April 10, 2019

Pages 1288-1303
Whole Number 69


by M. Ward Wilson


Born February 8, 1827, in Schoharie Co., New York
Died January 7, 1913, in Plainfield, Wisconsin
Son of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks

(Editor's Note: The following record of this branch of the Sparks family is taken from a genealogical compilation made by Marcus Ward Wilson of 2092 Jefferson Ave., St. Paul, MN (55105). It has not been possible to produce Mr. Wilson's entire manuscript here, but we shall be glad to loan the entire record to any member of the Association interested in this branch of the family. An extensive record of the Pickering family is included in this manuscript, but has not been given here. Mr. Ward was born in 1891 at Ashland, Wisconsin. He retired in 1956 after a lifetime of Railway service. He served in France with a U.S. Railway Engineers Unit during World War I. He married Ruth Kulaas in 1917. She was born in 1896, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. T. P. Kulaas. Ward and Ruth have two children, Thomas Marcus Wilson, born in 1918, and Helen Clarise Wilson, born in 1920.)

In 1961, a cousin, Marion Ellis, informed me that she was working on the Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks family tree and asked me to assist her. Thus I became interested. Marion lived in the Plainfield, Wisconsin, community to which Thomas and Mary immigrated in 1854 from Great Bend, Pennsylvania. Other family members either accompanied them or followed later.

At this late date, 1961, the wanted information had to be obtained from great-great-grandchildren. Although Marion sent out numerous questionnaires and visited many of these descendants, the responses were few; they either did not have the information or were not interested. The needed records were unavailable . When in my teens, I remember my parents conversing about so and so, but I never paid attention, nor asked questions. Now I wish I had. Those who have the answers are now sleeping in the Plainfield Cemetery.

In 1963, Marion passed away and the records she had compiled were unavailable. With the information she had given me, however, I decided to continue the search. My main object has been to "dig" into the heritage of Thomas and Mary. With this in view, Cousin Edris King Loveny and I made trips in 1967 and 1968 to that country of Summitt, New York, and Great Bend and South Gibson, Pennsylvania, where our records first list Thomas and Mary. Although my search netted some information, it was not what I had hoped to find.

Our meager family records had shown that 42.1 Thomas Sparks was born October 5, 1790, and Mary Howe, his wife, on February 6, 1795. It is believed they were married in Summit, NY, in 1811. We know that Thomas Sparks died September 17, 1869, and Mary died on November 22, 1862; both are buried in the Plainfield Cemetery in Wisconsin.

In 1968, we learned that a record of the birth of a Thomas Sparks, son of 42. James and Elizabeth (Freeman) Sparks, had been preserved among the archives of the "Congregation of Helderberg, Jerusalem and Salem" in Albany County, New York. This was discovered in the D.A.R. Library in Washington by Carrie Grant Heppen who has done so much research for the Association. I have been informed that these were three separate churches served by the same minister. Later I succeeded in getting in touch with Van Buren Lamb, Jr., Director and Genealogist of the Dibble Memorial Library at Summit, New York, concerning the children of James and Elizabeth (Freeman) Sparks while they were evidently living in Albany County, New York. This information was obtained from the Montgomery Department of Archives and History at Fonda, New York. They have the church listed as the Reformed Dutch Church of Guilderland, Helderburgh and Princeton. Following is the record of the children of James and Elizabeth (Freeman) Sparks as copied by Mr. Lamb:

42.1 Thomas Sparks, born October 6, 1790, and baptized December 11, 1790.
42.2 Rebecca Sparks, born July 23, 1792, and baptized July 3, 1792. (These two dates have evidently been reversed.)
42.3 John Sparks, born May 20, 1795 and baptized July 19, 1795.
42.4 Elliner Sparks, born July 16, 1797, and baptized December 17, 1797.
42.5 Nancy Sparks, born September 20, 1799, and baptized March 9, 1800.
42.6 Sarah Sparks, born June 26, 1803, and baptized March 11, 1804.

