“He who careth not from whence he came, careth little whither he goeth.” Daniel Webster

VOL. X, NO. 1  MARCH, 1962 

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[Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]


and his wife


(View photograph)


THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.

      Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 N Hite Ave., Louisville 6, Kentucky.
      William Perry Johnson, Historian-Genealogist, Box 531 Raleigh, North Carolina.
      Russell E. Bidlack, Secretary-Treasurer, 1709 Cherokee Rd., Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Sparks Family Association was founded in March, 1953, as a non-profit organization devoted to the assembling of and preserving for posterity all genealogical and historical material pertaining to the Sparks family in America.  Membership in the Association is open to all persons connected in any way with the Sparks family, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption, and especially to those interested in genealogical and historical research. Membership falls into three classes: Active, Contributing, and Sustaining. Active membership dues are two dollars per year; Contributing membership dues are three dollars per year; Sustaining membership dues are any amount over three dollars. All members, whether Active, Contributing, or Sustaining, receive THE SPARKS QUARTERLY as it is published in March, June, September, and December. Libraries, genealogical and historical societies, and individuals may subscribe to the QUARTERLY without joining the Association at the rate of two dollars per year. Back issues are kept in print and are available for fifty cents per issue. The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, 1953. The editor from March, 1953, to September, 1954, was Paul E. Sparks; since September, 1954, the editor has been Russell E. Bidlack. The QUARTERLY is printed at the Edwards Letter Shop, .711 N. University, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


(Editor’s Note: Mrs. Hagle T. Tarman, 457 West Main St., El Paso, Illinois, has furnished most of the data from which the following record has been prepared.)

Amos Sparks was born on June 7, 1785, in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, according to an obituary written by Anoil Beach that appeared in the Western Christian Advocate of February 6, 1867. Thus far we have not succeeded in identifying the parents of Amos Sparks in Queen Anne’s County, although a large branch of the Sparks family lived there throughout the eighteenth century. It is known that Amos Sparks had a close relative, probably a brother, whose name was Jesse R. Sparks and who seems to have been two or three years older than Amos. According to a biographical sketch of one of his sons (see History of Knox County, Indiana, Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1886, page 513), Jesse R. Sparks married Margaret Burns in Maryland and shortly thereafter moved to Belmont County, Ohio, “where he was a leading citizen and was sheriff several years.” In 1820, Jesse R. Sparks moved to Dearborn County, Indiana, where he died in 1865. One of his children is known to have been Nathan B. Sparks (born 1815) who married Harriet E. Skates in 1838; another was Jesse Sparks, Jr., born about 1803, married Jemima Thorn in 1827 and in 1850 was living in Allen County, Indiana, with children named Jeremiah, Stephen, Mary T., and Margaret; he was a clergyman according to this census record.

The parents of Amos Sparks, according to Ancil Beach, “were Methodists and raised their children in the fear of the Lord.” In 1803, according to Mr. Beach, Amos Sparks “was converted and commenced exhorting.” Shortly after his conversion, he is said to have commenced preaching in Pennsylvania and Virginia, traveling from one settler’s cabin to another. Mr. Beach quoted Amos Sparks in recalling these times: “The children of God would get shouting happy till the whole house would be rejoicing at once.”


Amos Sparks moved to eastern Ohio sometime prior to 1807. AccordIng to the family Bible, he was married to Nancy Borough on June 2, 1805. Nancy was born on December 1, 1789, somewhere in Indiana; her name was given as Nancy Arm on the 1850 census. Amos and Nancy Sparks were living in Ohio at the time their first child was born in 1807, probably in Belmont County where it is known that they were living in 1808. They were in Warren County in 1817. In due time, according to Ancil Beach, Amos Sparks “was ordained Deacon by Bishop George and Elder by Bishop Soule.” He began his itinerant career in 1825 in the Ohio Conference. He was admitted in the Ohio Annual Conference in 1826 and was appointed to the Greenville Circuit. In 1829 he was transferred to the Indiana Conference aril the following year to the Illinois Conference. He was “received into full connection” in 1832. During the five-year period from 1829 to 1834 he held the following appointments:
                    1829 -- Connersville, Madison District, Illinois Conference
                    1830 -- Rushville, Madison District, Illinois Conference
                    1831 -- Columbus, Indianapolis District, Illinois Conference
                    1832 -- Brownstown, Charlestown District, Indiana Conference
                    1833 -- Franklin, Indianapolis District, Indiana Conference
                    1834 -- Mooresville, Indianapolis District, Indiana Conference

John C. Smith, who was appointed as junior pastor with Amos Sparks in 1830, recalled in a book entitled Reminiscences of Early Methodism in Indiana, that Amos Sparks was “a most unique man full of good common sense, of marked eloquence and power in the pulpit, and popular with the people.” According to Smith, Sparks’s annual salary in 1830 was $175.00.

After 1835, Amos Sparks gave up traveling a circuit, probably because of family responsibilities, but he continued as a “local minister” until his death. According to Beach, “Brother Sparks was a good man and a firm believer in an Evangelical Ministry, called by the Holy Ghost to the work, and feeling ‘woe is me if. I preach not the Gospel.’ Said he, ‘I do not believe anything else is true religion, but which we can feel and enjoy.’”

When the 1850 census was taken, Amos Sparks was living in Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana. His occupation was given as “Shoemaker,” his age as 64, and his birthplace as Maryland.

Amos Sparks died on January 11, 1867, at the age of 82. His wife died sometime prior to 1867--the exact date has not been discovered. They were the parents of the following children:

            1. Noah Sparks, born January 11, 1807.
            2. Jeremiah Sparks, born November 16, 1808.
            3. Jesse Sparks, born January 12, 1810.
            4. Bathsheber Sparks, born May 30, 1813.
            5. Benjamin A. Sparks, born November 16, 1815.
            6. Asa A. Sparks, born November 10, 1817.
            7. May Sparks, born February 17, 1819.

1. Noah Sparks, eldest son of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks, was born in Ohio on January 11, 1807. According to the family Bible, he married Susanna Woodward on May 6, 1826. The births of their first three children are recorded in the family
Bible as follows:
        (1) Mary Jane Sparks, born June 13, 1828.
        (2) Nancy Sparks, born December 12, 1829.
        (3) Amanda Sparks, born August 22, 1833.
All three of these daughters appear to have either died or to have left home by 1850. According to the 1850 census, Noah Sparks was living In Addison Township, Shelby County, Indiana. His family was listed as follows:


(The family of Noah Sparks as listed on the 1850 census:)

Noah Sparks                       (age) 43   (birthplace) Ohio
Susan Sparks  42 Indiana
Lafayette Sparks  13     "
Theodore Sparks  12     "
Susan Sparks    6     "
Hercial Sparks    5     "
Lanner E. Sparks    2     "

2. Jeremiah B. Sparks, second son of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, on November  15, 1808. [Scanner's Note:  This is an error.  This Jeremiah was the son of Jesse R. Sparks who was the brother of Amos Sparks.  See the QUARTERLY for December, 1972, Whole No. 80, pp 1517-30.] He was married in Franklin County, Indiana, on September 19, 1830, to Eliza B. Rockafeller, of New Trenton,  Indiana. She was a daughter of John and Mary Rockafeller and was born in New Jersey on February 5, 1805. Jeremiah B. Sparks died in Greenfield, Hancock County, Indiana, on February 6, 1886; his wife died also in Greenfield, on December 19, 1880. According to an obituary that appeared in the Minutes of the Thirty-fifth Annual Session of the South-East Indiana Conference for the Methodist Episcopal Church, Jeremiah B.Sparks joined the Methodist Church in 183l and shortly thereafter was “licensed to exhort.” In 1848, he was licensed to preach and two years later was received on trial in the Indiana Conference, being placed in charge of the Manchester Circuit. During his long career in the ministry, he served many churches in south-east Indiana.

   We have not been able to obtain a complete list of the children of Jeremiah and Eliza (Rockafeller) Sparks, but from census records it would appear that they were the parents of at least the following children:
        (1) Clarissa Sparks, born about 1837.
        (2) Eliza Sparks, born about 1838.
        (3) Henry Sparks, born about 1841.
        (4) William Sparks, born about 1843.
        (5) John Sparks, born about 1846.

3. Jesse Sparks, third son of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks, was born January 12, 1810. According to the family Bible of Amos Sparks, Jesse was married to Judith Dorrah (or Darrah). A record of this marriage is on file in Decatur County, Indiana, and is dated June 27, 1831. On this record, Judith’s name appears as Judith Darrow; the marriage was performed by Nathan Hobbs, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. No further record of Jesse Sparks has been found.

