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 George Washington Standiford

From: Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois; pub. 1909

George Washington Standiford.  The subject of this sketch is a veteran of the War of the Rebellion, and as a souvenir of one of the many battles in which he engaged with distinction carried in his knee a leaden missile from a Confederate gun.  He displayed great valor in those strenuous days of carnage.  In Preston township, Richland County, Illinois, where he has lived for many years is well and favorably known.

          Mr. Standiford was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, September 5, 1846, the son of Archibald B. and Eliza Jane (Courtright) Standiford, who were also natives of that state, as were their parents before them.  The grandfather of the subject served for seven years in the Revolutionary war under George Washington, and when the strife came to an end returned to Kentucky to engage in agricultural pursuits.  The father of the subject was born in 1804.  He was also a soldier, having served three months in the Black Hawk war.  Shortly after his return to his home in Hardin county, Kentucky, he was wedded to Eliza Jane Courtright, and in the year of 1850 they started overland to Illinois, enduring many hardships before they arrived at their objective point, Jasper county.  Here Mr. Standiford purchased eighty acres of land, of which seventy acres were of timber, while the remainder had been cleared.  Their dwelling was a rude log house, and there was also on the land a sort of makeshift of a stable.  The clearing of the timber land was a herculean task, but Mr. Standiford finally succeed in getting forty acres thereof under cultivation.  The subject was then four years old, and the family remained on the place until the death of the father, September 16, 1866, aged sixty-two years.  The mother survived him by several years, she dying in Indian Territory, August 20, 1903, at the ripe old age of ninety-five.  When the subject became old enough to do hard work, he hired out to neighboring farmers, but finally decided to return to Kentucky.  He remained in that state two years.  His employer owned a store in Nashville, Tennessee, and he worked at that place for about a year, at the end of which time he was called to Jasper county, his father having met with an accident.  He then worked on the farm until December, 1862, when he enlisted in the Forty-sixth Illinois Regiment, Company F., Col John J. Jones, commanding.  At the close of the war he was mustered out at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, January 21, 1866.  After drawing his pay at New Orleans he returned home to Jasper county.  The subject received a gunshot would in the knee at Fort Blakely, Alabama.  He participated in many battles, among them being at Yazoo City, Vicksburg, Meridian Hill, Champion's Hill, Jackson, siege of Richmond, Spanish Fort, and Fort Blakely.  During these battles his regiment was under command of General Sherman.  In January, 1865, he was transferred under A. J. Smith, Fourteenth Corps, when he engaged in the battle of Mobile, and then moved to Dolphin Island to guard the gunboats, after which he went to Baton Rouge, where he remained until he was mustered out.

          After the death of the father of Mr. Standiford, in 1866, the wife and mother sold the farm, and lived with her children until her death.  The subject is the third of seven children, all of whom grew to the years of maturity, and married, two of them now being dead.  After the war, Mr. Standiford learned the milling business, and after five years returned to Kentucky, where he married Laura Ann Smith, March 14, 1871.  He continued in the milling business, operating large water mills for the parents of his wife.  At the end of five years they removed to Arkansas, where he purchased a farm, upon which they remained for nine years, when they went to Macoupin county, Illinois, where Mr. Standiford took a position in a flour mill.  His wife died February 26, 1881, aged forty-five years.  Three children had been born to the couple, two girls and one boy, the latter dying in infancy.  After the demise of his wife the subject engaged in the business of selling fruit trees in Southern Illinois and Missouri, where he continued for fifteen years.  He finally settled in Noble, Richard county, and after a residence there of three years moved to Dundas, Preston township, where he married Mrs. Lottie McCarty (nee Evans), April 11, 19011, his bride being the widow of Robert S. McCarty, and daughter of Miller and Elizabeth (Hough) Evans.  She was born in Ross county, Ohio, July 17, 1850, her father dying when she was eight years old.  She had lived on the farm with her mother until her marriage to Robert S. McCarty, October 11, 1868, and as a result of this union there were four children.

          Although he had but three months' schooling in Jasper county, in a log house where rough planks served for desks, and this in the days when is a pupil could write a fairly legible hand, he was considered eligible for the position of a teacher, he accumulated much knowledge in after life, spending all of leisure time while in the army learning to read and write.

          Mr. Standiford is a Republican and cast his first vote for Lincoln.  He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Post 449, Chesterfield, Illinois.  He and his wife are both active members of the Methodist church in Dundas, both of them having been allied with this denomination for more than four decades.  They are in comfortable circumstances, owning a pretty home, and four lots in the town of Dundas.  The subject draws a small pension. 

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