Matching family tree profiles for John S. Stark, 3rd Relief Party
About John S. Stark, 3rd Relief Party
A son-in-law of Matthew D. Ritchie, Stark single-handedly rescued members of the Breen, Graves, and Jacob Donner families from Starved Camp. He was a large, strong man who weighed 220 pounds. John Breen wrote,
To his great bodily strength, and unexcelled courage, myself and others owe our lives. There was probably no other man in California at that time, who had the intelligence, determination, and what was absolutely necessary in that emergency, the immense physical powers of John Stark. He was as strong as two ordinary men. On his broad shoulders, he carried the provisions, most of the blankets, and most of the time some of the weaker children. In regard to this, he would laughingly say that he could carry them all, if there was room on his back, because they were so light from starvation.
According to H. H. Bancroft, Stark was county judge of Napa Co. 1850-51; a member of the legislature in 1851 and 1855-56; 1851-68 lived near Calistoga; lived in or near Guenoc, Lake Co., from 1868 till his death.
McGlashan adds that Stark was sheriff of Napa Co. for six years and that he died instantaneously of a heart attack while pitching hay from a wagon. John and Mary Jane Stark had 11 children, six of whom were alive in 1879.
John S. Stark, 3rd Relief Party's Timeline
Wayne Co., IN
Coyote Valley, Lake Co., CA