Notes Leona Starcher Anderson

Leona May Starcher was born July 29, 1896, image of her birth record available AT THIS LINK. (Note: her name is incorrectly transcribed as "Cora May" Starcher in the database at the West Virginia Vital Records archive).

She moved to Barberton Ohio about 1914-15 and married Thomas W. Anderson about 1917. A son Thomas Jr. was born October 23, 1923 and a daughter was born November 1926. Tragically, Leona died a week after this daughter was born. The daughter was apparently immediately adopted by another couple, and this baby daughter died three weeks after Leona's death, at age one month. Leona died November 24, 1926 at age 30.

Evidence from the obituary of Thomas W. Anderson Jr., (see below) suggests that there may have ben three daughters from this marriage who did not survive infancy.

Thomas W. Anderson is believed to have been born in Ohio about November 1887 and died about 1946. A newspaper clipping in a scrap-book, maintained by Viola Starcher Cogar, Leona's sister, includes a clipping of a death notice:
Anderson, Thomas W., age 59, passed away Jan 24 at Crile V.A. Hospital. Survived by 3 sons, Thomas Jr. of Barberton, O., Carl of Akron, and Paul of Georgia: 3 brothers, Merle A. of Newark, O., George of Cambridge, O., and Ares of Paketon, O.: 1 sister Mrs. Bess West of Washington Court House, O. Funeral services from Moore-Reynolds Funeral Home, ..., Interment Lakewood.

A The World War I draft registration record dated 6/5/17, available at the subscription service, reproduced to the right, is a bit smudgy but appears to document Thomas W. Anderson of Barberton, born November 6, 1887, occupation Tinner, next of kin Leona Anderson.

The 1900 federal census for Pike County Ohio, Benton district, includes a listing for...
Robert H. Anderson, head, b June 1850, age 49
Nancy C., wife, b August 1852, age 47
Mytle, son, b December 1881, age18
Erma, daughter, b June 1883, age 16
Betty, daughter, b Jan 1885, age 15
Thomas, son, b November 1887, age 12
Harvy, son, b October 1889, age 10
George, son, b October 1894, age 5

There is evidence that Thomas Anderson married Elizabeth Jane Patterson about 1907. There were two surviving children from this marriage: Paul Anderson born about 1909, and Carl Anderson born about 1912. This marriage ended prior to 1916. Information at the subscription service, compiled by descendants of Paul Anderson, indicate that Elizabeth Jane Patterson Anderson remarried John E. Dailey in 1916. Census records from 1920 indicate that Paul and Carl were living with their mother and step-father during the 1920 census.

Much of the material on this page was gleaned from the personal effects of Leona's sister Viola Starcher Cogar.

The 1900 Calhoun County Federal Census lists Leona Starcher, age 3, living at home with parents Thomas and Mary E. None of the surviving children had left home yet, and Viola was yet to be born:
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

The 1910 Federal census for this family (accessed on the subscription service lists...
Thomas J. Starcher head age 48
Mary E. Starcher wife age 47
Fred A. Starcher son age 20
Carl Starcher son age 18
Leona M. Starcher daughter age 13
Roy F. Starcher son age 10
Viola G. Starcher daughter age 4

The 1920 Federal census for Lee District, Calhoun County WV, available at the subscription service indicates...
Carl Starcher, head, age 28
Orpha Starcher, wife, age 22
Mary Starcher, mother, widow, age 56
Viola Starcher, sister, age 14
It would appear that Leona left her home in Calhoun County sometime after 1910. Evidence below suggests 1914-1915.

We know that Leona was still living in Calhoun County in 1911 as evidenced by this postcard, found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar.

Hello "kid"
"Guess who" Bye Bye

Leona was still living in Calhoun County in 1913 as evidenced by this postcard reproduced to the right.

Hello Ona how
is the Kid I am well
hope yor are the same
I am as ever your
friend J.D. Hefner (Hebner?)
Will write later

It would appear that by 1915 Leona had moved to Barberton, as evidenced by this postcard to the right. She was not yet married. Of note, sister Estella had moved to the Barberton area about 1909. Her brother Fred moved to the environs of Barberton Ohio between 1915 and 1916. Brother Roy likewise moved to Barberton sometime between 1910 and 1920. One might speculate that the death of father T.J. Starcher in 1913 did cause some significant family upheaval.

