Starks lies in the south-western part of Somerset county,
bordering on Franklin. Anson bounds it on the north, Norridgewock
on the east, Mercer on the south, and Industry on the west. The sur-
face is generally level, but there are a few hills, among which Mount
Hunger and Maple Hill are the highest, having an elevation of about
600 feet. The rock is granitic in character, with some “blue ledge.”
The soil is a rich clayey loam. General farm crops are cultivated, and
do remarkably well. Nearly all species of Maine trees are found in
the forest in due proportion, except pine. Sandy River forms a part
of the southern line of the town, and runs northward across the eastern
part to the Kennebec, which forms a part of the line on the north-east.
Lemon Stream, which furnishes the principal water-power, enters at
the north-west and discharges into Sandy River at the south-east.
Starks Village is situated on this stream in the western part of the
twon, where, also, are the manufactures. These are a saw-mill for long
and short lumber, shingle-mill, grist-mill and carriage and pump factory.
The nearest railroad station is 7 miles distant. Starks is 14 miles from
Skowhegan on the stage-line from Temple Mills.
The first settler was James Waugh, who had previously resided for
several years in Clinton. Hearing that the New Plymouth Company
were making liberal offers for new settlers, he in 1772, with knapsack,
dog and gun started up the Kennebec in pursuit of a farm. He as-
cended as far as the mouth of Sandy River and selected a lot near it.
In 1774 he returned with three of his neighbors and their families. So
rapidly did this settlement increase that in 1790 there were 327 persons
within the township. Starks was incorporated Feb. 28, 1795, being
named for the hero of Bennington. Its area is 17,154 acres, of which
363 acres are in roads. Among the valued citizens of this town in
time past were Stephen Williamson, Leonard Greaton, James Varnum,
William E. Folsom, Asa Chapman, Joseph Witham, Stephen Green-
leaf, Samuel Chapman, Abijah Joy, William Frederic, and others.
Starks sent about 75 men to do battle for the Union during the war of
the Rebellion, one-third of the number being lost.
The church edifices here are the Methodist and the Union. There
is also a Free Baptist society. There are thirteen public schoolhouses,
valued at $2,500. The population in 1870 was 1,083. In 1880 it was
929. The valuation in 1870 was $281,614. In 1880 it was $312,264.
The rate of taxation in the latter year was 1 ½ per cent.