Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
GODFREY C. STANCILL. It matters little what vocation a man may select as his life occupation as long as it is an honorable one. If he is an honest, upright man, courteous in his intercourse with his fellow men, and possessed of the average amount of energy and business sagacity, he is bound to make his business a financial success. The late Godfrey C. Stancill possessed all the above mentioned requirements, and was for many years a prosperous merchant of Springfield. In his earlier career he operated a plantation in the South with equal success. He was one of the gallant veterans of the Confederacy, and was always loyal to his native Dixie land.
Mr. Stancill was born in North Carolina, one of the strongest of the Confederate states, having first opened his eyes on the light of day on April 27, 1837. He was a son of Caswell and Rebecca A. (Anderson) Stancill, both parents also natives of North Carolina, the mother having been a daughter of Col. Rule Anderson of that state, and there these parents grew to maturity and married and established their home, but in 1839, when the subject of this memoir was two years old, they removed from the old Tar state to Mississippi, locating on a plantation where the parents spent the remainder of their lives. Caswell Stancill entered land from the government there, and developed it, finally owning a valuable plantation of several thousand acres, and was a prominent citizen in his community. His family consisted of five children, three of whom survive at this writing.
Godfrey C. Stancill grew to manhood on his father's plantation and he assisted with the general work on the same when a boy. He was given excellent educational advantages for that time and was a well informed man, naturally keen intellectually and of sound judgment. He was still in school when the war between the states began and he unhesitatingly enlisted in 1861 in Company I, Mississippi Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Humphries, and this regiment was finally a part of General Longstreet's division, Confederate army and saw much hard service, Participating in many important engagements. Mr. Stancill was seriously wounded in the great battle of the Wilderness, and was not in the service after that. He returned to the home plantation after the close of the war and carried on general farming, which he enjoyed, for a number of years, or until he removed to Springfield, Missouri. Here he went into the grocery business on Boonville street, later on Cherry street, and enjoyed a good business, always carrying a well selected stock of staple and fancy groceries and dealing honestly and courteously with his many customers. He spent the latter part of his life in retirement, having given up the store about nine years before his death.
Mr. Stancill was married twice, first, to Mrs. Amanda Cox, who died without issue. On September 26, 1899, he married, in Springfield, Ellen V. Potterfield, who was born in St. Louis county, Missouri, December 13, 1839. She grew to womanhood in her native community and received a good education in the city schools of St. Louis, and she followed teaching in that city for a period of fifteen years. She is a daughter of Daniel and Eliza (Garrett) Potterfield, both natives of Virginia in which state they spent their earlier years, finally removing to St. Louis county, Missouri, where they spent their last years, Mr. Potterfield engaging in mercantile pursuits during his active life.
Politically, Mr. Stancill was a Democrat, but was never a public man, giving his time exclusively to his business and to his home. He was a worthy member of the Christian church. He always took a great deal of interest in the affairs of the United Confederate Veterans.
The death of Mr. Stancill occurred at the family home on Cherry street, Springfield, where his widow still resides, January 6, 1912, when past seventy-five years of age. He was a man of polished Southern manners, neighborly, kind hearted in every way a true gentleman.
Springfield-Greene County Library