John B. Stanchfield

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John Barry Stanchfield (March 13, 1855 Elmira, Chemung County, New York - June 25, 1921 Islip, Suffolk County, New York) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was a prominent litigator and the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 1900.


He was the son of Dr. John K. Stanchfield. He graduated from Amherst College in 1876, and from Harvard Law School in 1878. He commenced the practice of law in Elmira in partnership with David B. Hill, later Governor of New York (1885–1891). Afterwards he was a partner in the Elmira law firm of Reynolds, Stanchfield & Collin (named Sayles & Evans since 1945).

Stanchfield was District Attorney of Chemung County from 1880 to 1885; and Mayor of Elmira from 1886 to 1888. In 1886, he married Clara S. Spaulding, and they had two children. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Chemung Co.)in 1895 and 1896; and was Minority Leader in 1896. Afterwards he removed to New York City, and became a partner in the New York City law firm of Chadbourne, Stanchfield & Levy (now Chadbourne & Parke).

At the New York state election, 1900, he ran for Governor of New York, but was defeated by Republican Benjamin B. Odell, Jr.. In 1903, Stanchfield was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator from New York, but was defeated by the incumbent Republican Thomas C. Platt.

Stabchfield was a delegate to the 1904 and 1912 Democratic National Conventions, and a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1915.

He died of kidney failure, and was buried in Elmira.

His cases[edit]

Shortly after his removal to New York City, he appeared for Richard Albert Canfield and secured the dismissal of an indictment, earning a fee of $30,000.

In 1909, he defended F. Augustus Heinze against accusations of misapplying funds of the Mercantile National Bank, and received a fee of $800,000 after Heinze's acquittal.

He represented the State of New York at the impeachment trial of Governor William Sulzer in 1913, and at the trial of the suspended Socialist assemblymen (Louis Waldman, August Claessens, Charles Solomon) in 1920.

In 1915, he secured the release of Harry Kendall Thaw from the Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.


External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Robert P. Bush
New York State Assembly
Chemung County

Succeeded by
John H. Holbert
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel J. Foley
Minority Leader in the New York State Assembly
Succeeded by
Daniel E. Finn