Among the younger business men of Butte county, Gillette Stanford ranks as one of the most successful and active in the affairs of Chico, where he is managing owner of the Hotel Butte at Third and Main streets, a modern hostelry known as “Chico’s Friendly Hotel.” He was born in Shasta county, California, December 10, 1904, his parents being Ingate Daniel and Adella M. (Keeler) Stanford. The father was born in San Francisco, California, March 25, 1874, a son of Daniel E. and Hannah Desire (Howland) Stanford. Daniel E. Stanford was born in Massachusetts and when a child was brought across the plains by his parents, who settled at San Francisco. Early in life he became a mining broker, and he met with an accidental death in 1878. His wife was a native of Placerville, California, and a daughter of Captain David Howland, who was born in Massachusetts and for years, was master of a whaling vessel out of New Bedford. After coming to California, he was master of a vessel on Lake Tahoe. Ingate D. Stanford, who was a little lad of four years at the time of his father’s death, remained with his widowed mother for four years longer and afterward entered the home of his maternal grandmother at Redding, where he attended school. However, at the age of twelve years he became an employee of the Shasta County Democrat, a newspaper owned by his stepfather, L. S. Barnes. He continued in the office of this weekly from 1886 until 1901, or for a period of fifteen years, learning the printing business in all of its departments. Next he became a reporter on the Redding Free Press and at the end of a year succeeded Rufus M. Steele as editor, in which capacity he directed the policy of the paper for six years. Thereafter he was editor of the Marysville Appeal for two years, on the expiration of which period he went to Sacramento and was employed as editor of the Superior California department of the Sacramento Bee, under Colonel Chambers, whom he succeeded at the end of a year. Two years later he resigned to become editor of the Chico Enterprise, which position he held for three years and then for about one year was connected with the Chico Tribune. In July, 1916, Mr. and Mrs. I. D. Stanford bought the Lyric Theater at Chico, and in June, 1918, they purchased the Liberty Theater at Marysville, California, owning at one time four theaters besides the Airdome at Chico, all of which they conducted with extraordinary success. Mr. Stanford was married at Auburn, California, to Adella M. Keeler, a native of that city and a daughter of a pioneer farmer of that district. Mrs. Stanford was graduated from the public schools of Placer County and also from the normal department of the Stockton Business College. For a number of years she engaged in teaching in Placer, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties, and also at Redding. By her marriage she has become the mother of three children, namely: Muriel, Gillette and Allison. Fraternally Mr. Stanford is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World and the Yeomen of America. He belonged to the Chico Business Men’s Association during its active existence and is also a member of the Northern California Exhibitors Association and the Northern California Press Association. He is a newspaper correspondent for the San Francisco Examiner, the Chronicle, Call, Bulletin, the Associated and the United Press Associations. Mrs. Stanford has membership in the Eastern Star, the Neighbors of Woodcraft, the Federation of Clubs, the Parent-Teacher Association and in the Presbyterian Church of Chico.
Gillette Stanford, whose name introduces this review, pursued his education in the grade and high schools of Sacramento and Chico and then desiring to learn the hotel business from the ground up, he found employment as a bell-boy at the Hotel Oaks of Chico, one of the best hostelries in northern California. During his seven years’ service there he worked his way gradually upward to the position of manager and learned to meet the public and anticipate their wants. It was in 1927 that he purchased the lease, fixtures and furniture of the Hotel Butte, which has since been under his sole management and which is a popular family hotel of the vicinity, catering to tourists and principally to the commercial trade. The Hotel Butte is desirably located on the pacific highway in the heart of the business district at Third and Main streets, and offers rates of one dollar per day and up. It was remodeled in April, 1930, and is strictly modern in every respect, having an attractive lobby furnished with comfortable chairs, lounges and writing desks. Mr. Stanford is a member of the Greeters of America, an organization formed for the benefit of hotel owners and clerks. He gained valuable business experience while assisting his father in the operation of five of the leading theaters in northern California, as well as in the conduct of the confectionery store which his father owned in Chico, at all times keeping uppermost in his mind the idea of learning how best to meet the wishes of the public. It has always been his motto to turn a cold shoulder to no one. The business of the Hotel Butte has not suffered during the hard times of the past few years but rather has paid good interest on the investment, for which fact credit must be given to the manager, Gillette Stanford, who has won and retained the friendship of his patrons by his cordiality, courtesy and tact.
Mr. Stanford has also studied radio for about three years. He was chief announcer at Chico for a period of about eighteen months, beginning in 1925, and in August, 1926, assisted in the opening of a station at Yreka, where he remained for seven weeks as chief announcer and manager.
Gillette Stanford was married to Miss Agnes Rea, whose parents came to California in recent years. She has ably assisted him in the conduct of the Hotel Butte, the success of which may also be attributed to Mr. Stanford’s desirable connections in San Francisco. Mr. Stanford is a Republican in his political views but casts an independent ballot at local elections, considering the capability of a candidate of more importance than his party affiliation.
Transcribed by Joyce Rugeroni.
© 2010 Joyce Rugeroni.