Staniford or Stanford- What’s in a Name?

Rummaging through news items earlier today, I was struck by two very prominent- though DIFFERENT names. Each had his own distinguished history, and each left a legacy… Both began in the East, and ended up as fixtures in the landscape of culture and business in . Indeed, both could have been related, and possibly they were- though it us doubtful- with the miss spelled (or correctly spelled) name of the former.

George B. Staniford (also known later as Geo B. Stanford, name recognition???), was a newspaper man, and member of King David’s Lodge in San Luis Obispo. He left us the legacy of the Oakland Tribune, which only this last week ceased In Print operations.

Leland Stanford was a shipping magnate, Lawyer, politician, and an all around dead-eye for making a buck.image His legacy includes the University dedicated to the memory of a young son taken by sickness, Leland Stanford Junior University, which survives today as a premier Institution of higher learning.


In a way, and partly because the history is more obscure (and probably because Staniford was a journalist and is pictured with a dog), I am drawn to Geo. B.; it is simply more interesting to find that the lesser of two (possibly in fortune and name recognition), turns out to have an oh so rich history. …

I could say a lot more, and maybe I’ll edit the post and say more- but, I will add this much. Earlier this afternoon I crossed Antietam Creek outside of Frederick, Maryland. It is mentioned in the following article as a place where “an estimated 22,717 men were killed, wounded, missing or captured at a battleground now synonymous with sacrifice”. imageThe gravity of Staniford’s involvement in that battle never left him. Even as he traveled to the roomy and sometimes less gravitational and weighty (if you’ve been East and West, you KNOW the difference) area between the Cities of San Luis Obispo, the experience surely haunted him, and possibly helped to steady and make true his pen.

As I crossed that innocent looking stream, in the beginnings of Spring’s glories, I was unable to loose from my mind the horrors of the battle waged long ago. As I continued driving East, towards Washington D.C., I could not help but think that the District of Columbia was not always guaranteed to be our City on the Hill. At the same time, I was able to understand and recall, possibly with envy, how much easier Staniford and Stanford most likely breathed the easy air of California, air which refreshes her recipients with life and fervor. In all that awaited them, the history which lay beneath their feet was still young, and readily bent to their will to create the future of their choosing.

From a source article at The Tribune News:

APRIL 8, 2016 3:28 PM
Oakland Tribune founder also worked at San Luis Obispo newspaper
George Breck Staniford was a Civil War Veteran and agent for Wells Fargo
We note this connection as the Oakland Tribune published its last edition April 4

image

George Stanford, editor of San Luis Obispo Breeze and Tribune, founder of the Oakland Tribune. This photo was circa 1899 in front of the Breeze newspaper office with his dog Ring. History Center of San Luis Obisp History Center of San Luis Obispo

 

BY DAVID MIDDLECAMP dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com


A hopeful sign in the settling West that an emerging community had arrived was the founding of a local newspaper.
Most papers didn’t survive more than a handful of years.

“It was a struggle for survival even before the invention of the Internet. Hey, even Internet companies struggle to survive on the Internet.


Remember Pets.com? It flopped in 2000 after losing $147 million in the first nine months of that year. There were 300 jobs lost in that failure, but the popular puppet who acted as spokesman collared another job with Internet loan company BarNone.


When a nameplate publishes its last edition it is like a death in the newspaper family. The final daily edition of the Oakland Tribune was printed this week. It was consolidated with the Contra Costa Times and two other newspapers into a single paper: the East Bay Times.


The Oakland Tribune was the first white-run newspaper to regularly publish a column by a black woman. Delilah Beasleywrote “Activities Among Negroes” from 1923 until her death in 1934.


It was awarded Pulitzer Prizes in 1950 and 1990. The first was for a Bill Crouch photo of a near-collision at an air show. The second went to the staff for its coverage of the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake on Oct. 17, 1989.
THE OAKLAND TRIBUNE WOULD BE THE FIRST METROPOLITAN NEWSPAPER TO REGULARLY PUBLISH A COLUMN BY A BLACK WOMAN.


The Oakland Daily Tribune was co-founded Feb. 21, 1874, by a man buried in San Luis Obispo.
Though the Oakland Tribune is five years younger than the San Luis Obispo Tribune, it began life as a daily. The San Luis Obispo paper did not achieve that distinction for well over a decade.


