A veteran who served his country in uniform and then, as Veterans Affairs Officer, served his fellow veterans; a servant of his community as a member of Union County Council, the Union Hospital District board and the Union County Council on Aging; and his many other activities on behalf of his fellow citizens, Vanderford’s life has been that of the true public servant who gave far more than he ever received in the service of his country, his brothers and sisters in arms, his community and its citizens.
Such individuals are rare and Union County is blessed to have been the beneficiary of his presence and his service.
Vandeford also played the decisive role in the preservation of an important Union County landmark. Like Vanderford, the red brick, two-story building in The Flat served its community in a variety of ways, housing a drug store, bank, barber shop, jail, magistrate’s office, wash room and Masonic Hall. It’s distinguished record of service cried out for its preservation and Vanderford heard that cry and led the effort to save and renovate the building so its long record of service could continue into the 21st century.
The building was bought and renovated with a combination of private and public funds and now stands ready for another century of service to the community. Today it houses a council on aging senior center and is the meeting place for the Buffalo American Legion Post 87.
None of this would have happened had it not been for Vanderford. It was his vision, leadership and determination to save the building from the wrecking ball and made its new lease on life possible. Without him the building — like so much of the rest of this county’s history — would have been lost forever.
The preservation efforts and his service to his country, fellow veterans and community make it more than appropriate that part of this county’s history he saved and be named the I.G. Vanderford Building.
Vanderford has served his community well and it is fitting we should honor him by preserving his name so future generations will have the opportunity to learn by example the meaning of the words “public servant.”