February 2, 2021

Pages 1172-1174
Whole Number 63

WILL OF (7.1.1) WILLIAM SPARKS (born ca. 1790, died 1880)

(Editor's note: The following document has been copied from a xerox copy loaned the editor by Mrs. Gerald H. Reynolds. This will was recorded in Book 2, page 123, in Atchison County, Missouri, and was admitted to probate on July 9, 1880.)

In the name of God, Amen.

I, William Sparks, of Atchison County, in the State of Missouri, aged eightyfive years - - being of sound mind and discretion, do make and publish this my last will and testament, as follows:

First: I request that my funeral be conducted under the direction of my beloved wife in a plain manner, suitable to my means and position in life and that a suitable stone be placed, by her, to mark the final resting place of my remains. And I direct that my funeral charges and the expenses of administration on my estate and all my just debts be paid out of my personal estate.

Second: I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary Sparks, all the Real Estate and personal property of which I may die seized and all the products thereof to hold and enjoy absolutely during her natural life (unless my said wife shall remarry) then in that case, her interest as herein stated in and to both my Real and personal estate shall cease. All of which is to be received and accepted by her in lieu of dower, and of any distributive share in my personal estate.

Thirdly: I give and bequeath to those of my beloved children, to wit: William J. Sparks, Charlotte Kerriok, Sarah Scott, and Oliver Sparks, who may be living at my death, all the Real Estate and personal property of which I may die seized and the increase thereof, if any, in equal parts after the death or marriage of my said wife, Mary Sparks, and after the payment of the special legacies hereafter.

Fourth: I give and bequeath to my grandchildren who may be living at my death and whose parents, my beloved children, Anna M. Sampson, Eliza - - - - - and Susan - - - - - may be deceased at my death, the sum of fifty dollars, at the death or marriage of my said wife Mary Sparks.

Fifth: I give and bequeath to my beloved step-daughter, Elizabeth Scammon, the sum of fifty dollars at the death or marriage of my said wife Mary Sparks.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, this 14th day of August 1876.

[signed] William Sparks

The foregoing instrument was at the date thereof signed and declared by the said William Sparks to be his last will and testament, in his presence, and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.

[signed] L. W. Campbell of Atchison County, Missouri.
Henry Enoch of Atchison County, Missouri.
John D. Campbell of Atchison County, Missouri.


Mrs. Gerald H. Reynolds of 2201 56th Street, Des Moines, Iowa (50310) is a greatgreat-granddaughter of William Sparks, whose will appears on the preceding page. For a number of years she has been searching for clues regarding the parentage of William Sparks and for more detailed records of his children. It is hoped that a reader of the Quarterly may be able to supply' some of the needed data.

William Sparks was born between June 1790 and August 14, 1791, probably in Ohio, although some census records indicate Pennsylvania. It is believed that in the 1820's William Sparks lived in Rush County, Indiana, but by 1830 he was living in Franklin County, Indiana, which adjoins Rush County. He was married, probably between 1810 and 1815, to - - - - - Howell (Sarah Howell - see Article on Isaac Sparks), who undoubtedly died before 1830. His name appears on the 1830 census of Franklin County, Indiana, and his family was enumerated as including his wife (actually his second wife), with one male aged 10 to 15 years, 2 males aged 5 to 10 years, one female aged 15 to 20 years, 1 female aged 10 to 15 years, and 2 females aged 5 to 10 years. There is some reason to believe that the first name of William Sparks's first wife may have been Catherine. A William Sparks, with wife Catherine, sold land in Rush County, Indiana, in 1825 to a John Doris (Book B, p. 1).

On February 28, 1830, William Sparks married his second wife, a widow named Mary Templeton, in Franklin County, Indiana. She was sometimes called Polly. It is believed that her first husband was named either William Templeton or Wright Templeton. by her first husband, Mary had a son named James M. Templeton, born March 11, 1822, died October 12, 1879, in Atchison County, Missouri, and a daughter named Elizabeth Templeton who married E. D. Scamman.

Mary, second wife of William Sparks, died on December 22, 1879, and was buried in the Greenhill Cemetery, at the northeast edge of Rock Port, Atchison County, Missouri. According to her tombstone, she was 77 years, 6 months, and 16 days of age at the time of her death (thus born, probably, on June 6, 1802).

According to the 1850 census, a daughter of William and Mary Sparks was born in Illinois in 1835. Apparently the family did not remain long in Illinois, for their daughter, Martha, was born in Missouri in 1839.

William Sparks died in 1880. He was buried beside his wife in Greenhill Cemetery at the north-east edge of Rock Port, Missouri, but his tombstone, known to have been broken a number of years ago, has been removed.

by his first wife, Catherine (?) Howel, William Sparks is believed to have had the following children: William J. Sparks. He was still living in 1876 when William Sparks made his will. Charlotte Sparks. Although called "Charlotte Kerrick" in her father's will in 1876, her husband's name is given as Albert Herrick in their marriage bond dated June 3, 1833, in Franklin County Indiana. They were married on that date by a Justice of the Peace named Redin Osborn. Sarah Sparks, daughter of William and Catherine (?) (Howel) Sparks, was born October 8, 1824. According to her obituary, she was born in Franklin County, Indiana, but according to her death certificate, she was born in Rush County, Indiana. She was married on October 18, 1842, in Missouri, to George Washington Scott, son of Powel M. and Nancy (McCarty) Scott. It is believed that Sarah (Sparks) and "Wash" Scott were married in or near Savannah, Missouri, since we know that he built the first house in Savannah in 1842. They were the parents of the following children: John Monroe Scott, born July 12, 1843. Benjamin Britin Scott, born February 20, 1847. General Winfield Scott, born February 14, 1849. William Taylor Scott, born June 7, 1852. Elizabeth Dorcas Scott, born August 8, 1854. Mary Catherine Scott, born October 30, 1855. James Mark Rolland Scott, born January 12, 1859. Erastus Wallace Scott, born January 8, 1863. Clarry Francis Scott, born February 7, 1868. Anna M. Sparks married Sampson and died before 1880. Eliza A. Sparks married, according to her father's probate records, FNU Dubois.

by his second wife, Mary, William Sparks had the following children: Oliver G. Sparks was born ca. 1832 in Indiana (although the 1870 census gives his birth place as Ohio). His wife's name was given as Elizabeth on the 1870 census of Clay Township, Atchison County, Missouri - - she was born, according to this census, ca. 1839 in Missouri. Their children as listed on the 1870 census were: Franklin Sparks, born ca. 1858 in Missouri. May (or Mary) F. Sparks, born ca. 1860 in Missouri. Susan A. Sparks, born ca. 1862 in Missouri. Charles E. Sparks, born ca. 1868 in Missouri. Susan H. Sparks, daughter of William and Mary Sparks, was born ca. 1835 in Illinois. She married William Bartholomew in Atchison County, Missouri, on September 23, 1855. She died before 1880. Martha B. Sparks, daughter of William and Mary Sparks, was born ca. 1839 in Missouri. She married Davis.