Notes on Viola Gay Starcher Cogar

Viola Gay Starcher was born October 15, 1905, a daughter of Thomas Jackson and Mary E. Smith Starcher. An image of her birth record is available online AT THIS LINK.

There is evidence that Viola was married possibly five times. She never had children.

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

Viola's father Thomas J. died in 1913 when Viola was about 8. Thomas J. was 53 when he died, and Mary was 50. The death of the head of the family seems to have caused the family to scatter quite a bit.

Fred A. Starcher married Ruth Workman November 10, 1910. His family lived in Calhoun County shortly after their marriage, and he and his family moved to Barberton Ohio about 1915.

Carl Starcher married Orpha Harris in 1918. Carl and Orpha remained in Calhoun County.

Leona Starcher moved to Barberton Ohio about 1915 and married Thomas Anderson between 1917 and 1920. She died in Barberton in 1926.

Roy F. Starcher moved to Barberton Ohio about 1915 and married Mina Workman in 1920.

Mary and Viola apparently were living with Carl (Mary's son, Viola's brother) and his wife sometime after 1913 and prior to 1920.

The 1920 Federal census for Lee District, Calhoun County WV, dated January 20, 1920, 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

However, as noted on the Mary E. Smith Starcher page, mother Mary may not have been living with Carl the entire time, and was apparently living in Grantsville as early as 1919, after Jack's death, as evidenced by a journal entry by Viola.

Mary E. Smith Starcher remarried and later divorced after the death of her husband Thomas Jackson Starcher. An image of a marriage certificate available AT THIS LINK notes the marriage on October 20, 1920 of Mrs Mary E. Starcher, age 55, to I.S. Geho, age 53, born in Marshall County, son of Robert Geho, current residence given as Grantsville.

Found in Viola's personal effects is an old account book apparently owned by Viola's father T.J., with a few scattered "diary" type notations made by Viola. Apparently, Viola had expropriated this account book for her own use.

The notation reproduced at the right was made January 8, 1920. Viola would have been 14 years old at the time. This notation suggests that Mary was living in Grantsville in 1919 to 1920. It is not certain where Viola was at that time - presumably living with Carl and Orpha. She does not appear to be living with her mother.

January 8, 1920
It is raining today so I didnt
go to school to-day. Mamma
was home Christmas
December 25, 1919 and she
came on Tuesday and stayd
till on Sunday and went
back to Mr Lov Balls at
Grantsville W.Va. Mr.
I.S. Geho brought her home.

An image of what may be the documentation of Viola's first marriage on August 1, 1920 to a James Johnson is reproduced AT THIS LINK. Of note, her age on this certificate is given as 16. However, in view of the fact that she was born on October 15, 1905, and this marriage took place August 1, 1920, it would seem that Viola was actually 14 going on 15. There is a possibility that this in not the Viola Starcher under consideration here; suffice it to say that this record indicates the parents of this Viola Starcher as Mary Starcher and this writer has been unable to find another Viola Starcher of that approximate age whose mother's name was Mary.

This notation reproduced at the right was made June 3, 1922. Viola would have been 16 years old at the time. Note that she identifies herself as Viola Starcher. If indeed she married James Johnson in 1920, this marriage was apparantly brief.

Written by Viola Starcher
on June 3, 1922
I came to I.S. Geho's
on April 25, 1920 and
he got me one 1 white
skirk, 1 pair white
Stockings 1 pair Slippers
1 blue dress 1 Silk
waist - 1 silk poplin
skirt - 1 panama skirt
4 suits under ware
1 corset cover 2 under
Skirts 2 gingaham
dresses 1 Shamrey
middy blouse 1 pair
brown shoes 3 pairs
every day Shoes 1 pair
brown Stockings 3
pair bribbed pair
Stockings 1 pair
overshoes 1 pair black
Stockings 2 yds red
ribbon for my hat

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

A marriage record from Summit County Ohio documents the Marriage June 2, 1926,of Viola Belkey, age 21 as of 10/15/1926, daughter of Mary Geho and T.J. Starcher, deceased, to an Evron C. Chapman, age 21 as of 6/2/26, son of Charles W. Chapman and Mary Shaffer Chapman. The record indicates that Viola is divorced, having been once married. This person seems undoubtedly to be Viola Starcher, but this writer has no clue as to how or why she is referred to as Viola Belkey.

