On July 2, 1879, Gov. John P. St. John proclaimed St. John as the temporary county seat of Stafford County. Also on the ballot of the first election in August, 1879 were candidates for the county seat. The towns on the first ballot were St. John, Stafford, Bedford, Livingston and Center.
In that first election, St. John lacked one vote of having a majority, so a special election was necessary.
On April 5, 1882, that special election was held, but a tornado struck Stafford at 4:00 p.m. that day destroying the ballot box, so there were no returns from that township.
A third election was held April 14, 1882, but there was no majority vote for St. John, Stafford or Bedford.
A final county seat election was held April 18, 1882, with Bedford eliminated. St. John received the majority of votes and became the permanent county seat.