Profiles from the Archives: Jeffrey F. Stanback

Author: 
Matthew M. Peek, Military Collection Archivist

Jeffrey Franklin Stanback was born on January 2, 1894, in the town of Mount Gilead in Montgomery County, N.C., to Jeremiah Franklin and Annice Lanier Robbins Stanback. By 1900, the Stanback family had moved to Raleigh, N.C. Jeffrey Stanback graduated from Raleigh High School, and went on to attend college at Trinity College in Durham, N.C. (part of present-day Duke University). He graduated with a B.A. degree in 1914. Stanback went on to attend North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (present-day North Carolina State University) in Raleigh, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1916.  

After college, Jeffrey Stanback had enlisted in the North Carolina National Guard before World War I, serving from July 26, 1916, to August 2, 1917, as a Private in Coast Artillery Company No. 1. He was discharged for a service connected discharge after the United States entered World War I, and the National Guard was called into federal military service. Stanback would eventually re-enter military service on February 18, 1918, in Raleigh, N.C., with the rank of Private for the U.S. Army Medical Department. He would study at the U.S. Army Medical School in Washington, D.C., graduating from there on June 19, 1918. Stanback was honorably discharged on June 19, 1918, in order to accept a commission. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Department’s Sanitary Corps on June 21, 1918.

Jeffrey Stanback was sent for advanced training in the U.S. Army’s Medical Field Service School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, between June and July 1918. On July 20, 1918, he was assigned to the Yale University Army Laboratory School in New Haven, Connecticut, which he left on September 3, 1918. Stanback was assigned on September 3rd to the U.S. Army Base Hospital No. 94 at Camp Cody, New Mexico. He was transferred to Camp Merrit, New Jersey [or possibly Camp Upton, New York], on October 28, 1918, in preparation for being sent overseas. On November 1, 1918, Stanback left from Hoboken, New Jersey, on the troop transport ship Aquitania, arriving in Brest, France, on November 8, 1918. He then moved to Le Mans, France, arriving there on November 14, 1918—three days after the Armistice essentially ended WWI.

On November 20, 1918, Jeffrey Stanback was assigned to the U.S. Army’s 83rd Division Laboratory. He was transferred to the American Expeditionary Forces Base Laboratory on December 27, 1918, in France; then assigned to the U.S. Army Camp Hospital No. 43 on March 11, 1919, at Gievres, Department Loir-et-Cher, France. In preparation for returning to the United States, Stanback was transferred to the U.S. Army Medical Department’s Sanitary Corps on June 20, 1918. He sailed from Brest, France, aboard the U.S. Army troop transport ship Leviathan and arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey, on July 5, 1919. Jeffrey Stanback was honorably discharged at Camp Dix, New Jersey, on July 28, 1919, from active military service.

Stanback was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Officers’ Reserve Corps on November 4, 1919. After the war, Stanback went to work as a bacteriologist and chemist for the Dupont Company at their Hopewell plant in City Point, Virginia, by 1920. He helped organize the Raleigh Chapter of the Reserve Officers Association in 1922, while holding the rank of a lieutenant, and was the first secretary of the chapter. Jeffrey Stanback married Florence E. Quizenberry of Washington, D.C., around 1926.

By 1927, he had become the assistant state chemist under the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. Stanback was involved in a major political controversy during the 1928 political campaign season, when he was fired from his position with the Department of Agriculture by then Commissioner W. A. Graham around November 1928. Stanback alleged he was fired for political reasons, and that the commissioner had been coercing state employees to contribute money to and vote for North Carolina governor Al Smith’s re-election campaign. Graham stated the firing was for making a false charge.

By 1930, Stanback was living in Richmond, Virginia, and was the general manager or president of a brick company there. By 1932, the Stanbacks had moved to Raleigh, N.C., where Jeffrey was working as a brick manufacturer. The Stanbacks remained in Raleigh until around the early 1940s, with Jeffrey commuting for work to Washington, D.C., in 1940. When the United States entered World War II, Jeffrey Stanback returned to military service as a Major in the U.S. Army, and stationed in El Paso, Texas, by 1942. Little is known about his WWII service, other than he remained in active Army service until 1947. By 1948, the Stanbacks had returned to Raleigh, N.C.

Stanback retired with the rank of Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserves on January 31, 1954. He was active in historical research and commemoration, and was involved in local historical groups in North Carolina during the 1950s. In 1954, he received the North Carolina Society for the Preservation of Antiquities’ Cannon Award for his dedication to Montgomery County, N.C., history. In 1953, Stanback conducted inspection reports of the Town Creek Indian Mound in Montgomery County for the North Carolina Division of State Parks.

Jeffrey F. Stanback died on September 19, 1970, in Cumberland County, N.C., and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, N.C.

To learn more about Jeffrey Stanback’s WWI service, check out the Jeffrey F. Stanback Papers (WWI 102) in the WWI Papers of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh, N.C.

This blog post is part of the State Archives of North Carolina’s World War I Social Media Project, an effort to bring original WWI archival materials to the public through the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ (NCDNCR) various social media platforms, in order to increase access to the items during the WWI centennial celebration by the state of North Carolina.

Between February 2017 and June 2019, the State Archives of North Carolina will be posting blog articles, Facebook posts, and Twitter posts, featuring WWI archival materials which are posted on the exact 100th anniversary of their creation during the war. Blog posts will feature interpretations of the content of WWI documents, photographs, diary entries, posters, and other records, including scans of the original archival materials, held by the State Archives of North Carolina, and will be featured in NCDNCR’s WWI centennial blog.

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