Colonel Stafford, a son of J. S. and Jeanetta K. Stafford, was born in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, April 25th, 1843. His father brought his family to Texas in 1845, the year the state joined the Union, and settled at Houston, then a struggling little town at the headwaters of the Buffalo bayou. He purchased a plantation on the Brazos river, in Fort Bend county, and operated it successfully until the outbreak of the war between the states.
The son, William Maner Stafford, enlisted in the Confederate Army at the age of 18, and became a lieutenant in the company of Captain S. M. Drake. This company was ordered to Galveston for duty and was assigned to Cook's battalion of heavy artillery. Just prior to the Battle of Galveston, this young lieutenant was transferred to Captain Macmahon's company, and with two pieces of artillery was stationed at the foot of 27th Street, there to engage the Federal naval forces. His captain wounded, Lieut. Stafford was in command of the company and after the surrender of the city to the confederate forces, was stationed in the Henley building, for a time. After the battle of Galveston, he applied for further active service and was assigned to Captain Krumbhaar's battery of light artillery and saw active service in Arkansas and Indian Territory. For conspicuous service, he was promoted to captaincy and was in command of Battery 17 in Krumbhaar's battalion at the close of the war.
Arriving home in 1865, his resources spent in the service of his country, his property almost valueless, and the country in desperate condition, he immediately sought a means of support for his family and secured a position with T. H. McMahon & Co., at Galveston, whom he served for several years, until he organized the cotton brokerage firm of Shepherd & Stafford, which successfully engaged in this business for some time. Upon Mr. Shepherd's death, the name of the firm was changed to Stafford & Hawkins, which continued until Col. Stafford became representative of the great cotton factors, Inman Helms & Co., in this city, a connection which continued for thirty years. He was a prominent figure on the Galveston Cotton Exchange and in the civic activities of the period.
He was Captain of the Washington Guards, Galveston Artillery, and was also commissioned by Governor Hubbard, colonel and aide-de-camp of his staff.
Colonel Stafford was married to Miss Kate Vedder of Galveston in 1868 and to them three sons and three daughters were born: Maner Stafford, deceased; Dr. Earl Stafford, of San Antonio; J. S. Stafford, of San Antonio; Julia (Mrs. Taylor Kemp), deceased; Kate (Mrs. J. D. Featherstone); and Margaret, who is Mrs. Asa Lee Crow, of Galveston.
Colonel Stafford passed away, on November 21st, 1930, in Galveston, at the advanced age of 87.
History of Galveston, Texas:
Narrative and Biographical
by: S. C. Griffin
A. H. Cawston--Managing Editor and Publisher,
Galveston, Texas, 1931
THE SPIRIT OF GALVESTON
Which has triumphed over great adversity
Bill Betty Ballinger
Dr. Henry Cohen
Mrs. D. W. Kempner
E. G. Littlejohn
Frank C. Patten
Dr. Ed. Randall
Judge Mart H. Royston
Clark W. Thompson
J. M. Winterbotham