Search billions of records on

This website designed by Clovis LaFleur


Aaron Stark Family Chronicles



Last Update: August 23, 2015 Webmaster: Clovis LaFleur <> Click HERE to see Copyright & Disclaimer.

1909 Stark Family Association Yearbook


Yearbooks Home Page


------ [1902] [1903] [1904] [1905] ------ [1907] [1908] [1909] [1910]
[1911] [1912 [1913] [1914] [1915] [1916] [1917] [1918] [1919] [1920]
[1921] [1922] [1923] [1924] [1925] [1926] [1927] [1928] [1929] [1930]


Editor's Introduction


Charles R. Stark, the Association Historian, presented some rather interesting background on the difference between the Puritans and Pilgrims. He made comments about Aaron, the Connecticut family progenitor; some accurate, while others have proven to be inaccurate. He discusses the sons of Aaron and the migration of several of the descendant families of these sons. There is some discussion of the family origin, but related to the Glasgow, Scotland Stark families.

Portraits and sketches are presented. Nebraska Congressman William Ledyard Stark is presented and contributed a section entitled "Reminiscences." Other sketches are James R. Clark, Thomas Benton Kelley, and Benjamin Graves Allen.


Clovis LaFleur,

September, 2008   

Table of Contents


Officers................................................................ 6
Report of the Secretary......................................... 7-10
Report of the Treasurer.......................................... 10
Report of the Historian.......................................... 11-21
William Ledyard Stark Portrait............................... 22
William Ledyard Biographical Sketch..................... 23
Reminiscences by William Ledyard Stark............... 24-27
James R. Clark Portrait........................................ 28
James R. Clark Biographical Sketch...................... 29-30
Thomas Benton Kelley Biographical Sketch............ 31-36
Thomas Benton Kelley Portrait.............................. 32
Benjamin Graves Allen Biographical Sketch............ 37-39
Members of Association........................................ 42-45 
Attended Reunion................................................. 45


Page 6






(Re-elected 1909-1910)



MoREAU J. StARK, North Plain, Conn.



W. H. GEER, Yantic, Conn. R. F. D. 1.

CHARLES R. STARK, 44 Chapin Ave., Providence, R. I.

CHARLES S. JEWETT, North Lyme, Conn.


Secretary and Treasurer

MARY FANNY CLARK, Colchester, Conn.



CHARLES R. STARK, Providence, R. I.









Page 7

Report of the Secretary



THE first meeting of the Stark Family Association was held August 13, 1895, with twenty-three members of the family present. Each year has seen new additions, and up to 1909 there had been one hundred and sixty-six names enrolled on our book. During the past year fifteen new members have joined us. Our number has now grown so large and we are such widely scattered family that a slight introduction to new members may not be amiss. The last Annual contained a brief sketch of one of the first on the list, Harold M. Stark, Genealogist of the New Hampshire and Virginia lines. The present book gives a sketch of Thomas Benton Kelley. In the Aaron Stark line belongs Charles L. Stark of Norwich, Conn., for upwards of thirty years connected with the firm of Reid & Hughes, one of the leading dry goods houses of that city. Mr. Stark has taken considerable interest in genealogical research in his own line. Mr. and Mrs. James E. Stark of Brooklyn, N. Y., have met with us at the last two reunions. Mrs. A. B. Crafts has until recently lived in Westerly, R. I., where her husband was a leading lawyer. Dexter W. Stark of Tunkhannock, Pa., is President of the Winola Worsted yarn Co., of that city.


Page 8

Edger Stark of Cincinnati, Ohio, Trust Officer of the Union Savings Bank and Trust Co. of that city, his son William Ault Stark, and his daughter, Mrs. Marie Stark Pentlarge of Wyoming, Ohio, are descendants of William Trammel Stark, who was born in Loudon County, Virginia.

Mrs. Elisabeth McElroy Hope of Chattanooga, Tenn., is the wife of a prominent physician there. Washington Stark of Missouri, now seventy-seven years of age, has for the past thirty years, since its establishment, been president of Windsor, Mo., Bank. His son, Lewis W. Stark, is an extensive farmer and business man, much interested in tracing family history. Martha W. Stark of Louisiana, Mo., the home of the great fruit growers, belong in this line also, descendants of Judge James Stark, born in Kentucky, 1792, migrated from New Hampshire.

William B. Stark of Conway, Ark., is another new member.

The fourteenth Annual Reunion of the Association was held Aug. 19, 1909. A family of forty-five met together at the Golden Spur Inn, East Lyme, Conn. the day was very pleasant, following several rainy ones, and was all that could be wished for, for general comfort or for travel. The spirits of all seemed to be in keeping with the day and freedom and sociability reigned. Promptly at Twelve o'clock we all



Page 9

sat down to a bountiful and well-prepared shore dinner. The tables were prettily decorated with flowers. One long table extended the length of the dining hall, with smaller tables at the side. The hall is somewhat of a pavilion and the bounteousness of sunshine and air gave us added zest.

After dinner the business meeting was called. the reports of the various officers were read and accepted by the members. The deficit in the treasury was met by voluntary contribution. The Historian presented an outline of the the family history, and reported about one thousand names added during the past year to his already extensive genealogical compilation. Letters of regret were noted from members of the family in California, Illinois, Iowa and many States nearer. The officers of the past year were re-elected. Following was a brief discussion as to the advisability of meeting next year in Mystic. The matter was left with the executive committee, and the meeting adjourned.

There were several with us who had not attended the reunion before. a good number joined the Association, and at the close of the day sixty were enrolled as members for the coming year.