Oakland Tribune founding editor George B. Stanford ultimately edited both newspapers.


The Oakland Tribune began small — four pages measuring 6-by-9 inches, slightly bigger than a sheet of copier paper folded in half. But it long outlived founders Benet Dewes and George Staniford.
Staniford had a past.


Many men his age had seen the horror of Civil War, and Staniford had participated in the bloodiest single day of battle in American history.
He was 24 when an estimated 22,717 men were killed, wounded, missing or captured at a battleground now synonymous with sacrifice, Antietam.
George Breck Staniford had enlisted as a private in the 23rd regiment, New York Infantry. When he mustered out he had climbed the ranks to lieutenant, a tribute to his leadership abilities.


After the war Staniford moved west and worked in newspapers in Alameda County, then traveled to San Luis Obispo where he edited The Tribune from 1878-1883.


He also worked here for Wells Fargo, an organization known for integrity and strength. More than a simple transport service, Wells Fargo was an honest pipeline for small communities in the West to the major financial centers when highway robbers and shady cheats were in abundance.
Benjamin Brooks wrote about his fellow editor and Masonic brother in the Morning Tribune on March 22, 1903.

Sourced From Original 1903 Entry:


“A Good Man Passes.
Geo. B. Staniford dies very unexpectedly at his home.
Was Prominent in Newspaper, business Fraternal and Social Circles.
Funeral Arrangements.
This community was shocked yesterday morning about nine o’clock by the announcement that Geo. B. Staniford was dead. Mr. Staniford, though ailing with la grippe for some four or five weeks, seemed to be recovering quite satisfactorily and after being on the street part of the day Friday and eating a hearty supper at night, he went to bed in an apartment by himself.
Dr. Seaton, who has been the family physician for twenty-tree years, says he believes death came to Mr. Staniford before midnight.
Will Staniford opened his father’s bedroom about six o’clock in the morning before going to the express office but supposed his father was asleep and did not disturb him. It was not until after eight o’clock that his son Horace went to awaken him. Horace, scarcely realizing that his father was dead, called Dr. Seaton.
Death evidently came very peacefully to this veteran newspaper and business man of San Luis Obispo, perhaps while he slept.
George Breck Staniford was a native of New York state and was aged 65 years. He learned the printers’ trade in his native state and at the opening of the civil war volunteered his services in defense of his country, joining a New York regiment of infantry.
After doing valiant service in many battles, particularly the bloody battles of South Mountain and Antietam, the deceased came to Alameda county, California and soon fell into his chosen profession, the printer’s trade, becoming foreman of the Oakland News. Here he was frequently editor as well and in 1866 he published the San Leandro Gazette, San Leandro then being the county seat.
The county seat was later changed to Oakland where in 1875 Mr. Staniford established the Evening Tribune which is to this day the leading paper of Oakland.
In 1876 Mr. Staniford removed to San Luis Obispo to succeed J.C. Ortega as agent of the Wells Fargo Express office, this city then being a station on the Pacific Coast stage line from San Juan to Los Angeles, of which Wm. Buckley a brother-in-law, was the proprietor. This position he held continuously until his death.
But in connection with the express business Mr. Staniford found time to take an active part in the newspaper life of this county. In 1878 he became part owner and editor of the Tribune, which he retained until 1883. In 1884 he owned and published it for some time. From 1896 until 1901 he was editor of the Breeze and the popularity of that paper during those years was largely due to his powerful and fearless writing and his warm personal friendships.
Mr. Stanford was much admired in fraternal circles and belonged to the Masons, Knights of Pythias and G.A.R. lodges of San Luis Obispo.
He assisted in instituting Park Lodge No. 40, K. of P., December 20th 1876.
The deceased leaves a widow who is at present ill in San Francisco and three sons and two daughters.
The sons are George, a prominent insurance man of San Jose, and Horace and William of this city. The daughters are Mrs. C.H. Warren, wife of the city editor of the San Francisco Post, and Mrs. T.T. Crittenden of San Luis Obispo.
Funeral services will be held Monday at 10 a.m. with members of the Knights Templar as an escort.
When an eminent citizen leaves this world, the small service his friends and fellow citizens can render him is to testify to his worth and merits, express their sympathy for those more immediately bereaved and offer such consolation as may be within their power. Every man in his lifetime, erects in the hearts and minds of his fellows his own monument. Perhaps it may be no more durable than those other presently crumbling ones which for a few years stand stiffly in our burial grounds, but it is more adequate and perhaps more truthful. George Breck Staniford had been a resident of this town for twenty-seven years. During all that time he has engaged in active and exacting business. His devotion to duty, his keen sense of every responsibility laid upon him, his absolute integrity were recognized by all with whom he came in contact. For years in journalistic life, his vigorous and virile pen was never charged with venom or used unworthily but he could never be intimidated or be deterred from giving the fullest and freest expression to his opinions. His judgment might be at fault, and he was a man of great sagacity, but whether in a public meeting, on the floor of the lodge or in the columns of the several newspapers which he so ably conducted, his tongue and pen were fearless and untrammeled.
He was the bitter foe of everything that to him savored of wrong and injustice and the courageous champion of the truth and of righteousness of life. His monument is a pure clean white shaft, discolored by no evil leanings, no ill-will to his brother man, no base proclivities, no intentional fault or failure.
Where it fails in beauty or harmony, it is only blurred in outline and marred in design, because all they who are human must be blurred and marred.