No record has been found of James Sparks, father of the above children, on the 1790 census of New York, but on the 1800 census of Albany County we find him listed as between 26 and 45 years of age; living with him was a female also aged between 26 and 45 who was doubtless his wife, Elizabeth. There were also 2 males under 10 years of age (John and one other not known), one male aged between 10 and 16 years (no doubt Thomas), and one female under 10, who would have been Rebecca. It would appear that Thomas was the oldest son, and Rebecca the oldest daughter, with two more sons (John and one other whose name we do not have) and two daughters, Elliner and Nancy, born between 1793 and 1800. It has been thought that Thomas had a brother named James, who could well be the unknown son listed on the 1800 census.

When the 1810 census was taken, James Sparks was not listed in Albany County, but just over the line in Schoharie County a James Sparks was listed; until proven otherwise, we can assume that this is the father of our Thomas. James was listed in 1810 as over 45. Living with him was a male aged 16 to 26 (Thomas would have been almost 20 as the census was taken during the summer months); also one male between 10 and 16 years (this would have been John); also three males under 10 (unknown and apparently born after 1800); James's wife, Elizabeth, was listed as a female aged 26 to 45; there was one female aged 16 to 26 who would have been Rebecca, and there were three females under 10 (Elliner, Nancy, and Sarah).

Thomas Sparks, son of James and Elizabeth (Freeman) Sparks, married Mary Howe either in late 1810 or in 1811, after the 18l0 census was taken. The 1820 census of Schoharie County lists Thomas as head of a family consisting of a wife and five children. The same census also lists his father, James Sparks, with his wife (Elizabeth), both aged over 45; living with them in 1820 was one male under 10 (name unknown), three males between 10 and 16 years of age (names unknown), and one female aged 16 to 26, who may have been either Elliner, Nancy, or Sarah. The other two daughters perhaps had married by 1820.

The 1825 local census of Schoharie County shows Thomas Sparks living in Cobleskill, adjacent to Summit, as head of the following family: one male between 13 and 45 (Thomas himself, who was then 35 years old); one male eligible to vote (Thomas); one female under 45 (Mary, his wife, who was 30); 5 females unmarried under 16 (Sarah, Elizabeth, Charity, Nancy, and Mindwell); 1 male unmarried under 16 (James Freeman Sparks, aged 7). This census also shows that Thomas Sparks owned 20 acres of improved land, two meat cattle, two hogs, 15 yards fulled cloth and 23 yards unfulled cloth.

James Sparks, father of Thomas, apparently died prior to 1830. Elizabeth Sparks was listed as head of a household in Schoharie County in 1830 and it is believed she was James's widow. Living with her was a male between 15 and 20; another male between 20 and 30; one female between 5 and 10; and one female between 10 and l5.

Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, with their unmarried children, left Summit in 1838 for Great Bend, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, located 15 miles south of Binghamton, New York. Why the family moved, we do not know, as the terrain is similar to that of Summit--hills and valleys, streams and forests. Thomas is listed as a farmer. There is no record that he owned land, so he must have rented.

The first federal census to list the name of each member of every household was that of 1850. Thomas Sparks was listed in Great Bend as 59 years old (a farmer) and his wife Mary was listed as 55. Living with the family was a four-year-old. boy named William Davis; also Elizabeth Sparks, aged 79 and Sally Howe, aged 46. Who is William Davis? A daughter of Thomas Sparks, Charity, married Chauncey Davis in 1837, but their record shows no child named William, Elizabeth was no doubt the mother of Thomas, while Sally Howe could be Mary's sister.

Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks were the parents of twelve children:

42.1.1 Sarah Sparks, born December 4, 1812, died March 17, 1885.
42.1.2 Elizabeth Sparks, born May 19, 1814, died December 8, 1863.
42.1.3 Charity Sparks, born December 23, 1815, died 1894.
42.1.4 James Freeman Sparks, born July 23, 1818, died June 1, 1902.
42.1.5 Nancy M. Sparks, born August 17, 1820, died February 23, 1907.
42.1.6 Mindwell Sparks, born June 2, 1823, died February 2, 1903.
42.1.7 Robert Davenport Sparks, born February 8, 1827, died January 7, 1913.
42.1.8 Rebecca Sparks, born July 29, 1829.
42.1.9 Susan Sparks, born August 19, 1831.
42.1.10 Amanda Sparks, born 1836, died 1856.
42.1.11 Asena Sparks.
42.1.12 Trewath Sparks, born June 9, 1839.