4. Bathsheber (or Bathsheba) Sparks, fourth child and eldest daughter of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks, was born on April 30, 1813, According to the family Bible, she was married to Robert Davis on January 30, 1830. The bond for this marriage is on file in Fayette County, Indiana, and is dated January 7, 1830. The marriage was performed by Moses Fay, a justice of the peace. No further record of Bathsheba has been found.

5. Benjamin A. Sparks, fifth child of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks, was born on November 16, 1815. According to the family Bible, he was married to Mary Imhuff on June 13, 1836. This marriage is also recorded in Shelby County, Indiana, on the same date, but Mary’s name is spelled “Imhof” instead of “Imhuff”. According to the 1850 census, Mary was born in Kentucky about 1819. When the 1850 census was taken, Benjamin A. Sparks was a resident of Shelby County, Indiana, and his occupation was given as that of tailor. According to this census record, they were the parents of the following children (more were probably born after 1850):


(The family of Benjamin A. Sparks as listed on the 1850 census:)
            Benjamin A. Sparks         (age)     33         (birthplace)   Ohio
            Mary Sparks                                    31                                Kentucky
            Junlina [?] Sparks                           10                                Indiana
            Henry Sparks                                    8                                   "
            Benj. F. Sparks                                 4                                   "
            Amos Sparks                                    1                                   "
            Amanda Sparks                             17                                Ohio

6. Asa Egbert Sparks, sixth child and fifth son of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks, was born November 10, 1817, in  Warren County, Ohio, and died June 24, 1892, in El Paso, Illinois, See below for a detailed record of his descendants.

7. May Sparks, seventh child and second daughter of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks, was born on February 17, 1819,  according to the family Bible. We have no further record of her.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


By Hazle T. Tarman

Asa Egbert Sparks, sixth child and fifth son of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks, was born in Warren County, Ohio, on November 10, 1817. On May 29, 1838, he was married in Shelbyville, Indiana, to Miss Amanda VanScyoc by James Wray (see Marriage Record Book 3, page 455). She was born in Wheeling, Ohio County, Virginia, on January 21, 1820. (The part of Virginia in which Wheeling is located became West Virginia in 1863.) She had moved with her parents to Indiana in 1836. In 1843, Asa and Amanda moved to Woodford County, Illinois, and settled on a farm in Palestine Township. Twelve years later they moved to the nearby town of Kappa where Mr. Sparks, according to his obituary, “engaged in mercantile pursuit.” He was also a merchant in El Paso, Illinois, at one time. While a young man, Asa Sparks was ordained a Methodist minister and, according to his obituary, “in early times, he preached in different places in Woodford County.” It was also stated that when he died “he was perhaps the best known person in Woodford County.” He died on June 24, 1892, and was buried at the Centennial Cemetery near Kappa, Illinois; his body was later moved to Evergreen Cemetery, El Paso, Illinois. Amanda Sparks, wife of Asa, died August 18, 1901, and was buried beside her husband. Asa and Amanda (VanScyoc) Sparks were the parents of the following nine children:

I. Robert D. Sparks, born October 26, 1843.
II. William Anderson Sparks, born May 14, 1846.
III. Margaret Ann Sparks, born February 6, 1848.
IV. Leonidius Sparks, born December 16, 1849; died March 23, 1850.
V. Amos Sparks, born June 3, 1851.
VI. John S. Sparks, born July 30, 1853.
VII. Egbert Sparks, born March 17, 1856; died April 3, 1856.
VIII. Edward L. Sparks, born August 17, 1857.
IX. Clara May Sparks, born March 12, 1861.

I.  Robert Davis Sparks, oldest child of Asa and Amanda (Vanscyoc) Sparks, was born Oct. 26, 1843, and died in Palestine Township, Woodford County, Illinois, on June 23, 1901. He was married on March 10, 1869, to Margaret N. Davidson, who was born Sept. 6, 1848, and died March 15, 1906. Both were buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso, Illinois. Robert Sparks served in the 36th and the 88th Illinois Infantry Regiments in the Civil War and was mustered out of service on Oct. 8, 1865. He spent most of his life in Woodford County. Robert D. and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks were the parents of the following children:

            1. Walter Sparks, born Aug. 30, 1870.
            2. Lester Sparks, born May 29, 1872.
            3. Maude Esten Sparks, born Sept. 17, 1875.
            4. Nettie Sparks, born June 21, 1877.
            5. Emmaline Gertrude Sparks, born Dec. 19, 1880.

[Scanner's note:  There are a number of additions and corrections to the following article which are too extensive to include here.  To view them see the article entitled CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS TO FAMILY OF WALTER DAVIS SPARKS (1870-1949)  in the QUARTERLY at pages 4973-4.

    1. Walter Sparks, son of Robert D. and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks, was born Aug. 30, 1870, in Woodford County, Ill., and died Dec. 19, 1949. He was married on Dec. 24, 1902, to Lillah Maud Thomas, who was born April 24, 1887, in Green Valley, Kansas. Children:

(A) Leland Thomas Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maud (Thomas) Sparks, was born March 21, 1904; married Dec. 15, 1925, Helen E. Wood, born 1904, daughter of Sparks and Corda Helen (JohnsonJohnston) Wood of Golden City, Ill., and Sylvester Wood.  The Wood family lived in Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois.  Children:

[Scanner's note:  Corrections and additions per SQ Whole No. 142,  p. 3237.]

(1) Roy Lee Sparks, born Oct. 5, 1929; married Joan; they have three children: Steve; Tommy; and Dale, born Nov. 8, 1956.
(2) Mary Ellen Sparks, born Nov. 11, 1931; married Eugene Hathaway; they have four children: Marlene Ella, born Feb. 2, 1954; Mike,  born Dec. 27, 1955; Maretta, born Oct. 8, 1958; and Ma.rcella Ileane, born Dec.19, 1961.
(3) Doris May Sparks, born Aug. 5, 1933; married 1959 Willis Earl Slaughter of Bloomington, Ill. They have a son, Chris, born May 23, 1957.
(B) Harry Adelbert Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maud (Thomas) Sparks, was born March 20.
(1) Adelbert Eugene Sparks (Toby), born Sept. 11, 1940; married July 26, 1959, Joyce Lee Dodson. They have two children: Ronnie Eugene, born March 16, 1960; and Donald Adelbert, born April 8, 1961.
(2) Step-daughter, Marcella Shoemaker, married Everett Quiram and has a daughter named Margaret Evelyn Quiram, born April 13, 1954.
(C) Feye Virginia Sparks, daughter of Walter and Lillah Maud (Thomas) Sparks, was born Aug. 20, 1908; married July 27, 1927, Leslie Brown. Children:
(1) Joan Margaret Brown, married (first) Donald Miller who died of wounds received in the Korean War; he was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Miller. They had one son, Donald Miller. Joan married (second) George Rutledge; they have two sons, Daniel Lee Rutledge, born Dec. 10, 1953; and David Lynn Rutledge, born Aug. 26, 1955.
(2) Leslie Gene Brown, born Jan. 17, 1933; married Louise Bigger. They have three children: Terry, born Jan. 24, 1956; Pamela Diana, born Sept. 18, 1958; and Rebecca Faye, born April 25, 1960.
(3) Walter James Brown, born Dec. 17, 1934.
 Faye Virginia (Sparks) Brown married (second) Nov. 18, 1939, Kellis Mounce. By this marriage she had one daughter:
(4) Virginia Lee Mounce, born Sept. 15, 1940; married Aug. 30, 1959, Robert Pierce. They have one daughter, Kelly Jo, born Feb. 9, 1960.
(D) Paul Eugene Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maud (Thomas) Sparks, born Oct. 4, 1910; married Arnettis Tease. They have two sons:
(1) Richard Eugene Sparks.
(2) Larry Sparks.
(E) Robert Hiram Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maud (Thomas) Sparks, born July 3, 1915; died Sept. 28, 1957, at Veterans Hospital, Temple, Texas. He married Gene Doody at Peoria, Ill. Children:
                    (1) Robert Hiram Sparks, Jr.
                    (2) Jacqueline Sparks.
(F) Walter Donald Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maud (Thomas) Sparks, born Dec. 7, 1918; married Agnes Swanson. Children:
(1) Carol Sparks.
(2) Donald Sparks.
(G) William Hamilton Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maud (Thomas) Sparks, born June  September 28, 1923; married SamyeSammie Joyce Bryant. Children:
(1) Sandy  Sandra Jo Sparks.
(2) Cindy Kay Sparks.
[Scanner's note:  The above corrections are explained at SQ Whole No. 128,  p. 2686.]
2. Lester Sparks, son of Robert D. and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks, was born May 29, 1872, and died in 1953; he was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso, Ill. He married Oct. 18, 1892, Jeanette Burger who was born July 3, 1872, and died Sept. 30, 1949. Children:
(A) Lloyd Sparks, son of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born May 21, 1893; married Oct. 20, 1914, Leela Reich, born May 30, 1896, daughter of William Henry and Eliza (Dermis) Reich. One child:
(1) Louise Berdina Sparks, born Sept. 16, 1916; married Oct. 13, 1934, Herman Sacks, born March 27, 1909. They have two children: Carolyn Joyce Sacks, born Nov. 25, 1942; and Mary Louise Sacks, born Nov. 3, 1947.
(B) Floyd Sparks (Buzz), son of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born April 29, 1895; married Florence Trexler. Children:
(1) Kenneth Sparks, married and has children: Steven Michael Sparks, born 1956; Deborah Jean, born 1959
(2) Marie Sparks, married John Azovedo of Clinton, Ill.; they have two daughters, Karen and Janice, and one son.
(3) Dorothy Sparks, married William Harold; they have two daughters.
(4) Lester Sparks, married Donna; they have a daughter, Denise Ann Sparks.
(C) Ralph William Sparks, son of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born May 15, 1897; married Feb. 7,1929, Lillie Rarrick, daughter of Benjamin and Pearl (Skinner) Rarrick. They were divorced, remarried in 1957, and later again divorced.

