STARKEY, PATIENCE A VETERAN CW - McDonald County, Missouri | PATIENCE A VETERAN CW STARKEY - Missouri Gravestone Photos

Patience A Veteran CW STARKEY

Pineville Cemetery
McDonald County,

21 Jun 1845 Ohio
1920 - Delaware, Oklahoma
Marriage: 24 Mar 1864 - Meigs, Ohio
Parents: Samuel B Brown, Harriet McKnight
Spouse: Wesley W Starkey
Civil War Drummer

Little Drummer Girl Rests in Pineville
(This article appeared in the NEOSHO DAILY NEWS on Nov. 2, 1998, after an interview with the now-deceased Ethel Vaughan. With the forthcoming sesquicentennial of the Civil War, THE POST will include Civil War stories from time to time. This is an interesting and unusual story which we hope readers will enjoy—maybe for the second time.)

By Kay Hively

Posted May. 12, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Pineville, Mo.

Today, women are making their presence felt in all branches of the United States military. They serve as nurses, pilots, mechanics, navigation specialists and in many other capacities. But a hundred years ago, females were never found in military service—unless they managed to portray themselves as a man.

In the Pineville Cemetery, a small gravestone lies at the base of a cedar tree. Inscribed on the stone are these words: Patience Starkey 1845 - 1920 Civil War Drummer.

Patience was one of those females who took it upon herself to join the army in the midst of the Civil War—disguised as a boy. Unfortunately, most of her story is lost as family members have died or moved away and drifted out of touch. Only a great-niece, 90-year-old Ethel Vaughan, can even remember the Little Drummer Girl.

"It's been so many years," Ethel says, "but I remember my sister and I used to go visit 'Aunt Pach' and she would tell us wonderful stories of the Civil War. Her husband, Wesley, was a captain in the Confederate Army so she told his tories and her own stories."

Patience and her future husband, Wesley Starkey, apparently didn't know each other during the war. The Little Drummer Girl joined the army somewhere in the deep south, possibly in Georgia, and Wesley Starkey was in the 6th Missouri Infantry. Mrs. Vaughan believes the couple met after Patience's family moved to Missouri following the Civil War.

"When I was a girl, my 'Aunt Pach' was a widow. She lived here in Pineville where I was in school. My sister and I had to walk two and one-half miles to school so if the weather turned bad, we would go spend the night with Aunt Pach," Mrs. Vaughan remembers. "Oh, she loved for us to come. She would tell us all kinds of stories."

Time, however, has stolen away many of the stories that were heard some eighty years ago, but time did not take away Mrs. Vaughan's distinct memory that Patience was a little drummer girl.

Two years ago , Mrs. Vaughan received a telephone call from a cousin in Arizona. The two women decided it was time for Patience to have a headstone beside the tall distinguished one that marks Wesley Starkey's grave.

"I had some friends take me somewhere down in Arkansas," Mrs. Vaughan said, "and I ordered that stone and had it set here. I'm go glad I did it. I'm so glad I was able to mark her grave before it was too late."

While the stories that Patience had to tell are gone, the small gray marker in the Pineville Cemetery will always remained as a tribute to a little girl who was different than most little girls.

In this era of American life, Patience's life would not have been so unusual, but in her own time, Patience Starkey truly did march to the beat of a different drum.

(Editor's Note: With much-appreciated help from Linda Johnson and McDonald County librarian Retha Mitchell, more information has turned up on Patience Starkey. Her parents were Samuel B. and Harriet (McKnight) Brown. She had one sister, Mary M. Brown. Patience and her husband had a daughter, Effie, whose married name was Davis. Patience was married on March 24, 1864, in Meigs County, Ohio, and died in Oklahoma. She was probably named after her grandmother, Patience Bradfield.)

Photo(s) Contributed by David M Habben

Contributed on 4/10/15 by tslundberg
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Record #: 767948

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Submitted: 4/10/15 • Approved: 4/10/15 • Last Updated: 4/11/18 • R767948-G767948-S3

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