Notes on Estella Starcher Hopkins Craig

Estella Florence Starcher was born May 20, 1881, the first child of Thomas Jackson and Mary E. Smith Starcher. She was Allen B. Starcher's older sister.

As documented below, this writer has concluded that she married James H. Hopkins in Wirt County West Virginia on August 13, 1901 at age 20. There was one surviving child from this marriage, Wilburn Hopkins, born July 8, 1902 in Boone County West Virginia. This marriage was short lived, ending as early as perhaps 1910.

Stella and her son Wilburn moved to Barberton Ohio about 1909 where she ran a boarding house and did sewing. She married Alexander Ray Craig, a carpenter/building contractor, January 7, 1914 (marriage record image AT THIS LINK) and lived with Mr Craig until her death June 13, 1962 at age 81. No record of any children of Stella and Ray Craig has been found.

Ray Craig is believed to have been born January 27, 1881 and died October 6, 1963 in Barberton Citizens Hospital. These dates are taken from death records at the subscription service

The 1900 Calhoun County WV Federal Census indicates
Thomas...Head...WM...Dec 20 yrs...Farmer...WV WV WV
Mary E...Wife...WF...Sep 1863...36...8/7...WV WV WV
Estella...Dau...WF...May 1881...19...Seamstress...WV WV WV
Charles W...Son...WM...Mar 1883...17...Farm Laborer...WV WV WV
Allen B...Son...WM...Jul 1885...14...Farm Laborer...WV WV WV
Fred A...Son...WM...Jan 1889...11...Farm Laborer...WV WV WV
Carl C...Son...WM...Sep 1891...8...WV WV WV
Leona M...Dau...WF...Jul 1896...3...WV WV WV
Roy F...Son...WM...Sep 1899...8/12...WV WV WV

She is not listed with this family in the 1910 census.

In August 2009 this writer came in to possession of a number of personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar, the youngest sister of Allen B. and Estella Starcher. Most of the material on this page is reproduced from those documents.

"Sister Stella" - This photo among the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar
Stella was married twice. Her first husband was Jim Hopkins. A marriage certificate at the West Virginia archives AT THIS LINK documents the marriage in Wirt County WV August 13, 1901, of James H. Hopkins, age 24, of Calhoun County to Estella F. Starcher, age 20 of Calhoun County, both reported to be living in Wirt County at the time of their marriage.

The photo to the right was found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar. This was a postcard addressed to Mrs T.J. Starcher, Claria WV (although there is no postmark and apparently was never mailed). The reverse of this postcard picture includes the following notation:
"Stella's first husband Jim Hopkins. This is Jim and Joe Cheuveront. Joe has Jim's gun. They are both drinking"
A birth record in the West Virginia archives AT THIS LINK documents the birth in Boone County WV of Wilburn Hopkins July 8, 1902 to James and Stella Hopkins.

The 1910 Federal census for Akron, Summit County Ohio includes the following listing:
Stella Hopkins, head, age 28, married, married for 9 years, 2 children, one living, born in West Virginia, dress maker
Wilburn Hopkins, son, age 7, born in West Virginia
Of note, Stella is listed as the head of the household and there is no mention of Jim.

Jim Hopkins, left, and his friend Joe Cheuveront

James H. Hopkins is believed to have been born in Wirt County West Virginia about 1877, the son of Bushrod and Nancy Elizabeth Cadle Hopkins. He is believed to have re-married to Janie Couger (Cowger?), October 16, 1912 in Braxton County West Virginia. He is believed to have been living in Richwood, Nicholas County WV in 1920.

