Notes on Thomas Jackson Starcher

Thomas Jackson Starcher was born on December 31, 1860, the son of Thomas Starcher and Aseneth Booher.

As noted elsewhere, no record of a marriage between Thomas Starcher and Aseneth Booher has been found.

It is known from oral family history that Thomas Jackson Starcher went by the name of "Jack," and sometimes is referred to as Thomas Jackson Starcher, Jackson Starcher, Jack Starcher, or T.J. Starcher.

The 1870 Calhoun County West Virginia Census, Lee Township, available at the subscription service indicates Thomas J. living with his mother Acenith Norman:
Acenith...29...Keeping House...$100...VA
Thomas J...9...VA
William O...7...VA
Charles B...3...WV

Thomas Jackson and Mary E. Smith Starcher. Youngest daughter Viola in the middle. The entire photo is AT THIS LINK.

The entire page from this census record is reproduced below. Many familiar names are noted to be living in the neighborhood.

An image of the record of his marriage to Mary E. Smith February 8, 1880, is available AT THIS LINK. Both Thomas J. and Mary were noted to be 18 years old at the time of their marriage. Thomas J. was noted to be the son of Thomas Starcher and Asenath Norman. Mary was noted to be the daughter of John and Eliza Smith.

The entry from the 1880 census is as follows. The date of this census is June 21, 1880. Thomas Jackson. and Mary E. were married the previous February, and at the time of this census were living in the household of Thomas' mother Aseneth.
ASENITH(?), L013 Norman...w...WF...38...Keeping House...VA...VA...VA Jackson...m...WM...19...Son...Wrks on Farm...VA...VA...VA Mary E...m...WF...17...Dil...VA...VA...VA William O...WM...15...Son...VA...VA...VA Charles D...WM...13...Son...WV...VA...VA Hanibal...WM...8...Son...WV...VA...VA Claryse...WF...4...Dau...WV...VA...VA

The 1900 Census shows Thomas at home with wife Mary and their childrren:
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 W

Victor Starcher, in a taped interview, indicated that Thomas J. Starcher and family lived on a farm given him by his grandfather Adam Starcher.

The census record lists T.J's occupation as "farmer." It is known that T.J. also was a storkeeper, and, according to Viola Starcher Cogar, was the first postmaster of the post office called Claria - long discontinued. He also served as constable and justice of the peace for Lee district.

A note found in The Calhoun Chronicle, March 5, 1901, under the heading of Eden (news from Eden, a community in Calhoun County), reads...
T.J. Starcher, of Lee district, was in our midst one day last week. Being Constable of that district he was out on business connected with that office. We congratulate Lee district for the selection of Mr. Starcher, as an efficient and accomodating officer.
There are other notations in the archive Daniels Run News which relates T.J. Starcher to his duties as a constable.

The following newspaper clipping was found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar (1905-2001), the youngest daughter of T.J. and Mary Starcher. The article presumably was published in the Calhoun Chronicle. Bill Umstead has been, through the years, a prolific writer for that weekly newspaper.

The old house - home place for a large family

By Bill Umstead

On a knoll surrounded by a few acres of meadow-like land stood the old house. Deserted for years the house was used by the late Al Gainer to store hay he cut from the small meadow. The old house was far in the head of one of Pine Creek's many hollows. The nearest road was the old ridge road that went from Mt. Zion to Hur. Surrounding the old house in the tall grass were strawberry vines.

Along about the first of June these berries were ripe and we little boys would invade the place. We filled our bellies and oftimes our caps or straw hats. Mr. Gainer, who lived across the hill in another valley, would oftimes watch just to scare us. My uncle, Elza Stevens, who worked for Mr. Gainer, would tell me how they would laugh to see us run. Sometimes we would get caught in the wire fence or lose our hats as we scattered for home. This was a long time ago, and while I had heard the old house call the "Jack Starcher" place, I really never knew why.

Some time ago Mrs. Viola Cogar of Arnoldsburg informed me. I had wondered who built this house and who planted the strawberries. About one hundred years ago Viola's father, together with his wife, the former Mary Elizabeth Smith, erected a log cabin at this place. This was improved as their family became larger. Seven of their eleven children were born in this old place, namely Stella, Charlie, Allen, Fred, Carl, Minnie and Leona Starcher. Jack later moved to Daniels Run where the other four children were born, Viola being the youngest and only living one. Mr. Starcher had a store and was the first postmaster of an office called Claria - long discontinued. He also served as constable and justice of the peace for Lee district. He died in 1913. He was the grandson of Adam Starcher and great-grandson of Phillip Starcher -- one of Calhoun's early settlers.

