The Gambler and The Postmistress

Forget about famous people…give me an ancestral murder and scandal any day! Read Valerie’s post about her DAR Postmistress great aunt and her gambling power broker (potential murdering) husband!

Suitcase Full of Memories

As I learn more about my Sanford family, one of the mysteries for me is how my great-aunt, Medora Sanford, a Daughter of the American Revolution, a devote Methodist revivalist, and a Postmistress, came to marry a rogue gambler and hotelier with connections to corrupt political machines; a man who later become a person-of-interest in a gruesome murder.(1)

Medora grew up in a well-to-do family with her parents and siblings in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  Her father Elam Sanford was Deputy Collector of the Port of Perth Amboy under President Millard Fillmore.  Toward the end of his life, he held the position of Postmaster of Perth Amboy until his death in 1881(2). When Elam Sanford, died, Medora took over his duties and became the Postmistress of the Perth Amboy, N.J. Post Office.  She earned $1800 for the year 1883.(3)  Medora married late in life to Louis Todd, gambler…

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