The Starr Commonwealth Schools / Floyd Starr
The Starr Commonwealth Schools
In 1913 Floyd Starr purchased forty acres of land on Montcalm Lake to found Starr Commonwealth for Boys, a non-profit home and residential school for wayward, delinquent and neglected boys. At that time, the only building on the property was an old barn in which Starr and the first two boys stayed until the first structure was completed. Today, 155 boys are served on a 300 acre campus encompassing facilities built with private contributions. Services to youth were expanded with the founding of the Van Wert, Ohio, campus in 1951 and the merger with the Hannah Neil Center for Children in Columbus, Ohio in 1978. Focusing on positive support in the character development of troubled children by providing a well-rounded academic, social and spiritual exposure, Starr Commonwealth is now a nationally recognized child care organization.
Floyd Starr, originator of the credo "There is no such thing as a bad boy," was born in Decatur, Michigan, on May 1, 1883. After graduating from Marshall High School, he worked for several half-way houses in St. Louis, Missouri. Returning to Michigan, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Albion College
in 1910. Fulfilling a lifetime dream to someday adopt fifty boys, Starr founded Starr Commonwealth for Boys in 1913. "Uncle Floyd," as he was affectionately called by his boys, earned the respect of court officials, co-workers and students for his successful work with homeless neglected and delinquent boys. He received numerous citations for his humanitarian efforts. Starr retired from active leadership of Starr Commonwealth in 1967, but provided guidance until his death on August 27, 1980 at the age of 97.