Honorable Elisha D. Standiford, M.D.
From: The Ohio Falls Cities and their Counties,
Vol. I, p. 532; pub. 1882
Contributed by Jessie Hagan. Thanks, Jessie!
E. D. STANDIFORD
The Hon. Elisha D. Standiford, M. D., President of the Farmers’ and Drovers’ Bank, and late President of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, is a native “to the manor born.” His natal day was December 28, 1831, and he was born in this (Jefferson) county, son of Elisha and Nancy (Brooks) Standiford. His father was also a native Kentuckian, but of descent from Switzerland, whence his American progenitors emigrated at an early day and settled in Maryland. He was born, however, in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The mother was of Irish stock, but belonged to a pioneer Louisville family, her parents having located in the place more than eighty years ago. She was born in Pennsylvania, but removed with her parents to Point Pleasant, Virginia, before coming to Louisville. Dr. Standiford thus, on both sides, traces his ancestry through early Kentucky families. He was liberally educated. Although he left the school early, at about the age of sixteen, he was already a good Latin and French scholar, and it was designed that he should pursue a course at Georgetown College, with a view to becoming a civil engineer. This plan was not executed, however; and, after some study, partly at the well-known St. Mary’s College, in Marion County, this State he began his medical studies with the well-known Doctor and Professor J. B. Flint, and heard lectures at the Kentucky School of Medicine, from which he was graduated in due time. He opened an office for practice in the city, and was soon actively and profitably engaged.
Preferring, however, a more stirring and varied business, after several years’ practice he abandoned the profession, and engaged in agricultural and other enterprises of the larger and more public character. He invested his means somewhat heavily in manufacturing and banking; became by and by, and remained for a number of years, President of the Red River Iron Works, which was developed into one of the greatest operations of the kind in the West or Southwest; was long President of the Louisville Car Wheel Company, then, as now, the largest concern of the kind in the Valley of the Ohio; and also President of the influential and string Farmers’ and Drovers’ Bank of Kentucky, on Market street, above Fourth the heaviest bank of deposit in the State—a position which he still retains, and to which he gives the major part of his time and energies. It is confidently averred that all these corporations owe their prominent standing and success largely to his business ability. In 1873 an election by the Directory of Louisville & Nashville Railroad added to his numerous duties the responsible relations of Vice President of that corporation. His service in this position was so responsible and satisfactory that in 1875 he was promoted to the Presidency of the road, and filled the place during several important years. A writer in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky, published during his service at this post, says: “Under his management the commercial importance of that road has been greatly advanced, its entire working thoroughly systematized, any of its superfluous offices dispensed with, the running expenses of the road largely reduced, its actual condition greatly improved, its local business increased, its general earnings greatly augmented, and the standing of the road permanently fixed in public confidence.” It is probably no exaggeration to say that the way was prepared by the Presidency of Dr. Standiford for the present power and far-reaching influence of this great corporation. The writer further says:
|“He is a man of uncommon business and executive ability; is ready for any emergency; is remarkably clear-sighted; to possess of uncommon energy; turns almost everything he touches to advantage; and is, emphatically, one of the most active and enterprising, public-spirited, successful and valuable businessmen of Louisville. Dr. Standiford is attractive in manners, genial and companionable; is over six feet in height, in the very prime of life, and is a splendid specimen of physical manhood.”|
Notwithstanding all his busy and seemingly absorbing vocations, the subject of this notice has found time to do the community service in still more public positions. He served faithfully and for several years upon the Louisville Board of Education; was sent by the suffrages of fellow citizens to the State Senate in 1868; was returned to the same body in 1872, and was there the main instrument in securing important legislation looking to the large permanent benefit of the State. While serving this term, Dr. Standiford was chosen by the Democrats of Louisville district to represent that constituency in Congress. He was elected, and entered the Federal House at the opening of the Forty-third Congress. Here, says our authority, “he was distinguished as an active worker and a debater of great ability; and was influential in the passage of the bill authorizing the Government to take possession of the Louisville & Portland canal, a measure greatly beneficial to the interests of commerce on the Ohio river, his speech on the subject exciting favorable comment throughout the country. He also appeared prominently in the debates opposing the reduction of wages for revenue agents, the reduction of certain tariffs, the repealing of the charter of Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company, and in favor of granting a charter to the Iron Molders’ National Union, making for himself an honorable and valuable Congressional record. At the close of his term he was tendered the re-nomination by both parties, which he declined, believing that in his large business and home interests’ he could better serve the people.