Of note, the address on this card, 160 Walnut St, is the same address as for brother Roy Starcher, as evidenced by another postcard addressed to Roy in 1916, found in the "Viola Cogar" archive. It seems safe to speculate that Leona was living with her brother Roy. However, their circumstances are a bit of a mystery to this writer. Roy was not yet married, as the 1920 Census for Barberton Ohio shows him living in the home of Homer and Ester McCune as a boarder, along with his future wife Mina Workman, sister-in-law of Homer and presumably the sister of Homer's wife Esther. The 1920 census records have street of residence noted in the margin of the record; however, the street at which the McCune houshold and Roy were living in 1920 does not appear to be Walnut Street. Perhaps Roy F. and sister Leona were living in a boarding house or some other arrangement in 1915 to 1920.

Hello old frind how
are you Well Ona S....
went Back to WVa Wed
But if you can do
any good I will Bring another guy if it suits
J.K. Cuyahoga Falls
R of D 8 C/O L.H. Meadows

This postcard from May 16, 1917 suggests that Leona was still single and living in Barberton. Note that the WWI registration card, reproduced above, believed to suggest that Leona was the wife of Thomas Anderson, is dated June 7, 1917.

..... ..... have moved to
Akron will see you Saturday in
404 south high st

It would appear that Leona married Thomas Anderson some time between 1917 and 1920.

The 1920 Federal census for Norton, Barberton, Summit County Ohio, Melvin Street includes a listing for Thomas and Leona Anderson. Thomas' occupation given as "Tinner."

This photograph was found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar. It is labeled on the back "Tom Anderson," presumably, the gentleman marked with an "X."

Happy times -- as evidenced by these Christmas package tags, found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar.

The newspaper clippings below document the tragic death of Leona Starcher Anderson. The clippings were found in a scrapbook of newspaper clippings maintained by Leona's sister Viola Starcher Cogar. This material came in to the possession of Justine Starcher Miller after Viola's demise, and is currently in the possession of this writer.

The story is a bit difficult to follow, but it seems that after Leona's death the newborn baby girl was immediately adopted by another couple. The names of the newborn do not match in the various accounts - perhaps the baby was renamed by her new parents. Also, there is some discrepancy in the dates of death. However, Ohio death records available at the subscription site confirm the death of Leona Anderson on November 24, 1926.

This revelation also clears up another mystery, at least in this writer's mind: Who was "Junior" who lived for a time with Viola Starcher Cogar?

This writer is of the opinion that "Junior" who lived for a time with Viola was Thomas Anderson Jr., Leona and Tom Anderson's son. Viola was in Barberton at the time of Leona's death. This writer is of the opinion that Thomas Anderson Jr came to live with Viola for a time, or at least around 1930. Census records (see below) indicate that "Junior" was living with Viola and Viola's mother Mary in Grantsville WV at the time of the 1930 census.

The wage agreement reproduced to the right indicates that Viola was living in Barberton as Viola Starcher November 6, 1923.

As noted above, Thomas Anderson Sr also had children by another marriage. His death notice (see above) indicates two other sons, Carl of Akron and Paul of Georgia. The obituary of Thomas Anderson Jr (see below) lists two half-brothers, Paul Anderson of Georgia and Carl Anderson of Akron.

The 1930 Federal census for Summit County Ohio County jail lists a Thomas W. Anderson, age 42, widower, as a prisoner as of March 31, 1930. This writer chooses to assume that this is not the Thomas W. Anderson Sr under consideration here. A letter from Mary Starcher, mother of Leona and Viola, written to Viola on July 27, 1930, (see below) reports that "Tom Anderson was in a reck and was hurt prety bad his face was cut prety bad had to have it sold up I hant heard how he is now..."

The 1930 Federal Census, Calhoun County West Virginia, dated April 9, 1930 answers some questions and raises another:

Note: This census record, available at the subscription service, has Mary incorrectly indexed as "Mary Gefre."

This census record depicts the following household:

Mary Geho, head, age 66, divorced, born in West Virginia
Viola Chapman (?), daughter, age 24, divorced, employed as a hotel cook
Thomas Anderson Jr, Grand Son, age 6, born in Ohio, father born in Ohio, mother born in West Virginia

Mary Starcher is known to have remarried to I.S. Geho in 1920, and it is known that this marriage ended in divorce. The ages for Mary, Viola, and Thomas in the above census record match their known ages. Viola is listed as Viola Chapman. She is known to have married Evron C. Chapman June 2, 1926 in Summitt County Ohio.

