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100 Years Ago

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Charles Starrett

Sidney’s original town plat of 70 acres, nestled against the great Miami river, was part of the Charles Starrett farm, and was given to local authorities for the sole purpose of starting a town. Early records indicate the area had been known as ‘Starrett’s town.’

Charles Starrett, the founder of Sidney, Ohio, was an Irish emigrant who was born in Ireland on December 23, 1774. Exactly when he came to the U.S. is unknown.

He is believed to have lived in Pennsylvania and Virginia before coming to Ohio. The first record of him here is in Champaign County where, on April 19, 1810, he married Nancy B. Reed. Upon the death of his father, Charles and other siblings were each bequeathed 100 pounds. Perhaps these funds allowed him to purchase the large tract of land that was issued to him on October 5, 1812, via a land patent (S36, T8, R6) in Miami County, by President James Madison. Part of this land, because of its excellent location near the center of the county, would become what is now known as Sidney.

Mr. Starrett, whose original homestead was located near Starrett’s Run, along South Walnut Avenue (in the vicinity of what was Erb Lumber, 231 S. Walnut), also requested that one acre be reserved for a public square (court house), two, one-half acres for religious societies, two acres for cemeteries and one acre for a school house be included in the plat.

Charles and Nancy were the parents of three children, Elizabeth, James and Robert. Elizabeth died unmarried at the age of 24, James’ only child did not survive, and Robert died unmarried at the age of 20. Starrett died at the age of 54 in Sidney on February 28, 1829. Thus, the Starretts have no descendants. Mr. Starrett’s house was demolished around 1924. (Charles Starrett is buried in the Graceland Cemetery on St. Rt. 25-A, south of Sidney. His monument and gravesite can be seen today and is marked on the map below.)

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Charles Starrett's tombstone is in the first section of the cemetery. After passing through the entrance,
drive around the section, looking for the first large tree. Starrett is located nearby.


'Immigration' segment written in November, 1997 by David Lodge


[ Back to Immigration Index

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