(D) Veda May Sparks, daughter of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born May 25, 1899; married Sept. 2,1928, Monte Dooley; they have one son, Raymond Dooley, who married Gloria.

(E) Gladys Sparks, daughter of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born March 12, 1900; married Oct. 4, 1924, in Woodford County, Ill., Jesse Raber who was born in 1892, son of David and Amelia (Molsman) Raber.  Besides an adopted son, Stanley, they had the following children:

(1) Ruth Imogene Raber, born Aug. 30, 1931; died Nov. 6, 1931.
(2) Donald K. Raber, deceased.
(3) Robert (Bobbie) Raber; married Dorothy Kudner; they have a son named Mark.
(4) William Raber.
(5) Betty Jean Raber, married Arthur Yarber; living in California.
(6) Jerry Raber.
(F) Jessie Marie Sparks, daughter of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born April 30, 1904; died Oct. 15, 1934. She married Ollie Weakley. They had one child:
(1) Dorcas Marlene Weakley, born Oct. 15, 1934; married Delbert French; they have two sons and one daughter.
(G) Dorothy Sparks, daughter of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born Sept. 13, 1906; married Aug. 29, 1925, Clarence Raber, son of Dave and Amelia (Meisman) Raber. They adopted a son named Lloyd.

(H) Leo Sparks, son of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born March 3, 1908; died Sept. 2, 1947, he was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, El Paso, Ill. He married Catherine White, born 1913. The had one daughter:

(1) Marjorie Dean Sparks, married April 24, 1952, Robert Waybe Zorn. Children: Gregg Douglas Zorn, born 1958; Michelle Kathryne Zorn, born Oct. 2, 1961.
(I) George Sparks, son of Lester and Jeanette (Burger) Sparks, was born Oct. 31, 1910. He married Gussie. No children.

3. Maude Esten Sparks, daughter of Robert D. and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks, was born Sept. 17, 1875, in Woodford County, Ill. She was married at El Paso, Ill., in 1896, to Emanuel A. Miller, born Aug. 21, 1870, near Gridley, Ill., and died Jan. 16, 1938, in Bloomington, Ill. He was a son of C. K. and Elizabeth (Bricklebaw) Miller. Children:

(A) Fern Oma Miller, born Nov. 4, 1897, near El Paso, Ill.; married Harold Bruce Hamilton, born Aug. 6, 1894, son of Hilton and Mary (Baldridge) Hamilton. They had two children:
(1) Dorothy Louise Hamilton, born July 9, 1920; married July 5, 1941, at Huntsville, Ala., Robert C. Miller.  They have a daughter, Pamlee Jean, born July 15, 1947.
(2) Robert Hilton Hamilton, born Sept. 5, 1924, Bloomington, Ill., married Cleo Peasley. They have one child,  Rendy Bruce Hamilton, born Sept. 11, 1947.
(B) Artie Emanuel. Miller, was born Jan. 29, 1900, near El Paso, Ill.; married Grace Engel, daughter of Jacob and  Lydia (King) Engel. They had one child:
(1) Shirley Jane Miller, born May 199 1931, at Bloomington, Ill.
(C) Hester Neal Miller, born Oct. 16, 1901, near El Paso, Ill.; married Jan. 8, 1925, William Floyd Stephens, son of Elmer and Susan (Sutton) Stephens. They had one child:
(1) Maryilyn (sic) Joan Stephens, born May 20, 1932, at Carlock, Ill.
(D) Audrey Opal Miller, born Nov. 29, 1906, in Woodford County, Ill. married Nov. 27, 1929, Claude Raymond Otto, who was born April 7, 1909, and died Jan0 13, 1952; he was the son of Robert and Hulda (Nafsinger) Otto. They had one child:
(1) Virginia Lee Otto, born July 26, 1936, in Normal, Ill.; married Dona Lee Abbey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Abbey.
Audrey Opal (Miller) Otto married as her second husband Arthur Baums of Carlock, Ill. The marriage took place Dec. 26, 1958.
4. Jeanette Sparks (Nettle), daughter of Robert D. and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks, was born June 21, 1877, and died in 1953. She never married.

5. Emmaline Gertrude Sparks, daughter of Robert D. and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks, was born Dec. 19, 1880, and died Feb. 6, 1960. She was married on Oct. 5, 1910, to Joe Arnold, who was born Sept. 22, 1888, and died Aug. 26, 1960. They adopted a son named Fred.


II. William Anderson Sparks, (Dan), second son of Asa and Ainanda (VanScyoc) Sparks, was born May 14, 1846, in Illinois.   He died on March 3, 1924, at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, Illinois, and was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery, Mt. Etna,  Iowa. During the Civil War he served in the Union Army; he enlisted on May 26, 1864, and was mustered out Sept. 23, 1864; he served in Company I of the 145th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He was married on May 14, 1871, at Carthage, Missouri, to Martha Lucas, who was born Feb. 14, 1850, in Illinois, and died June 13, 1921. She was buried beside her husband. William Anderson Sparks married (second) Martha Kippenbrock on April 22, 1922. She was born in 1858 in El Paso, Ill. Soon after his first marriage, William A. Sparks homesteaded near Elm Creek, Nebraska where they remained until 1894; they then moved to Missouri, and in the autumn of 1895 moved to Iowa, locating near Carl and later near Mount  Etna. By his first wife, William A. Sparks had fifteen children:

1. Cora Sparks, daughter of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born March 6, 1872, in Missouri and died May  24, 1946, at Taylor, Nebraska. She married Matt Lyons on Nov. 9, 1902. She married (second) Earl A. McIntyre. By her first husband she had two Sons:

(A) Howard Lyons, lives near Taylor, Nebr. He married and has three children:
(1) Rosie Lee Lyons.
(2) Erma May Lyons.
(3) Bernice June Lyons.
(B) Harvey Lyons, lives near Lexington, Nebr. He married and has seven children.
2. Letty Sparks, daughter of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Oct. 25, 1873, in Illinois and died Feb. 3,1874; she was buried in the Centennial Cemetery west of Kappa, Ill.

3. Asa Egbert Sparks, son of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Dec. 24, 1874, in Ill.; he lives at Holdrege, Nebr. He married Stella Sohus on Sept. 17, 1900; she was born Aug. 16, 1883. They had one son:

(A) Arthur L. Sparks, born June 21, 1902; he was married June 19, 1928, to Bertha Youngquist, barn July 12, 1907.  They live on Route 2, Holdrege, Nebr., and they have three daughters.
(1) Beatrice Sparks, born Dec. 6, 1930; married Ralph Delimont Oct. 24, 1959. They live in Los Angeles.
 (2) Phyllis Sparks, born Dec. 22, 1932; married Robert Vandell on Feb. 14, 1953. They live at Funk, Nebr., and have three children: Gregory, born April 11, 1955; Trudy, born June 13, 1957; and Teresa, born March 31, 1960.
(3) Jo Ann Sparks, born June 14, 1939, married Gary L. Johnson on Nov. 12, 1960. They live at Lincoln, Nebr.
4. Minnie Sparks, daughter of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born March 29, 1876, in Illinois; died June 9, 1876.

5. Charley W. Sparks, son of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born April 12, 1877, in Illinois; died Sept. 7,1893, in Nebraska.