Mr. James R. Clark of Maunie, Ill., notes a peculiar coincidence, namely: that the Stark Family Association of Connecticut held its "fourteenth Annual Reunion" at East Lyme, Conn. Aug. 19, 1909: that the



Page 10

Stark Family Association of Pennsylvania held its "fourteenth Annual Reunion" at East Lemon, Pa., Aug. 14, 1909, and that the Fancher Family association (all of whom are Stark Descendants), held their "Fourteenth Annual Reunion" near Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 1, 1909. At the reunion of the last named Association he was present in the capacity of Historian. These several related associations organized the same season without any personal knowledge of each other.


Report of the Treasurer 




Balance in treasury Aug. 19.............. $1.67

Receivedfrom membership fees......... 41.00

Received for two halftone cuts............  4.00

                                                     ____ $46.67

Paid for stationary & postage..........   $1.25

Paid for printing 125 reports...............34.30

Paid for two halftone cuts.................   4.00

Paid for one map..........................      3.00

Paid for printing 150 reunion invitations.1.75

                                                     ____ $51.73


Deficit  ..........................................              $5.06





Page 11

Report of the Historian



IT is a difficult task for the Historian to present something fresh and crisp at each annual gathering and have it pass muster as history. It is comparatively easy to draw on fancy and to weave a fabric pleasing to the senses, but having little relation to the facts. I have thought it better to-day to present to you an outline of our family history, hoping that those present may be stimulated to aid in filling the vacant spaces, and that many not present may be moved to "go and do likewise." The most important thing lacking at the present time for our family history is a starting point. At present it is the aim of the most ambitious antiquarians (?) to trace back to the "Mayflower," and it is a worthy ambition. But comparatively few of our Connecticut families go back to Plymouth. Connecticut was principally settled by colonists from the Bay, and it is well for us to keep clearly in mind the distinction between Pilgrims and Puritans. Even as well informed a historian as our ex-President Roosevelt mixed the two classes in his speech at Provincetown, and , I fear, perpetuated the misunderstandings which always have existed between the Dutch and English. The settlers of Massachusetts

Page 12

Bay are said by one historian to have been the most remarkable body of men that ever came to this country at one period. Of the eight hundred who came with Gov. Winthrop, or at about the same time, ninety or more were university men, men of keen intellect, men of affairs, men who were urged to remain in England. They differed from the Pilgrims in that they were not exiles for their religious opinions: they had not cut loose entirely from the Established Church, but, as their name implies, they sought to purity it from the abuses which had crept in, abuses of form and ceremony. England at this time was divided into three classes or parties, the Established or High Church, the Puritans or Low Church, and they the element represented by the Pilgrims, which cut loose from the Church altogether and sought to establish a new church on what they considered a Scriptural basis. The Pilgrims came primarily on religious grounds: the Puritans came as a business venture, bringing their religion with them, as any good business men should. Circumstances changed the character of the puritans. The difficulties of government of a new state surrounded by hostile neighbors and receiving constant additions of adventurers from aboard, called for the greatest wisdom, and this was naturally looked for among the educated members of the community, who were also the religious leaders. The union of Church and State which resulted, led to a




Page 13

degree of intolerance as great or greater than ever had prevailed in Old England. Soon after the settlement of Boston and the surrounding towns differences of opinion led to separation, and the mild and gentle Hooker led his congregation through the wilderness to Hartford and began the settlement of this good State.

Soon after the settlement came the life and death struggle with the Pequot's, and in the little army of John Mason we first find Aaron Stark. Whether he had already settled in Connecticut or whether he was one of the twenty men who served with Underhill has not yet been proved.* The late Benjamin Stark of New London believed that he came into Connecticut about the same time as Thomas Miner, as the first knowledge we have of him is as Thomas Miner's neighbor in Stonington.** He was apparently a religious man, as Miner's diary speaks of services being held at his house before the First Congregational Church was formed in Stonington. That he was a man of means*** is indicated by the fact that he purchased the farm of Thompson, the Indiana missionary, which was located on Stark's Hill, in what was then New London, our present Groton. As to his religious belief, we know nothing: but his son William was a Baptist and in his house was organized the first Baptist Church in Connecticut. He gave the land on which their first meeting house was built, and also gave the


*Editor's Comment: Later research has revealed Aaron was not one of the twenty men who served with Underhill.

**Editor's Comment: At the time Aaron became Miner's neighbor he was in servitude to John Mason, overseeing John Mason's land grant. Click HERE to review.

***Editor's Comment: While living on Mason's land grant, Aaron was not a man of means. The Thompson Property (purchased in 1664) had been sold by the Connecticut Court to pay off Thompson's debt of 29 before he moved to Virginia. Aaron may have received assistance from John Mason to make the purchase of about 29.



Page 14

location and built a house for Valentine Wightman, the pastor of the church. His brother, John, lived in New London, and at one time was lessee of the old Winthrop mill; and I believe that he was buried in the ground adjoining the old Pepper Box Church, which was the first Baptist Church in that part of New London which is now the town of Waterford, having probably been a deacon in this church. John Stark is known to have had but two daughters, and no effort has been made to follow their line beyond the first generation, and, in fact, this rule is followed throughout.*

The male line of Aaron Stark, Jr., has been traced, and also that of William.

