Writing in March, 2012. the composer's great-great-granddaughter, Karin S. Lee, emailed the following:
My great, great, grandfather, Grandpa Stansell, was the only grandfather I had. I remember being very special to him. He died when I was 8 years old.
He began his career as a telegraph operator in Ohio for the railroad, but music was his passion. When he had saved up enough money, he organised a band and played wherever he could. He and his band played in opera houses, skating rinks, dances at the armoury, etc. Later, he formed a band with three of his children, who were also accomplished musicians (taught by Grandpa Stansell).
They toured around Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Florida. They played for a circus, a travelling carnival, a Wild West show, and had a vaudeville act. However, details and dates of these performances were not well documented by him. When money was running low, Grandpa Stansell would go back to Ohio and work as a telegraph operator at the railroad, to save money, so they could hit the road again.
For a year, he played in a business men's band, directed by Alfred Weldon (who wrote several marches). He also played in a band with Gene D'Angelo (father of Beverly D'Angelo, the actress).
Grandpa Stansell was also poet, and writer. He wrote an episode for "Death Valley Days" (radio program) which aired in 1941