6. Harvey B. Sparks, son of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Oct. 9, 1878, in Illinois; died Nov. 27, 1950, in North Dakota. He married Anna Sink in Bowbells, North Dakota. (Anna had one son, Merritt Tallman, by her first marriage.) They had six children:


(Children of Harvey B. and Ann (Sink) Sparks:

(A) Gladys Sparks, born 1904, married Lawrence Erickson. They have two sons:
(1) Ernest Erickson, married Jean ----.
(2) Richard Erickson, married Birdie ----.
(B) Norman Sparks, born l906; married Helen ----. They have no children.

(C) Estella Sparks, born 1908; married Bert Wahlund. They have one son:

(1) Larry Wahlund.
(D) Rolland Sparks, born 1911; married Grace Flecton. They have two Sons:
(1) Bobbie Sparks.
(2) Douglas Sparks.
(E) Jessie Sparks, born 1916; married Richard Billings. They have two sons:
(1) Billie Billings.
(2) Dickie Billings.
                Jessie (Sparks) Billings married (second) William Brown.
(F) Lyle Sparks, born 1926; married Evelyn ----.

7. Mable Sparks, daughter of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Sept. 26, 1880, in Nebraska; died Jan. 30, 1881.

8. Abner R. Sparks, son of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Jan. 27, 1882, in Nebraska; died Oct. 29, 1961, and was buried in Taylor, Nebraska. He never married.

9. Ernest H. Sparks, born Dec. 10, 1883, in Nebraska; unmarried; he lives in British Columbia, Canada.

10. Mary L. Sparks, daughter of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Oct. 10, 1885; died Oct. 24, 1886; buried in Nebraska.

11. George Andrews Sparks, son of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Oct. 24, 1887, in Nebraska; he married Louie May Redding, daughter of Charles A. and Margaret Adelaide (Plant) Redding, on Oct. 23, 1910. She  was born Oct. 22, 1892, in Plymouth, Indiana. Children:

(A) Margaret Charlotta Sparks, barn Sept. 15, 1911, in Bowbells, North Dakota; married in 1937 to Jack Hart. She  married (second) on Feb. 14, 1941, Leo C. Shea; she lives in Los Angeles, Calif. By her first husband, she had one son:
(1) Don Robert Hart, born June 10, 1939.
(B) Edith May Sparks, born March 18, 1913, in Moosejaw, Sask., Canada; married Thomas Pinnington in 1952; lives in Los Angeles, Calif.

12. Noah Sparks, son of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Feb. 2, 1889, in Nebr. He enlisted in the U.S.Army on May 24, 1918, and served in France; discharged April 22, 1919. He is unmarried and lives in Corning, Iowa.

13. David Gephart Sparks, son of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Oct. 24, 1890, in Nebraska; married July 25, 1916, Ollie May Hickman in Mount Etna, Iowa. (It was a double wedding, in which David’s sister, Clara, married Chester Fox.) Ollie May Hickman was born March 22, 1882, in Taylor County, Iowa, daughter of George D.and Naomi Jane (Tuttle) Hickman. Clue was the widow of B. J. Johnston at the time of her marriage to David G.Sparks. By her first marriage, she had two daughters: G. Thelma (born June 19, 1908; died Feb. 27, 1924), and R. Elda (born Feb. 25, 1910). R. Elda married Darwin L. Powell on June 2, 1928, and they have one daughter,


\Dolores Jean, born Dec. 1, 1929. Delores married Carl E. Williams, who was born Oct. 20, 1929, and they have two children: Kurt Eugene, born May 16, 1953, in California, and Denise Suzzarme, born July 23, 1957, in Illinois. David G. and Ollie May (Hickman) Sparks had two sons:

(A) Norman C. Sparks, born Nov. 12, 1917, in Mount Etna, Iowa; married Feb. 24, 1940, Nola B. McCartney, born July 4, 1920, in Colorado. They have four children:
(1) Norma Jeanne Sparks, born Nov. 17, 1940, in California; married J. Lynn O’Dell. They have two sons: Jay Lynn O’Dell, born July 20, 1959; and Norman Keith O’Dell, born May 1, 1961.
(2) Norene Carol Sparks, born Oct. 17, 1945, in California.
(3) Nolan David Sparks, born March 28, 1948, in California.
(4) Nelson Paul Sparks, born March 13, 1951, in California.
(B)  T. Merrill Sparks, born Oct. 5, 1922, at Mount Etna, Iowa. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on Dec. 7, 1942, saw  combat in Europe with the 1st Arm’d. Inf. Div. in Italy, was discharged on Feb. 7, 1946. Merrill is unmarried and lives in Hollywood, California.
14. Estella Sparks (Stella), daughter of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born June 13, 1893, in Nebraska;  married 1928 John Wildrick. They had three children:
(A) Betty Lou Wildrick, born 1929.

(B) Ruth Wildrick, born 1931; deceased.

(C) William Wildrick (Billie), born 1933, lives near Pittsburgh, Penna.

15. Clara Sparks, daughter of William A. and Martha (Lucas) Sparks, was born Feb. 21, 1895, in Missouri; she married July 25, 1916, Chester Fox at Mount Etna, Iowa; he was born May 12, 1887, and died May 31, 1959, the son of  George and Elizabeth A. (Black) Fox. They had two daughters.
 (A) Verda Lucille Fox, born July 5, 1917; married June 6, 1939, Elmer Watts, who was born July 29, 1914. They had one son:
(1) Richard Watts, born June 7, 1945.
(B) Lois Fox, born Nov. 20, 1918; married Feb. 15, 1939, Warren Mitchell, who was born Oct. 9, 1911. They  had three children:
(1) Robert Mitchell, born Oct. 11, 1939.
(2) Fred Mitchell, born Sept. 21, 1941.
(3) Edward Mitchell, born Aug. 10, 1945.
III. Margaret Ann Sparks, third child of Asa and Axnanda (VanScyoc) Sparks, was born Feb. 6, 1848; died April 2, 1922, and was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, El Paso, Illinois. She married on May 6, 1869, William H. Dorsey, born Jan. 27, 1843, in Philadelphia, Penna. He died Nov. 13, 1925, and was buried beside his wife. (On April 15, 1925, at the age of 82, he married Mrs. Mary Horn, age 76, at Chicago, Ill.) He served in the Civil War in Company I, 114th Pennsylvania Infantry. They were the parents of seven children:

1. Frank Dorsey, born Oct. 10, 1869; died Dec. 27, 1939; he married Jan. 18, 1923, Mary Jane Enright Hurley, born Aug. 12, 1861, at Panda, Ill. She died Feb. 7, 1936; buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery north of El Paso, Ill. No children.

2. John Shelby Dorsey, born Nov. 3, 1872; died Sept. 22, 1907. Unmarried.

3. Harry H. Dorsey, born June 20, 1877; died Dec. 10, 1921; married Feb. 17, 1908, Fae Holiday, born July 20, 1889, daughter of Mathias E. and Anna G. (Wright) Holliday. They had two sons:

(A) Robert Dorsey, born Nov. 11, 1908; he is a colonel in the U.S. Army.

(B) Harry Max Dorsey, born Feb. 22, 1911; he is married and has two sons.


(Children of Margaret Ann Sparks and her husband, William H. Dorsey, continued:)

4. Hugh Dorsey, born Oct. 14, 1884; married Louise G.; divorced; no children.
5. Chester Dorsey, died at the age of 4 months.
6. Grace Dorsey, born Feb. 21, 1887; died Nov. 20, 1942, at Los Angeles, Calif.; her body was cremated in California  and buried in El Paso, Illinois.
7. Clyde Dorsey, died as an infant.

IV. Leonidius Sparks, fourth child of Asa and Amanda (VanScyoc) Sparks, was born Dec. 16, 1849, and died March 23, 1850.

V. Amos Sparks (squire), fifth child of Asa and Annanda (VanScyoc) Sparks, was born June 3, 1852; died Oct. 6, 1923, in Woodford County, Illinois. He was married on Nov. 28, 1876, in Woodford County, to Elizabeth Pearson, born Oct.16, 1855, died May 9, 1944; buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, El Paso, Illinois. She was a daughter of Wilson and Elizabeth (Young) Pearson. Amos and Elizabeth (Pearson) Sparks were the parents of eight children:

1. Amanda Sparks, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Pearson) Sparks, was born Sept.26, 1877; she married in 1906,  James Richard Potter; she married (second) Chester Cady who was born Oct. 22, 1874, and died May 6, 1930. By her first marriage she had one son:

(A) Virgil Potter, born Feb. 9, 1907; married Lida Simmons.

