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Updated 01/19/2024 History Room - 442 Hewett Street | Neillsville WI Jail Museum - 215 E 5th Street | Neillsville WI Mailing Address: P. O. Box 41 | Neillsville WI 54456 Ph: 715. 743. 2150 Email: 1897ccjm@gmail.com Web: 1897clarkcountyjailmuseum.com 2011-2024 - All Rights Reserved - 1897 Clark County Jail Museum Inc.
215 E 5th St    PO Box 41   Neillsville WI  54456    Ph:  715-743-2150   1897 Clark County Jail Museum Inc.
Leonard R. Stafford was born in Hartland, Somerset Co, Maine and was listed as a farmer in the 1850 census of Hartland Maine. He was married to Merribah Elliott, daughter of Isaiah & Betsy (Maloon) Elliott on October 1, 1848. They moved to Clark County Wisconsin in 1858 and was engaged in the lumber industry. They travelled from La Crosse WI in a wagon drawn by four mules. They passed through Neillsville and went to Weston Rapids a few miles north of Neillsville where there was a large hotel. They stay there until Leonard had built a house on his land a mile or so from Weston Rapids. Leonard continued to build, and finally induced others to build and live near him, that the village was named “Staffordsville” after him. During the 1860s to early 1870s Staffordville was a very lively place of business. There was a saw mill, grist mill, hotel, machine shop, etc. The little village continued to thrive till 1871, when the founder died. Since then the settlement has entirely disappeared. Nothing was left but the hotel, which was patronized until, on the breaking out of the small pox, it was used as a pest house, and was eventually burned. Today Staffordsville is merely farm land with no traces of the lumber company which once stood there. He was a farmer,hotelkeeper, livery stable owner, and lumberman, with many people living in his establishment and working for him. His log mark was a line cut across the back with four smaller lines cut at a certain angle--it was called the “long forty”. At his death in 1871, the Hall of Hercules Lodge,IODF requested all lodge members be in attendance at his funeral.
Leonard R. Stafford Born: August 12, 1823 - Hartland, Somerset County, Maine Died: August 19, 1871 - Weston Rapids, Clark County, Wisconsin Buried City of Neillsville Cemetery - Section 1890 #68
City of Neillsville Cemetery Self-Guided Cemetery Tour
Wife - Meribah W. Elliott Stafford Reddan b. May 21, 1834 - d. July 26, 1886. (second marriage to James Reddan in August 1874 - an early lumberman in the county and well known throughout the area.) Children of Leonard and Meribah Stafford: Alice b. 1850 - d. July 29, 1929 (see obituary below) Albion b. 1853 - d. 1887 James b.1855 - d. 1887 Maud b. 1871 - d. 1900
Alice Stafford Underwood ----Source: NEILLSVILLE PRESS (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 08/01/1929 Underwood, Alice (1850? - 22 Jul 1929) In the glare of the July sun last Wednesday afternoon there was laid to rest in the Neillsville Cemetery the last member of the L. R. Stafford family, Mrs. Fred D. Underwood. Less than half a mile from where she lies, north across the cemetery and the intervening fields, once stood the old village of Staffordville, her childhood home. Her father, Leonard R. Stafford, came from the State of Maine. He was one of eleven sons, and all were brought up as lumbermen. Several of them came to Wisconsin. Leonard R. Stafford settled on the farm on Highway 73 now owned by Paul Haugen, just north of Neillsville, and there had his headquarters for big logging operations. A village grew up on the farm, a large general store, hotel, blacksmith shop, barber shop, barns to accommodate teams passing back and forth to the pineries farther north, and other buildings. It was a scene of great activity summer and winter. Here, Alice Stafford grew to womanhood. She became a school teacher and a number of people in this locality were among her pupils. After her first marriage to Ed Robbins, they lived for some time in La Crosse. Later, she was married to Frederick D. Underwood, a rising railroad man, who in years following, by successive steps, became one of the leading railroad officials in the U. S., being at different stages in his career, General Manager of the Soo Line; President of the Baltimore and Ohio and lastly the Erie Lines, in most cases taking the roads in a rundown condition and building them up into highly valuable properties. Though for business purposes, Mr. and Mrs. Underwood maintained for many years a home in New York City, they always owned a beautiful home at Wauwatosa, Wis. They traveled about in their luxurious private car and only the week before her death they came to Neillsville and visited the cemetery where her kindred lie buried. While on the train going to Minneapolis, she was taken very ill and on their arrival at that city she was removed to a hospital, where the best medical treatment was given, but her advanced age, she was 79 years old, doubtless handicapped her in recovery, and she passed away on Monday, July 22, 1929. Funeral services were held in Minneapolis Tuesday, Dr. Marion D. Shutter of the Universalist Church officiating. The private car of the president of the Omaha line was placed at the disposal of the funeral party and came into Neillsville with the regular passenger train, Wednesday at 1:26 p.m. The body was taken to the Lowe Funeral Home and from there direct to the cemetery. Mr. Underwood and the relatives and friends who came with him remained in their car and were joined by others of Neillsville and from away, who gathered at the depot, and all drove from there to the cemetery, where brief services were held, Rev. G. W. Longenecker officiating. Mrs. Underwood is survived by two children of her first marriage, Frank Robbins and Mrs. Edna Robbins. She leaves also a niece, Mrs. Campbell, who was taken into the Underwood home and brought up as their own when the child's mother, died.