(From: The Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and
Living Men of the Nineteenth Century; pub. 1878; p. 672)
Standiford, Hon. Elisha D., M.D., President of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, was born December 28, 1831, in Jefferson Co., KY. His father was a native of Kentucky, and followed agricultural and manufacturing pursuits, some of his ancestors emigrating at an early day, from Scotland, and settling in Maryland. His mother was of Irish descent, her family settling at Louisville about the close of the last century; and his family, on both sides, were among the sturdy pioneers of Kentucky, who shared in the hardships and dangers of the "Dark and Bloody Ground."
Dr. Standiford received a good education, a part of which was obtained at St. Mary's College, in Marion County, Kentucky. He studied medicine under Prof. J. B. Flint, and graduated in the Kentucky School of Medicine, at Louisville, where he immediately entered upon the practice of his profession, and continued actively and successfully engaged for several years. He finally entirely abandoned his profession, to engage in farming and business pursuits; became largely interested in manufacturing and banking; was, for some years, President of the Red River Iron Works, one of the most extensive iron manufactories in the West; was, until recently, President of the Louisville Car-wheel Company, one of the largest establishments of the kind in the Ohio Valley; is President of the Farmers' and Drovers' Bank, of Kentucky, the largest deposit bank in the State; all of these corporation largely owing their prosperity to his great business ability; was, for several years, member of the Louisville Board of Education; in 1868, was elected to the State Senate; was re-elected in 1872, and was instrumental in bringing about some valuable legislation towards the improvement of the State. During his last term in the State Senate, he was elected to represent his district in the Lower House of Congress, and took his seat in that body, at the commencement of the forty-third session; was distinguished as an active worker, and a debater of great ability; was influential in the passage of the bill authorizing the Government to take possession of the Louisville and Portland Canal, a measure greatly beneficial to the interest of commerce on the Ohio river; his speech on the subject exciting favorable comment throughout the country. He also appeared prominently in the debates opposing the reduction of wages for revenue agents, the reduction of certain tariffs, the repealing of the charter of the Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company, and in favor of granting a charter to the Iron Molders' National Union; making for himself an honorable and valuable Congressional record. At the close of his term, he was tendered the re-nomination by both parties, which he declined, believing that in his large business and home interests he could better serve the people.
In 1873 or 1874, he was elected Vice-President of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, and, in 1875, was elected president, and still fills that position. Under his management, the commercial importance of that road has been greatly advanced, its entire working thoroughly systematized, many of it superfluous offices dispensed with, the running expenses of the road large reduced, its actual condition greatly improved, its local business increased, its general earnings great augmented, and the standing of the road permanently fixed in the public confidence. He is a man of uncommon business and executive ability; is ready for any emergency; is remarkably clear-sighted; is possessed for uncommon energy; turns almost everything he touches to advantage; and is, emphatically, on of the most active and enterprising, public-spirited, successful, and valuable business men of Louisville. Dr. Standiford is attractive in manners, genial, and companionable; is over six feet in height; in the very prime of life, and is a splendid specimen of physical manhood.
From A History of Kentucky Baptists From
1769 to 1885 by J. H. Spencer, Vol. II, p. 178; Shelby County.
Dr. Elisha David Standiford (1831-1887), born in Kentucky, showed an active interest in transportations systems during his lifetime. He family owned much of the land the Standiford airport (SDF) was built on. He was a Kentucky State Senator and U. S. Congressman and a past president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, the Louisville Bridge Company and the Louisville and Shepherdsville Turnpike Company in Kentucky. He is interred at Cave Hill Cemetery at Louisville, Kentucky.
From: The Reno Evening Gazette, July 26, 1887:
A DISTINGUISHED KENTUCKIAN DEAD
Louisville, July 26
Dr. E. D. Standiford died this morning at his home in this city. He had been in poor health about three months and seriously ill for a week. Dr. Standiford was an active candidate for the United States Senate to succeed Senator Beck, and was ex-President of the L & N R. R., Vice President of the J. M. I. Bridge Company, Director of the Farmers' and Drovers' Bank, and a farmer on an extensive scale. He leaves seven children.
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