Charles Starks was born in 1856 in Chatham, Ontario to James, origins unknown, and Martha E. Rouse, possibly born in Indiana. James Starks, living in the Canadian settlement of Dawn (of Josiah Henson and Uncle Tom’s Cabin fame), and Martha were married in 1844. Both died in Chatham in 1904.
On July 25, 1877 , Charles married nineteen-year-old Eveline Rickman (sometimes Richman) in Chatham. Eveline was born in 1860 in White County, Tennessee to Milford and Angelina Rickman. Milford Rickman was born free in Tennessee.
By 1861 the Rickmans had moved to the Queen’s Bush settlement in Grey County, Ontario. Eventually they settled on a farm near Chatham in Bothwell Township, Ontario. After Charles and Eveline were married, they farmed next to the elder Rickmans.
Charles and Eveline moved to Ypsilanti around 1890. In 1900 they were living with their two sons, Milford and Harry. The Stark family lived at 302 South Adams for decades, with the elder Milford Rickman joining them from Canada and dying in Ypsilanti in his 90s. Eveline had seven children, three of whom survived into adulthood. Charles was for many years the janitor for Brown AME Church. Eveline worked as a domestic. Charles died in 1935, Eveline in 1936.
Their son, Milford, would go onto serve in World War One and died in 1952, living much of his life on the street.