As an aside, the place names "Claria" and "Daniels Run" are often used interchangably. However, the post office of "Claria" was apparantly located on Pine Creek. This post office apparantly served the Daniels Run area, as evidenced by the many residents of Daniels Run whose address was "Claria."

A complete map of Calhoun County WV, circa 1933, is available AT THIS LINK (large file - 1 meg).

That T.J. Starcher was a storekeeper, there is no doubt. Found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar is a ledger book, owned by T.J. Starcher, Claria WV. In this ledger are the store accounts of his customers. This found ledger book covers the years February 1899 through December 1900. A portion of the inside cover, and a representative page from this ledger are reproduced to the right.

The names of customers found in this ledger are as follows. A few of the handwritten names were difficult to decipher, and this writer makes no guarantees of accuracy in transcripton:

G. Adams
Eanoch Allen
Mary Allen
Tom Badget
Tomas Barnhouse
Floyd Barr
Jesse Barr
Levi Barr
A. H. Bailey
J. W. Bailey
E. P. Bailey
G. A. Bailey
J. P. Bartlett
I. D. Board
J. J. Booher
I. D. Bond
L. H. Booher
Mary Booher
P. M. Booher
Pell (?) Booher
Mary Carpenter
Sie Church
Will Church
A. B. Corbitt
A. Corbitt
J. J. Corbitt
Mack Corbitt
Balard Craddock
Ben Cradock
George Craddock
Wess Cradock
Will Craddock
Ed Crawford
H. E. Crawford
Kate Crawford
Sara Crawford
Steve Crawford
W.M. Crawford
W. S. Cunningham
Katie Dawson
L. D. Dawson
Fred Dirbun
Fred Derbin
Jim Elliot
Benjamin Everson
Watt Everson
George Funk
H. F. Gaoff
J. L. Gaffe
Amos Gibson
George Gibson
W. M. Gibson
Warn Gibson
F. L. Goff
J. C. Gunn
Allen Gunn
Samuel Gunn
A. Hamrick
A. B. Kees
S. Kieth
S. Keith
David Knight
Caroline Leach
Hansford Leach
Lewis Little
Will Lusher
Wice Lusher
H.N. Maffett
Lee McCune
E. Morgan
J. M. Morgan
J. N. Naylor
Nancy Naylor
D. H. Nester
Reuben Nichels
C.H. Nickelson
H. (D.?) Nitz
Mariah Nitz
A. Norman
W. O. Norman
Harvey Paterson
Albert Poling
Dock Price
Dow Price
Nelson Reed
Grant Roberts
George Roberts
All Schoolcraft
Lonnie Shaffer
Wm. Sickle
James Sickles
J. B. Smith
S. L. Smith
Walter Smith
C. D. Stalnaker
Gay Stalnaker
Jahu Stalnaker
Becky Starcher
I.B. Starcher
Isaac Starcher
J.J. Starcher
Levi Starcher
Rebeckie Starcher
A. P. Starkey
E. A. Starkey
E. B. Starkey
H. B. Starkey
Martha Starkey
Willie Starkey
Andrew Stemple
Birty Stockwell
Jonas Stockwell
J. L. Stump
Jo Sturm
Lee Summers
J. Summers
James Wade
John Whitzel (Whytsell?)
Simon Whitsell (Whytsell?)
Rufus Witt
W. M. Woods

Tobacco, horse shoes, clinch nails, and the like were a popular item. Many folks had credit to their account by work, hauling, or selling eggs or some such.

The 1910 Federal census for Lee District, Calhoun County West Virginia lists this family as follows:
Thomas J. Starcher, haad, age 48, married 30 years
Mary E. Starcher, wife, age 47, married 30 years, 11 children, 8 living
Fred A. Starcher, son, age 20
Carl C. Starcher, son, age 18
Leona M. Starcher, daughter, age 13
Roy F. Starcher, son, age 10
Viola G. Starcher, daughter, age 4

As of 1910, Stella had already left home and was living in Barberton Ohio. Charley had married Bessie Workman in February 1910. Allen B. married Icie Duvall in 1904. This left five children still living at home at the time of the 1910 census.

