Volume 2, Number 11, Spring 1967
My grandfather, John Starkey, came to America from London, England. He was born on Old Queen Street. He played in St. James Park when a young boy. Buckingham Palace is at the north end of St. James Park. Old Queen Street was at the south along Birdcage walk. St. James Park is about one half mile long. The mall is on the left where the trooping of the guards is held celebrating the Queens birthday. I imagine my grandfather watched this ceremony many times.
He came to the U. S. to marry and take back to England the girl he grew up with in London. She had come to America with her family. After he married his sweetheart they never returned to London. Instead they settled in Terre Haute, Indiana.
There my father, John Jr., and his three brothers James, Frank, and Zeche were born. They grew up there. My father married and had a family of four boys and one girl.
After his wife died and most of the children were grown, he left Indiana and came to Missouri. His brother, James, went on into Arkansas to homestead land.
Later my father, John Starkey, met my mother, Minnie Rider. She was born near Forsyth on Little Bee Creek, Oct 14, 1867. My father was born Aug. 22, 1842. After their marriage, my father homesteaded 160 acres of land, some time around 1888.
The best I can remember, this old Starkey homestead is located at the top of the hill above the Show Me Baseball park. A Mr. and Mrs. Midland now own the old homestead.
The farm of my sister, Mrs. John Little, joins the old homestead on Table Rock Lake. I was born on this old homestead not far from Fairy Cave. Reeds Spring was our town.
We children, four, attended the old stone school this is yet there, only, moved up farther on account of the dam. We were happy children. We fished; we hiked over the hills; we rode horseback. We attended the neighborhood dances, play parties, 4th of July celebrations, and Old Soldiers reunions. My grandfather, John Rider, always sang at the latter.
My sister, Mrs. John Little, would sometimes play the guitar at the dances, and I would play the violin and the banjo.
My cousin, Mrs. Fred Kimberling, lives in Kimberling City. My brother, John, lives in Cape Fair also my aunt, Mattie Wiehmilt. She is in her 90s and yet makes her garden.
I have five children, three boys and two girls. One of my sons is a major in the Air Force, stationed at Great Bend, Oregon.
My Grandfather Starkey never claimed his inheritance, family coat of arms or crest in England. He never went back he was an American and I, a Missourian, a true child of the Ozarks.
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