John Sanford (1851)

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John Sanford
John Sanford (1851-1939).jpg
John Sanford (1851-1939), Congressman from New York
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th district
In office
March 4, 1889 – March 3, 1893
Preceded byGeorge West
Succeeded byCharles Tracey
Personal details
Born(1851-01-18)January 18, 1851
Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
DiedSeptember 26, 1939(1939-09-26) (aged 88)
Saratoga, New York, U.S.
Resting placeGreen Hill Cemetery, Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
FatherStephen Sanford
RelativesJohn Sanford (grandfather)
Alma materYale College
OccupationBusinessman, racehorse breeder

John Sanford (January 18, 1851 – September 26, 1939) was an American businessman, a prominent owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses, and a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York's 20th congressional district.

Early life[edit]

John Sanford, a son of Sarah Jane Cochrane and Stephen Sanford and the grandson of John Sanford was born on January 18, 1851 in Amsterdam, New York and died on September 26, 1939 in Saratoga, New York. He was a descendant of Gov. Thomas Welles, the Fourth Colonial Governor of Connecticut and the transcriber of the Fundamental Orders.[1]

He attended Amsterdam Academy, and the Poughkeepsie Military Institute. He was educated at Yale College, earning a degree in 1872.


He engaged with his father in the carpet manufacturing industry in Amsterdam, New York.

Sanford was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses (March 4, 1889 – March 3, 1893). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1892 and resumed his former business pursuits. He served as delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1892.

Thoroughbred horse racing[edit]

On the death of his father Stephen in 1913, John Sanford inherited Hurricana Stock Farm. His father had been successful in racing and John Sanford would become a major figure in the industry. He raced a number of top horses and in 1916 won the Kentucky Derby with his colt, George Smith. In 1923 he became the first American to win the most prestigious steeplechase race in the world when his horse Sergeant Murphy won the English Grand National. In 1923, Sanford won the American Grand National with Best Play.

John Sanford was member of the New York Racing Commission and the Sanford Stakes, run annually at Saratoga Race Course, is named in his family's honor.

In 1927, John Sanford changed the Hurricana Stock Farm name to Sanford Stud Farms. A major breeder, Sanford imported several important stallions from Europe where he owned Haras de Cheffreville in Cheffreville-Tonnencourt, France.

Personal life[edit]

He married at Sanford, Florida, February 17, 1892, Ethel Sanford, born on September 2, 1873 at Brussels, Belgium and died on November 13, 1924[2] in New York City. She was a daughter of Hon. Henry Shelton Sanford and Gertrude Ellen Dupuy. Henry Shelton Sanford was the accomplished diplomat and successful businessman and founder of the city of Sanford, Florida.

John and Ethel were the parents of the following three children:


He died in Saratoga, New York in 1939 and was interred in the family plot in the Green Hill Cemetery in Amsterdam, New York. His once renowned breeding farm and training facility in Amsterdam has fallen into severe decay. In 2007, the "Friends of Sanford Stud Farm" was formed by a former Sanford jockey Louis F. Hildebrandt in an attempt to raise the funds necessary to restore the property.[5]



U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George West
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles Tracey

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website