TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 2500 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 

JAMES HARPER STARR

by Archie P. McDonald
Archie McDonald Ph.D.
James Harper Starr cannot be regarded a "typical" immigrant to Texas during the days of the Republic, for those were the days when "GTT" explained hasty departures from the states and beginnings with new identities.

Starr had no such baggage. He was born in Connecticut in 1809 to an established family, who then moved to Ohio shortly after his birth. Starr attended an academy in Worthington, Ohio, and by 1830 had become a physician through self-education and observation. He established a medical practice in McDonough, Georgia, and later one in Pleasant Grove, then moved to Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1837.

Within the year President Sam Houston appointed Starr a member of the Board of Land Commissioners for Nacogdoches County. The board supervised public domain under the authority of the General Land Office, and, among other things, awarded land to veterans at the completion of their service. When Mirabeau B. Lamar succeeded Houston as president of the Republic of Texas, he appointed Starr secretary of the treasury in his administration. Starr held the post for a year, then resigned to serve as administrator of the estate of his brother-in-law, Frost Thorn, who is credited with becoming the first "Texas millionaire."

Starr spent the next several years involved in various aspects of land and real estate. He served on the board of trustees for Nacogdoches College, also known as University, and in other civic capacities.

Starr supported annexation to the Union in 1845 but not secession from it fifteen years later, but his sons and son-in-law, Henry Raguet, entered Confederate military service when the Civil War began. He did accept a civil appointment as a receiver for the Confederate government and later as a Confederate postal agent.

After the collapse of the Confederacy Starr formed a partnership with his son, James Franklin Starr, in a land speculation and banking enterprise in Marshall, Texas. Starr eventually moved his entire family to Marshall, where he continued in business until his retirement in 1873. He died in 1890.

Starr County was named in honor of James Harper Starr. About all that remains to remind the citizens of Nacogdoches of this financial pioneer is Starr Avenue, one of the thoroughfares that borders Stephen F. Austin State University.

All Things Historical
Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2003 column
A syndicated column in over 40 East Texas newspapers
This column is provided as a public service by the East Texas Historical Association. Archie P. McDonald is director of the Association and author of more than 20 books on Texas.
Related Topics:
Texas People | Texas | Texas Towns | East Texas | Hotels
ALL ABOUT TEXAS:
PEOPLE >
PLACES >
THINGS >
TE Online Magazine >
Hotels >
 
TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

Texas Attractions
TEXAS FEATURES
People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2010. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: December 12, 2010