Following is a more detailed record of these children of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks:


Born December 4, 1812, died March 17, 1885
Eldest child of Thomas & Mary (Howe) Sparks

42.1.1 Sarah Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born December 4, 1812, in Summit, New York, and died on March 17, 1885. She was married in 1836 in Summit to Job Bound, Sr. He was born May 14, 1803, and died on June 7, 1898. They came to Wisconsin like Sarah's parents and both buried in the Plainfield Cemetery. They had six children: Job Bound, Jr. Freeman Theodore Bound, born August 30, 1838. Baltus Bound. Thomas Bound. Jerome Bound. Francellia Bound.

42.1.2 Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born May 19, 1814, in Summit, New York, and died on December 8, 1863. She was the second wife of John Blessing, who was born March 25, 1806, and died on December 8, 1863. Both are buried in the Mormon Cemetery near Great Bend, Pennsylvania. The 1850 census of Great Bend lists the following children of John Blessing; whether Elizabeth, his second wife, was the mother of all of these children is not known: John W. Blessing, born ca. 1839. Harlow Blessing, born ca. 1841. Margaret Blessing, born ca. 1843. James Blessing, born ca. 1845. Frederick William Blessing, born 1850.

42.1.3 Charity Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born December 23, 18l5, in Summit, New York, and died in Gibson, Pennsylvania, in 1894. She married Chauncey Davis on November 19, 1837. He was born July 17, 1813, and died on February 4, 1883; he was a son of Ezekiel and Rachael (Pool) Davis. They were the parents of the following children: Ezekiel Davis, born October 8, 1838, died April 2, 1865, in the Civil War. Mary Terressa Davis, born February 10, 1840, died November 4, 1842. Mindwell Maria Davis, born June 5, 1841, died January 11, 1923; she married Alonzo Tiffany on August 3, 1861. Sarah Terressa Davis, born November 11, 1842, died January 19, 1859. George Thomas Davis, born May 23, 1844, died May, 1911; he married Eunice Jennette Holley. Franklin Duane Davis, born November 24, 1845, died January 2, 1859. Rachel Clara Bell Davis, born October 23, 1848. Elmer Delmont Davis, born September 3, 1854. Charles Frederick Davis, born May 29, 1857. Alonzo Herman Davis, born October 19, 1862.


