Susannah K. Starr 16
- Born: 1826, York County, Pennsylvania 56,435
- Marriage: Joseph G. Starr
- Died: 11 Sep 1889, Decatur, Macon , IL, USA at age 63 435
- Buried: 13 Sep 1889
She was the mother of nine sons, five of whom died in infancy. -- source, Decatur Republican, 9-11-1889, p. 1.
Noted events in her life were:
• Residence: house, 1880, 345 W. Main St., Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. 25,436 This house no longer exists. We checked 3-08.)
• Religion: Active member of the Methodist Church: Decatur, Macon , IL, USA. 411
• Death. 411 Accidentaly shot to death by her son, Harry.
From the article: "Neighbors who had come home from the theater and were yet awake were startled by hearing the sharp report of a revolver and one shriek of a woman, followed by the agnozing and frantic cries of a man who repeatedly called for help. The cries penetrated to a considerable distance, and the first to arrive at the Starr residence, from whence the cries emanated was T.T. Roberts, followed by Jane and Dick Roberts, the Republican reporter and Fred Baldwin. On hearing the cries T.T. Roberts telephoned to the police and Special Officers Bailey and Connard hurried to the scene. Going up stairs to the double apartments occupied by Mrs. Starr and her son, the deceased was found upon the floor with her head against a pillow and Harry at her side, doing what he could to stance the flow of blood and hoping against hope that the wound had not proven fatal. It was pitiful to witness the deep grief of the poor young man, who with each passing moment more fully realized the awfulness of the midnight mishap. As quickly as possible messages were sent for the Dr. D.N and E.W. Moore, and W.J. and Cass Chenoweth, Dr. D.N. Moore being the first to enter the room. But the presence of the physicians was of no avail -- Mrs. Starr had died some minutes before they arrived, passing away without being able to speak a word of farewell to any of her children, attended only by her sobbing son. Later, Mr. and Mrs. I. Baldwin, and daughter, Miss Grace and their guest, Mrs. Davis, of Emery, arrived at the residence... As our readers well know several bold burglaries have been committed lately in the city and our people generally are more or less watchful. Only yesterday Mrs. Starr and her son, who with the servant girl, were the only occupants of the house, had talked about the depredations of burglars. Harry, who is single, made his home with his mother, and was her protector. Both occupied up-stairs rooms in the west side of the house, the rooms being separated by folding doors. Harry slept in the south room and his mother in the north room. Both retired at the usual hour. At about 12 o'clock harry was aroused by a real or imaginary noise and thinking of burglars he got up and secured a 38-calibre Smith & Wesson revolver, which had been kept in a dressing case. There was no one moving about in his mother's room at that time. Harry returned to his bed and put the revolver under his pillow. He fell asleep thinking of and listening for burglars. He was asleep when another noise aroused him. Looking north through the open doors he saw a dark form outlined against the window -- the moon was shining -- and instantly he fired the fatal shot, the response to which was one terrible cry from his mother, through whose neck the fatal bullet had passed, imbedding itself in the north wall of the room. Instantly Harry realized the terrible mistake he had made and hurried to the side of his mother to support her before she fell and to find her life blood issuing in streams from the severed jugular vein... Harry is nearly heartbroken... This morning the inquest was held at the home of sorrow... THE VERDICT ... Having heard all the testimony in the case, we fully exonorate Harry from all blame in the matter."
Further details can be read in the Decatur Herald of 9-14-1889. Other items of note from the Herald: police took the gun from Harry for fear he'd kill himself. Someone reported that after he fired the shot, he shouted "Murder!" out the window.
• Occupation: "Prominent in the temperance work," 11 Sep 1889, Decatur, Macon , IL, USA. 411 Member of WCTU (Women's Christian Temperance Union).
