Charley Stark was raised in Billings, Missouri. His father sold farm equipment for many years along with farming. The Bell City Thresher was one of the things he sold. Charley has fond memories of going with his father to the factory in a 1-1/2 ton truck to pick up a thresher.
When Charley came back from the service in 1962, the Ozarks Steam Engine Assn was formed by his dad and several other steam enthusiasts. Charley wasn’t a charter member because his dad wouldn’t pay his dues to join. But he did join later. Charley has been at all the shows but one.
Branch 16 was chartered in December of 1971. Charley wasn’t a charter member of Branch 16 but came in a couple years after it started. Charley served as Secretary-Treasurer from 1979 to 1990. Charley served on the National EDGETA board from 1976 to 1998. He served as National Vice-President for about 10 years.
Charley is an EDGETA member in good standing with Branch 16. Charley is President of The Ozarks Steam Engine Association and has been in that position for about 30 years. He spends many hours working at the show grounds and working in conjunction with Branch 16 preparing for the next show.
Every fall when the show starts, Charley is at the helm every morning welcoming all the exhibitors and spectators at the flag raising ceremony. Charley announces the 2 steam parades everyday with out notes no less and gives a history of every engine that comes through.
He has several rare tractors and an Advance Rumley Steam Traction engine and a scale model engine. He takes to shows around the area and belts it to a scale model hay press.
Charley is always willing to help anybody in the two clubs along with anyone that has a steam engine or a piece of antique equipment. After his retirement he has a lot more time to do the things he likes best. Charley & Betty have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. A pair of twin grandsons has kept them busy. Charley is a deacon at the Brookline First Baptist Church.
After Charley retired, he was working on a tractor and told Betty he needed a set of rear tires. She told him either sell some of his stuff or find himself a part time job. He now drives cars for a dealer a couple of day a week to support his bobby.