Aaron Stark, 2nd (son of Aaron Stark, Jr.), moved to New Jersey, where May 29, 1744, he was residing in Roxbury, Morris County. From him there sprung numerous progeny, several of whom have been traced. His descendants are many of them in the West. His brothers, Stephen, John, and Abiel, have been traced. Silas, a son of the latter, having married Jerusha (Perkins) Hyde, of whose descendants we have a good line. the late descendants of Stephen are not fully accounted for: it is believed that he was the grandfather of Capt. Dudley Stark**, who was lost in the ship "John Minturn" in the forties. Capt. Stark was the father of Mrs. D. D. Mallory of Mystic. William Stark's line has also been traced through his


*Editor's Comment: The mentioned John Stark (son of Aaron Stark, Sr.) died before July 9, 1690   before the 1st Baptist Church in Connecticut was organized by William Stark in 1704. The John Stark of Pepper Box Church (organized at a much later date) was a nephew of this John and a son of Aaron Stark, Jr.

**Source: Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations, by Charles R. Stark, published 1927, page 87. Captain Dudley Stark followed the sea from his early youth, and at the time of his death was in command of the packet ship "John Minturn," bound from New Orleans to New York. On approaching Sandy Hook he was boarded by a pilot to whom he observed that as the weather was threatening he thought it best to wear ship and stand off shore. The pilot, however, thought they could make the Hook before the storm should break, but they were overtaken by a fierce blizzard and the ship was driven on to Squam Beach and nearly the whole ship's company perished. Captain Stark, his wife and two children, his mate, John Leeds, husband of Emily Stark, were among the lost. The pilot's memory is perpetuated by the pilot's monument in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N. Y.


Page 15

son, Christopher, who migrated to Duchess County, New York, about 1750, from whom comes S. Judson Stark, who has done so much in the line of Stark family history; also the large Pennsylvania connections. A daughter, Elizabeth, married Samuel Treat. Through William, Jr., comes the line of Moses, who moved into New Hampshire and who has been the unconscious cause of much mixture of our family with that of Gen. John Stark of that same State. Also in this line comes Zephaniah, whose descendant are widely scattered through Michigan, having gone into that State after a residence in Nova Scotia. another son, William, was the progenitor of the late Hon. Benjamin Stark of New London. and so we could go on spreading out indefinitely.

Now as to the origin of the family. A late correspondence with John D. Stark of Baker City, Ore., brings to light the statement that his father, James Stark, came to America in 1844 from Shepton Mallet, England. he was one of a large family, having brothers, Aaron, John, William and others. To my knowledge this is the first clue of similarity of names with the family on the other side of the water. I have also had some very interesting correspondence with Lewis W. Stark, of Windsor, Mo., who claims to be 

Page 16

investigating the origin of the family aboard. He is perfectly familiar with the reputed origin of the name having been given to one of the Muirhead family, but says that the word "Stark" is of much older origin; that the German word "Stark" was in the old Muirhead coat of arms as a motto and came with him when he came from Germany. He says that he wore three acorns on his breast in war, another emblem of the same word "Stark" or strength. He also says that Robert Bruce gave the chevron, which signified upright dealing or square dealing with all mankind; the specks in it, drops of blood, signifying life blood shed for country. King James II, of Scotland gave the name John Stark to one of the Muirheads for his bravery, giving him a bull's head with dexter arm grasping it, and that one Stark, Bishop of Glasgow, for his defense of the Church, Civil and State Law, was given a twisted scroll, signifying Church, Civil and State law, in his coat of arms.

We have the material in hand for a good-sized volume, if sufficient interest should be manifested in its publication.

Mr. Harold M. Stark advises me that he has nearly ready for the press the Stark Family History of the New Hampshire and Virginia branches, and asks the co-operation of our Association in publishing this material. Up to date no connection has been positively proved between those families and our own.*


*Editors Comment:  Contrary to the beliefs of these early researchers, the Stark Family Y-DNA Project has clearly verified the descendants of Aaron Stark are not  related to the descendants of the New Hampshire and Virginia families; and these test have further suggested there is a measure of relatedness of the New Hampshire families to the Virginia families. To see an analysis of those participants in the Project who are descendants of Aaron Stark [1608-1685], click HERE.



Page 17

Died in New London, Aug. 16, 1908, Elizabeth Frances Stark, daughter of Frances and the late Richard R. Stark, aged forty-one years, lacking six days; a niece of the late Hon. Benjamin Stark.

Charles Gager Stark died at Poland Springs, Me., Sept. 20, 1908. He was the seventh son of Rev. Jedediah and Hannah (Gager) Stark, being born at Brattleboro, Vt., May 22, 1835. As a boy of nineteen he went to Milwaukee, engaging in the carpet business, in which he continued until 1903, passing through the various grades of clerk, partner and corporation president, building up a large and successful business. Mr. Stark will be missed in many circles, which his genial presence had adorned. He was intimately identified with  much of the finer social life of the city. Of a commanding figure and gracious, kindly manners, with a polish belonging to the "old school," he was a man to attract notice in any company, and the genuineness of his qualities place him in the rare class of those who improve upon acquaintance. without narrowness of sympathy, he was an energetic believer of the Old Settlers' Club and of the Sons of the American Revolution and other patriotic societies. He was identified with the beginnings of the Milwaukee merchants' Association and the Milwaukee Industrial Exposition. At the time of his death he was a director  

Page 18

of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and interested in other enterprises which have grown with the growth of Milwaukee, and helped to promote that growth. In 1898, as a memorial of his brother Edward, Mr. Stark established the manual training school at the Protestant Orphan Asylum. He was a prominent member of Plymouth Congregational Church. He is survived by a widow and one brother, Joshua Stark. A full account of his life appeared in the annual report of 1905.

 Dr Gillis Stark*, a leading physician and a great-great-grandson of Gen. John Stark of Revolutionary fame, died suddenly at his home in Manchester, N. H., Dec. 13, 1908, of apoplexy, aged forty-three years. He was stricken at 5: 30 and died shortly before 8 o'clock. Dr. Stark was born in Manchester, the son of Fredrick G. and Anna B. (Hutchinson) Stark. He received his education in the local schools and at the Dartmouth Medical College, graduating from the latter institution in 1889. Dr. Stark for two years represented Ward 8 in the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. In 1893 he married Miss Gertrude M. Hall of Windham, Me., who survives him.

