Stafford is a village in Franklin Township, Monroe County, Ohio, United States. Originally named Bethel, the town was laid out by John Jones in 1838. Stafford has a rich history as a station on the Underground Railroad. It was known as a "free black" settlement because of the number of African Americans living there, but its population included both black and white ardent abolitionists. It is said that almost everyone in the village was involved in the protection of slaves fleeing to freedom. The most frequented route ran from Marietta in Washington County, Ohio, through Stafford and on to Summerfield, Noble County, Ohio. These lines continued into Canada.
William Steel, a Scottish-born abolitionist, is credited with changing the name of the village from Bethel to Stafford. He was the father of William Gladstone Steel. He is credited with establishing a good educational system that was also integrated.
The population was 81 at the 2010 census.
Stafford is served by the Monroe County District Library from its administrative offices in Woodsfield, Ohio.
Stafford was the hometown of AIDS activist David Kirby whose life and death were featured in Life Magazine in the 1990s.
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