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This letter from P. M. Rice, County Judge for Hamilton Co., Texas was written in 1932.
(Typed as written).

J.M. Rice and Isaac Standefer opened the first general store in a log cabin near the site of the Perry Bank Building in Hamilton, TX. The business years of 1860-1865 are well documented in a store ledger owned by Carl Rice Embrey. The two men ran the store as partners until RICE died in Galveston while purchasing supplies for the store.

The following article is an excerpt from the History of Hamilton County Book
dated 1979:

"Henry Standefer brought his family from McLennan County, Texas in the spring
of 1855 and he was followed a few months later by the James Rice Family. Mrs.
Rice was the sister of Henry Standefer. These two families were soon joined by another relative, Jesse Griffith, a primitive Baptist preacher and his famly from Tennessee. First children born in the settlement were Mug Standefer, Charlotte Langford and Rufus Price Rice.

In August 1885 Hamilton County's first slate of officers were elected. James M. Rice, Chief Justice, J.J. Griffith, County Treasurer, Ezekiel Manning, Sheriff, RB Griffith Assessor/Collector, I.S. Standefer, County Clerk, HC Standefer and Noah Crisco, County Commissioners. James Fuller was appointed as Justice of the Peace. Five commissioners were appointed by the governor of the state to select the location for the county seat. They were: Jesse Griffith, J.M. Rice, Henry Standefer, I.S. Standefer and Ezekiel Manning."


County of Hamilton
Hamilton, Texas
July 31 - 32

Mr. J. G. Standifer,
Blakeley, Ga.

Dear Sir:

Mr. W. M. Standefer of this county told me recently that he had a letter from you concerning the Standifer family.  And asked me what I knew about the earier history.  For three or four years I have taken some interest in the matter, and I have a pretty good line back to the early 1700's.  It seems that one John Standifer ( or Standefer, the name varies among the different branches of the family) wwas the first ancestor in America that we have any record of, and his son James was born in 1715.

There is a Virginia land grant to John Standefore in 1704 and there are several Virginia Patents to James Standifer, John Standifer, etc. up the the revolutionary war.  Some time before 1800 the branch of the family who are my direct anscestors left Virginia and moved into what is now Marion county Tennessee, I believe Jasper is the county seat.  At this time William Standefer was the head of the family and he had seven sons, At least two of them, one Isaac who was my greatgrandfather and the other Alfred came to Texas, the first coming in 1837.  There was another branck of the family headed by the first Israel Standefer, whose son Israel II came to Texas in 1842.

There were at least two Standefers in the Revolutionary war.   William, who was an ensign in Captain Hailes Company and Luke who was second Lieut. in another company.  I believe also that another James Sandifer was a lieutenant also.

I employed a researcher a year or so ago to give me some information from the Virginia records, and he finds that the name appears sometimes as Sandefer or Sandifer.   That is, a patent will appear for instance as Sandifer and on the tax rolls of the county where the land lies, the name will be Standifer, and he indicates that many of those who remained in Virginia went by the name Sandifer and most of those leaving were Standifers.  In a time when education was uncommon, it is not a surprise that such changes will occur.

I have heard from J Hogue Standefer the father of W M Standefer to whom you wrote, that the legend of the first emigrant, was that he was a young Irishmen "19 years of age and weighing 200 pounds? and having an unfortunate altercation with a landlord or official of his country, killed him and he fled to America.  I cannot get over the impression that the family is Scotch.  The names of the sons read like books of the Bible.  James, John, Israel, Luke, Ezekiel, Jehu, Issac, Joseph, Jacob.   There is a long line of Naomi's, Susannah, Elizabeth.

Most of the Standefers are tall people, active, sandy haired, blue eyes.   It is said that William Standefer of Tennessee had sevensons and the least one, Isaac who came to Texas was 6 foot three and weighed 200 pounds. Some family.

I will give you the names of Wm Standefers family, as it may be you can make some connection with it.

Wm. Standefer was born 1757, March 30th.  He was married to Jemimah Jones in 1779. in Henry county Va.

The children were:
Fanny, born 1781
Patsey, born 1783
James, born 1784 - do not have date death
Luke, born Mary 12, 1786
William born 1788 died 1850
Polly May 17, 1790
Naomi Feb 10, 1794
Skelton born 1795 died 1825
Sussannah born Nov 6, 1799
Isaac born Oct 13-1801 died in Texas 1856
Samuel born Aug 7, 1803 (Think died in Illinois)
Alfred born 1808 died in Texas 1850

In the last few weeks I have been told that one bracnh of the family thinks the Standifer name came from Sturdivant, or Stuyvasant, and that they are Dutch descent.  I don't take much stock in this.  I have head before however that there was a change of name way down the years.  It may be that the young man with blood on his hands, made some change in it, but I cannot belive that the Standefers came from the Dutch.  They don't have any of the Dutch temperment and their traditions are otherwise.

I have written this hurriedly, and I hope it may have a bit of interest to you, and if you know anything at all bearing on the early history, traditions etc. I shall be very glad to hear from you.

                                                    Yours very truly,
                                                     P M Rice

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