Died in Mystic, Conn., Saturday, April 3, 1909, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Rathbun) Stark*, widow of Capt. Henry Sanford Stark. Mrs.. Stark was born in Mystic Feb. 9, 1826, the tenth in a family of twelve


 *Lineage: John Muirhead/Stark1; John2; William3; William4; John5; John6; John7; Archibald8; Major General John Stark9; John Stark10 who married Mary Huse; Albert Gallatin Stark11; Frederick Gallatin Stark12 m. Betsy Ann Hutchinson; Gillis Stark13.

**Editor's Comment:  Was the mother of Charles Rathbone Stark, the 1909 Historian and author of this article.



Page 19

children of Deacon Elisha and Lucretia (Packer) Rathbun. Converted at the early age of thirteen, she united with what was then the Second Baptist Church in Groton, in 1839, and continued a member of that church and the Union Baptist Church, its successor, for over seventy years. She was actively engaged in all church work, being a regular attendant upon the Sunday services and interested in  its other activities until her advancing years forbade. Aug. 10, 1843, she was married to Capt. Henry Sanford Stark, who died Oct. 29, 1857. A considerable portion of her married life was spent at sea with her husband, she having made a number of trips to the South, her last voyage with him being around Cape Horn to San Francisco and the Sandwich Islands. Four children were born to them, viz., Elizabeth Frink, Charles Rathbone, Sanford and Simeon Ashbey; the latter died in infancy, the other three survive her. Her daughter and younger son residing in the West, she divided her time between the members of her family, and thus became quite a traveler, making frequent journeys to the West, something in which she delighted, and followed to within a year or two of her death. She was of a cheerful, sunny disposition and had a host of friends in all walks of life.

Died in Alton, Ill., Saturday, Aug. 10, 1909, John Frederick Randall*, aged seventy years. Mr. Randall


 *Editor's Comment: Was the brother-in-law of Charles Rathbone Stark, the 1909 Historian and author of this article.


Page 20




was the son of Isaac and Adelia (Miner) Randall and was born in Mystic April 13, 1839. After passing through the public schools he fitted for college at Suffield, entering Yale in the class of 1864. while pursuing his studies there he heard the call of his country and enlisted Aug. 7, 1862, and was made Second Lieutenant of Company C, Twenty-first Connecticut Volunteers. being later promoted to First Lieutenant. After the death of his brother, Capt. Jed Randall of Company K, Twenty-sixth Connecticut Volunteers, from wounds received at Port Hudson, he resigned from the army to assist in his father's business. After the close of the war he for a time engaged in business in the South, but finally settled in St. Louis, where he associated himself with Martin Collins in the insurance business, in which he continued over forty-five years, being at the time of his death one of the oldest insurance agents in that city. Mr. Randall united with the Second Baptist Church in St. Louis, and again to the Baptist Church in Alton, of which church he was one of the deacons at the time of his death, for many years superintendent of the Sunday School and chairman of the music committee. he was a trustee of Shurtleff College and had served on the school board in Alton for several terms. His strict integrity, high moral principle, cultured




Page 21

genial nature and his broad Christian charity made him extremely popular in all circles in which he moved and his loss is deeply felt in his family, in the church and community and by his business associates. He was a member of the Loyal Legion, Sons of the American Revolution, Society of Colonial Wars and of the G. A. R. A detachment of Ransom Post, St. Louis, conducted the burial service in Alton. He left a widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Frink (Stark) Randall*, and two daughters, Adelia Miner and Julia Davenport, his oldest child, Mary Stark, having died in childhood.

 Selden Stark Wightman** passed peacefully away June 25, 1909, at his residence in Norwich, Conn. He was born in Bozrah, Conn., his parents being Deacon Charles and Prudence (Stark) Wightman. At the age of eighteen he joined the Baptist Church at Scott Hill. Dec. 16, 1857, he married Miss Prudence Allyn, who survived him but five weeks, her death occurring Aug. 2, 1909. Mr. Wightman was a well-known farmer in Bozrah until 1888, when he removed to Norwich. He is survived by four children, two sons and two daughters, viz., Byron A. Wightman of Norwich, Elijah S. Wightman of Schenectady, N. Y., Mrs. William S. Geer of Norwich and Mrs. Arthur C. Fuller of New London. He also leaves four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He was a man of sterling worth, a true friend, a kind and affectionate husband and father. His cheerfulness, his patience, his Christian fortitude and his abiding trust in God during his long and tedious illness endeared him to his many friends.


 *Editor's Comment: Was the sister of Charles Rathbone Stark, the 1909 Historian and author of this article.

**Lineage: Aaron1; William2; William3; Daniel4; Zophar5; Prudence Stark6 married Deacon Charles Wightman; Selden Stark Wightman7


Page 22





William Ledyard Stark




Page 23




William Ledyard Stark


William Ledyard Stark, Fusionist of Aurora, Neb., was born in Mystic, Conn., July 29, 1853; graduated from Mystic Valley Institute at Mystic, Conn., in 1872; afterwards went to Wyoming, Stark County, Ill.; taught school and clerked in a store; attended the Union College of Law, Chicago, Ill., for eighteen months, during which time he was connected with the office of the late G. Gilbert Gibbons; was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of Illinois in January, 1878; removed to Aurora, Neb., in February, 1878; was superintendent of the city schools for nearly two years; Deputy District Attorney for two years; appointed once and elected five times Judge of the County Court of Hamilton County, Neb; declined a sixth nomination for that office in 1890; served as Major and Judge Advocate General of the Nebraska National Guard; was elected to the Fifty-fifth and Fifty-sixth Congresses, and re-elected to the Fifty-seventh Congress, being the candidate of the People's Independent Democratic and Silver Republican parties.


