Mordecai Houston Standefer
The Encyclopedia of Texas
Published by Texas Development Bureau, Dallas, Texas
*Contributed by Brian Bivona
M. H. Standefer.
A history of Waco would be incomplete without mention of M. H.
Standefer, who for more than half a century was associated with the life and prosperity of this city. Coming to Waco sixty years ago it was his
privilege to see this city develop from a straggling village until it has reached its present state of progress and development, and in this growth he
took a prominent part. One of those sterling citizens who by their interest and support make possible the development of a city, Mr.
freely of his time and means to further the welfare of his community. In the early days he had charge of the suspension toll bridge over the Brazos River, for five years, and while holding this position made enduring
friendships and became widely known to the residents of McLennan County. Then for several terms he was a member of the City Council, while in this office using his influence for the development of the city and giving without stint his services to this end. For many years he was Presiding Officer of Elections in the Third Ward. Mr. Standefer was for a third of a century Trustee of Baylor University, superintending the erection of all the buildings, and giving his time and means to place this institution on its present firm foundation. He had the vision to see that this splendid University was destined to become one of the leading educational institutions of the Lone Star State and worked untiringly toward this end.
Mr. Standefer was born in Tennessee, in 1837, and received his education in the schools of Missouri. As a young man he came to Texas, location at Waco. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted in the Confederate Army, serving with distinction for four years, and at the close of the war returned to
Mr. Standefer was twice married, his first wife, Elizabeth Cobb, daughter of Judge Cobb, of Waco, and by whom he had three children, Eugene, Estelle, wife of L. B. Smythe of Waco, and Sue, wife of F. D. Bradley. His second marriage was to Mrs. Ella M. Hubby Vivrett, a native of the Lone Star State,
and daughter of C. M. Hubby and Jeanette Chalmers Hubby, well-known pioneers of McLennan County. They have four children: Grace, wife of R. L. Penland of Waco, Ethel and Frances, at home, and Jeannette, wife of A. B. Burton, of Kerrville.
Mr. Standefer was for forty years an honored Deacon in the First Baptist Church, taking a deep interest in church work, and giving largely of his means to the support of this denomination. He died the twentieth of May, 1916, a man whose strength of character, force of personality, and kindly manner had won friends by the hundreds, and who impressed his life indelibly in the community in which he lived.
Cly's Note: Mordecai H. Standefer was the son of Alfred and Jane Yarnell Standefer. He was born in Marion County, TN and died in McLennan Co., TX. Mordecai served in the CSA; Company C, 15th TX Infantry; 1st and 2nd lieutenant.
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