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A Civil War Soldier
by Linda McCartney


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Old Josiah and Nancy Starcher farm at the mouth of Beech.

Josiah Paine Starcher was born on Aug. 6, 1830, the son of Daniel Starcher, one of the earliest settlers in the Arnoldsburg area, which at that time was Kanawha County, Va.

Josiah married Nancy Jane Nichols on Nov. 10, 1853. She was the daughter of Solomon and Dolly Wayne Nichols. They had nine children: Armanda, Collumbus, Laverna, John C., George B. McCeland, Lucy, Anna, William Evert, and Bellsheba.

Starcher house at Beech, with John Starcher and his dog, Old Brother.

Josiah previously fathered a son, Winfield Scott Starcher, with an Indian woman, Susan Lowe.

Josiah enlisted into Company A, 19th Regiment, Virginia Calvary, CSA, on Dec. 6, 1862. He went by the nickname “Old Sy.”

Josiah and Nancy owned a large farm at the mouth of Beech. Their home was built with timber that was cut on the farm, floated to Island Run, hauled to John Miller’s, and sawed into lumber.

Josiah Paine Starcher

Josiah died May 21, 1915, and is buried in the old Wayne Cemetery on Beech, alongside Nancy and some of their children.

Nancy Nichols Starcher

Their daughter Anna’s grandson, Bill Dillon and his wife Judy, reside on the farm. One of the original barns still stands.

Josiah and Nancy were my great-great-grandparents. Bellsheba was my great-grandmother and her daughter Glenna was my grandmother.

My grandparents, Glenna and Sam Greathouse, met at Josiah’s house, fell in love and married, and lived 50 happy years. They resided one mile below the Starcher farm, where I now reside.

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