File submitted to Lincoln Co., Missouri Heritage pages by Lynne C. Hibbits Wilson, 25 October 2003.  Link change or file update: 26 Oct. 2003

Sheriff Melvin Starkey Dies Suddenly
Troy Free Press (Troy, Lincoln County, MO), September 16, 1960, Page 1.


The Troy community and all of Lincoln County was shocked and saddened to learn late Friday afternoon September 9, of the sudden death of Sheriff Melvin STARKEY, earlier that afternoon at his new farm home, one mile north of Troy on highway 61.

Sheriff STARKEY and a helper, T. B. HOSKINS, had gone to the farm earlier in the afternoon to do some work about the place. After laying out the work for Mr. HOSKINS, Sheriff STARKEY went into the house and laid down on the cot to rest.

Sometime, later when Mr. STARKEY did not appear to return home, HOSKINS and STARKEY's son-in-law, David HARKE, went in search of him and found him dead.

Owing to the fact Sheriff STARKEY had suffered injuries in a scuffle with a prisoner he was attempting to put in jail on the previous Saturday night, it was feared that the injuries might have been a contributing cause of his death. Therefore an autopsy was performed.

The following is a report of the Pathologist performing the autopsy.

"I have examined the body of Mr. Melvin Fritz STARKEY who died in the afternoon of September 9, 1960. The cause of death is an acute coronary occlusion, that is a rapid closure of one of the coronary arteries by a clot. The coronary arteries supply the heart muscle with blood, and when one of any size rapidly closes it may cause death very rapidly. This was caused by the hardening of the wall of the artery by natural causes.

"The possibility that physical injury may have contributed to this death was thoroughly investigated and no connection is found which gives any indication that this death is the result in any way from physical injury. - Henry H. SWEETS, Jr., M.D., Pathologist, Hannibal, Mo."

The autopsy was performed at the request of Prosecuting Attorney Peter J. GREWACH and with the consent of the family.

Four years ago this summer Melvin was nominated and elected Sheriff of Lincoln county, and as predicted by many of his friends, he has made one of the best sheriffs to serve this county. In showing their appreciation of the good work done by Mr. STARKEY during his term in office, the citizens of Lincoln county re-nominated him on the Democratic ticket in the August primary by an overwhelming majority.

Mrs. STARKEY has been appointed by the County Court to fill out the unexpired term of her late husband, and was sworn in Saturday.

Mr. STARKEY, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry STARKEY, was born on April 16, 1914, at Troy, being 46 years of age at the time of his death.

He was married to Miss Thelma HARRELL who survives him. He also leaves a daughter, Mrs. David HARKE, a son, Edward STARKEY, grandchildren, son-in-law, daughter in-law, a brother, Wm. STARKEY, of Troy, other relatives and many friends.

Funeral services were conducted from the Kemper-Marsh Funeral Home to the Zion United Church of Christ on Monday afternoon, September 12, at 2:00 o'clock, conducted by Rev. Walter GUINN, assisted by Rev. Richard BRUESEKE.

Interment was made in the Troy cemetery.

File submitted to Lincoln Co., Missouri Heritage pages by Lynne C. Hibbits Wilson, 25 October 2003.  Link change or file update: 26 Oct. 2003

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