Starr story

Enola family came to county for fresh start

JOE MOSBY
Log Cabin Staff Writer
Published Saturday, October 09, 2004

The years immediately after the Civil War were a time of unrest in Arkansas and across the South. Many people moved to new locations seeking a fresh start.

George Washington Starr and his son, James Starr, who lived in the London area of Pope County, just west of today's Russellville, headed east with and resettled in the Enola area. Beginning with George, there have been eight generations of Starrs in Faulkner County.

 

The Andrew Jackson Starr family lived at Enola when this 1895 photo was made. Left to right, with married names for the girls, areEtta Paine Starr Hinson, Elmore Starr, Joseph Truail Starr, Mary Eliza Tucker Starr, Andrew Jackson Starr, Emma Starr Higgs andCordia Victory Starr Boyles. Children born later were Clida Starr Miller, Odda Jackson Starr and Jessie Starr Matchett.

Along with uncertainty, this was an era of large families. James Starr had seven children in Pope County, his first wife died, and he remarried before moving to Enola. Eventually, James would have at least 14 children by three wives. Family lore puts the number at 21, but census records list 14 children for James living at the time of the enumerations.

In the years at Enola, James became known as Uncle Jim, and where he lived was called Starr Gap. For generations, the Starrs worked with their hands blacksmithing for James and one son and farming for James and others, including a grandson, Joseph Truail Starr, who farmed in the Palarm area of southern Faulkner and northern Pulaski counties for 60 years until his death in 1994.

Another descendant of the first Enola-area Starrs is today's president of the Mount Vernon-Enola school board, Kirby Starr.

As with many large families of multiple generations, given names were repeated with the Starrs.

George had a son, Andrew Jackson "Jack" Starr, brother of James. James had a son, Andrew Jackson "Jack," who worked at a variety of trades farmer, timber hauler and even a caf operator in Conway.

James had a son named Joseph, and another son, Andrew Jackson, named one of his sons Joseph.

George and his sister Malinda, who also moved to the Enola area, each had sons named Jasper. Malinda, whose married name was Reece, also had a son named Andrew Jackson.

There was also a Belle Starr Laura Belle Starr, daughter of George Calvin Starr, granddaughter of George Washington Starr. No connection with the Oklahoma outlaw Belle Starr has been found by family researchers. The outlaw was a Starr by marriage; her maiden name was Shirley.

Through the eight generations of Starrs in Faulkner County, the family roll amounts to several hundred people, some of whom moved to other areas but many more living as least part of their lives in Faulkner.

Joseph Truail Starr's family roster reached a hundred. He served with the U.S. Army in France in World War I and with the occupation of Germany immediately after. He was one of the country's last WWI veterans at his death.

J.T. Starr bought and sold horses and mules, then bought the large Rector farm of Faulkner and Pulaski counties through an insurance company foreclosure, on March 11, 1934, the same day his fourth child, Mary Ann, was born. Much of the farm was confiscated by the federal government at the start of World War I to build the Maumelle ordnance plant. Part of the land was returned at the end of the war, part was kept by the government and later sold as surplus to developers of an innovative endeavor called, at first, Maumelle New Town.

J.T. Starr's five children were Virginia Dodson, deceased; Truail L., who lives today on the farm; Bob J. of Conway, who operates the farm; Mary Ann Starr Mosby of Conway and Kay Starr Baldus of Conway.