FRANCIS STAFFORD, whose portrait is presented in this connection, is a public-spirited citizen of Oneida, a man of good judgment in affairs, and one whose
counsel is sought in matters pertaining to the common weal. He was born March 31, 1843, in the town of Fenner, which was also the birthplace of his father, Joseph Stafford, Jr. His grandfather, Joseph Stafford, Sr., was born in Pennsylvania, July 6, 1798, and died in Madison County, New York, October 18,
1870. His great-grandfather, David Stafford, was one of the early pioneers of Madison County, New York. He bought and cleared a large tract of land, and lived long to enjoy the fruits of his toil, dying at the age of ninety-four years. Joseph Stafford, Sr., in his young manhood followed the trade of carpenter and joiner. Later in life he moved from Fenner to Ontario County, and bought a farm one and one-half miles from Bloomfield, henceforth devoting himself to its cultivation. He married Polly Ann Jones, who was born November 7, 1800, in Massachusetts, of which State her parents were also natives. She died in West Bloomfield, N. Y., April 9, 1870.
Joseph Stafford, Jr., son of the above-named, beginning life in the early part
of the century, when Madison County was newly organized and sparsely peopled, lived to witness the remarkable development of its agricultural resources, the growth of its manufactures, and to see it become the seat of a numerous and thriving population. Farming was his occupation. In 1863 he moved from his native town to Lenox, and continued henceforth to occupy and improve the
excellent farm which he there owned till two weeks before his death, March 20, 1876, when he took up his abode in Oneida. The maiden name of his wife was Cornelia Hill. She was a native of Fenner, a daughter of Stephen and Lucy (Woodworth) Hill. Two of her children grew to manhood, Francis and Norman, the last-named being a prominent citizen of Canastota. A daughter, Josie C., died
at the age of nine years.
Francis Stafford, having mastered the common English branches in the district school of the neighborhood--between the sessions being industrially trained on the home farm --pursued a higher course of study in Cazenovia Seminary, and then sedulously betook himself to his hereditary calling, "the manly employment of agriculture." His father's home was his own during the life of that parent, and he has always lived under the same roof with his mother. Francis Stafford and Mary Sherwood, a native of Broughton, England, daughter of John and Rebecca
(Hare) Sherwood, were married in 1887. They have two children, Josie and Norman.
Mr. Stafford cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864, and has always been loyal to the principles of the Republican party. He is a member of the County Board of Supervisors, representing the town of Lenox, having been first elected in 1891, re-elected in 1892, and again in 1893. He has served acceptably on several important committees--on Equalization, Physicians' and Coroners'
Accounts, Abstracts of County, Ways and Means, etc. He also served for some years as Assessor in the town of Lenox and for the Village of Oneida. He is a Director in the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank of Oneida, and also of the State Bank of Canastota. Mr. Stafford was reared in the Baptist faith, while his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. They are consistent in their
profession, and always ready to help in advancing any cause for the public good.
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