July 15th, 2007
Jacob Parvin Starr 1838-1912
Jacob Parvin Starr was born in Lycoming County on August 10, 1838 to John and Sarah (Parvin) Starr. He received his education at the Millville Academy and the Wyoming Seminary at Kingston. Jacob began clerking in a dry goods store when he was seventeen years old. In 1861 he took his father’s place as agent for the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad Company at Watsontown remaining in this position until 1880, and had charge of the office at White Deer until 1888. Jacob helped establish and was the superintendent of the Electric Light Company of Watsontown and later was interested in the planing mill business.
Jacob was a member of the Republican party and was elected Chief Burgess on February 21, 1868. During his administration the school directors met on April 14, 1868 for the first time to organize This meeting resulted in the election of D.S. Kramer, president; Enos Everitt, secretary; Eli Welsh, treasurer; Ephraim Meltzer, Robert Wertman, and William F. Berger. Mr. Welsh resigned immediately and Joseph Hollopeter was appointed to serve in his place. It was also at this time that the "Oley" lot was purchased from S.M. Miller for $250 and a school house built by Jonathan Kramer, contractor. Mr. Starr left office in 1869 and was not elected to public office again until 1874 when he was elected Chief Burgess once more. The first individual to be reelected to the position of Chief Burgess. During his second administration the Eureka Fire Company disbanded and the fire equipment of the Eureka Fire Company and the Hope Hose Fire Company came under the management of the newly organized West Branch Engine Company. An addition was built on to the engine house by Wagner, Starr & Co. at a cost of $429. Following his service as Burgess, Mr. Starr served on the council in 1880 and from 1882 to 1883.
On June 5, 1873 Jacob married Agnes Sloan of Loch Haven and their family included four children: Sarah E., b. 1875; Margaret H., b. 1877; John E., b. July 18, 1880; and William P. The family were members of the Presbyterian Church and Jacob was a charter member of the Watsontown Lodge, No. 401, F. & A.M. where he served as secretary from 1869 to 1870 as well as Worshipful Master in 1877. In 1887 the family moved to Philadelphia. Jacob’s nephew, Charles J. Hogue also lived with them for a time. Mrs. Starr died in 1911. Jacob Starr died on November 16, 1912 at his home, 5720 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, of acute indegestion. Both he and his wife are buried in the Watsontown Cemetery.
[The Northumberland County Pennsylvania Burials, Vol. VI, Meiser, Jr., Joseph A. and Mesier, Sarah Roadarmel, 1991 pg. 196; The Milton Evening Standard, November 16, 1912, pg 1.]
Last Modified: 08.24.09