April 29, 2021

Pages 1144-1146
Whole Number 62


On the cover of this issue of the Quarterly appears a delightful photograph of a hay-baling scene in the Missouri Ozarks taken ca. 1911. The youngest member of this group, who reports that she was sometimes teasingly called "Cat's-Got-Her-Tongue," is Elsie J. (Sparks) Jamieson (Mrs. James Y. Jamieson). Mrs. Jamieson is the compiler and the typist of the 1963-68 index to the Quarterly. Members will recall that it was also Mrs. Jamieson who prepared the index for the years 1958-62. Each of us owes her a debt which it will be impossible to repay for this splendid service.

This photograph was taken on the farm of John S. Sparks (1851-1941) near Bakersfield, Missouri. From left to right the individuals are: Bill Coats who later married Alice Sparks; Roxy J. Sparks, daughter of John S. Sparks, whom Mrs. Jamieson recalls as "most dearly loved by us all" - - she died at the age of twenty-five in 1923; Elsie J. Sparks, now Mrs. James Y. Jamieson, granddaughter of John S. Sparks; Alice Sparks, daughter of John S. Sparks, who later married Bill Coats; and Edward Thomas Sparks, son of John S. Sparks, who, with his wife Josie, lives on land which was part of his father's original firm near Bakersfield.

The branch of the family to which Mrs. Jamieson belongs descends from Stephen and Elizabeth J. (Levi or Levy) Sparks who were living in Allen County, Kentucky, in 1850. We have not succeeded in determining the parentage of Stephen Sparks, although we know he belonged to a branch of the family living in Orange County, Indiana, in the 1830's and 1840's. Stephen Sparks and Elizabeth J. Levi (or Levy) were married in Allen County, Kentucky, in 1843. The marriage bond on file there is dated June 3, 1843, and we can be sure that they were married either on that day or soon thereafter. Stephen Sparks was born ca. 1822 and his wife was born ca. 1826.

Although married in Allen County, Kentucky, Stephen and Elizabeth Sparks lived in Indiana during the latter 1840's, where their first two children were born. According to descendants, their eldest son, Robert Thomas Sparks, was born in Orange County, Indiana, in 1848. They were back In Allen County, Kentucky, when the 1850 census was taken. In 1853 they were living in Barren County, Kentucky, where a child (male, unnamed) was recorded as born on October 12, 1853. Although the names of the parents were clearly recorded as Stephen Sparks and Elizabeth Levi, there is an obvious error in the date because six months later, their son William Sparks was born on April 10, 1854. Perhaps the birth of their son John S. Sparks, which occurred on July 13, 1851, was not reported until 1853.

by 1861, Stephen Sparks was living in Monroe County, Kentucky. Since Allen, Barren, and Monroe Counties all adjoin each other, he probably lived in about the same locality between 1850 and 1861 - - in fact, he may have lived very near the spot where the three counties touch each other and did not actually move at all.

In 1861, Stephen Sparks enlisted in the Union Army. According to Army records, he was enrolled in Company F, 9th Kentucky Volunteer Regiment, on October 15, 1861, and was mustered in November 26, 1861, at Columbia, Kentucky, for three years. He was fatally wounded at the Battle of Shiloh and died at Pittsburg, Tennessee, on April 15, 1862. He left a widow (Elizabeth) and six children.

Following her husband's death, Elizabeth Sparks moved with her children to Indiana where she had relatives; then, in 1866, the family moved to Crawford County, Missouri, and finally to Howell County, Missouri, where she died in 1874 at the age of forty-eight.

Stephen and Elizabeth (Levi) Sparks were the parents of the following children: Amanda C. Sparks, born ca. 1846. See Sparks Quarterly of June, 1988, Whole No. 142, pp. 3232-3233. Robert Thomas Sparks, born September 14, 1848, in Orange County, Indiana, and died April 15, 1925, in Denton, Texas. He married (first) Amanda Caroline Collins and married (second) Ruth Isabel Collins. For a list of his children, see Sparks Quarterly of March 1963, Whole No. 41, page 718. John Solomon Sparks, born July 13, 1851, in Allen County, Kentucky, and died January 31, 1941, at Bakersfield, Missouri. He married Mary E. Smith., daughter of John Blair and Sarah (Thompson) Smith; she was born in Tennessee on January 9, 1856, and died on February 10, 1932, at Bakersfield. They were the parents of the following children: William Stephen Sparks, born February 20, 1886, died October 22, 1957, at West Plains, Missouri. He married Emma Swick, daughter of John Addison and Emma (McCready) Swick. Ora Elizabeth Sparks, born ca. 1888, died December 14, 1891. Edward Thomas Sparks, born March 1, 1892. He married Nancy Josephine Vaughan, daughter of John A. and Elizabeth Jane (Holman) Vaughan. Sarah Alice Sparks, born 1894, died April, 1960; she married Bill Coats. Roxy Jane Sparks, born January 18, 1898; died October 5, 1923. Noah Sparks, died in infancy.

John S. and Mary B. (Smith) Sparks and their children, with the exception of the sole survivor, Edward Thomas Sparks, are buried in the cemetery at Bakersfield, Missouri, which is across the line in Ozark County. William W. Sparks, son of Stephen and Elizabeth (Levi) Sparks, was born April 10, 1854. No further information. Louisa Margaret Katherine Sparks, daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth (Levi) Sparks, was born November 25, 1857. She married Samuel M. Smith, son of John Blair and Sarah (Thompson) Smith. According to descendarts, they had the following children, all born in Bakersfield, Missouri: Sallie Smith, born March 2, 1881. She married FNU Seymour. Emily Smith, born January 24, 1883, died August 30, 1902; she married FNU Guffey. William A. Smith, born January 5, 1885, died November 4, 1952. Ida Smith, born October 30, 1886, died January 30, 1916; she married FNU Sappington. Homer B. Smith, born June 21, 1890. Hattie Smith, born February 8, 1893; died March 31, 1933; she married FNU Morris. Theodore Smith, died in infancy. Johnny Smith, died in infancy. Thomas Smith, died in infancy. Mary E. V. Sparks, daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth (Levi) Sparks, was born June 26, 1860. No further information.