2. Georgia May Sparks, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Pearson) Sparks, was born Sept. 24, 1879; she married Asa  W. Hendryx who was born Aug. 5, 1874. They had one son:

(A) Harold Hendryx, born May 18, 1909, in McLean County, md.; died Feb. 25, 1936; buried in the Evergreen  Cemetery, El Paso, Ill.

3. Jessie Sparks, born Feb. 26, 1884; married Jan. 27, 1905, in Kappa, Ill., Sheldon Elwood Gillespie, who was born in1879 and died May 22, 1936. He was a son of William and Katie (Pentz) Gillespie. They had one Son:

(A) Ralph Gillespie, born July 21, 1908; married Dec. 8, 1931, Esther Ripple, who was born March 10, 1911. They have the following children:
(1) Ronald Deal Gillespie, born April 27, 1932; died in infancy.
(2) Don Eugene Gillespie, (twin) born April 27, 1932; died in infancy.
(3) Charles Gillespie, born March 3, 1938.
(4) Roger Gillespie, born Nov. 25, 1940.
4. Clarence Van Sparks, son of Amos and Elizabeth (Pearson) Sparks, was born Oct. 19, 1885; married June 6, 1918,  Bertha Mae Kilpatrick, born Feb. 20, 1896, daughter of Samuel and Mae Kilpatrick.

5. Mary Pearl Sparks, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Pearson) Sparks, was born Oct. 29, 1887; married Jan. 1, 1908,  in Woodford County, Ira Bilbrey, born Aug. 22, 1880, son of Eli and Malissa Bilbrey. They had two children:

(A) Gladys Bilbrey, born Dec. 13, 1909, married Dec. 5, 1934, in Peoria, Ill., Lawrence Punke, born Feb. 26, 1900.  They have one daughter.
(1) Mary Sue Punke, born July 31, 1938; married in 1956 a son of Louis Mennen of Benson, Ill. They have a   son, Ricky, born Sept. 21, 1957, and a daughter born in 1958.
(B) Cecil Bilbrey, born May 22, 1908; married Oct. 31, 1937, Mrs. Pearl Blumenshine; they have a daughter named  Janis and a son named Stevie.

6. Maude Sparks, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Pearson) Sparks, was born Sept. 26, 1891; married April 21, 1913, in Bloomington, Ill., Henry Walters, who was born Jan. 1, 1885, at Mt. Sterling, Ill., son of John and Mary Walters; he died May 31, 1959, and was buried in Peoria, Ill. They had two daughters:

(A) Elizabeth Walters, born Oct. 9, 1923; married Ben Pullen.

(B) Doris Louise Walters, born Dec. 7, 1925; married Al Hufeld; they have a daughter:

(1) Nancy Hufeld, born May 31, 1946.
7. Ida Sparks, daughter of Amos and Elizabeth (Pearson) Sparks, was born July 8, 1893; married May 24, 1918, Jesse Malcom.

8. Wilson Asa Sparks, son of Amos and Elizabeth (Pearson) Sparks, was born Dec. 19, 1896; died Sept. 6, 1897.

VI. John Sparks, sixth child of Asa and Amanda (VanScyoc) Sparks, was born in Woodford County, Illinois, on July 30,1853, and died in 1936; he was buried at Carthage, Missouri. He was merried at Secor, Ill., on Dec. 28, 1881, to Alice Harrison, daughter of John Harrison. She was born in 1857 and died Sept. 5, 1914; she was buried at Carthage, Missouri. They were the parents of three children:

1. Clara Mae Sparks, daughter of John and Alice (Harrison) Sparks, born Jan.15, 1882; died Dec. 6, 1951, and was  buried in the Diamond Cemetery, Carthage, Missouri. She was married in Woodford County, Ill., on Nov. 26, 1911,  to Lorenzo Warren Shoemaker, son of Asberry C. and Sarah (Saddler) Shoemaker; he was born Nov. 7, 1878, and died Aug. 29, 1954. They had two children:

(A) Ethel May Shoemaker, born Nov. 15, 1901; died April 26, 1949. She married Louis T. Ma].roy but was later divorced. They had one daughter named Alice. Ethel married (second) a Mr. Bershire who died in 1947.

(B) Lyle Everett Shoemaker, born Feb. 20, 1904; married Veda; they had two children.

2. Margaret Sparks, second child of John and Alice (Harrison) Sparks, was born Oct. 30, 1884. She married Odis Shoemaker, son of Asberry and Sarah (Saddler) Shoemaker. They had two children:
(A) Claire Shoemaker, born Feb. 4, 1910, at Fairbury, Ill.; died in 1957 in San Diego, Calif. He married on Feb. 28, 1937, Loraine Campbell of Kappa, Illinois. No children.

(B) Virginia Elizabeth Shoemaker, born 1921 in Bigheart, Okla. She married on May 3, 1941, in El Paso, Ill., Joseph Carroll Furrow, who was born in 1912, a son of William and Cordelia (Newkirk) Furrow. No children.

3. Everett Sparks, third child of John and Alice (Harrison) Sparks, was born in 1886 and died June 25, 1925, in Joplin, Missouri. He married Grace and had four children, two of whom were named Margaret and Robert.

VII. Egbert Sparks, seventh child of Asa and Amanda (VanScyoc) Sparks, was born on March 17, 1856, and died April  3, 1856; buried in the Centennial Cemetery near Kappa, Illinois.


VIII. Edward Lorain Sparks, eighth child of Asa and Amanda (VanScyoc) Sparks, was born August 16, 1857, inWoodford County, Illinois, and died July 25, 1939, at Secor, Ill. He was married in El Paso, Ill., on Dec. 21, 1893, to Margaret Louise Geiselman. She was born Dec. 11, 1867, in Secor, Ill., and died April 16, 1920, in Secor; she was a daughter of Frederick and Sarah Ann (Wright) Geiselman. They had two children:

1. Ivora Mae Sparks, daughter of Edward L. and Margaret L. (Geiselman) Sparks, was born Jan. 21, 1896, in Palestine Township, Woodford County, Ill.; married in El Paso on May 2, 1922, to Francis William Kridner, who was born Feb. 17, 1901, the son of John and Mary (Lynch) Kridner. They were divorced on June 6, 1949; no children.

2. Arthur Franklin Sparks, son of Edward L. and Margaret L. (Geiselman) Sparks, was born Sept. 13, 1899, in Palestine Township, Woodford County, Ill.; he married in Bloomington, Ill., on Sept. 12, 1922, Ruth Esther Cable, who was born Feb. 7, 1901, daughter of George and Mary (Kridner) Cable of El Paso, Ill. They have two children:

(A) Harold Eugene Sparks, born March 9, 1925; married April 9, 1945, Joanna Trotter Bailey, who was born Sept.  23, 1925, daughter of Clayton and Fayette (Anthenat) Bailey. They have four children:
(1) David Lynn Sparks, born March 2, 1948.
(2) Susan Diane Sparks, born Sept. 11, 1950.
(3) Sharon Jeanne Sparks, born June 1, 1954.
(4) Mike Sparks, born Feb. 9, 1960.
(B) Glenn Arthur Sparks, born Feb. 1, 1928; married at Secor, Ill., on June 5, 1949, Rosemary Wilson, who was born Sept. 12, 1926, daughter of William J. Wilson. They have three children:
(1) Katherine Ann Sparks, born July 19, 1950.
(2) Curtis Wayne Sparks, born Dec. 20, 1954.
(3) Barbara Jane Sparks, born July 18, 1960.
IX. Clara May Sparks, ninth child of Asa and Axnanda (VanScyoc) Sparks, was born March 12, 1861, in Palestine Township, Woodford County, Illinois, and died June 1, 1938, in El Paso, Illinois. She was married in Bloomington, Ill.. on Dec. 3, 1885, to William White Tegard, who was born November 14, 1855, in Franklin County, Ohio, and died  May 7, 1926, in El Paso, Ill. Both were buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso. They had three children:

1. Harry William Tegard, born May 12, 1886, in El Paso, Ill.; married in Peoria, Ill., on Sept. 21, 1910, to Bernice Marie Greskoviak, who was born Aug. 15, 1881, in Minonk, Ill., and died Jan. 24, 1948, in Peoria, Ill.  She was a daughter of Ignatuis and Gathren (Strzelecki) Greskoviak of Minonk, Ill., who came to the United States from Poland. They had three children:

