JOHN AUGUSTUS STARK. - Eminently qualified by reason of his natural talents and his acquired attainments for a business career, John Augustus Stark is successfully engaged in mercantile pursuits at Bonner Springs, and is also rendering good service as postmaster of the city. He was born June 12, 1869, in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, which was also the birthplace of his parents, James and Sarah (Blair) Stark.
James Stark, a life-long resident of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, early chose the independent occupation of a farmer, and followed it successfully for many years. Becoming owner of two hundred and sixty-five acres of rich and fertile land, he carried on general farming and stock raising, for years furnishing fat cattle for the Philadelphia and Pittsburg markets. Retiring from active labor in 1907, he has since resided at Export, Pennsylvania. A Democrat in politics, he has filled various township offices. Religiously he is a member of the Presbyterian church, and fraternally he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In 1868 he married Sarah Blair, and to them nine children have been born, as follows: John Augustus, the subject of this sketch; Minerva Jane, who died in infancy; Robert B.; Francis W.; William; Eva, who died at the age of twenty-four years; Nannie K., wife of John McKown, of Apollo, Pennsylvania; and Alpheus and Louis F., residents of the Keystone state.
Brought up on the home farm, John A. Stark attended the district schools of Westmoreland county and the Murraysville Laird Institute, after which he took a business course in Pittsburg. In 1893, at the request of an uncle, who was an expert horticulturist and nurseryman, he came to Kansas, and remained with him twelve years, after becoming familiar with the fruit and nursery business managing his uncle's affairs. In 1905 Mr. Stark embarked in mercantile pursuits at Bonner Springs, where, as a dealer in flour and feed, he has since built up a large and lucrative business. In 1910 he was appointed postmaster, and is filling the position ably and faithfully. True to the religious faith in which he was brought up, Mr. Stark is a valued member of the Presbyterian church. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Mr. Stark married, October 4, 1897, Alice Cooper Bugbee, a native of California, who, as a girl of twelve years, came with her parents to Kansas, locating at Wilder. Her father, George E. Bugbee, was government inspector of sugar in California prior to coming to Kansas. On coming to this state he bought several hundred acres of land in the vicinity of Wilder, and was engaged in farming and stock raising until 1903, when he brought his family to Bonner Springs, which has since been his home. Mr. and Mrs. Stark are the parents of three children, namely: John Bugbee, ten years of age; Edward Cooper, five years old; and Helen Alice, three years of age. They have a beautiful home in Bonner Springs.
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