In presenting the history of Barton H. Starr to the readers of this volume we record the life record of an honored pioneer settler whose memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past with its hardships, dangers and privations and the progressive present with its evidences of an advanced civilization. He has resided in Grapevine since 1880 but dates his residence in Tarrant county from 1854. His birth occurred in Monroe county, Illinois on the 24th of February, 1850, his parents being Rev. Daniel and Angeline (Levisee) Starr, the former a native of Illinois and the latter of New York. It is believed that the ancestors on both sides were originally of German birth. Rev. Daniel Starr, seeking a home in Texas in 1854, brought his family to Tarrant county and settled a short distance northeast of the present site of Grapevine. All around for miles stretched the unbroken prairie covered with its native grasses, the work of improvement and progress being scarcely begun but the family aided in planting the seeds of civilization and development in this portion of the state and Daniel Starr continued to exercise his influence for material improvement and religious up building until his life’s labors were ended on the 5th of September, 1870. His wife survived him for many years, passing away on the 7th of May, 1903, in the ninety-first year of her age, her birth having occurred on the 10th of August, 1812. Rev. Starr was a local pioneer preacher of Grapevine and vicinity, being connected with the Methodist Episcopal church South and for many years he engaged in pastoral work in this part of the county. He had formerly been a preacher of Monroe county, Illinois, and he labored untiringly for the spread of the gospel and the dissemination of the seeds of truth, which is due time have brought forth rich harvests in the lives of those with whom he came in contact. His political allegiance was given to the Democracy and fraternally he was connected with the Masonic lodge at Grapevine. When called from this life Tarrant county lost one of the old settlers of the northern section and a well known and most highly respected citizen, his genial manner, kindly disposition and devotion to the public good having won him popularity. Unto him and his wife were born the following named: Julia A., now the wife of William Scribner of Alta, Indian Territory; John D., who is living in Arkansas; Margaret C., the wife of A. J. Looper, of Ada; Barton H.; and Rachel A., the wife of N. Butler, who is living at South McAllister in Indian Territory.
Barton H. Starr was but a little child when brought by his parents to Tarrant county and upon the homestead farm near Grapevine he was reared, acquiring his education in the early subscription schools of that locality. In the school of experience he has also learned many valuable lessons which have made him a practical business man and worthy citizen. When not busy with his text books he assisted in the work of tilling the fields and caring for the stock and has since engaged in general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising on his own account. He has found this work a profitable source of income, owing to his capable management and keen business discernment and since 1880 he has resided at his present place of residence, where his good land is now highly cultivated and well improved.
In 1900 Mr. Starr was called to public office by his fellow townsmen, who recognized his worth and ability and elected him commissioner of Tarrant county, in which position he served for two years. His fraternal affiliation is with Grapevine lodge, No. 402, I. O. O. F., in which he has filled all of the offices. He is an earnest champion of Democracy and aside from party association he is recognized as a public-spirited citizen, whose aid can be counted upon to further movement for the general good.
On the 22nd of July, 1875, Mr. Starr was married to Miss Emma A. Proctor, a native of Missouri, and a daughter of William Proctor, late of Tarrant county. By this union seven children have been born: Minnie, the wife of Dr. C. E. Walker, of Grapevine; Ida, the wife of D. D. Wall, also of Grapevine; Willie, wife of Bradley Winfrey; Bertie, John, Barton and Emma, all at home with their parents.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 351-352.