The photo below was found in ther personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar.

Family of Thomas Jackson Starcher

circa 1910 - 1913

Front L to R: Roy F. Starcher, 1899-1964; Thomas Jackson Starcher, 1860-1913; Viola Gay Starcher Johnson Nutter Cogar, 1905-2001; Mary E. Smith Starcher, 1863-1941

Back L to R: Estella F. Starcher Hopkins Craig, 1881-1962; Charley Winslow (Window?) Starcher, 1882-1942; Allen Brown Starcher, 1885-1970; Fred A. Starcher, 1889-1973; Carl C. Starcher, 1891-1959; Leona M. Starcher Anderson, 1896- ;

Documentation for this photo AT THIS LINK

The photo reproduced below remains a mystery to this writer. It too was found in the personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar. It is not identified. This writer suspects, but is not convinced, that this is an earlier photo of the family of T.J. Starcher.

The people in the photo have been cropped out and that portion enlarged a bit:

If one were to speculate that this photo is of the T.J. Starcher family, taken about 1904, then one might not expect to see Stella in the photo, as she left home in 1901. Charley would be 22, Allen B. would be 19, Fred would be 15, Carl 13, Leona 8, and Roy 5. Viola was not yet born.

If we assign names matched to expected ages as of 1904, and guess at identities, from left to right, we have:

L to R: Carl Starcher, age 13; Allen B, age 19; Roy, age 5; Father T.J. Starcher, age 44; Mother Mary E. Starcher, age 41, Leona, age 8; Fred (holding the rabbit) age 15; and Charley, age 22.

A comparison is made of T.J. and Mary from the family photo which is identified with more confidence, to the family photo above in which some question remains as to the identities.

As noted, this writer cannot with confidence identify the individuals in the photo above. Assuming Aunt Viola's memory to be correct (see above), the first seven children (Estella, Charley, Allen B., Fred A., Carl C., Minnie, and Leona were born on Pine Creek. That means that the family moved to Daniels Run after 1896 and before 1899 when Roy F. was born. The four children born on Daniels Run would be Roy F., Vitalis and Vianis, and Viola. Thus, this picture, if identified correctly, was taken on Daniels Run not too long after they had moved in to their (new?) home. If this picture were indeed taken about 1904, this house would have been perhaps less than 8 years old. The boards on the house don't look particulary weathered. (As an aside, the boards on this house appear to be as much as 16 feet long and some as wide as a man's shoulders -- where did they get lumber like that?).

Calhoun County death certificates online at AT THIS LINK reports Jack Starcher as having died October 11, 1913 in Claria, Calhoun County, at age 53 of typhoid fever. This is the correct age for a birth in 1860. Of note is a discrepency, as the death record indicates date of death as October 11, 1913, while his tombstone at the Mt Zion Cemetery indicates date of death as October 6, 1913.

A listing of name of those buried at the Mt Zion Cemetery at the Mt Zion Methodist Church, Mt Zion WV, can be found AT THIS LINK, and includes...
Thomas J. Starcher - 31 Dec 1860 - 6 Oct 1913
He is buried at the Mt Zion Cemetary at the Mt Zion Methodist Church, Mt Zion WV.

Item from the Calhoun Chronicle, Thursday October 16, 1913

Altizer News

French and Ferrell Gibson started for Akron, Ohio, the first of last week, where they expect to spend the coming winter.

Mrs. E. Griggs, of Spencer, visited her parents and friends at this place last week.

A quiet little wedding took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Starcher Sunday, when Miss Virgie Starcher and Everett Smith, of Hur, were made man and wife.

Ed Starcher, who has been confined to his room several weeks past with typhoid fever, is recovering very slowly.

Jackson Starcher, of Claria, died at his home early Monday morning of last week, with typhoid fever. He leaves a wife and eight children to mourn their loss. The remains were laid to rest at Mt. Zion cemetery on Tuesday. Funeral services were condlucted by Rev. Stout.

Grey Wing


Linda Cunningham Fluharty Website
       Calhoun County WVGenWeb, maintained by Linda Cunningham Fluharty
              MT. ZION CEMETERY
              1870 Calhoun County Federal Census
              1880 Calhoun County WV Federal Census
              1900 Calhoun County Federal Census, Lee District #23

West Virginia Division of Culture and History
       Vital Research Records

Taped interview with Victor Starcher, 1992

Work in progress

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