The photo to the right was found on the subscription service It is identified as "...Inza Headley Hopkins, Allen Everett Hopkins, baby Everett Anthony Hopkins, Emma Elizabeth Hopkins, Bushrod Hopkins?, James H. Hopkins (?), child, James' wife, Jane (Sarah Jane...)" This writer believes James' wife in this photo to be Estella Starcher, and the child to be Wilburn. Wilburn T. Hopkins was born 8 July 1902 in Boone County WV. The child pictured adjacent to James T. could be Wilburn. If this photo were taken about 1907, one would expect Wilburn to be about 5 or 6. The woman standing behind is taken to be Estella Starcher. Estella was living with her son Wilburn in Akron O at the time of the 1910 census.

Stella may have been the first of the Starchers to move to the environs of Barberton/Akron Ohio. It is believed that Stella moved to Barberton about 1909 (see postcard below). Brother Fred Starcher was still living at home at the time of the 1910 census, married November 1910, and was living in Barberton at the time of the 1920 census. Brother Roy Starcher was likewise still living at home in 1910, but moved to Barberton prior to the 1920 census.

A WWI draft registration card, the image of which is available at the subscription service, documents the registration of Alexander Ray Craig, born June 27, 1881, occupation carpenter, next of kin given as Stella Craig. This registration dated September 12, 1918.

The 1920 Federal Census, Barberton Ohio, has a listing for:
E. R. Craig head of household, age 38, born in West Virginia
Stella F. Craig, wife, age 38, born in West Virginia

E. R. Craig is presumably the same person as A. R. Craig, or Ray Craig, or Alexander Ray Craig. The 1939 Christmas card photo at the right was found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar. This clearly is identified as Stella and Ray Craig.

A.R. Craig, or Alexander Ray Craig is further identified by his WWII draft registration record, available at the subscription service, reproduced below:

As this document notes, Mr Craig was born in Nicholas County West Virginia.

The 1910 Federal census for Beaver District, Nicholas County West Virginia, available at the subscription service, lists an Alexander R. Craig, age 27, occupation carpenter, employed in a paper mill, living as a boarder in the household of one Matheus W. and Grace Oyler (Oiler?) along with their two daughters, a sister-in-law, four servants, and 38 other boarders. The 1900 Federal census for Hamilton District, Nicholas County West Virginia lists an Alexander Craig, age 19, born January 1881, son of John Craig (b. 1847) and Victoria Craig (b. 1852), along with siblings Honora H. age 27, Nannie age 22, Hermon age 15, Anna age 14, Newman age 11, Ada F. age 9, Eva age 7, and Zada B. age 5.

This writer is unable to find much further information on son Wilburn T. Hopkins. Wilburn T. Hopkins is not found in the 1920 census in the houshold of his mother.

The social security death index available at the subscripton service has a death listing for Wilburn Hopkins, born July 8, 1902, died March 1976, last residence Hot Springs National Park, Garland Arkansas, SSN issued in Ohio before 1951. It is not known if this is the Wilburn Hopkins under consideration. Of note, one of the obituaries for Stella (below) gives the address of son Wilburn in 1962 as Hot Springs Arkansas.

The photo to the right suggests that Wilburn T. Hopkins had a son Wilburn B., born about 1927. An obituary found on the subscription service records...
"Wilburn B. "Hoppy" Hopkins, 83, of New Philadelphia, O., died Monday, Oct. 18, 2010, in his home following an extended illness. Hoppy was born Jan. 24, 1927, in Birds Run, O., the son of the late Wilburn T. and Goldie Mildred Johnson Hopkins. He retired in 1981 as a truckdriver for Baker Highway Express. Following retirement, he worked as a security guard for Burns Security..."

The only other census listing for Wilburn Hopkins found by this writer on is the 1940 census, a Wilburn Hopkins, age 38 (which would indicate date of birth 1902) born in West Virginia, an inmate at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus Ohio. This writer has no evidence that this is the same Wilburn Hopkins under consideration.

The 1930 census includes a listing for Mildred Hopkins, age 22, married at age 18, living in the household of grandfather Lewis F. Johnson with son Wiburn B. Hopkins.

