Stamper Family Project

George W Stamper 

HISTORY OF KENTUCKY AND KENTUCKIANS, E. Polk Johnson, three volumes, Lewis Publishing Co., New York & Chicago, 1912. Common version, Vol. III, pp. 1318-19. Lewis County. Used with permission.

GEORGE W. STAMPER. Vigor, enterprise and persistency--these are the qualities which make for success and these are the characteristics which have dominated the career of George W. Stamper, who through his own efforts built the ladder by which he has climbed to affluence. He has been identified with farming, blacksmithing, merchandising, lumbering and banking and in each of these enterprises his success has been on a parity with his well directed endeavors. He has also been an important factor in connection with public utilities and as a citizen holds a high place in the confidence and esteem of his fellow men. George Washington Stamper was born on a farm in Lewis county, Kentucky, on the 26th of December, 1850, and he is a son of George W. and Catherine (Dyer) Stamper, the former of whom was a native of North Carolina and the latter of Morgan county, Kentucky. John Stamper, grandfather of him whose name initiates this review, was born, reared and married in North Carolina and in the early '20s he emigrated to Kentucky, locating on the Kentucky river in Wolfe county, where he engaged in farming. He and his wife, whose maiden name was Sallie Stamper, and who was a cousin of her husband, raised a family of ten children, most of whom were born in Kentucky. The father of George W. Jr., was the first born and he was an infant at the time of his parents' removal to the Blue Grass state. When he was fifteen years of age the family home was established in Carter county, and there he grew to manhood, married, and in 1845 engaged in agricultural pursuits on a farm near Olive Hill, Lewis county. He was very industrious, an excellent farmer and business man and in due time he accumulated a competency. About 1865 he opened a store on his farm, continuing to be identified with the general merchandise business for the ensuing twenty-five years. His death occurred on his old homestead in 1905, at the venerable age of eighty-two years. He was a stalwart Democrat in his political convictions and he served for several years as justice of the peace. His wife was summoned to eternal rest in 1898, at the age of sixty-eight years. She was a daughter of Francis Dyer, of Morgan county, Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. George W. Stamper became the parents of twelve children--five boys and seven girls, nine of whom are living in 1911, and of the number the subject of this review was the third in order of birth. George Washington Stamper, Jr. passed his youth in a manner similar to that of the farmer boy of that day, attending the district school during the winter months and working on the home farm during the summer seasons. When he had attained to the age of sixteen years he entered his father's store, where he learned the details of general merchandising and he continued an inmate of the parental home until he had reached his legal majority. Thereafter he worked in a blacksmith shop for a time and was engaged in farming on his own account for a couple of years, at the expiration of which he started a general store on a small scale on Grassy creek. This store, which he still owns and operates, has been doing business for the past thirty-five years. For thirty-three years Mr. Stamper was the able incumbent of the office of postmaster at Head of Grassy and he was one of the oldest postmasters, in point of continuous service, in this section of the state. He also became interested in the stave business which located on Grassy creek, and he was for many years engaged in the stave business and in other enterprises most successfully. In 1888 he established his residence at Vanceburg and in the following year he organized the Stamper Stave & Lumber Company, which carried on an extensive trade for nine years, at the expiration of which that firm was dissolved and Mr. Stamper continued in the lumber business in partnership with his brother, Joshua Stamper. Two years later, in 1900, he became a member of the firm of Johnson & Stamper, who are successors to the Elliott Tie Company, which conducts its operation on the Little Sandy river. The annual output of this concern is from two hundred thousand to five hundred thousand ties. In September, 1889, Mr. Stamper laid the foundation of his present large mercantile establishment at Vanceburg by opening a general store in one room. This concern has grown to such gigantic proportions that it now occupies space equivalent to nine ordinary store rooms, the stock consisting of everything found in a modern department store except hardware. All Mr. Stamper's successes are due to his indefatigable energy and great business ability and it is no exaggeration to say that he is one of the greatest hustlers in the state. In addition to his other interests he owns several fine farms in the Ohio valley and he has extensive real-estate holdings in Vanceburg, where he has constructed a number of residences and the majority of the business block he now occupies. He was one of the organizers of the Deposit Bank at Vanceburg, of which he is president at the present time and in which he is one of the heaviest stockholders. At the time of the building of the local electric plant he was elected president of that corporation, of which position he is still incumbent. He is a man of tremendous vitality and most extraordinary executive capacity. Beginning with practically nothing in the way of worldly goods, he has grasped his opportunities as they appeared and made of success not an accident but a logical result. Today he is recognized as one of the biggest financiers in eastern Kentucky and his fair and honorable methods in all his business dealings have gained to him the highest regard of his fellow citizens. Mr. Stamper is a loyal Democrat in his political proclivities, but he has not had much time for political activity, having been a member of his first convention in 1910, at which time his influence was felt in no slight degree. In the Masonic order he has passed through the circle of the York Rite branch, holding membership in Polar Star Lodge, No. 363, Free & Accepted Masons; and Maysville Commandery, No. 10, Knights Templars. He and wife are devout members of the Christian church, to whose charities and benevolences he has ever been a liberal contributor and in whose faith his children have been reared. In 1872 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Stamper to Miss Sophia W. Stafford, a native of Carter county and a daughter of Sylvester Stafford, a farmer who served in the Union army in the Civil war and who died in service. Mr. and Mrs. Stamper have eight children, namely--Rebecca, Cinda, William J., James E., Cora Mae, Julia, Bessie L. and Marie, all of whom were born in Lewis county and all of whom were afforded excellent educations.
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The Stamper Family Project is the property of

Golden Combs Ferguson
Booneville, Owsley County, Kentucky