Hilliard M

Hilliard M.htm

Hilliard M. Starr
First wife: Martha Ann Doss
Second wife: Catherine M. ___

Hilliard M., fifth child of Benjamin and Charlotte Starr, was born 14 April 1814 in Wilkes County. He was a teen-ager when his family moved from Wilkes to Fayette County and this move seems to have satisfied his wanderlust. Without relocating in 1858 he found himself among those listed as pioneer settlers of Clayton County. He just happened to be living in that part of Fayette that fell into the new county when the boundary lines were drawn. [Crain & Wenzel citing Knight p. 2]

All his children are from his marriage to Martha Ann Doss in Henry County 3 December 1835. [Maddox] According to her original tombstone, she was born 3 May 1820 in Georgia and died 6 June 1864. Their original stones at County Line Cemetery were replaced between August 1989 and October 2003, the dates these two photos were taken. [Hilliard 1]


Hilliard married as his second wife, the widow Catherine M. ( ) Grisham 22 December 1864. [Peggy Allen provided specific date and spelling.] In 1866 he purchased a mill on Whitewater Creek. Although he later sold it, the now famous landmark on US 85 in Fayette County still goes by the name Starr’s Mill. The original mill was built in the 1820s, but the building had been replaced when Hilliard acquired the business. The mill stones ground corn and wheat into meal and flour for the Glen Grove Community and the mill pond was used for baptisms by various local congregations. Although the mill is no longer in operation, it continues as a popular fishing hole and cool picnicking spot for families during the long hot summers. Today the site is one of the most photographed spots in Georgia. [Southern Living]

[Hilliard 2 – mill pix choose any one on both sides or use the one already on one of the websites – it was taken from the postcard and we might need to worry about copyright. Can’t remember WHERE the pix is located – probably on pilgrimage under 2003 trip]

Hilliard’s life was summed up nicely in the obituary, published in the 1 October 1873 issue of The Southern Christian Advocate:

"Hilliard M. Starr was born April 14, 1814 and died August 11, 1873. When taken sick, he was seven or eight miles from home, and while engaged about the business of life, the summons came, ‘Get thy house in order, for thou shall die, and not live.’ He was carried to his home, there to suffer a few days, and then to die, leaving his unfinished business to others. He was a man of sound mind and well fitted for attending to the business of life. He had scarcely finished winding up his father's estate when his own business had to be committed to others.

Brother Starr did not embrace the religion of Christ when young, but in manhood's middle age he resolved to turn to the Lord. Like the Psalmist, he thought on his ways and turned his feet unto the testimonies of the Lord, and made haste to keep His commandments. At one of the memorable camp meetings, held at Mt. Zion, in Pike County, with strong will, he set out to seek peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and happily found it. In the woods, all alone, he prayed to God, and He who seeth in secret rewarded him openly. He came back to the encampment a new man, and from that time until the day of his death, he was ever faithful to God and His cause.

At the time of his death he was both class leader and steward. He loved the class room and would often say ‘Let's all try and do better,’ and in his strong and earnest way he would frequently say ‘I know I do love the Lord. Brethren, pray for me.’ When difficulties arose between members of the Church, as they sometimes do, he was the peacemaker of County Line Church. The members looked up to him. He was peculiarly fitted for that kind of work, and he had the blessing of the peacemaker. As a steward, he was among the best on the Fayetteville circuit. He gathered his quarterage in his own quiet way--nobody knew how it came, but it was always on hand when the Quarterly meeting came on. He also managed his home affairs well.

He was twice married. His first wife was Martha Doss, by whom he raised several children. His last wife was Mrs. Grissom. She is now bereaved a second time. In the death of Brother Starr the country has lost one of its best citizens; the Church one of her best members; the circuit one of its best stewards; and the pastor one of his main props. We sorrow not as those who have no hope, for Brother Starr said to the writer soon after he was taken sick, ‘Brother Nolan, If I must die I am not afraid to die. I am ready.’ He often said that he was ready to die--he put on immortality. David Nolen" [Holcomb p. 156 citing Vol. 36, No. 39]

The inscription on his new tombstone reads: He was a Kind and Indulgent Father / An Affectionate Husband and an Upright / and Devoted Christian. / He was Devoted to the Methodist Church South / and Superintendent of the Sabbath School / Where he Lived and Died and Has Gone / to Receive His Reward. http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~lksstarr/cemeteryfiles/countylinecem/C%20L%206.jpg

Much of the information on children of Hilliard M. and Martha (Doss) Starr comes from descendant and genealogical researcher James T. McConnell. All the children were born in Fayette County.

1. Mary Frances born 1837 died after 1870. She married 1st 19 October 1854 Berry Couch. According to Hightower Family researcher Joseph Moore, Berry’s brother, Dr. W. B. Couch married the widow of Simeon C. Hightower whose first wife was Mary’s cousin Frances Kisiah Ogletree. Couch is buried near her parents, but no mention was made as to her burial spot: "Couch, Berry died Sep 7, 1861, age 30 years less one day, Masonic Emblem." [Armchair Researchers] Mary Frances married 2nd Jackson E. Corley.

2. Malissa Ann, born 1840, died May 1864 in Clayton Co. She married 20 January 1859 as his first wife Judge Joseph A. P. McConnell. Their only child was William Ernest born 10 April 1864 died 14 February 1891 in Fulton County.

3. Benjamin F. born 1842 married Lula L. ___ before 1870.

4. Joseph T. born 1845 married Mary Kerlin/Kelin 25 February 1869 in Clayton Co. [Maddox] During the war Joseph served as a private in Company I, 11th Georgia Volunteers. He was wounded in battle 30 August 1862 and his left leg was amputated the next day. He was living in Clayton County 1879 when he applied for a pension. [Ancestry Confederate service pensions for Georgia]

5. John Glenn born 3 November 1845 married Mattie Lunceford 21 December 1869 in Fayette County. They had five children. During the war he served as private in Company F, 2nd Georgia Calvary. Wounded above the elbow in his right arm during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain 4 July 1864, the arm was amputated near the shoulder August 15. By 1891 they were living in Paulding County when he filed his third application for a pension. In 1908 Mattie applied for a widow’s pension based on his service; she gave the date of his death as 5 June 1908. [Ancestry Confederate service pensions for Georgia]

6. Sarah E. born May 1850 died before 1860.

7. Milton B. born 4 April 1856 died 4 May 1910. He married 14 February 1878 Beulah Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Matt and Mary (Peebles) Moore. They had six children.

8. Scott C. born 1858 married Mattie Ballard. They had six children.


Crain, Marguerite Starr and Wenzel, Janell Turner, compilers and editors. They Followed the Sun: The Story of James Penn Starr and Georgian Theus: Their Ancestors and Their Progenies 1971.

Holcomb, Brent H. compiler, Marriage and Death Notices from the Southern Christian Advocate

Kilgore, Alice Copeland; Smith, Edith Hanes; Tuck, Frances Partridge editors. A History of Clayton County, Georgia 1821-1983 published by Ancestors Unlimited, Inc. Genealogical Society, Clayton County, Georgia. 1983.

Knight, Lucian M. compiler. The History of Clayton County: Georgia’s Landmarks, Memorials and Legends.

Maddox, Joseph T. compiler. Early Georgia Marriages Book 4.

McConnell, James Thomas compiler. Film 1697781 __5 McConnell Genealogical Records v.5; also his research papers on file at the Macon, Georgia Library.

Southern Living, volume 24, No. 11 November 1989: Starr’s Mill: A Small Toll of Time