Whole Number 55
126.96.36.199 Francis M. Sparks was born December 12, 1832, near Rushville, Indiana, and died near Maxwell, Indiana, on June 28,11910. He was the only child of 7.1.8 Thompson Sparks and Lucy Jane Head and was a grandson of 7.1 Isaac Sparks (1768-1834), subject of the above sketch.
Thompson Sparks, father of Francis M., was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, on December 1, 1808, and died on November 14, 1833, in Rush County, Indiana. He was a farmer and stockraiser. He was married in Rush County, Indiana, on February 2, 1832, to Lucy Jane Head, born December 29, 1810, daughter of Nathaniel Head who was a native of New Hampshire. Nathaniel Head moved to Portsmouth, Ohio, and followed the occupation of woolen manufacturer.
Thompson Sparks died at the youthful age of 26 years. His widow, Lucy Jane, survived him many years and died February 25, 1880.
In 1844, when Francis M. Sparks was about 12 years old, he accompanied his mother to Hancock County, Indiana, and settled in Brown Township. A sketch of his life which appeared in the Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County, Indiana, published in Logansport in 1902, pages 263-4, contains the following: "Determined to own a home of his own and follow an independent career, he obtained possession of forty acres of land, later adding to it eighty more. This latter tract he cleared and improved, and sold it in 1869. The following year Mr. Sparks located on his present farm, formerly known as the Harrison Curry place. He first purchased one hundred and forty nine acres lying partly in Center township and partly in Jackson township. He also bought a tract of fifty-eight acres in Green township, making a total of four hundred and sixty-seven acres in possession of the subject. Here he has carried on all kinds of farming, raising grain and much life stock, particularly cattle."
Francis M. Sparks was married twice. On July 24, 1859, he married Lydia Garner, who was born March 12, 1841, and died in 1863. He was married, second, to Matilda J. Loudenback, on May 6, 1882; she was born in Indiana on November 17, 1846, and died November 11, 1926. Her parents were Joseph and Malinda (Brown) Loudenback. by his first wife, Lydia Garner, Francis M. Sparks was the father of two daughters: 188.8.131.52.1 Ladora who married Charles E. Moore and had 184.108.40.206.1.1 Iva Moore and 220.127.116.11.1.2 Roscoe M. Moore, and 18.104.22.168.2 Meotta B. Moore, born March 28, 1863 and died December 25, 1886; she married on August 7, 1881, John C. Loudenback and they had children named 22.214.171.124.2.1 Grace Loudenback, 126.96.36.199.2.2 Gertrude Loudenback, and 188.8.131.52.2.3 Joseph Frank Loudenback.
(Note: the above data were supplied by Mrs. R. B. Eagleston, a great-granddaughter of Francis M. Sparks.)
Pages 1774 -1775
Whole Number 92
On the cover of this issue of the Quarterly we are using a photograph of 184.108.40.206 Francis M. Sparks (born December 12, 1832, died June 28, 1910) with his daughters, Ladora and Meota. The tintype from which this print was made was loaned to us by Mrs. R. B. Eagleston of Greenfield, Indiana; Mrs. Eagleston is a great-granddaughter of Francis M. Sparks and a granddaughter of Francis' daughter, Meota. Mrs. Eagleston has called your editor's attention to the scar above the left eye of Francis M. Sparks where he was kicked by a horse, a reminder of a farming hazard that is now largely forgotten.
A sketch of the life of Francis M. Sparks was published in the Quarterly of September 1966 (Vol. XIV, No. 3, Whole No. 55), page 1010. Born near Rushville, Indiana, he was the only child of 7.1.8 Thompson and Lucy Jane (Head) Sparks. His father, Thompson Sparks, son of 7.1 Isaac and Sarah (Hankins) Sparks, was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, on December 1, 1808, and died on November 14, 1833, when Francis was less than a year old Lucy Jane, mother of Francis, lived until 1880. When Francis was about twelve years old, he accompanied his mother to Hancock County, Indiana, where he spent the remainder of his life as a farmer He was married twice, first on July 24, 1859, to Lydia Garner (born March 12, 1841, died in 1863), and second to Matilda J. Loudenback (1846-1926) whom he married in 1882.
The two daughters shown in the photograph were by Francis' first wife, Lydia (Garner) Sparks, who died soon after the birth of the second daughter. The first daughter, 220.127.116.11.1 Ladora Sparks, was born in either 1860 or 1861; she married Charles E. Moore and had two children, 18.104.22.168.1.1 Iva Moore and 22.214.171.124.1.2 Roscoe M. Moore. The second daughter, 126.96.36.199.2 Meota Bell Sparks, was born March 28, 1863, and died December 25, 1886; she was married on August 7, 1881, to John C. Loudenback and they had children named 188.8.131.52.2.1 Grace Loudenback, 184.108.40.206.2.2 Gertrude Loudenback, and 220.127.116.11.2.3 Joseph Frank Loudenback.