|Antique Zinc Stagecoach Trunk
Original Owner History
A nice zinc stagecoach trunk from the early 1870's. Zinc trunks were pretty much top shelf and
prized because zinc does not rust.
This particular trunk measures 32"L X 21"H X 18"W and is with excellent weight being quiet sturdy
made. The zinc is in very good shape with no decay. The oak stats are tip top and the slat clamps
very unusual to see. This design was probably only used for a couple of years and only by the
patent holder. The lock is top notch and solid brass. It was made by Star Lock Works out of Philly
and marked with a short used symbol of a key and a star and the location as mentioned. It was
patented in 1869 and marked accordingly. Well made.
The inside is a mix of original and some refinishing. The top section inside the lid has the original
decoration and paper lining which has been cleaned and placed under a light finish. The lid
compartment drops down to reveal more storage area behind a door. Some wear and tear and
discoloration but still very nice and presents a good look. No tray was present when found so I cut
down an old tray to make fit and it is included. Underneath the wood tray is lightly finished wood
and the entire inside is perfectly suitable for storage as you wish.
A bit earlier than many trunks found and very nice.
The name of the original owner is stenciled on the trunks back slats and was retained.
Dr. R. H. Starks
The following information was published about Dr. Starks in 1885 in a book called the History of
Kentucky Illustrated. At this time he was around 33 years of age and would live for quite a few more
years. Many more references are found about him well into the early 1900's.
Dr. R[euben] H. Starks was born about seven miles southeast of Benton, near Wadesboro, Marshall
Co., KY, August 19, 1852. His father, Spencer P[ace] Starks was born in Todd Co., KY, Jan 16, 1817,
is a farmer and has never been outside the Commonwealth of KY. His wife, whose maiden name
was Mary A[nn] Skaggs, was born near Bowling Green, KY, and at the time of her marriage to
S.P.Starks, was a widow of a Mr.[James H.] Stark, by whom she had one son, James M[arion] Stark,
who is now engaged in farming and merchandising. To her second husband, Mrs. Starks has born
eleven children, seven of whom are still living. She is now about 57 years of age. R.H.Starks was
reared on a farm and attended school in the neighborhood until he was 17 years of age, when he
entered the high school in Benton, and afterward taught in the common schools of the county. His
first business experience was as clerk in the drugstore of Dr.A[ndrew] Smith, with whom he studied
medicine; in May 1875, he attended lectures at Louisville and in 1878 graduated from the Louisville
Medical College; he then practiced a year near Wadesboro, and next came to Benton, where he is
engaged in practice and is also conducting the drug store business. August 18, 1880, he married
Izora, daughter of John H. Strow, a merchant. Izora died March 22, 1882, aged 18 years and 4
months, leaving one child, eight months old. Mrs. Starks died a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church South; Mr. Starks was once a member of the Christian Church of Wadesboro, but withdrew
on account of the disorganization of that body."
It is always nice to know some history on such a piece and I pass it along hoping it finds another
that also appreciates such things. Several nice collectible points on this one being there are those
that collect antique zinc items, antique medical related, reference to a prominent person in the
history of a specific town, and it looks nice to boot.