Melvin B. Starbird

1870 United States census records show brothers Melvin Starbird (21, born in Maine), Valorius (age 19, born in Maine), and Eugene (age 17, born in Maine) as laborers at Stillwater, Minnesota.

1880-81 Grand Forks business directory shows Melvin Starbird in Grand Forks, Dakota Territory, as a confectioner.  (Minnesota State Gazetteer and Business Directory, Including Dakota Territory, 1880-81, Volume II, R. L. Polk & Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, Page 868)

1885 Dakota Territory census records show Melvin Starbird (age 37, cook, from Maine) married to Lizzie (age 30, from England).  Children were Alfonso (age 13, born in Minnesota), Cora (age 11, born in Minnesota), and Gertrude (age 6, born in Dakota Territory).  The family resided in Grand Forks, Dakota Territory.

The June 16, 1887, Grand Forks/East Grand Forks tornado killed Cora Starbird (daughter) at the McClellan House in Grand Forks, Dakota Territory.  Elizabeth (wife), Alfonso (son), and a Starbird infant were injured.

Mel Starbird, of Grand Forks, Dak., is visiting friends for a few days.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Sunday Morning, May 20, 1888, Volume X, Number 141, Page 5)

The 1890-91 Duluth, Minnesota city directory shows Melvin Starbird as a steward on a ship.  The same information is shown in the 1891-92 directory.

The 1895 Minnesota census shows Melvin Starbird (age 47, born in Maine) married to Elizabeth (age 39, born in England).  Children were Alphonse (age 23, born in Minnesota, electrician) and Gertrude (age 16, born in Dakota Territory).  The family resided in Duluth, Minnesota.

Stage Electrician Al Starbird (son) is also putting the finishing touches on what is admitted to be the most expensive switch board for the controlling of the stage lighting apparatus in the West.  With this new board and the complete arrangement of white and colored lights, almost any desired effect can be secured, and in this direction, it is claimed, that the Grand will be the most complete theater in the West.  (The Appeal, St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, Saturday, August 26, 1899, Volume 15, Number 34, Page 3)

BLUE EARTH’S PLAYHOUSE.  New $20,000 Theater Opened by the “Way Down East” Company.  The electric-light system was put in by Al Starbird of Minneapolis at a cost of $1,000.  (The Minneapolis Journal, Monday Evening, December 29, 1902, Page 11)

Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Starbird announce the engagement of their daughter, Gertrude Alicia, to William M. Burns (of Iowa).  The wedding will take place Monday, June 22, in St. Charles Catholic church.  (The Minneapolis Journal, Monday Evening, June 1, 1903, Page 8).

TALKS ON ELECTRICITY.  Experts will give popular lectures to Y. M. C. A. classes during the winter.  March 22. – “Theatrical Lighting and Wiring,” Alphonso Starbird (son) of the Bijou Electric company.  (The Minneapolis Journal, Saturday Evening, September 23, 1905, Page 5)

1910 United States census records show Melvin Starbird (age 58, born in Maine) married to Elizabeth (age 50, born in England).  The couple lived with their daughter Gertrude Burns (age 30, born in Dakota Territory) in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Gertrude was married to William Burns from Iowa.

Elizabeth Duckworth Starbird (wife) died October 29, 1912, in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Her husband Melvin was still alive at the time.  Starbird’s death certificate does not list her birth date, but says she was born in England.

1920 United States census records show Melvin Starbird (age 72, born in Maine) living in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He is widowed at this stage of life.

Melvin Brown Starbird died in Sherburne County, Minnesota, on July 8, 1923.  At the time of his death (age 70) he was working in the commissary of a logging company.  His death record showed his date of birth as September 4, 1852.  His parents were listed as David and Nancy Starbird.  His father, David, was listed as being born in Maine.

Alphonso Starbird (son) died August 18, 1932, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  His wife Anna K. was still alive at the time.  Starbird’s death certificate lists his birth date as January 21, 1873, in Stillwater, Minnesota.  His trade/profession was listed as an electrical contractor.

Gertrude A. Burns (daughter), who was born March 31, 1879, died in Hennepin County, Minnesota on July 13, 1968.


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