 (A) George William Tegard, born Dec. 24, 1911, in Peoria, Ill.; married in Pekin, Ill., in 1930, Virginia Hill; they were divorced in 1935. They had one daughter:
(1) Louise Marie Tegard, born Feb. 27, 1931; married in the San Bernadino Air Base Chapel in California on  March 17, 1950, to Sgt. Eldon V. Snider of Washburn, Ill. They live in Calif. and have three children: Elden Vern, Jr., born Oct. 5, 1951; Suzanne, born Oct. 8, 1957; and Louise, born Dec. 2, 1959.
George William Tegard married (second) Grace Ford; they were divorced in 1945; no children. His third  wife’s name is Helen; they have two children:
(2) Kenneth Harry Tegard, born in Chicago on Aug. 14, 1947.
(3) George William Tegard, twin, born on the same day.
(B) Lucille Eleanor Tegard, daughter of Harry William and Bernice Marie (Greskoviak) Tegard, was born May 11, 1913, in Peoria, Ill.; married on Nov. 3, 1934, Charles Emerson Long, who was born April 8, 1911. They live at Omaha, Nebr. Children:
(1) Judith Ann Long, born Feb. 10, 1936, in Peoria, Ill.; married Oct. 18, 1958, Ronald Harner. They have two daughters: Julie Anne, born Jan. 19, 1960; and Lisa, born Oct. 12, 1961.
(2) Charles Allan (Joe) Long, born June 11, 1939, at Freeport, Ill.
(3) Jeffery Long, born Dec. 10, 1952; died 1952 at Hinsdale, Ill.
(C) Alberta Clara Tegard, daughter of Harry William and Bernice Marie (Greskoviak) Tegard, was born Oct. 14,1916, in Peoria, Ill, She was married on Nov. 1, 1941, to David R. Holden, son of William and Alice Holden. They were divorced on Nov. 30, 1943; he died in 1950.  They had no children.

Alberta married (second) Clarence Kenneth Sperry on May 11, 1951, in Chicago, Ill. No children.
Harry William Tegard married (second) on Feb. 4, 1952, Louella Raschert, at Peoria, Illinois. He died Dec. 3, 1960, at  Peoria, Ill.

2. Clyde Larain Tegard, son of Clara May (Sparks) and William White Tegard, was born July 20, 1888, at El Paso, Ill.  He was married in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 29, 1910, to Mary Lillian Nevin, who was born Dec. 3, 1889, in Washburn,  Ill.. daughter of Thomas and Annie (Stern) Nevin. They were divorced in 1930. They had one child:
(A) Dorothy Elizabeth Tegard, born April 28, 1912, in El Paso, Ill.; she married in Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 6, 1943,  Donald J. Beetler, who was born Dec. 25, 1914, in Pekin, Ill. They were divorced Feb. 5, 1945; no children.

 Dorothy married (second) on May 3, 1952, Frank O’Day, who was born Sept. 20, 1909, in Joliet, Ill., son of Charles and Laura O’Day.

Clyde Lorain Tegard married (second) in Ottawa, Ill., Oct. 17, 1935, Myrtle Harroun, born Oct. 13, 1906, daughter  of Frank and Susie (Tarvin) Harroun, of Havanna, Ill. They were divorced in October, 1951. They were the parents of  two children:
(B) Tobien Marie Tegard, born June 2, 1939, in Bloomington, Ill.
(C) Clyde Walter Tegard, born June 1, 1946, in Bloomington, Ill.
3. Hazle Edna Tegard, youngest child of Clara May (Sparks) and William White Tegard, was born March 29, 1895, at El Paso, Illinois. She was baptized on February 14, 1912, by 0. E. McNemar of the Christian Church. She was married on June 5, 1928, in Lexington, Nebraska, by the Rev. Ward L. Austin to Floyd Lester Tarman. He was born October 19, 1893, in El Paso, Illinois, and was baptized on October 19, 1893, in the Evangelical Church; he was a son of Christopher C. and Mary Catherine (Tobias) Tarman. He died at the Hines Veterans Hospital in Chicago on February 5, 1945, and was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso, Illinois. By occupation he was a butcher and locker owner; he served overseas in the First World War, being honorably discharged from the United States Army at Rockford, Illinois, on July 17, 1919. He was an active Legionnaire. They had no children. (Mrs. Tarman is the author of this genealogy of the descendants of Asa Egbert Sparks.)

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By T. Merrill Sparks

(Editor’s Note: The manuscript of the preceding record of the descendants of Asa Egbert Sparks was sent for proofreading to one of Asa’s great-grandsons, Merrill Sparks of Hollywood, California. When he returned the manuscript with a number of important additions on his own line, Merrill enclosed this interesting sketch, which the editor is taking the liberty of sharing with the rest of the members Memories such as these give meaning to names and dates on a family tree.)

William Anderson Sparks (1846-1924), like most fathers, told his children of events that touched his life. He had come from a family of preachers.  Grandfather, uncles and father were Methodist ministers.  And if he rebelled against the religious encirclement, it was perhaps understandable. He recalled the familiar sight of his father, Asa Egbert Sparks, (born 1817), going to church to preach and leading the horse.  If the reverend got tired, he rode. Otherwise, he’d walk. And there was the common practice of his uncles’ and other ministers’ arrival at the Sparks home. Young Dan (as William A. was called) was promptly ordered to take care of the horses while the preachers strolled sociably inside. A gracious act on the part of the host but one often tiring for the son.

And so the story goes (as related by the namesake-grandson, Asa E. Sparks, born 1874) that the Reverend Asa sent his son, Robert, out to plow a field.  The boy left horses and plow in the field, went off and joined the Union Army. Later he was captured and imprisoned in the notorious Libby Prison at Richmond, Virginia. Tales of the time there still linger in the family: A Southern woman arrived giving out sweet-smelling but poisoned apple-pies. A group of fancily-dressed Southerners came visiting and behind them tagged their poodle. The dog mysteriously disappeared and Robert said he himself partook of the poodle-dog dinner. He claimed also to have seen the legs cut off of a fellow-prisoner. The main diet at Libby was parched corn. The Confederates drove their wagons into the encampment, opened the end-gates and dumped the corn on the ground. The prisoners gathered it into improvised containers, parched it and ate it. Later he and two others dug a tunnel beneath a small rivulet running through the camp and attempted their escape. His two comrades were captured. Robert got away to the North and without seeking his own military unit, retarned home, sick. He stayed two weeks and then returned to the Army. But for his “desertion,” he was transferred to the 36th Illinois Infantry “to make good the time lost."  He was finally mustered out of service in October, 1865.

Robert’s younger brother, William A. Sparks, was a horseshoer during his time in the service. The war over, W. A. married, and in 1872 went by wagon from Woodford County, Illinois, to a homestead near Elm Creek, Nebraska. Indians were still active there, but Fort Kearney was just six miles away. Here until 1894 they struggled with the land. That summer of 1894 saw a great drought and the Sparks family, along with two other families, formed a group of eleven covered-wagons, with twenty horses and twenty cows, that set out for Foster, Missouri. Rivers were forded and animals died en route. Even after arrival there, hardships continued. The ague (chills) plagued them and after the harvest of two crops, they headed for Iowa and settled down on a happy farm there near Mount Etna.

William A. Sparks’s youngest son, David G. (born 1890) lives not far from that boyhood farm, in Mount Etna, Iowa. Dave collects American pioneer objects as one of his hobbies. One item that has a special significance for him is the long musket his father brought home from the Civil War. And it holds additional interest for him because stamped on the metal part of the gun is “Harper's Ferry, 1823”.

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(Editor’s Note: For nearly a decade, your editor has been carrying on a stimulating correspondence with the gentleman whom he thinks of as the “Grand Old Man” of the Sparks Family Association, Major Charles H. Smith of Pittsburgh. Major Smith has been one of the most loyal of our charter members; he has secured more new members than anyone else, often paying the first year’s dues himself in order to interest a Sparks descendant in the work of the Association. He has also been most generous in his financial support of the Association, and, on a number of occasions, he has contributed valuable material to the QUARTERLY itself. Major Smith is a gentleman of the “old school,” devoted to the traditions and values of the past, proud of his American heritage, and anxious that the legacy of former generations be not forgotten. On June 15, 1962, Major Smith will celebrate his 90th birthday. The editor herewith extends his hearty congratulations to Major Smith and he is certain that the membership joins him in wishing our oldest charter member happiness and good health for many years to come. The following paragraphs, taken from a recent letter from Major Smith, will be of interest to all of our members who have loved a pet dog. The photograph of Major Smith bidding his beloved puppy farewell was taken shortly after “Lady” died.)

(View Photograph)

Those who have cultivated the affection and loyalty of pets have realized values beyond their dreams. The child who has never had a dog has yet to live.

