My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  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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ALBERT M. STARK. The mercantile interests of Xenia have been for many years worthily represented by Mr. Stark who conducts a grocery and crockery store on South Detroit Street, and who has long been favorably known among the business men of the city. This is the city of his birth and the date thereof June 4, 1822. His father, William T. Stark, came to this county from Lexington, Ky., as early as 1814, and was the first silversmith to establish himself in business in this place. He manufactured everything in his line, thimbles, rings, and the various other articles belonging to his trade, having his first shop on the north side of Third, between King and Detroit Streets. He followed this business through his entire life, and also officiated as Postmaster of Xenia, being appointed to this office by President Jackson in 1829 and holding it continuously until 1841. The office was then located on Detroit Street a few doors south of Main. The elder Stark was a prominent man in the community, and besides holding other official positions was a member at one time of the Town Council.

The father of our subject was born in Loudoun County, Va., and was the son of John Stark, who subsequently removed to Lexington, Ky., and there William F. completed his education and learned his trade. In 1814 he was married to Miss Lydia Miley, of Cincinnati. This lady was born in Washington County, Pa., whence she removed with her parents to Columbia, Hamilton County, and lived there until her marriage. This union resulted in the birth of eleven children, of whom but five are living. Mr. Stark died in 1858 in Xenia. The wife and mother survived until 1872, spending her last days with children in Xenia. They were among the early members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the entire family was noted for its exceptional honesty and business ability.

The subject of this notice completed his education under the tutorship of the well-known instructor, Thomas Steele, a very popular and capable teacher. He commenced his business career when a boy in the store of Canby & Walton, and remained with them for two years. Then, in 1838, he engaged with J. C. McMillan and remained with him as clerk and partner for the long period of twenty years. Subsequently he was with Stark, Little & Cooper.

After the outbreak of the Civil War Mr. Stark, in 1862, enlisted as a Union soldier in the One hundred and Tenth Ohio Infantry, and was at once made Quartermaster of the Regiment, receiving his appointment from Gov. Todd. The regiment was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and operated in West Virginia with the Sixth Corps. At Winchester, January 12, 1863, Mr. Stark was captured by the rebels and experienced the horrors of Libby prison for a period of fifteen months. During this time he was never outside the walls, and bears the distinction of being about the only man who lived through such imprisonment for the same length of time. His two companions both died in the hospital and Mr. Stark was also there until paroled September 12, 1864, and exchanged.

In January following, Mr. Stark returned, to his regiment in front of Petersburg and later had the satisfaction of witnessing the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. His regiment was then sent to Danville, Va., in which region they sojourned thirty days, then went on to Richmond where they remained three days and from there marched to Washington and joined in the Grand Review. Mr. Stark was mustered out of the service at Columbus July 1, 1865; then returning home he at once engaged in business at the corner of Second and Detroit Streets. Later he removed to the north side of West Second Street and was also on the south side of that street. In April, 1889, Mr. Stark removed to his present quarters. He is the oldest grocery man in the city, and is in the enjoyment of an extensive and profitable patronage.

Mr. Stark for a number of years has been President of the Building and Loan Association, and for twelve years was President of the School Board; he was likewise a member of the City Council for many years. For six years he was resident trustee of the Old Soldiers and Sailors Orphans’ Home, receiving his first appointment from Gov. Hayes, the second from Gov. Bishop and the third from Gov. Foster. Although keeping himself posted upon the political issues of the day he has never allowed his interest in politics to affect his business relations. In the spring of 1889 he was elected Appraiser of real estate for the west half of the city. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and the Grand Army of the Republic. He was a charter member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Xenia, and its first presiding officer. His religious views coincide with the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, of which he has been for many years a member.

Mr. Stark was married, February 19, 1851, in Middletown, Ohio, to Miss Mary Ward, of that place. Mrs. Stark was born May 2, 1832, and is the daughter of James H. Ward, one of the pioneer merchants of Middletown and who spent his last years in Nauvoo. The two sons of Mr. and Mrs. Stark — William and Walter C. — are residents of Xenia.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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