Edmund C. and Belle Jones Starks Papers
Kentucky Historical Society. Special Collections & Archives.Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-1931
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[Identification of item], Edmund C. and Belle Jones Starks Papers, 1863-1894, 92SC62,Library Special Collections and Archives, Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort.
Edmund (Ed) Starks was born in Marshall County in 1845. He enlisted in the U. S. Army at sixteen at the outbreak of the Civil War, giving his occupation as "farmer." Starks won promotion to corporal and later to first lieutenant in Company D of the 15th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry. Following his discharge, he settled in Murray and married Isabella Virginia (Belle) Jones in 1865. In Murray, Starks worked as a grocer and hardware merchant. He also held office as mayor and police judge.
The Starks moved to Fulton in 1873. Ed Starks also operated a hardware business there. He also held the positions of mayor and police judge in Fulton, serving almost twenty years. Due to ill health, he briefly moved to Peirce City, Missouri, where he edited The Daily Democrat newspaper. After returning to Fulton, Starks became joint proprietor and editor of a weekly, The Fultonian (also known as The Weekly Fultonian). Ed Starks died in Fulton in 1894.
These are papers of Edmund C. Starks and his wife, Belle Jones Starks, of western Kentucky. The collection includes some early material related to Ed Starks' service in the Civil War. A document appointing Starks a corporal in 1863 is present, along with a discharge from the army as a corporal later the same year. Two other documents concern Starks' mustering out as a lieutenant towards the end of the war. An undated photograph of Civil War vintage shows Starks in uniform.
Other papers in the collection include business letters concerning unspecified claims; a group of letters, dated 1893, from friends and associates to President-Elect Grover Cleveland recommending Starks' appointment as pension agent for Kentucky; a letter by another friend to Congressman W. J. Stone seeking a government position for Starks; and 1894 letters of condolence at Starks' death to Belle Starks. Ed Starks held memberships in the Knights of Honorand the International Order of Odd Fellows. The collection includes an 1883 Knights of Honor benefit certificate for a death benefit to be paid to his widow, and an 1874 document releasing Starks in good standing from the Murray Odd Fellows Lodge so he could join a local lodge elsewhere.
Miscellaneous material includes another undated photograph of a group of men and boys, taken in Peirce City by a photographer named W. A. Duncan. An accompanying note identifies Ed Starks but no one else. There are also clippings from Starks' Fulton newspaper near the time of his death; undated clippings of nineteenth-century engravings of houses, churches, unidentified men, and other scenes; and biographical and provenance information for Ed Starks and the collection. An epaulet, presumably from Starks' Civil War army uniform, is in the collection.
Provenance: The collection was donated to the Kentucky Historical Society by Hazel Burton McCoy of St. Louis, Missouri, in memory of her great-aunt, Belle Starks, through the Captain Wendell Oury Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Murray.
Occupation: Mayor, judge, newspaper editor and publisher, grocer, merchant.
County: McCracken; Calloway; Fulton
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