 *Lineage: Aaron1; William2; William3; Daniel4; Daniel5; Sanford6; Albert7; William Ledyard Stark8 married Ida Gertrude Ellsworth.





Page 24



(by) William Ledyard Stark


 It was my good fortune to be born a Stark, and at Mystic, Conn., on July 29, 1853. As far back as I can remember I was a regular attendant at the Union Baptist Church, and, being perhaps of an uneasy disposition, I was as watchful of the tithing men as I was of the sermon.

I used to go sailing, rock weeding and clamming at every opportunity, and had many startling adventures. I can recall an incident where Mr. Jesse D. Crary, now of Mystic and New York, and myself were partners in securing a load of kelp, but our avarice and greed were so great that we overloaded the scow and sunk her. Our mutual pains and troubles in raising that coaster taught us a most salutary lesson, not to overdo things.

I well remember Ann Augusta Murphy, Thomas H. Packer, Deacon William Potter and John K. Bucklyn, all of blessed memory, who were each charged as a public duty to educate and assist in my development, and after a few attempts of the gentle and persuasive sort they put me in the "Lickin' and Larnin'" class. After years of mature reflection, it is my judgment they made no mistake.

In the Good old New England environment, I finally reached the age of Twenty years, and while I have been





Page 25

told that it was narrow, near and bigoted, yet I now declare that after a good deal of worldly wise experience, I know of no place better to bring out what is really in a boy and lay the sure foundation of character than in the surroundings of New England. For after all, being true to a high purpose and having courage to live up to your ideals makes the man who stands for something and is of real use to his fellows in this life.

When about twenty years old, I contracted what the Germans call a severe and aggravated case of "wanderlust" and I started West in search of adventure. The first port I made was Wyoming, Ill., where I clerked in a store for my cousins, Mr Charles R. Stark of Providence, R. I., and Mr. Sanford Stark, now of Scottsbluff, Neb. With some money I had saved and some financial assistance furnished me by my Grandmother Stark, I attended the Union College of Law at Chicago, and was admitted to the bar of Illinois Jan. 2, 1878.

In February, 1878, I found myself in Hamilton County, Neb., at which time I made a recovery from the "wonderlust" and put myself to the task of being a permanent citizen. In Looking back, it seems plain that that resolution must have been reached by the confidence of youth and not by any logical process, for here was a prairie country probably there is no better agricultural  county in the United States sixteen hundred miles

Page 26

from home folks, not a relative in the State and no capital. How could my knowledge of fishing, kelping and rock weeding be put to practical use here? In my youth I was a "fancy" stone picker as means to go to the circus and other diversions. Here not a stone to be found in the whole county as big as a clam shell. Never had hold of a plow handle, never bound a stanchion, fed cattle, nor did chores. My sole capital was good health, good cheer and a desire to do something. At that time I gave another hostage to fortune. I go married to a wonderful nice woman of good old Connecticut and Vermont stock who had just arrived "at the front" from Malone, N. Y., fresh from her studies at the academy, who was an organist and solo alto at the Baptist Church of that place. For our wedding tour we went to the railroad, which was twenty-four miles away, had dinner at the principal hotel started in the morning, got back the same evening. The daily balance showed, cash available, $7.50 after paying for the license, the parson, and the honeymoon trip.

Babes in the Woods had mild adventures alongside of some that befell us. Not a railroad in the county, sparsely settled, genuine frontier except that the Indians had departed. It was a great tryout. Those at the front must be neighborly and have courage. A man's word must be kept good. It must be as good as




Page 27

his bond or the community will throw him down and put him out. it takes a whole lot of the primitive man to make good. Many of the best people in the world are at the front and many floaters.

So the years went on full of effort, full of cares, holding to the task, never looking back. And now we live at the county seat, a division point on the Burlington Route, in a good home, modern in every respect, city water, city sewage, electric lights, day and night service, telephone, and the gray-uniformed messenger of Uncle Sam delivers and gathers the mail twice a day. Instead of the farm wagon, wife and I get out occasionally and spin along the level, easy roads and to the wave of the had of the kindly friend answer with a blast of the Gabriel's horn as we go to the neighboring county to see our son and wife and our little man, our only grandchild*.

It would be weariness to tell you of our bumps and bruises, our fall-downs and get-ups. Maybe it is sufficient to tell you all about the stark and the finish. We get through some way. I don't know jus how, unless it be that blood tells.

In conclusion let me say that I wish all of the Stark kin, near and remote, the good things of this life, suggesting that good service, clear thinking and right living are the best means that I know of to a useful life and an honored name.


 *Editor's Comment: William's daughter, Hannah, died in 1901 due to an appendicitis attack. His son, Lucien Stark, had a son named Harold Ledyard Stark, born in 1908, the only grandchild of William. 



Page 28





James Rollo Clark [1842-1923]



Page 29





James R. Clark


JAMES R. CLARK of Maunie, White County, Ill., was born in Harlem Tp., Delaware County, Ohio. His mother's people (parents), William Fancher and wife, Lucy Stark, and their family immigrated from near Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pa., and settled within the limits of what later became Harlem Tp., in the fall of 1807, being the second white family to settle among the Indians within the limits of that township, Benjamin Cook and wife, Cassandra Fanning, and family of Groton, Conn., being the first, having preceded the Fancher family in the spring of the same year.

