Biography of W. P. L. Stafford
Orleans County, NY Biographies





Stafford, W. P. L., was born near Deansville, N. Y., June 20, 1856. His father, David P. Stafford, was a prominent farmer and hop grower there. He attended the Deansville Academy and Clinton Grammar School, and later entered Whitestown Seminary, where he was graduated with high honors in 1872. That year he went to Hamilton College and was graduated on his twentieth birthday in the class of '76. Freshman year Mr. Stafford took an essay prize; sophomore year a declamation prize; junior year a classical prize; and senior year the Kellog prize of fifty dollars for best written and delivered oration commencement day. He was appointed one of the prize debaters, and was salutatorian of his class. The two years subsequent to his graduation he was teacher of Latin. Greek and Elocution in the Union School and Academy at Westfield, N. Y. In 1877 the degree of A. M. was conferred on him by Hamilton College. While teaching at Westfield he spent his evenings in the study of the law, and was admitted to the bar upon passing the examination at the Hamilton College Law School in 1878. He thereupon removed to Rochester. and entered as a clerk the law office the distinguished lawyers, Selden, Bacon and Macomber. In the fall he was induced to accept the position of assistant principal in the Albion Union Free School, where he remained two years. In October, 1880, at Albion, he formed a law partnership with Hon. E. R. Reynolds. The fo!lowing year he formed a new partnership with D. F. Currie and C. J. Church. For several years he has practiced his profession alone. In 1881 he married Miss Clara F. Proctor, only child of John N. Proctor. In 1886 he was elected DiStrict Attorney of Orleans County, which office he held six years, being reelected in 1889. As district attorney he prosecuted an unusual number of important cases. That of the People vs. Wilson for wife murder attracted wide attention. This was the only instance in the history of the county where the death penalty was finally inflicted. In 1889 he was a member of the Republican State Committee, and one of the committee on credentials. In 1891 he was delegate to the Republican State League Convention, and the next year to the Republican National League Convention. In 1893 he was chairman of the Orleans County delegation in the Republican State Convention. Mr. Stafford is a member of the Masonic order, and of the A. O. U. W., in the last of which he has occupied all the chairs in the subordinate lodge, and been a representative in the Grand Lodge, and has acted as its attorney. He takes an active interest in political affairs and rarely misses a State convention. In February, 1893, while on a visit to the Pacific coast with his wife and little daughter Frances, he met with the sudden death of the child, who was in her seventh year. A son, Newton Proctor, died several years before at the age of two years.

From:
Landmarks of Orleans County, New York
Edited by: Hon. Isaac C. Signor
Assisted by: H. P. Smith and others
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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