A marriage record at the West Virginia archives documents the marriage February 16, 1943 in Brooke County WV of Wilburn T. Hopkins, age 40, born in Madison WV, to Ruth G. Oberlin, age 25, born in Brberton. Both are listed as residents of Akron/Barberton.

The striking photograph below includes a notation on the back "Gracie, Stella, and Wilburn." The date of this photo is not known, and as of this writing this writer does not know the identity of Gracie.

The notation on the back of the photo is...

July 1934
Mary Starcher - age 71 (Stella's mother)
Stella Craig - 53
Wilburn T. Hopkins - 32
Wilburn B. Hopkins - 7

Another photograph found in the effects of Viola Cogar indicates that somebody in the family ran a boarding house for a time. This photograph is reproduced below, as well as the notation on the reverse. The group of people standing in front of the house has been cut, enlarged, and further reproduced:

Dear brother here is my
house and part of my boarders
from left to right Ray
and one of his buddies
I forget his name and
Walice Carmady. You remember
him dont you? My Self and
Goldie Smith John Cole my Indian boy. Mrs Smith
Wilburn and Tray Smith

While others in the family may disagree, this writer speculates that the proprietor of this boarding house was Stella, as evidenced by her likeness in the photo (albeit a bit smudgy) and the identification of son Wilburn. In addition, she seems to be on a first name basis with "Ray." This writer speculates that this photo, and the boarding house enterprise, occurred sometime after 1910 in view of the fact that the 1910 census listed Stella and Wilburn living as a single household. This writer further speculates that "Ray" was Ray Craig, her future husband, who moved to Barberton in search of work, stayed in this boarding house, and married the proprietor. As noted above, Ray had been living in a boarding house in Nicholas County working as a carpenter in 1910, and Stella married Ray Craig prior to 1918.

One might speculate that this photo was taken after the marriage of Stella and Ray. However, judging from the appearance of Wilburn in this photo, who was 7 years old in 1910, he looks to young for this picture to have been taken after 1915 or so. Stella and Ray were married in 1914.

Or, this writer could have it all wrong.

A number of postcards were found in Aunt Viola's effects, and are reproduced below.

This first post card was sent from Stella to her sister Ona (Leona) Starcher in June 1909. This may have been shortly after Stella moved to the Barberton area.

June 24
hello Sister card read was glad
to get it. We are well and hope you
are all the Same. Well Ona. I
think I will like it out here
fine. I am sewing some. Made one waist for a calard girl the calard
people live just next door to us. We
live in one side of a German familys house. it is a double house
one part on E. Exchange St and the other as S. Broadway St. it is a camp
house. Well ans. soon from your

This second postcard was sent to Leona September 1909. Stella describes her trip the the McKinley Memorial. President McKinley was assassinated in 1901.

Sept. 19 - 1909
Hello Sister. We just got home from
Canton. We went up to (????) this
a.m. and we was allowed (?????) cemetery
and was in side of the McKinley
monument. this is the (????) of
where he is put away. i was inside
of it. I did not get to see him I could
of sean him if some of his relations had
a bin with me. Oh. Ona you dont
have any Idea how nice it is and the
most vaults in that cemetery there
is about 800 ackers of land all in
one cemetary. Oh Gee but is was (???) die
wish you would of bin with us.
But it is nice
to go on a trip
like this but I
took the sick-
headache and we came
home at noon

This third postcard was addressed to mother Mary Starcher. There is no stamp or postmark - perhaps the card was never mailed, or perhaps it was hand delivered by another family member on a trip home.

hello mama. hope you
are well. Mama I am Busy Sewing have 4
waists and 2 skirts on
hands. Would like to be
there to help ya make garden
Ask Fred is this picture
natural. Well I will
haft to close and get to
my work. the robbins singing
makes me homesick

This fourth postcard has no address. Perhaps Stella thought it noteworthy that Ray, presumably her husband who was a carpenter, was working at this estate.

