NORMAN STAFFORD, of the well-known firm of Patten & Stafford of Canastota, was born in the town of Fenner, Madison County, N.Y., in 1840. This gentleman can truly boast of an ancestry intimately connected with the early settling of New York State. His great-great-grandfather was John Stafford, of England, who came over about the middle of the eighteenth century, and settled in one of the few England colonies. He was a miller by trade, and no doubt ground the first wheat used in Massachusetts. He had a large family; and his son David, the great-grandfather of Norman Stafford, was a farmer in Connecticut, who removed to Pennsylvania, and later to the town of Fenner. His wife was Sally Shuts. They had four daughters and five sons, all of whom had families. David Stafford survived his wife six years, and died, at the age of ninety-four, in Fenner. He was a strong, active man until about two years before his death. His wife was an exceedingly bright and intelligent woman, and her children inherited much of their brilliant talents from this source. Their names were David, Amos, John, Joseph, Harry, Sally, Betsey, Anna, and Mary. David is a manufacturer of threshing machines, and resides in Syracuse, N. Y.
Joseph Stafford, the grandfather of Norman, for many years a farmer of Fenner, later moved to Ontario County, New York, where he died at West Bloomfield, October 18, 1870, aged seventy-two. His wife, who was Miss Polly Jones, died the same year. Six sons and three daughters were born to them, all of whom, with the exception of one, grew to maturity. Those living are: Polly, the wife of Royal Mowrey, of Ontario County: George, of Wauwatosa, Wis.; Mary, widow of Lorenzo Gordon, of Ontario County; and Henry, of the same county. The father of our subject was Joseph Stafford, Jr., born in the town of Fenner, August 18, 1818. He died in Oneida in 1876. His wife was Miss Cornelia Hill. She is still living. and resides with her son Francis in Oneida. She has two grandchildren, aged respectively three and five years.
Norman Stafford was reared at home, and received a liberal education at the schools of Peterboro and Cazenovia. At the age of twenty-one he was engaged in building the stone road between Peterboro and Canastota, at which he was employed about two years, when he returned home, and assisted his father in farming for ten years. In 1873 he married Miss Nettie Smith, daughter of William Smith, an octogenarian farmer, who is a fine and venerable old gentleman, still residing at Westmoreland, N.Y. Mrs. Stafford died in March, 1878, at the age of thirty-six years, leaving no children. The second wife of our subject was Miss Jennie S. Bull, daughter of George Bull. Her mother was Miss Elizabeth Sanford, daughter of Robert and Rachel (Marsh) Sanford, of Kent, England. They came from Liverpool to New York State in 1830, the voyage across the Atlantic lasting six weeks. Mrs. Stafford has one sister, Mrs. Theodore G. Moot, formerly of Canastota. The mother lives with her daughters, and is seventy-five years old, and is still active. Her husband died December 15, 1879, at the age of sixty-five years, at his farm in the town of Sullivan, and is buried in the Lenox Rural Cemetery. Of this family a more detailed sketch will be found in the memoir of Edgar Bull.
Mr. Stafford entered into partnership with William H. Patten in their present business of manufacturing wheel rakes, known as the New York Champion, in the year 1873. This concern has the reputation of making the best article of the kind in the market, and has been exceedingly prosperous. The first eight years our subject travelled on the road, and also worked in the office. Their plant occupies about three acres of ground, being situated near the tracks of the West Shore, New York Central, and Elmira, Cortland & Northern Railways, giving them the best facilities for shipping by these roads and the Erie Canal. The main building is three hundred and twenty-five by forty feet, three stories in height. In this the foundry, workshops, and offices are located. They employ from twenty to seventy-five hands, and have six agents travelling for them, covering the most of the United States.
Mr. Stafford is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is politically affiliated with the Republican party, but does not care to hold any office. In the handsome home erected by Mr. Stafford in 1889 he and his wife enjoy comfort amid pleasant surroundings. They are among the leaders in social life in Canastota, their fine residence being an attractive centre for the brightest and most cultured people. An enterprising and industrious man, Mr. Stafford deserves the wealth and prosperity which he has attained.
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