Samuel Ward Stanton was born in New York1 on 8 January 1870, to Samuel (b. 1839) and Margaret Fuller Smith (b. 1840).
His father was born in New York to Irish parents whilst his mother was a native of Connecticut. He had two brothers: William Henry (b. 1861) and Curtis Henderson (b. 1865). His father operated a shipyard in Newburgh, New Jersey, Ward-Stanton Company which was located on the Hudson River.
The family appeared on the 1870 census living in New York and on the 1875 and 1880 censuses living in Newburgh, Orange, New Jersey. He also spent part of his adolescence in Florida.
He married Cornelia Arents Whitehurst (the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Henrietta Whitehurst) on 6 July 1897 in (Brooklyn) New York. The family lived at 506 West 172nd Street, Brooklyn, New York City. The couple appeared on the 1900 census living in Richmond, New York City with their two daughters. Still in Richmond borough by the time of the 1910 census they had an addition to the family, a son2.
Samuel was an artist and mural painter who specialised in the rendering of steamships. In 1895 his works were published in American Steam Vessels and he had received awards for his endeavours previous to this.
In addition to his reputation as an artist, he was known as the foremost authority in the country on the history of steam shipping. At the time of his death, he was preparing a history of American steamboats which, even in its unfinished condition, is the most comprehensive in existence. He had published articles in Master, Mate and Pilot, the last one being called Steamboating in New York Waters in 1831, which was part of a series of articles.
Stanton was actively interested in church work and was formerly a member of the Old First Reformed Church of Brooklyn. In England, he had been staying at ''Porthallow,'' near Helston, Cornwall.
In early 1912 he had been visiting the Julien Academy in Paris and the Alhambra in Spain. The sketches he produced were destined, when completed, to decorate the interior of the new Hudson River steamboat Knickerbocker which was being built for the Day Line. He had also made mural paintings for the steamer Rose Standish and other river steamer. These sketches, including a series of scenes of the Alhambra, Granada, were lost when the Titanic went down.
For his return to New York he boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a second class passenger having travelled there from Paris. He bought ticket number 237734 for £15 0s 11d.
Mr Stanton died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He was survived by his widow and the three children.
Cornelia never remarried and later moved with her family to Newark, New Jersey. She was living alone in Bloomfield, Essex, New Jersey at the time of the 1930 census. She died in 1956.