removed to Michigan, locating in Branch county, where he followed his trade for many years.  While a resident of Maryland he had worked for some time as an undertaker, and after coming to Michigan carried on this occupation in conjunction with his trade, remaining located, however, upon his farm.  In time his business increased to such proportions that he found it necessary to rent his farm and remove to Athens, where he conducted an undertaking and furniture establishment, meeting with success in the years that followed.  With a faith in the possibilities of his adopted state he has invested his accumulated gains in real estate, owning two farms on section 4, Sherwood township.  Branch county, one of eight acres and the other of two hundred and six, while in Athens he had a brick block built on the lot adjoining the bank in 1885.  He was a successful and esteemed citizen of this locality.

          Mr. Standiford has been married three times, the first ceremony being performed in York county, Pennsylvania, August 18, 1839, uniting him with Miss Mary J. Bond, of which union there were born four children, namely: William, who is married and lives in Kalamazoo with his family of our children; Wesley, died in boyhood; Thomas, who died in Branch county, his wife surviving him; and Henry, who died at the age of four years.  The mother died in Maryland.  Mr. Standiford was married the second time in Jefferson county, Ohio, to Miss Hyantha C. Carter, of which union there was born one child, who died in infancy.  By his union with Sarah C. Carter, a sister of his second wife, were born three children, of who Milton is manager of the electric plant in Athens; Charles Arthur is the personal subject of this review; and Maie married Daniel Peck, and his two children, Leslie and Sarah.  Mrs. Standiford died in 1896.  In his political affiliations Mr. Standiford is an adherent of the principles promulgated by the Democratic party, having cast his first presidential ballot in 1840, but has never cared to hold office.  He is an active member of the Congregational church, in which he has served as trustee, treasure and deacon, and fraternally is identified with Athens lodge, No. 220, F. & A. M., having acted as treasurer for twenty-five years.  While in Baltimore he was also associated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but dropped his membership after a number of years.

          Charles Arthur Standiford, the personal subject of this review, was reared upon his father's farm in Branch county until he was eighteen years old, receiving a preliminary education in the district school, after which he attended the high schools of Union City and Athens.  Upon the location of his parents in Athens in 1884, he became a member of the firm known as James Standiford & Company, in the conducting of the undertaking and furniture establishment of his father, remaining connected with its interests until the disposal of the same in 1899 to F. O. Hutchins.  In the last named year for the Athens Stand and Savings Bank was organized with a capital of $15,000, establishing their business in the bank building of S. R. Culp & Son having purchased the same.  Mr. Standiford became a stockholder and cashier in the concern, which is rapidly assuming a place of commercial importance in Athens and the neighboring locality.  They are now paying three per cent on deposits and are constantly increasing their custom.

          By his union in 1891 with Miss Jennie Ferris, Mr. Standiford allied himself with a prominent pioneer family of the state.  The western settler of the family was Benjamin F. Ferris, who was born in New York state, the son of John and Mary (Mereyhew) Ferris, the death of the father occurring in his native state while his wife died in Calhoun county, Michigan, having come west to make her home with her children.

          Benjamin F. Ferris was married to Miss Sabrah Stone, also of a native of New York state, and with his father-in-law, of whom an extended mention is found elsehwhere in this work, came in 1831.  They located just south of what is now the village of Athens, where he lived for a number of years, later removing to Sherwood township, Branch county.  In that location, in 1840, he built a hotel and conducted the same for many years, the house still standing as a reminder of the pioneer days of the state.  Later in life he removed to Athens, where he lived in retirement.  Both himself and wife are interred in the Sherwood cemetery.  They were parents of five children, namely: Asahel, the father of Mrs. Standiford; Byron, said to be the first white children born in Athens township; Albert; Norton, and Ellen, who died in infancy.  The four last named were natives of Calhoun county.  Asahel Ferris received a good education, attending the college at Albion when first established, and throughout his long life he constantly added to his store of knowledge by wide and varied reading, while following agricultural pursuits in Athens township.  His death occurred December 21, 1900, at the age of seventy years, five months and twenty-one days, his wife having passed away February 21, 1897, both being interred in Sherwood cemetery.  In his political affiliations he was a Democrat as was also his father, Benjamin F., the elder man having served as a member of the State Legislature when it was held at Lansing.  To himself and wife were born two children, Benjamin I., who died in youth, and Jennie, now Mrs. Standiford.  Mr. Standiford has built a beautiful home in Athens where he lives with his wife and the one children born of their union, surrounded with the comforts of life, a choice library adding both pleasure and profit in the passing years.  Interested in collecting mementoes of "ye olden time," they have in their home a clock one hundred years old, and also the first ballot-box used in Sherwood township.  In politics Mr. Standiford is an adherent of the principles of the Democratic party, and through the influence of the same has been justice of the peace for twelve years, and is also a notary public.  Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic order.  Mr. Standiford, though young in years, has established a reputation for business sagacity and energy, and combined with other characteristics, inherited and acquired, gives promise of a successful career.

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