Viola became the custodian of her nephew Thomas Anderson Jr, the son of Thomas and Leona Starcher Anderson, after Leona's death in 1926.

The 1930 Federal Census, Calhoun County West Virginia, dated April 9, 1930, indicates...

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

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

Of note, newspaper articles from the Calhoun Chronicle, archived as "Daniels Run News," which includes some news items "Barberton News," makes mention of "Viola Chapman" living in Barberton in articles from 1928. This person is undoubtedly Viola Starcher. However, her name reverts to "Viola Starcher" in November 1928.

Mary Starcher is known to have remarried to I.S. Geho in 1920, and it is known that this marriage ended in divorce, apparently before 1930. The ages for Mary, Viola, and Thomas in this census record match their known ages. (Thomas Anderson Jr was the son of Thomas and Leona Starcher Anderson. Leona died in Barberton Ohio in 1926 at age 30. Apparently, Thomas Jr. lived for a time with his aunt Viola who was also living in Barberton in 1923). Apparently, Viola and "Junior" moved back to Grantsville and were living with Viola's mother Mary in 1930.

Viola is known to have married Leonard Nutter on May 17, 1930 (which would be a few weeks after the date of the above noted census).

This letter reproduced to the right, found in ther personal effects of Viola Starcher Cogar, was written by Mary in Barberton and mailed to Viola in July 1930. Mary mentions "Junior" (thought to be Thomas Anderson Jr) and Leonard, Viola's husband as of May 17, 1930.

July the 27 1930
970 North View Ave Barberton Ohio
Dear Viola i wil answer your
letter how is every body we are
all Well only Wilburn but he
was better Friday i was there
The soda ash had a picknick
at Sumit Beach park i went
with Freds we had a nice
time ruth took supper
We had a good time i am
peaceing a quilt it only
take 12 squares for a quilt
We had a good rain yesterday
even Well how are you and
Junior getting a long what
is leonard a getting a long
tell me al the nuse is
he got work yet i is ofly
hot out here People is sufern with heat i dont mine
it much Stella told me that tom anderson was
in a reak and was hurt

prety bad his face was cut
prety bad had to have it sold
up i hant heard how he is
now i think Freds are coming
down the 9 of August he was
talking a bout it well tell
me al the news i cant
think of nothing to write

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
kloving mother bye bye.

Augest the 9 1930
Dear Viola Junor i wil try
and wright you a few lines
we are Well only Stella
she was sick yesterday but
is beter to day Freds are on
there way down to WVa
i went down to Freds
thursday eaveing and
stayed al night Well Viola
i peaste a nuff quilt
squares for a quilt and
i got a $1.00 for it i am going
to peace a nuther one for
the same Woman Well Viola
we went to a picknick
last sunday the 3 i had
a good time they was 14 of
us and 3 children they
pitchd horse shoes and
played Ball We had a nice
diner We certnly had a
nice time Well Viola

Stella wants me to stay
with them this winter Ray
said i could stay as long
as i wanted to 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 come
down tell him to Bee a good
Boy and mind Antie and
learnard kiss him for me
Viola dont whip him very
hard he liks you to pet him
take good care of my flours
that you got me Mother day
Well i never toled inda nestor
i was going to work up
here i hant seen her since
last winter to talk to her
only when she was at our
house you know when
that was well tell me all
the news get along the best you can
dont tell Ruth any thing about
your trouble with lenard Mother

jan the 21 1931
970 North View ave
Dear Viola and Jr i thought
i would try to wright you a
few lines we are al well
except Bad cole i hope
you are all well tell Jr
that he must Bee good
and mind anty and uncle
lenard and learn his Books
and mind the teacher and
they al wil like you Well
Viola i got somes nice things
for Christmas Ray got me a pair
house slipers Wilburn sent
me a Bag like Stella only it
is deep Blue lined with
Pink it is ofly Prety i got a
silk cap a silk scarf Well
i have Bin peacin quilts i
have peaced twelve quilts
i pleaced Ray 5 i sold one