• Personality: kind, charitable woman: Decatur, Macon , IL, USA. 411 "She was a woman of rare strength of character, and still had all the sweetness and kindness of a true wife and mother. And while she was all that was good and kind and tender in those relations, she was as generous and neighborly in her charitable deeds as it was possible to be. There was no case of illness or distress in her neighborhood that she did not minister to with a generosity that knew no bounds. Night or day, in fair weather or foul, she was always ready to answer the summons for help to those who needed her attention."
• Immigration: from Pennsylvania to Decatur, IL, 1856. 437
• Organizations: Order of the Eastern Star. 437
• Obituary, 14 Sep 1889. 189 Susannah K. Starr was born in York county, Pennsylvania, December 27, 1825,
and was therefore in her 64th year. Near the place of her birth she met Joseph
G. Starr, to whom she was married about 45 years ago. They emigrated to Decatur
in 1856, and Mrs. Starr had seen so much flat country that she absolutely
refused to remain here unless her husband would buy the lot at 345 West Main
street where the present Starr home is. This location was high. Accordingly Mr.
Starr bought the lot, had the hazel brush and wild forest cleaned off the next
day, and then began the erection of a home. Here she lived a happy wife and
mother. In 1878 her husband died. Mrs. Starr was the mother of nine sons. Three
died in infancy and were buried in the old Quaker cemetery of York county, Pa.
Two other sons Charles and Grant died very young, and Elwood died in 1857, aged
about ten years. The living sons are William H., Joseph S., and Harry C. Starr.
The deceased was a woman of kindly heart, faithful to every duty in life,
affectionate and tender to her children. The coming of age brought little change
in her relations to them. Though they married and had families they were sill
her boys, and it was her fashion to talk to them often and tell her friends how
very proud she was of her sons.
Mrs. Starr was early a member of the Methodist church, and was ever a
zealous, active worker. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star when
it was first organized years ago, and upon its recent revival she became a
member of the new charter. This order will have charge of the services at the
grave on Friday. The funeral will be held at the family residence, No. 345 West
Main street, on Friday afternoon at 3:30 oclock, Rev. James Miller officiating.
• Obituary, 12 Sep 1889. 172 She was a woman of rare strength of character, and still had all the
sweetness and kindness of a true wife and mother. And while she was all that was
good and kind and tender in those relations, she was as generous and neighborly
in her charitable deeds as it was possible to be. There was no case of sickness
or distress in her neighborhood that she did not minister to with a generosity
that knew no bounds. Night or day, in fair weather or foul, she was always ready
to answer the summons for help to those who needed her attention. And so it came
to be understood that she was one of those kind ministering angels whose visits
to the sick bed are always so welcome, and many a tear will be dropped on her
bier by those who have been the recipients of her kindness. She was emphatically
that best of all earthly blessings, a good woman, and not only her children and
her grand children, but a host of friends who kenw and loved her will forever
bless her memory.
The sad circumstances of her death call for the deepest sympathy from
everybody. The son, whose zeal for the protection and safety of his mother led
him to fire the shot which took away his best friend, is well-nigh overwhelmed
with grief, and the most churlish cannot find it in his heart to begrudge him
the tear of pity and the heartfelt greeting of true sympathy. Her second son,
Joseph, is absent on business of the firm, and will hear of the tragic death of
his mother today. Her eldest son, Wm. H. Starr, whom everybody in Decatur knows
and loves, is none the less grief-stricken than his brothers, but will have the
comfort and satisfaction of bearing with him through life the recollection of
the conversation he had with her only yesterday afternoon. She spoke of the
loneliness she had experienced since he had moved a few blocks away while
erecting his new house, and of the dread she had of the prowling burglars. She
also spoke of the joy she experienced on the knowledge that he would move back
within a week or two and occupy his elegant new home. She said she was feeling
in much better health, and though she would be able to accompany him to
Washington on the occasion of the Knight Templar' Conclave, which she had
proposed doing until recently she had given it up on account of the state of her
health. She spoke of the repairs on her house, and its refurbishing, which was
to have been begun to-day. She was more cheerful than usual, (and she was always
inclined to be full of life and gayety,) thinking of the joys in store for her
when she could have her son's family so near to her. Last week she presented her
son William a magnificent gold watch, as a surprise to him, and he now prizes
the gift more highly than ever.