This is O.C. Barbers
manshion. out on the
farm where Sam & Ray is
working they are Building
a Barn. this is only about
a mild from Town.

This fifth postcard, postmarked September 9, 1920, is addressed to Stella's mother Mary, address Grantsville. Of note, Mary was soon to marry I.S. Geho on October 20, 1920, and apparantly was already living in Grantsville in September. See notes on the Mary E. Smith Starcher page.

Dear Mother I did not have
any Birthday Cards. and Just
remembered that tomorrow
was your Birthday So I will
Just send you a card of the
Viaduct. it goes from the P.O.
clear acrost the railroads and
canall & all those swamps to
the east side it Sure is nice
So if you ever come to See us
you will hardly know the
place. but Just follow the crowd
from Stella

This sixth postcard, postmarked October 9, 1929, was initially puzzling to this writer as to why Stella and family would be vacationing in Richwood West Virginia. However, in view of the fact that Stella's husband Ray was from Nicholas County West Virginia, it seems safe to speculate that they were visiting some of Ray's family.

Also of note, the card is addressed to Mary Starcher, not Mary Geho. Mary the mother remarried to Mr Geho in October 1920. Perhaps this was a short marriage. Mary was noted to be divorced at the time of her death in 1941.

It is not clear what the notation "...the Coxs move out last Sunday..."
Perhaps these were boarder living with Stella and Ray. The 1930 Federal census indicates that there were still boarders in the household (see below).

hello Mother wish
you could be along
with us we are having
a wonderful time But
cant come by as the
Coxs move out last Sunday
and we must get back
Loving you Daughter

An image of the 1930 Federal census for Barberton, Summit County Ohio indicates that A.R. Craig and Stella Craig were living on North View Avenue, and had two "lodgers" in their household:

Of interest, found in Viola Cogar Starcher's personal effects is this souvenir item from Stella and Wilburn's visit to Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. It is not known when or where this occurred. The souvenir itself is sizable - 24 inches by 5 inches, reproduced below.

The description on the back was written presumably by Stella....

Wilburn & I was to
Buffalo Bills Show and
these is the Indians that
was with it Oh Gee
it was good So Wilburn
has .... .....
Cody he was ... ...
White Station (Stalion?) that you
read so much about in
his books. And he is as
white headed as can
be. his hair hangs
around his shoulders and
is snow white also his
Beard & mustash

The obituaries to the right were found in a scrapbook of newspaper clippings kept by Stella's sister, Viola Starcher Cogar.

Craig Stella F., 81 years, 2206 Twenty-fifth st. SW passed away Wednesday p.m. Survived by husband, Alexander R.; one son, Wilburn T. Hopkins, Hot Springs, Ark.; one sister, Mrs. Viola Coger, Lockney, W. Va., Fred A. and Roy F. Starcher, both of Barberton; two grand-children. Funeral services from Prentice & Co. Funeral Home, 1154 Kenmore blvd., Saturday 1 p. m. Rev. Richard L. McDole officiating. Interment Greenlawn Memorial Park. Friends may call at the funeral home after 2 p.m. Friday.

Mrs. Stella F. Craig Rites Held In Akron

Mrs. Stella Florence Craig, 81, of Akron, died June 13, in Akron. She was baorn May 20, 1881, on Pine Creek, Calhoun county, a daughter of the late T.J. and Mary E. Smith Starcher.

She was married twice, the first time to James Hopkins, on August 13, 1901. Her second husband was A.R. Craig, who survives.

Other survivors include a son, Wilburn T. Hopkins of Zanesville, Ohio; one sister, Mrs. Viola Cogar of Lockney; three brothers, Allen B. Starcher, Millstone, and Fred and Roy Starcher, Barberton.

Funeral services were held in Akron with burial following in Greenlawn Memorial park there.


Linda Cunningham Fluharty Website
       Calhoun County WVGenWeb, maintained by Linda Cunningham Fluharty
              1900 Calhoun County Federal Census, Lee District #23

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