Almost nine years ago, my daughter surprised me with a little cocker spaniel puppy whom she had named “Lady.” Throughout the year's, Lady has been my shadow and loyal companion--the “Royalty of Loyalty”--she became a part of me. On the last day of the year 1961, at about 4:45 P.M., she died, while prone on a blanket in front of our living room gas grate. Would that I could pay merited homage to “Lady.”

Lady was a much beloved puppy. She would sleep at my feet under this desk, or by my side, or under my bed, or on the cool tile hearth. . I have found her sleeping between my slippers when I entered my room. She would occupy a large wicker chair


near me when I was busy in the basement. When I returned from an errand, she would not leave the door until I came in, regardless of the number who preceded me. When I wiped out her blinded eyes and put drops in them, she was always ready and receptive. (Her misfortune was that she was too highly bred.) She would gently touch me on my leg when she wanted to be recognized or petted and stand to find out when I was in bed. These constitute but a few of her evidences of intelligence. When told that I was “going to church,” she seemed to understand that she could not go. She would sit up, lie down, roll over, shake hands, say her prayers, and tell my wife good-night before going to her own berth.

We placed our beloved puppy in an aluminum-bound “casket” (converted from a traveling case) and buried her in a corner back of the garage. My next tribute will be to mark her grave and sow grass seed in her memory. Since the “legacy of loyalty and devotion” left by this little blind and tumor-plagued puppy commands our profound admiration, is it not a reflection on human posterity that their ancestry is so generally ignored? (Including too many of the Sparks family?)

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(Continued from page 598)

MADISON SPARKS, born in Culpeper County, Virginia, August 10, 1795; died in Owen County, Kentucky, August 13, 1873. Bounty Land Warrant File 23 398-80-55; Pension File SC 5 681.

On Oct. 28, 1850, Madison Sparks, a resident of Owen County, Kentucky, appeared before a justice of the peace named Lewis White to make application for bounty land under the act of Sept. 28, 1850. He stated that he was fifty-five years old and that he had been a private in Capt. Peter Dudley’s company in Col, Boswell’s regiment in the War of 1812; that he had volunteered at Frankfort, Ky., in March, 1813, for a term of six months and was discharged at Seneca on Sept. 12, 1813. He signed his name as “Madison Sparks”; his signature was witnessed by B. Haydon and another whose name appears to have been S. F. J. Fralen. He was issued a warrant for 80 acres of bounty land.

Madison Sparks submitted his written discharge as evidence of his service, and it has been preserved with his papers in the National Archives. It reads as follows:  “William Henry Harrison, Major-General and Commanding in Chief the North-Western Army of the United States: To all who shall see these presents, Greetings: Know ye, that Madison Sparks, a private soldier in Captain Dudley’s company of the 10th regiment of Kentucky Militia is hereby honorably discharged the service on account of an attack of Bilious fever. Given under my hand and seal, at Head-Quarters, Seneca town this 12th day of September 1813. By the General, [signed] E. P. Gaines, Col. Actg. adjt. General.” War Department records revealed that Madison Sparks had joined Capt. Peter Dudley’s company on March 29, 1813.

On March 31, 1855, Madison Sparks, still a resident of Owen County, Kentucky, appeared before a justice of the peace named M. B. Chinn to make application for bounty land under the act of March 3, 1855. He stated that he was 59 years old and gave his service in the War of 1812 as he had done on his earlier application. He signed his name as “Madison Sparks”; Dennis Byrns and T. Thornton signed as witnesses, stating that they were personally acquainted with Madison Sparks. On May 10, 1855, another


portion of the application was filled out directing the Commissioner of Pensions to “direct my Bounty Land to the care of J. P. Sparks at Pleasureville, Kentucky.” He was issued a warrant for 80 additional acres of bounty land.

On March 30, 1871, Madison Sparks, a resident of Owen County, Ky., appeared before Thomas A. Ireland, clerk of the County Court, to make application for a pension under the act of Feb. 14, 1871. He stated that he was 76 years old and that his wife, Fanny, was dead, that his post-office was Monterey in Owen County, and that he lived “2½ miles below Monterey, Ky. on River.” He gave his service in the War of 1812 as he had done on his bounty land applications. He appointed D. W. Lindsey of Frankfort, Ky., to be his lawful attorney. He signed his name as “Madison Sparks”; Dennis Byrns and James Fitzgerald, both of Owen County, signed as witnesses and stated that during the Civil War he had been loyal to the United States.  W. T. Steele, deputy clerk of the County Court, also signed. Madison Sparks was issued a pension of $8.00 per month, effective as of Feb. 14, 1871.

(Editor’s Note: Madison Sparks was a son of Henry and Lucy (Clark) Sparks of Culpeper County, Va., and Owen County, Ky. (see the QUARTERLY of Dec., 1960, Vol. VIII, No. 4, p. 517). Madison Sparks was born Aug. 10, 1795, and died Aug. 13, 1873. He married (first) his first cousin, Fanny Sparks, daughter of Humphrey Sparks (marriage bond dated Feb. 11, 1818, in Woodford County, Ky.). Fanny died soon after she and Madison were married; there were no children by this marriage. Madison Sparks married (second) Mrs. Winifred (Thomas) Stafford (marriage bond dated Jan. 27, 1827, in Owen County, Ky.). She was the widow of Hiram Stafford; her father was Reuben Thomas. Winifred died March 20, 1867, in Owen County, Ky. Madison and Winifred (Thomas) Sparks were the parents of the following children:

1. Alvah Thomas Sparks, born Jan. 8, 1828; died Oct., 1888.
2. Joseph Spencer Sparks, born May 12, 1830; died Jan. 27, 1892.
3. George Washington Sparks, born June 4, 1831; died Oct. 8, 1896.
4. Russell Hill Sparks, born May 5, 1833; died Dec., 1912.
5. Reuben Moore Sparks, born Jan. 8, 1835; died Apr. 17, 1902.
6. Canfield D. Sparks, born Sept., 1836; died Aug. 18, 1837.
7. Jordan Sparks, born Jan. 8, 1839; died Oct. 1, 1864.
8. Lucy Sparks, born May 17, 1841; died Jan. 26, 1922.
9. Mary Sparks (this may have been the Sue Ann Sparks listed with the family of Madison Sparks on the 1850 census, aged 13).
10. William Henry Sparks, born 1844; died Nov. 17, 1904.)
MARTIN SPARKS, born about 1783 in New York; a resident of Clark County, Illinois, in 1855. Bounty Land Warrant File 20 626-160-55.

On April 11, 1855, Martin Sparks, a resident of York, Clark County, Illinois, appeared before a justice of the peace named B. F. Robinson to make application for bounty land under the act of March 3, 1855. He stated that he had not applied under any previous act. He stated that he was 62 years old; that he had served in the War of 1812 as a”Second Sargent” in Capt. John McNaughton’s company in the militia regiment commanded by Col. John McCleary; that he was ordered into service at Salem, New York, on or about Sept. 5, 1814, and that he was discharged at Burlington, Vermont, in Sept., 1814; that he did not receive a discharge certificate. He signed his name as “Martin Sparks”; Lewis 0. Schultz and Charles Gorham, both residents of Clark County, Ill., signed as witnesses. A note from the 3rd Auditor’s Office in this file reads: “Martin Sparks served as a Segt. in Capt. Jno. McNaughton’s Co., N.Y. Mil. from the 8th to the 22d day of Sept. 1814--(were ordered to rendezvous on the 8th of Sept. ‘14, & were discharged at Burlington on the 16th of Sept. ‘14, being 120 miles from their respective places of residence, were mustered to the 22d of Sept. ‘14.” Martin Sparks was issued a warrant for 160 acres of bounty land.


MATTHEW SPARKS born about 1790 in Baltimore County, Maryland. Bounty Land Warrant File 509-160-55.

On March 16, 1855, Matthew Sparks, a resident of Baltimore County, Maryland, appeared before a justice of the peace named William C. Vance to make application for bounty land under the act of March 3, 1855. He stated that he was 65 years old; that he had been a private in the company commanded by Capt. Joseph Jenkins in the regiment of Maryland Cavalry commanded by Col. John Street in the War of 1812; that he had been drafted at Baltimore County on or about Aug. 25, 1814, and was discharged at Baltimore on Sept. 17, 1814. He signed the application as “Matthew Sparks;” Benjamin Boley and Aaron Sparks (Aaron was Matthew’s brother) signed as witnesses. Matthew Sparks requested that his warrant be forwarded to Charles W. Blackman of Georgetown, D.C., his agent. He was issued a warrant for 160 acres of bounty land.

(Editor’s Note: Matthew Sparks was a son of Josiah Sparks, Jr. (ca.l752-1846), of Baltimore County, Md. See the QUARTERLY of June, 1958, Vol. VI, No. 2, for additional material on this family.)