Decatur Republican, 12 Sep 1889
• Burial, 14 Sep 1889. 438 MRS. STARR'S BURIAL
The Funeral One of the Largest Ever Seen in Decatur - Beautiful Floral
Funeral services over the remains of the late Mrs. Susanna K. Starr were
held at 3:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon at the family residence, No. 345 West
Main street. It was one of the largest and most impressive funerals ever seen in
Decatur. Several hundred friends of the family were in attendance, filling the
family residence and also the spacious new home of Mr. W.H. Starr, next door,
whilst all the space in the yards between the two houses was filled with chairs,
occupied by ladies, and a large number of ladies and gentlemen had to stand in
the yards. Superintendent Ferguson kindly stopped the running of electric cars
past the house from 3 o'clock until after the services were over and the long
funeral train had moved away toward the cemetery. This was donw as a
precautionary measure to guard against accidents by horses becoming frightened.
The services were conducted by the Rev. James Miller, pastor of the First
Methodist church, of which the deceased was a member. He began by reading from
the writings of St. Paul and then offered a fervent prayer for the comforting of
the sorrow-stricken family. An impressive hymn was then beautifully sung by Mrs.
W.C. Armstrong, Mrs. Oscar Spaulding, Mr. Bert Johnson and Prof. S.M. Lutz. The
clergyman then spoke briefly and feelingly of the character of the deceased
woman in her family, church and social relations. He spoke words of comfort to
her bereaved sons and sorrowing sister, reminding them of the blessed assurance
the Christian has that a pure and upright life on earth is but a preparation for
a life of eternal happiness in the world to come. After another appropriate song
by the quartette the casket was borne to the hearse by the following
pall-bearers: Messrs. J.R. Gorin, Silas Packard, William Bowers, J.R. Miller,
A.M. Werner and W.E. Nelson. There were nearly ninety carriages in the funeral
train which moved in the following order: Carriage containing the officiating
clergymen; members of Decatur chapter No. 111, Order of the Eastern Star; the
hearse, escorted by members of Beaumanoir commandery Knights Templar, of which
the eldest son of the deceased, Sir Knight William H. Starr, is eminent
commander. Then came twenty-five employes of the firm of J.G. Starr & Son, and a
very full representation of the membership of the Women's Christian Temperence
Union, followed by the mourning relatives and sympathizing friends in carriages.
The services at the grave were conducted by the ladies of the Order of the
THE FLORAL OFFERINGS
The floral offerings were beautiful and elaborate. Among the handsomest
designs were the following:
Pillow of immortelles inscribed "Our Mother in Heaven," from Mrs. Starr's
Pillow and floral anchor and crescent, from the Calumet club of which Mr.
Harry Starr is a member.
Floral lyre, from the members of the First Methodist Episcopal church.
Anchor and star, from Mrs. W.H. Linn and Mrs. Benton Blackstone
Floral star, from the members of Decatur chapter No. 111, Order of the
Gates Ajar, from Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Bullard
Pillows of tulips, from the Decatur Women's Christian Union
A beautiful design emblematic of faith, hope and charity, from Sagmuller,
Campbell & Co., Cincinnati, O.
Basket of pansies, from Mrs. Goodman and daughter
Shief of wheat, from Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Bixby and Eva and Joe Bixby
White star of immortelles bearing the initials "S.K." from the employees of
J.G. Starr & Son
Open book, from the Ruf Leather company of Jackson, O.
Maltese cross of red geraniums, from Beaumanoir commandery Knights Templar
The Decatur Daily Despatch, 14 Sep 1889
Susannah married Joseph G. Starr, son of Hiram Starr and Unknown. (Joseph G. Starr was born in Pennsylvania 27 and died in 1878 in Decatur, Macon , IL, USA 19,411.)