“This community was shocked yesterday morning about nine o’clock by the announcement that Geo. B. Staniford was dead. Mr. Staniford, though ailing with la grippe for some four or five weeks, seemed to be recovering quite satisfactorily and after being on the street part of the day Friday and eating a hearty supper at night, he went to bed in an apartment by himself.


FOR YEARS IN JOURNALISTIC LIFE, HIS VIGOROUS AND VIRILE PEN WAS NEVER CHARGED WITH VENOM OR USED UNWORTHILY BUT HE COULD NEVER BE INTIMIDATED OR BE DETERRED FROM GIVING THE FULLEST AND FREEST EXPRESSION TO HIS OPINIONS.


San Luis Obispo Morning Tribune March 22, 1903
Dr. Seaton, who has been the family physician for twenty-tree years, says he believes death came to Mr. Staniford before midnight. …
George Breck Staniford was a native of New York state and was aged 65 years. He learned the printers’ trade in his native state and at the opening of the civil war volunteered his services in defense of his country, joining a New York regiment of infantry.


After doing valiant service in many battles, particularly the bloody battles of South Mountain and Antietam, the deceased came to Alameda county, California and soon fell into his chosen profession, the printer’s trade, becoming foreman of the Oakland News. Here he was frequently editor as well and in 1866 he published the San Leandro Gazette, San Leandro then being the county seat.


The county seat was later changed to Oakland where in 1875 [1874] Mr. Staniford established the Evening Tribune which is to this day the leading paper of Oakland.


In 1876 Mr. Staniford removed to San Luis Obispo to succeed J.C. Ortega as agent of the Wells Fargo Express office, this city then being a station on the Pacific Coast stage line from San Juan to Los Angeles, of which Wm. Buckley, a brother-in-law, was the proprietor. This position he held continuously until his death. But in connection with the express business Mr. Staniford found time to take an active part in the newspaper life of this county. In 1878 he became part owner and editor of the Tribune, which he retained until 1883. In 1884 he owned and published it for some time. From 1896 until 1901 he was editor of the Breeze and the popularity of that paper during those years was largely due to his powerful and fearless writing and his warm personal friendships.


When an eminent citizen leaves this world, the small service his friends and fellow citizens can render him is to testify to his worth and merits, express their sympathy for those more immediately bereaved and offer such consolation as may be within their power. Every man in his lifetime erects in the hearts and minds of his fellows his own monument. Perhaps it may be no more durable than those other presently crumbling ones which for a few years stand stiffly in our burial grounds, but it is more adequate and perhaps more truthful.

Thanks to Robert Bettencourt, 2012 Master of the Lodge, King David’s Lodge No. 209 for biographical information and photographs. History Center of San Luis Obispo for photo."

Thanks to Robert Bettencourt, 2012 Master of the Lodge, King David’s Lodge No. 209 for biographical information and photographs. History Center of San Luis Obispo for photo.”