Well Viola if you
here any thing that
people says any thing a
Bout you dont tell them
you now They Will lie out
of it and dont have
any thing to do With them
people Bore you if you
hear any thing let it
go out one ear and out
the other dont pay at
tention to them
Well it is ofly cold
up here to day Viola
my rose is 24 inches big
my ------------
--------- the ones miss Sturms
gave me is groing them
that miss Cockes gave me
died did any of my flours
die Where i left did my
cacfetus Bloom Stella did
and mines did from mother

An image of the documentation of another marriage (the fourth?) on May 17, 1930 to a Leonard Nutter is reproduced AT THIS LINK. (Note: The age of the Viola G. Starcher (divorced) given on this record is 35 years -- 10 years too old). See also marriage announcement in Daniels Run News.

The photograph above 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

Viola married Glen Cogar on May 7, 1937. Glen was born March 26, 1908, the son of Noah and Ora Cogar. An image of their marriage certificate is reproduced AT THIS LINK. Of note, the last name on this document is spelled "Coger" instead of "Cogar." Also, again Viola's age seems a bit off -- by a couple of years.

Glen and Viola apparantly lived in Barberton for a time. Of note, the postcard from Thomas Anderson dated 1944 is to Viola Cogar at a Barberton address.

They later moved to Lockney, West Virginia, where they were living at the time of Glen's death March 5, 1971. Glen worked for Consolidated Gas Supply, and he and Viola maintained a farm. Of note, his name given on his death certificate is Sabern Glen Cogar, b. 3/26/09, d. 3/5/71, son of Noah David Cogar and Ora Ethel Bosley Cogar.

Some notion of Glen and Viola's enterprises in Lockney can be discerned from the notice of the estate auction after Glen's death, found in Viola's personal effects, reproduced below:

Glen and Viola Starcher Cogar

Glen and Viola

Obituary of Glen Cogar

Glen Cogar, 62, of Lockney, died suddenly at his home Friday, March 5, following a brief illness.

He was born in Braxton County, son of the late Noah and Ora Cogar. He was retired from Consolidated Gas Supply Co., and was a stockman and farmer.

Surviving are his widow, Viola Cogar; four brothers, Emory and Clarence Cogar of Akron, Robert Cogar of Westmorland City, Pa., and Wirt Cogar of Erwin, Pa.; six sisters, Mrs. Nettie Turner of Glenville, Mrs. Delvia Matthews of Fairmont, Mrs. Marie Detar and Mrs. Lula Ralph, both of Erwin, Pa., Mrs Estella Carson, Tuscon, Ariz., and Mrs. Mildred Kunkle of Manner, Pa.

Funeral services were held Monday, March 8, at the Stump funeral home with the Rev. Ray Bartlett officiating. Burial was in the Turner cemetery at Lockney.

After Glen's death, Viola moved to Arnoldsburg West Virginia where she was living at the time of her death. She stayed active in community events, senior citizen events, and enjoyed working with children at the nearby Arnoldsburg School as a "foster grandparent."

Viola died June 10, 2001. In later years, Viola relied on her niece, Justine Starcher Miller, to assist her with affairs, trips to the doctor, etc. When Viola died, Justine came in to possession of a number of Viola's personal effects. On the passing of Justine, Viola's effects have come in to the possession of this writer, Justine's son. Many of the photos and other documents included on this website come from the "Viola Starcher Cogar Archive."

Obituary from The HurHerald, edited by Bob Weaver

Viola Gay Starcher Cogar, 95, of Arnoldsburg, died June 10th 2001 in Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center, Grantsville.

Born at Claria, Daniels Run Community, she was the daughter of the late Thomas Jackson and Mary Elizabeth Smith Starcher. She was a homemaker, an avid quilt maker and served as a foster grandmother at the Arnoldsburg Elementary School.

She is survived by several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Glen Cogar; sisters, Stella Craig, Leona Anderson and Minnie Starcher; brothers, Charlie, Allen, Fred, Carl, Roy and two infant twin brothers, Vianis and Vitalis Starcher.

Funeral services will be conducted on Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Stump Funeral Home in Arnoldsburg with the Rev. Blaine Cook officiating. Interment will be in the Mt. Zion Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home one hour prior to services.

Viola in later years, at home at Arnoldsburg West Virginia


HurHerald, edited by Bob Weaver
       Viola Gay Starcher Cogar obituary

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