Jeremiah Stafford, Sr. was born in 1794 in North Carolina and moved to Clyde Township, Allegan County from Randolph County, Indiana. He and his wife Annie and their children settled in 1850 on forty acres of government land. He later purchased forty more acres, although farming was not his true interest. He spent his time mainly in hunting and in the manufacture of hand-made shingles. He had followed the trade of cooper for more than twenty years in Indiana.
Great Grandfather Stafford, Sr.
Jeremiah, Jr. was born in North Carolina in 1815. He and his wife Annie had fourteen children – George, Martin, Charity, Jeremiah, Jason, Lydia, Anna, Henry, Harriet, John, Rufus, Sarah, Abraham, and Lucy. Martin distinguished himself by being elected to the offices of drain commissioner and highway commissioner. He was a member and deacon of the Free Will Baptist Church and a Sunday school superintendent as well. He owned a hundred-acre farm. He died November 20, 1874
The third Jeremiah Stafford served in the Civil War as a member of the 102nd United States Colored Troops. He was born on March 18, 1849 in North Carolina and his wife Mary was born November 1, 1857, probably in Tennessee. He was known as the "Indian Doctor" because, having learned various herbal remedies from Native Americans, he traveled from house to house administering to the sick. It is not known whether he ever had formal medical training. Jeremiah died July 17, 1890 and Mary died May 28, 1928.
Jeremiah, the third's children were Jessie, a farmer, Anna, a registered nurse, Lucy, a housewife, Haywood Stafford, who fought in the Spanish American war, Louis, and Rita (Writa), a housewife.
Lucy was the mother of Gwen Tulk, who now lives in Kalamazoo and has acted as the family historian. Her mother, Lucy, was the youngest of Jeremiah Stafford's children. She attended school in Paw Paw and after her father's death she lived in Grand Rapids with her sister, Anna. After her marriage to Oliver Oscar Russell, she moved to Almena, where Oliver farmed and worked at the grist mill. The family later moved to Grand Rapids where Oliver worked at Steelcase, but due to the poor health of Gwen's sister, Wanda, the family had to return to Almena, and then to Mattawan where Oliver worked at the feed mill.
Stafford Family Photos