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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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W. H. STARK is a retired merchant of Chilhowee, Johnson County, and is the owner of valuable property in this vicinity. In 1881 he purchased a farm in Chilhowee Township, comprising three hundred and twenty acres, and this place he still owns. Besides that he has one hundred and eighteen acres in McHenry County, Mo. He is a self-made man, and by industry and perseverance has risen to a position of prominence and wealth. In his youth he was more than usually hampered by burdens, as he had much of the support of his family to bear, and his educational advantages were quite limited. In spite of all obstacles he managed to win success, and deserves great credit for what he has accomplished.

The Stark family is probably of English origin, but for many generations members of this family have lived in the United States. Our subject’s grandfather, Jeremiah Stark, moved from South Carolina to Tennessee with his father when he was only ten years of age. His son, Terry W., father of W. H. Stark, was born in Robertson County, Tenn., and grew to manhood in his native state. Going to Logan County, Ky., which county adjoined that of his birthplace, Mr. Stark there met and married Mary Smith, a native of the locality. The young couple made their home in Tennessee until about 1833, when Mr. Stark sold out his farm and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Logan County, Ky., there spending the remainder of his life. His demise occurred in July, 1849, eight children being left to mourn his loss, one having previously passed away. One daughter, Mrs. Ellen Mosley, is now a resident of Adairville, Ky., and another, Mrs. Mary Sharp, lives in Lincoln, Mo. Presley is married and has nine children.

W. H. Stark was born in Robertson County, Tenn., January 3, 1827, and as he was the eldest in the family they relied upon him after the death of the father. When he was twenty-one years of age, the senior Mr. Stark gave him a horse and saddle, and leaving home, he rode to St. Francois County, Mo., where, in company with a cousin, he started a blacksmith shop. In 1849 he was compelled to return home and take charge of the farm, which he managed successfully for several years. In 1856 he returned to Robertson County, and there engaged in the sawmill business. In 1859 he purchased his father’s old homestead and continued to dwell thereon some five years. When his mother died, in April, 1854, he purchased the old Kentucky farm, which he sold prior to his removal to Tennessee. In 1864 he went back to Logan County, where he rented land.

February 3, 1852, Mr. Stark and Elizabeth Flowers were united in marriage. They became the parents of two children, namely: Emma, who married James C. Bradley, and died in Henry County, Mo., leaving seven children; and Terry F., who died unmarried. Mrs. Elizabeth Stark having died in 1858, our subject was married the following year to Virginia Josephine Benton, who was born May 17, 1838, in Robertson County, Tenn. Nine children graced their union. Mary E., born May 4, 1860, married James C. Kurk, by whom she has five children, and they are now living in Henry County; Alfred P., born March 31, 1862, is married and a resident of Chilhowee Township; Green B., who was born in February, 1864, died when in his tenth year; William H. was born December 22, 1865; Ada, whose birth occurred January 5, 1868, married Calvin B. Teater and has two children; S. Samuel, born February 22, 1870, resides in Clinton, Mo., where he is engaged in teaching, having previously graduated from the Warrensburg Normal in 1894; Sallie, born February 9, 1872, graduated from the normal in the Class of ‘93; Charles was born October 31, 1874, and Edwin H., September 27, 1880. The three eldest children were born in Tennessee, the two following in Logan County, Ky., and the remainder are natives of Johnson County.

In 1869 Mr. Stark came to Chilhowee Township, where he purchased a farm of one hundred acres, and after living there for a year sold out and leased farms for three or four years. From 1873 to 1876 he was engaged in milling at Warrensburg, and then resumed farming in the vicinity of Chilhowee, renting land for ten years. In 1881 he purchased the well improved homestead in this township of which he is still the proprietor. In 1894 he engaged in merchandising, giving his principal attention to the same for a year and meeting with fair success.

Politically he is a Democrat and in 1852 cast his maiden vote for Pierce. He is a member of the Lodge of Peace, A. F. & A. M., of this township. Religiously he is identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which his faithful wife also belongs, and all of their children have connected themselves with some church organization with the exception of the two youngest ones. For many years Mr. Stark has been a Steward, has been a teacher in the Sunday-school, and has also served as Class-leader. He takes great interest in religious enterprises and contributes liberally of his means to the advancement of the Master’s Kingdom.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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