Reproduced to the right are portions of a letter from Leona and Viola's mother, Mary Starcher, written to Viola on July 27, 1930. apparently, Mary had moved to the Barberton area sometime in 1930, perhaps after April 1930, in view of the fact that the April 9, 1930 census record noted above indicates that she was living in Grantsville WV at that time. Mary reports that "Tom Anderson was in a reck and was hurt prety bad his face was cut prety bad had to have it sold up I hant heard how he is now..."

Mary also mentions "Junior..."

tell Junior to Bee a good
Boy and i Wil Bring him
something when i come
down answer soon kiss
Junior for me from your
loving mother Bye Bye

This letter reproduced to the right is another written to Viola from her mother Mary, dated August 9, 1930. Note that it is directed to Viola and Junior. Also note that "Leonard" is mentioned - this is presumably Leonard Nutter who Viola married May 17, 1930.

.... i Wil come
down With Roy the 6 of
September to get the rest of
my cloes tell Jr. i Wil get
him some thing When i com
down tell him to Bee a good
Boy and mind antie and
leanard kiss him for me
Viola dont whip him very
hard he liks you to pet him
take good care of my flours.....

The photograph below was found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar, not labeled. Paula Roberts also owns a copy of this photo, which she has identified as Allen B. Starcher and Viola in the back, and Junior and Mary in the front. This writer believes the young man to be Thomas Anderson Jr. The young man appears to be about 10 or 12 years old, which would date this photo about 1933-35.

This letter was found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar. It is presumably from Viola's nephew, Thomas Anderson Jr - "Junior."

July 1935

Dear Auntie
How are you I am
all right No I will
not get to keep
my comforts they are
to be kept for the
next bunch of boys
and girls I havent had
a spanken yet I want
you to Be looking for
me in 1 more week or
2 I have 82 marbals
I got my rist throd
out of place Well I
will close ancer soon
from Your loving

Thomas Anderson Jr. is known to have enlisted in the Navy during World War II.

Reproduced to the right is a postcard mailed to "Aunt Vi" from Tom Anderson, dated January 28, 1944. The front of the card is a scene from Baker, Montana which is 80 miles from Miles City Montana, where the Veterans Administration Hospital in Miles City, Montana is located. This writer speculates that Thomas Jr was a patient in that VA hospital in 1944. The postmark on the card is incomplete, but it looks like it could include the words "Miles City."

Hi Aunt Vi.
Well I bet you
are surprised to Hear
from me. I am getting along
fine and will soon be
out of the Hosp. The
people here treat me
swell, so I can't complain.
I will close for now
Your Nephew
Tom Anderson

Thomas Anderson Jr apparently made a good recovery, and his family apparently stayed in touch with Viola through the years.

Among Viola's personal effects is this photo reproduced to the right, labeled Ronald Anderson, May 1958, 8 year old. This gentleman presumably is the son of Thomas Anderson Jr and would be a great nephew of Allen B. Starcher and Viola Starcher Cogar, and the second cousin of this writer.

Also found is the obituary of Thomas Anderson, Jr.

Thomas W. "Happy" Anderson, Jr. of Wood River, Ill., died October 3, 1985 at St. Joseph Hospital, Alton, Ill. He was 61.

He was born October 22, 1923 at Barberton, Ohio to Thomas W. and Leona M. Starcher Anderson. He was a World War veteran in the Navy.

Survivors include a daughter, Laura Anderson, Wood River, Ill; two sons, Robert C. Anderson, Barberton, Ohio and Ronald E. Anderson, Belleville, Ill.; two adopted children, James Anderson and Judith Perr, of Bellleville, Ill.; two half brothers, Paul Anderson, Georgia and Carl Anderson, Akron, Ohio; one aunt, Viola Cogar, Arnoldsburg.

His parents, three sisters, and one half sister preceded him in death. His wife, Doris Anderson, preceded him in death in 1984.

A listing for U.S. Veterans Gravesites at the subscription service includes the following listing:

Name: Thomas W Jr Anderson
Service Info.: S1 US NAVY WORLD WAR II
Birth Date: 22 Oct 1923
Death Date: 3 Oct 1985
Service Start Date: 3 Nov 1941
Interment Date: 9 Oct 1985
Cemetery: Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 2900 Sheridan Road St. Louis, MO 63125
Buried At: Section K Site 2398

Ronald Anderson, May 1958, 8 year old. Son of Thomas Anderson Jr.


Linda Cunningham Fluharty Website
       Calhoun County WVGenWeb, maintained by Linda Cunningham Fluharty
              1900 Calhoun County Federal Census

West Virginia Division of Culture and History
       Vital Research Records

Work in progress

Back to the front page