Mr. Clark's father's people (parents), Elijah Clark and wife, Mary Stark (sister of Lucy), and their family, also from near Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, settled in the same township in 1817. Mr. Clark's parents and family removed from Harlem Tp., to Westerville, Ohio in 1854, which, with the exception of eight years residence near New Plymouth, Ohio, was the home of himself and family until the settlement in his present home in 1890.

Mr. Clark's grandfather, William Fancher, and his great-grandfathers, ______  Clark and William Stark, were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. In the Civil

Page 30

War, Mr. Clark was a member of Company I, Third Regiment, Ohio National Guard, which was reorganized as Company C, One hundred and Thirty-third Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

In his collegiate instruction he was a member of the class of 1866 of Otterbein University, Westerville, Ohio, in the scientific course. it was his purpose originally to make teaching his lifework, but ill-health induced by confinement in the schoolroom wrought a change of plans. Various occupations were followed for a few years, until his final settlement on a farm, where he and his only children, two sons, Rollo S. and Walter I., are engaged in grain and stock farming under the firm name of "J. R. Clark & Sons."

Politically, Mr. Clark acknowledges no party allegiance: this means that he has never been an office seeker, and, barring a few miner offices, such as Mayor, member of the School Board, etc., of Westerville, has never held public office. In the affairs of church, he is a firm believer in a practical Christianity of the Golden Rule type, and of churches as well, but has little respect for mere sectarianism.

Mr. Clark's record: The "Clark, Fancher and Stark Genealogy," composed mostly of Stark descendants, through the Clark, Fancher, leading Stark, and some other allied family lines, is nearly completed, and when done will contain about 600 to 700 octavo pages.


Genealogy: Aaron1, William2, Christopher3, William4, Mary5, married Elisha Clark: Lucy5, married William Fancher: Isaac Clark6, married Amy Fancher6: James R. Clark7.


 Father's Lineage: Aaron1, William2, Christopher3, William4, Mary5, married Elisha Clark, Isaac Clark6 married cousin, Amy Fancher.

Mother's Lineage: Aaron1, William2, Christopher3, William4, Lucy5, married William Fancher, Amy Fancher6 married cousin, Isaac Clark.



Page 31

Thomas Benton Kelley


Thomas Benton Kelley was born in Castleton, Vt., Oct. 10, 1838, the youngest son of David Kelly of Danby, Vt., and Zanna Dixon Jones. His mother, the eldest daughter of Ephraim Jones and Rachel Stark, was the granddaughter of Capt. John Stark, who commanded the Paulet Company in the battle of Bennington, Vt. When Thomas Kelley was seven years of age the family moved to Du Page County, Illinois, and located twenty miles west of Chicago, on the Old Galena Stage road. Here his father established a post office, naming it Langdon. This he continued until the old Galena and Chicago Union Railroad was put through, some two miles away, when he moved the post office to a place named Newton and renamed the post office Danby in honor of his old birth place. This is now Glen Ellyn, Ill. Here the boy gained skill and accuracy in sorting the mails and efficiency in deciphering the many foreign letters, and after the second year he made out all the reports at the railroad station, where the office then was. In the spring of 1853, at about the age of fifteen, he went to Chicago and entered the printing office of Hon. John Wentworth, keeping the books and supervising the making up of the morning mail of the Chicago Daily Democrat. Here he remained two years or until the building of

Page 32




Thomas Benton Kelley

Page 33

Wheaton College, when he was called home to enter, his father having purchased two scholarships there. he attended college until October, 1856. From this time he was regular station and express agent at the home station till he tendered his resignation, entering the service of his country in September, 1861, in the Eighth Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, where service was rendered for three years in the Army of the Potomac. He had the privilege of listening to the great joint debate between Douglas and Lincoln in 1858. After hearing the question discussed three times he decided the matter for himself, and in 1860 joined a company of "Wide Awakes," was elected First Lieutenant, and stood in the "Old Wigwam" in Chicago when Lincoln received the nomination. He was married to Mary Amelia Kelley, eldest daughter of Smith F. Kelley and Seviah Round, Feb. 14, 1860, at their home in Rutland, Vt., having a month's leave from duties as agent at Danby, Ill. Their first son was eight and a half months old when Mr. Kelley left for the seat of war. he never saw this son again, as he passed away the the day before the battle of Antietam, in which fearful slaughter Mr. Kelley was engaged. Mr. Kelly in an account of leaving for the army says: "Being the youngest son and the only one at home, it was a struggle for my dear mother to give me up, and she could not keep the tears from coursing her cheeks, but taking my hand in her own, said in a firm, unfaltering voice, 

Page 34

'Go, my son, and God bless you. Do not forget the Stark blood flows in your veins'." The he adds: "That health and strength, with the guiding hand of an all wise Power, was ever shielding me in those trying days. I never doubted in the least. And I had the blessed privilege of knowing that my own dear mother had to her very last moment on this earth everything she desired, as her last eleven years were enjoyably passed under my own roof in the beautiful city of Rutland, Vt., she gently passing away in the room of her own choice at the advanced age of eight-seven years, with every faculty of thought and expression allotted to her to the very last breath." His diary bears the record of service in eighty-two engagements and skirmishes, losing five horses shot under him and being struck four times by lead and three times by saber during the service. On Sept. 15, 1862, he captured five Confederate soldiers alone outside our Union lines nearly three-fourths of a mile away, and on his way back to the lines he captured two more, one which was mounted (Fourth Virginia Cavalry), making seven in all. He is denied a medal, though he has some twenty affidavits on file in the War Department in Washington, D. C., because there was not a shot fired. During the winter of '63 and '64 he was detailed at Division Headquarters if Gen. W. M. Meritt, under the commissary of musters of the First Cavalry Division,     




Page 35

Army of the Potomac, having charge of the entire detail of seven clerks.

 Since the war he has lived mostly in Vermont. For sixteen years he was foreman and millwright for the Rutland Marble Co. of West Rutland. For six years he was mill foreman for Struthers & sons of Philadelphia, in construction of public buildings in that city. he was in the United States Mail Service nearly eight years under Harrison and McKinley. All his life he has been a Republican, and enjoyed a mechanical line of work, and in that way, he says, "have gained a fair enumeration, so that my family have come to adult age with a practical knowledge of the best instruction necessary to enjoyable citizenship in this great land."

Dec. 2, 1867, he joined the G. A. R. as a charter member of Roberts Post, No. 14, Department of Vermont. He served as Chaplain seven years, besides holding other responsible positions, taking great interest in the Order and never missing a single post meeting for nearly twenty years, composing and writing over forty G. a. R. songs, besides songs and stories for Spanish war comrades. Since the death of his wife in '94 he has been residing with his eldest daughter, Mrs. John Rolley of Boston. She has a daughter and one son. Mrs. George A. Brigham of Pittsfield, Vt., who has two sons, aged twelve and fourteen years, respectively, is another daughter of Mr. Kelley. Some


Page 36

twelve years since he joined the Vermont Division of G. A. R. He is now Custodian of the Vermont Association of Boston, located at Hotel Westminster, Copley Square.

 Genealogy: Aaron1, William2, William3, John4, Rachel Stark Jones5, Zanna Dixon Jones Kelley6, Thomas Benton Kelley7.

Our Historian says: "Capt. John Stark (William, William, Aaron), born 1742-9 (?)*. He probably migrated to Nova Scotia with his brothers Zephaniah and Obadiah prior to or about 1760, and after the death of Zephaniah, between 1766 and 1773, he and his brother Obadiah returned to their native country and settled in Vermont. John taking part with the colonists in their struggle for independence. He was a captain in the Vermont Militia. As this company was called out several times, doubtless it took part in the battle of Bennington. In this same company was a 'Private' John Stark, but neither this captain or private was related to General John Stark, who made his name famous upon that day. He married Eunice Adams in Canterbury, Conn., April 16, 1764. He died about Sept. 26, 1806, in South Hero, Vt. he was judge of Bennington County Court, Rutlandshire, 1778-1779.


 *Editor's Comment: Captain John Stark was born between 1722 and 1729 as recorded in a 1743 "Choice of Guardian" hearing before the courts. His father, William Stark (Junior) was deceased by 1736.




Page 37

Benjamin Graves Allen


BENJAMIN GRAVES ALLEN, the subject of this sketch, was the son of Elihu and Mary Ann (nee Graves) Allen, and was born in Utica Oneida County, New York, on the 21st day of April, 1849, his mother being the daughter of Benjamin and Mary (nee Stark) Graves. At a very early age he moved to California with his parents, and was educated in Santa Clara County, Cal., and commenced life by working on a farm, and later getting employment in a general merchandise store, where he learned merchandising in all its detail, and for more than twenty years he owned and conducted a general merchandise store in California, and later moved with his family to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was engaged in business for several years, finally moving back to California, where he became one of the founders of the Palo Alto hardware Co., of Palo alto, Cal., and since its organization has been its Secretary and Treasurer. In politics he is a staunch Republican and is an enthusiastic member of the Odd Fellows and Masonic fraternities, and for more than thirty years has held membership in Garden City Lodge, No. 142, I. O. O. F., and has enjoyed all the honors that could be conferred by the subordinate lodge, and has also held membership in San Jose Encampment, No. 34, I. O. O. F.,

Page 38





Benjamin Graves Allen

Page 39

for the same length of time. In 1871 he was married to Miss Hattie A. Ables of San Jose, Cal., who is a native daughter of California, and they have two grown sons, Edgar Elihu and William Benjamin. The latter was married to Winefred A. Jefferys, and they have two children, Lloyd, aged 6, and Edith Winefred, aged three years.

Mr. and Mrs. Allen are members of the Episcopal Church, and both have an abiding faith in the great future of California, and in the great Santa Clara Valley, amid its sunshine and flowers, they expect to pass the rest of their lives.



Genealogy: Aaron1; Aaron2, Abial3, nathan4, Mary Stark5, Mary Stark5, married Benj. Graves: Mary Ann Graves6, married Elihu Allen: Benjamin Graves Allen7.




Page 42

Members of the Association



William B. Stark Conway, Ark.
Benjamin G. Allen Palo Alto, Cal.
Mrs. B. G. Allen Palo Alto, Cal.
Nathan G. Stark 42 Williams St., New London, Conn.
Mrs. Ellen Moore Stark 42 Williams St., New London, Conn.
Mrs. Della Stark Sisson North Plains, Conn.
Moreau J. Stark North Plains, Conn.
Emily Jewett Stark North Plains, Conn.
Mrs. Mary Stark Strong North Plain, Conn.
Mrs. Harriet C. Avery Norwich Town, Conn.
Sidney E. Ackley Chester, Conn.
Mrs. Hattie Stark Ackley Chester, Conn.
Laureston M. Stark East Haddam, Conn.
Mrs. Mary Dickinson Stark East Haddam, Conn.
Ida Dickinson Stark East Haddam, Conn.
Edward D. Newbury Moodus, Conn.
Mrs. Carrie E. Newbury Moodus, Conn.
Mary Fanny Clark Colchester, Conn.
Mary Stark Clark Colchester, Conn.
Charles F. Geer Norwichtown, Conn.
Charles Stark North Lyme, Conn.
Mrs. Julia Richmond Stark North Lyme, Conn.
Mrs. Mary Williams Fenn Meriden, Conn.
Elwood D. Lathrop 26 Pearl St., Mystic, Conn.
Mrs. Elwood D. Lathrop 26 Pearl St., Mystic, Conn.
Hattie E. Stark Central Village, Conn.


Page 43

William H. Geer R. F. D. No. 1, Yantic, Conn.
Mrs. Martha Allyn Geer Yantic, Conn.
Henry A. Ely Cromwell, Conn.
Ellen P. Ely Cromwell, Conn.
Charles S. Jewett North Lyme, Conn.
Mrs. Katie Fosdick Jewett North Lyme, Conn.
John F. Luce Niantic, Conn.
Mrs. Laura R. S. Luce Niantic, Conn.
Warren S. Abel 211 Sumner St., Stamford, Conn.
Dea. Abial Stark North Plain, Conn.
Mrs. Arlington Smith East Haddam, Conn.
Mrs. Carrie Stark Holbrook Yantic, Conn.
Mrs. Annie Borrows Pendleton Stonington, Conn.
May Louise Pendleton Stonington, Conn.
Charlotte Stark Wilcox Stonington, Conn.
Mrs. Anna Wetmore Ocean Beach, New London, Conn.
Fred Stark Leonard Bridge, Conn.
Mrs. Mary E. Stark Leonard Bridge, Conn.
James L. Raymond North Lyme, Conn.
Mrs. Hester Wood Raymond North Lyme, Conn.
Mrs. W. O. Tift Tifton, Ga.
James R. Clark Maunie, Ill.
Mrs. Harriet Stebbins Clark Maunie, Ill.
Mrs. Lucetta P. Boynton Sycamore, Ill.
Mrs. J. H. Harris 2504 N. 44th Av., Chicago, Ill
Mrs. John L. Hamilton 726 E. Penut St., Hoopestown, Ill.
Harold M. Stark 2305 S. Wayne Av., Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Mrs. Annie S. Faris Mt. Ayr, Iowa
Thomas Benton Kelley Hotel Westminster, Boston, Mass.

Page 44

Fred H. Daniels 214 Salisbury St., Worchester, MA
Gilbert M. Stark 700 N. Hamilton St., Saginaw, Mich.
Martha W. Stark Louisiana, Mo.
Edgar W. Stark Louisiana, Mo.
Washington Stark Windsor, Mo.
Lewis W. Stark Windsor, Mo.
William L. Stark Aurora, Neb.
M. Lee Stark 26 Stone St., New York City, N. Y.
James E. Stark Brooklyn, N. Y.
Mrs. James E. Stark Brooklyn, N. Y.
Mrs. S. P. Graves Westmoreland, N. Y.
Mary E. Stark Graves Westmoreland, N. Y.
Nathan F. Graves Westmoreland, N. Y.
Mrs. May Wightman Graves Westmoreland, N. Y.
D. D. Mallory Jamaica, N. Y.
Maurice A. Graves Syracuse, N. Y.
Mrs. E. O. Perry Hotel Courtland, Canton, Ohio, Ohio
John D. Stark 2449 Colorado St., Baker City, Ore.
Mrs. Frederick H. Jones Pittsburgh, Pa.
Jno. Bissell 1405 Arrott Bldg., Pittsburgh, Pa.
Dexter W. Stark Tunkhannock, Penn.
Charles R. Stark 41 Chapin Av., Providence, R. I.
Mrs. Abbie Gates Stark 41 Chapin Av., Providence, R. I.
Mary Randall Stark 41 Chapin Av., Providence, R. I.
Eleanor Stark 41 Chapin Av., Providence, R. I.






Page 45

Charles R. Stark, Jr. 43 Chapin Av., Providence, R. I.
Mrs. Charles R. Stark, Jr. 43 Chapin Av., Providence, R. I.
Theron Clark 152 Congdon St., Providence, R. I.
Mrs. Annie Cocks Clark 152 Congdon St., Providence, R. I.
Mrs. W. T. Hope 508 Vine St., Chattanooga, Tenn.
James E. Stark Memphis, Tenn.
Mrs. Harriet M. Stark Paris, Texas
Mrs. Charles Gager Stark 308 Janeau Av., Milwaukee, Wis.
John G. Stark Randolph, Wis.
Mrs. John G. Stark Randolph, Wis.


Members and Friends Present

August 19, 1909


Moreau J. Stark North Plain, Conn.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles R.. Stark Providence, R. I.
Charles F. Geer Norwichtown, Conn.
Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Newbury Moodus, Conn.
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan G. Stark New London, Conn.
Charles Stark North Lyme, Conn.
Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Jewett North Lyme, Conn.
Ellen W. Stark Lyme, Conn.
Mrs. S. E. Ackley Chester, Conn.
Ida D. Stark East Haddam, Conn.
Mrs. A. D. Smith East Haddam, Conn.
Susie P. Miner East Haddam, Conn.
Vernie E. Smith East Haddam, Conn.
Roy S. Smith East Haddam, Conn.
Mrs. Carrie Stark Holbrook Yantic, Conn.

Return to Top


The work presented is from the Stark Family Association yearbooks published from 1903 to 1952. The use of any material on these pages by others should give credit to the named contributors to the yearbooks.


There are some errors in the material presented. Where appropriate,  Clovis LaFleur will offer Editorial comment and correction. You are responsible for the validation of all data and sources reported and should not presume the material presented is correct or complete.