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MATTHEW B. SPARKS, born about 1780 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia; died in 1845 in Morgan County, Ill. Widow, NANCY (SUTTON) SPARKS. Bounty Land Warrant File 67 251-160-55.

On July 7, 1855, Nancy Sparks, a resident of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois, appeared before Matthew Stacy, clerk of the County Court, to make application for bounty land under the act of March 3, 1855. She stated that she was 68 years old and that she was the widow of Matthew B. Sparks who she believed had been a private in a company commanded by Capt. Lynn in a regiment (the 7th she believed) of Virginia Militia volunteers commanded by Col. Sanders in the War of 1812. She stated that her husband had been either drafted or had volunteered in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in August, 1814, for either 3 or 6 months; that he was honorably discharged at Norfolk, Va., in February or March, 1815. She stated that; she had been married to Matthew B. Sparks in Pittsylvania County, Va., in December, 1803, by Thomas Sparks, a minister of the Gospel, but she could not recall the day of the month; that her name before marriage had been Nancy Sutton. She stated that her husband had died in Morgan County, Ill., on May 4, 1845. She added that she had applied for bounty land under the act of Sept. 28, 1850, through W. B, Warren of Jacksonville, Ill., but had never received a warrant. She signed her application by mark. Ira Davenport and Thomas Sparks, residents of Morgan County, Ill., witnessed Nancy’s signature; both declared that they were well acquainted with Matthew B. Sparks in his lifetime and knew that he and Nancy had lived together as husband and wife; they stated that Matthew B. Sparks had died at Morgan County, Ill., on or about May 4, 1845, and that Nancy was still his widow, Ira Davenport signed his name while Thomas Sparks signed by mark.

Accompanying the application of Nancy Sparks was a sworn statement made on May 7, 1857, by James Kirkman, a resident of Morgan County, Ill. (age not given). He stated that he was personally acquainted with Matthew B. Sparks during his lifetime and with Nancy Sparks his wife; that Matthew B. Sparks died about May 4, 1845, and that he saw his body after he had died; that he had known Nancy ever since the death of her husband and knew her to be his widow.

Army records revealed that Matthew B. Sparks had served in Capt. Lynn’s company of Virginia Militia from Dec. 31, 1814, until Feb. 22, 1815. Nancy Sparks was issued a warrant for 160 acres of bounty land.


(Editor’s Note on preceding bounty land applications The marriage bond of Matthew B. Sparks and Nancy Sutton is on file in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and is dated Nov. 28, 1802; they were probably married early in December, 1802, rather than 1803 as stated by Nancy in her application. Matthew B. Sparks was a son of Matthew and Kezia (Stone) Sparks as proved by a deed dated July 12, 1811. on file in Book 17, page 483, Pittsylvania County, Va. (see the QUARTERLY of March, 1956, Vol. IV, No. 1, page 118). From this deed we learn also that the elder Matthew Sparks had died prior to July 12, 1811, and that he left children named, probably in the order of their birth: (1) Matthew B. Sparks; (2) Edmund Sparks, married Patsey Wright in 1804; (3) John Sparks, married Judah (Judy) Dodson in 1807; (4) Jane (Jinney) Sparks, married William Dunkan in l811; (5) Nelly Sparks; (6) Nancy Sparks, married John Ware in 1811; and (7) Thomas Sparks.

Matthew Sparks, father of Matthew B., was probably born about 1750-60. There is little doubt but that he was a son of Matthew (born ca.l711) and Eleanor Sparks (born ca. 1731) who were residents of Prince George’s County and Frederick County, Maryland, before moving to Pittsylvania County, Va., in 1778. (See the QUARTERLY of September, 1955, Vol. III, No. 3, Pp. 79-85, and March, 1956, Vol. IV, No. 1, pp. 109-121, for further information on this family.

Matthew B. Sparks, son of Matthew and Kezia (Stone) Sparks, was probably born about l780--in 1795 his father was taxed for two males over 16--himself and probably his eldest son, Matthew B.  The “B” in Matthew B. Sparks’s name stood for “Brooks”--on some Pittsylvania Ccunty tax records he was listed as “Brooks Sparks.”

Matthew B. Sparks was still in Pittsylvania County, Va,, when the 1820 census was taken. At that time he seems to have had two sons born between 1803 and 1810; one daughter born about 1803; and one daughter born between 1803 and 1810. By 1830, Matthew B, Sparks, with his brother Edmund Sparks, had moved to Bedford County, Tennessee. From the enumeration of his family in 1830, it appears that Matthew B. Sparks had lost one of his sons born between 1803 and 1810, while another son had been born between 1825 and 1830.  From Bedford County, Tenn., Matthew B. Sparks and his family apparently moved to Morgan County, Illinois, ‘where Matthew B. died May 4,1845.

Our only knowledge of the children of Matthew B. and Nancy (Sutton) Sparks pertains to their son Thomas Sparks who was born in Tennessee about 1827 according to the 1850 census. He signed (by mark) his mother’s application in 1855. When the 1850 census was taken, Nancy was living with her son Thomas and his wife Sarah (born about 1832) and their one child, Harriet, born in 1849.)

(These abstracts of bounty land and pension papers
will be continued in future issues of the QUARTERLY.)

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A recent letter from Mrs. Ben Sparks, Jr., tells of the passing of her husband’s father, Ben Sparks, on July 23, 1961, in Brunswick, Georgia. Ben Sparks was born in Rushville, Indiana, on August 6, 1889, a son of John and Rebecca (Conner) Sparks. On August 23, 1913, he married Ethel Faye Lowe, daughter of Frank and Ella Lowe, who was born November 1, 1887. To this union were born two children, Ben Sparks, Jr., and John Frank Sparks. Mrs. Sparks survives her husband. Members of the Association will recall Ben Sparks’s very interesting article entitled “Family Memories” that appeared in the December, 1956, issue of the QUARTERLY.

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Mr. W. C. Sparks, a charter member of The Sparks Family Association, has written of the death of his father, Dr. Reuben David Sparks, who passed away on August 28, 1960, at the age of eighty-nine.

Reuben David Sparks was born at the Forks of Blame in Lawrence Cou.nty, Kentucky, on June 3, 1871, a son of Reuben R. and Mary (Canute) Sparks. This branch of the Sparks family has produced many physicians, including two of Reuben’s brothers, Dr. J. Cecil Sparks of Ashland, Ky., and Dr. Walter Sparks of West Virginia. After graduating from the Louisville School of Medicine, Reuben D. Sparks came to Morgan County at the age of 23 and began practicing on Elkfort at the mouth of Williams Creek. Later he moved to West Liberty, also in Morgan County. In all, Dr. Sparks practiced medicine in Morgan County for sixty-four years. In 1958, he was presented a scroll of honor at a ceremony in the public square of West Liberty for his “long, kind, efficient and unselfish service to the people of Morgan and surrounding counties.” At that time, Dr. Sparks stated that he had kept records of the babies he had delivered and that the number was 5,010. Among these were 280 sets of twins and 60 sets of triplets.

Dr. Sparks was a true “horse and buggy doctor.” He often traveled by horseback into all parts of Morgan County and adjoining counties and, during epidemics, would sometimes stay in the saddle two or three days at a time. His fee in those days was two dollars for a trip up to ten miles, and fifty cents each for patients seen along the way. He remembered he once had eight typhoid patients in one family at the same time.

Dr. Sparks was married on Feb. 16, 1898, to Florence (Hutchinson) Sparks; she died on Jan. 15, 1948. Dr. Sparks is survived by two sons, Winfred C. Sparks of South Bend, Indiana, a district executive for the J. C. Penny Company, and Walter D. Sparks of Mountain Lake, New Jersey, a department head for the Bell Telephone division of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Dr. Sparks was buried in Salyers Cemetery at West Liberty, Kentucky.

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One of our new members, Mrs. J. J. Johnson, 4633 Townsend, Corpus Christi, Texas, is searching for information regarding her great-great-grandmother, Electa Sparks, who was born about 1795-1800. About 1815, Electa Sparks married Cady R. Walker, who was born Feb. 5, 1796, in Wales, Massachusetts. One of their children was Dennis Ely Walker who was born May 16, 1816, in Friendship, New York, Mrs. Johnson would be pleased to hear from anyone who has data on Electa (Sparks) Walker.

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At the time of the typing of the mats for this issue of the QUARTERLY, membership dues for 1962 have been received from nearly two-thirds of the Association’s members.  Many generous checks have been made payable to the Association, and our financial outlook for 1962 looks good. However, 110 members who paid in 1961 have not as yet sent their dues for 1962. If you are among these 110, may we hear from you soon?

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Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks