Source: Memoirs of Georgia: Containing Historical Accounts of the State's Civil, Military, Industrial and Professional Interests, and Personal Sketches of Many of Its People, Vol. II, Atlanta, Georgia, The Southern Historical Association, 1895; Pgs. 763-764;
J.W. STANFORD. From a family whose collateral branches extend into many states of the south, and whose name is not only historic but renowned and influential, was born Dr. James W. Stanford of Cuthbert. His immediate ancestry were noted, upon both maternal and paternal sides, among the pioneers of southwestern Georgia, for their intelligence, probity, and mental and physical vigor. This combination of character and constitution, and innate worth, manifest themselves in the career of members of the present generation. Thomas Stanford was born in what is now Morgan county, Ga., May 15, 1806, and was the son of Thomas and Keziah Stanford, early settlers of middle Georgia. The latter lived for many years there, and had born to them a large family of children. Later in life they removed to Newton county and settled near Yellow river about ten miles from Covington, where they resided until coming to Randolph county about 1828. They purchased a farm about seven miles from Cuthbert, where the senior Stanford died in August, 1839-well advanced in years. After his death his widow removed to Alabama, where her last days were spent. Mr. Stanford was very wealthy at one time, but always liberal in charity, and free with the use of his means to help friends in pecuniary distress, he suffered heavy losses while living in Newton county. He was a soldier in the Indian wars during the years, 1835-36, and a man of unflinching integrity, patient and considerate in private as well as in business life; of a sunny nature and a heart filled in sympathy for his fellow-man. Thomas Stanford was a citizen not only honored but loved by those who knew him. His domestic life was a model in happiness, and to the family circle came ten children, five boys and five girls-all of whom lived to be men and women grown, but all now deceased. They were Mary, the eldest, who married and settled in Habersham county; Edward, settled in Newton county; William, settled in Henry county; Martha, married, lived in Alabama; Thomas, Jr.; Nancy, married George Hobbs and settled in Randolph county; Elizabeth, married a Mr. Elliott and moved to Alabama; David, settled in Texas; John, settled in Arkansas; Keziah. Thomas Stanford, Jr., father of J.W. Stanford, was but a boy when his parents moved from Morgan to Newton county, where he grew to manhood. On Dec. 24, 1835, he was married to Elizabeth Phillips, a native of Morgan county. She was born April 24, 1819, and was the daughter of James and Mary (Phillips) Phillips, natives of the Carolinas. A coincident worthy of note in connection with this union of her parents is, that, though their families were entirely unknown to each other both started from their respective homes in North and South Carolina on the same day, and reached Morgan county, Ga. at the same time. Mrs. Stanford when a child moved with her parents to Newton county, where she was married. Her husband farmed until about two years before his death, when he moved to Cuthbert, where he was employed as a bookkeeper, and served as bailiff of the county. He was a man of fine business capacity, and was a high, noble-minded citizen. He died Feb. 3, 1859, leaving a wife and five children: Martha Ann, who married John R. Scott, of Stewart county, and now living in Lockesburgh, Ark.; Mary S., single, and living with her mother; John Thaddeus, of Cuthbert; Joseph Newton, editor and proprietor of the "Leader" of Randolph county; and Dr. James W. Stanford. Mrs. Stanford, mother of the above children, is a devoted member of the Baptist church, having united with that denomination when a girl of fifteen years, and has been a member of the Cuthbert congregation for over half a century. Though beyond three-quarters of a century of years, Mrs. Stanford is hale and hearty, and remarkably well preserved. Dr. J.W. Stanford, the youngest child by the first marriage, was born Nov. 4, 1852, and received the benefit of the public schools in his youthful days. He was but a boy when he entered a printing office in Cuthbert to learn the trade, and continued there until 1873, when he accepted a position in a drug store and began the study of pharmacy, for which he had long had a predilection. In 1876 he commenced business for himself and now has a flourishing and extensive business and is one of the substantial citizens of Randolph county. His captial when he started in life was a superabundance of will and energy, supported by a fixed determination, which brought its sequence-success. Nov. 12, 1876, he was united in marriage to Sarah Burr, the daughter of Augustus P. and Catherine (Beasley) Burr, of Cuthbert. An interesting family of eight children followed this union: James W., Jr.; William B.; Edgar; Harry; Leland; Emmett; Frank, and Grover. Dr. Stanford is one of the leading members of the Baptist church, a denomination with which he united when fourteen years old. He is superintendent of the Sunday-school, one of the trustees of Bethel Male College, and also of Mercer university. He is an enthusiast on the subject of education, and has always taken an active lead in the cause of intellectual improvement. He has doubtless provided means to more young men who were needy and struggling to acquire learning than any other man in southwest Georgia. He is a royal arch Mason and H.P. of the local chapter, a Knight of Honor, and a member of the American Legion of Honor. He lives with his family in a handsome home in Cuthbert.