Born July 23, 1818, died June 1, 1902
Son of Thomas & Mary (Howe) Sparks

Wife of James Freeman Sparks

Born September 5, 1813
Died January 23, 1871

42.1.4 James Freeman Sparks was born July 23, 1818, at Summit, New York, and died on June 1, 1902, at Nevins, in dark County, Wisconsin. He was buried in the Sherwood Cemetery. He married Sylvia Calkins on August 20, 1837. She was born September 5, 1813, and died on January 23, 1871, in Plainfield. They immigrated to Plainfield in 1869. After Sylvia died, James went to Nevins to live with his oldest daughter, Elizabeth. The portraits of James and Sylvia appear on page 1292. They were the parents of eight children: Sarah Elizabeth Sparks was born May 8, 1838, in Sullivan Co., New York. She was known as "Aunt Lib." She married David Sparks, a first cousin, on October 26, 1857, in Sullivan County, NY No further information concerning him except he died on May 28,1860. They had two children: Ascenith Sparks, born November 3, 1858, in Great Bend, PA, died January 5, 1929. She married Andrew Lawson on November 3, 1878, he was born February 16, 1849, in Denmark and died in 1929, both are buried in Sherwood Cemetery. They were married by her great uncle, the Rev. Robert D. Sparks, evidently in Plainfield. Having no children, they adopted a boy, Ralph, who was born June 10, 1895, he now lives near Neilisville with his wife, the former Nettie Lauderville. Two sons, Arlo Lawson and Howard Lawson. David Sparks, Jr., was born January 7, 1860; he died in 1943. He married Clara Crawford of Plainfield on September 28, 1886. She was born February 22, 1868, and died in 1954, she was a granddaughter of Nancy (Sparks) Wood and was thus a cousin of David. They had four children: Mabel Sparks, Gladys Sparks, Vernon Sparks, and Ascenth Sparks. Sarah Elizabeth, following the death of her husband, David, married FNU Bennett, this marriage ended in divorce without children. She later married a widower and farmer, David St. Germain, on January 4, 1880, no children. Emily Sparks was bom July 10, 1841, in Sullivan Co., NY, and died April 11, 1881. She married Charles McNally on November 28, 1857. He was born May 27, 1837, in Bangor, Maine. Both are buried in Binghampton. New York. They had the following children: Amy Sylvia McNally, born November 28, 1858, in Sullivan Co., NY James Richard McNally, born April 8, 1861, in Sullivan Co., NY Amanda McNally, born February 9, 1863, at Lenox, Susquehanna Co., PA, died October 7, 1942, at Wyoming, NY She married William King on July 28, 1881. He was an express messenger for the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. He died June 8, 1935 both are buried in Rochester, NY They had a son who died as a young boy and a daughter named Edris King; she married Arthur Loveny on February 17, 1914 who died in Dec, 1965. They had three daughters. Janet Loveny, born April 8, 1917, married Edward L. Davies in 1936; Helen Loveny (adopted) born March 17, 1918.; she married Charles Adair in 1935, and Phyllis Loveny, born February 21, 1921, she married Robert E. Ritz on July 29, 1942. Fannie McNally, born November 2, 1869, at Glenwood, PA. She married E. E. Thornton. Charles Sherwood McNally, born June 27, 1872, at Glenwood, PA. Idella McNally, born August 5, 1865, at Lenox, PA; died January 12, 1898. She married FNU Caswell. Jerome McNally. James Richard McNally, born April 8, 1861, in Sullivan Co., NY Thomas Sparks was born July 12, 1845, in Sullivan Co., NY, died February 8, 1911. He married Bloomy Ellis on August 22, 1869, at Plainfield, Wise. She was born August 22, 1850 in Winnebago, Wisconsin, and died October 28, 1917. Both are buried in Sherwood Cemetery. They lived on a farm near the Sherwood town hall, in a log house, one of the last in the vicinity. They were known as Uncle Tom and Aunt Bloomy. They had the following children : Einora Sparks, born June, 1870, at Pine Grove Township, Portage Co., WI, and died April 30, 1937, at Janesville, Wisconsin She married Gilbert Ellis on July 5, 1888; he was born February 27, 1867, and died March 17, 1924. Both are buried in Plainfield Cemetery. They first lived in Sherwood, thence in 1893 moved to Pine Grove Township where he farmed and also had a grocery store. Later they moved to Bancroft, Wisconsin, where he and his sons operated a livery and dray line, first with horses, thence autos. The following children were born to them. Viola Ellis, born April 17, 1889. Minnie Ellis, born May 27, 1890. Bertha Ellis, born August 31, 1891. Alberta Ellis born February 12, 1893. Sylvia Ellis, born September 25, 1894. & Earnie Ellis and Vernie Ellis, twins, born August 22, 1896. Sarah E. Ellis, born December 30, 1897. Belle Ellis, born February 3, 1900. Thomas I. Ellis, born April 2, 1903. Elmer Ellis, born June 29, 1906. and Earl Ellis, born August 27, 1908. (It was Albert's wife, Marion, who did considerable work on this family tree before she died.) William Dexter Sparks, born May 5, 1872, at Pine Grove Twp.; died December 3, 1948, at Wisconsin Rapids, Wise. He married Cora Murray on October 21, 1894. They lived at both Pine Grove and Sherwood. She died in 1967. They had the following children: Bert Sparks, born July 21, 1895; Thomas Sparks, born December 1, 1897; Gertrude Sparks, born February 7, 1900; Stella Sparks, born March 13, 1901; Melvin Sparks, born April 10, 1905; Orros Sparks, born August 12, 1912; and Earl Sparks, born April 19, 1915. Emily Sparks, born August 21, 1876, in Sherwood, died 1968. She married Clark Calkins in 1894. He was born August 12, 1869, in Sullivan Co., NY and died May 11, 1940. Both are buried in Sherwood Cemetery. He was a son of Isaiah and Phoebe (Whipple) Calkins, also the nephew of Sylvia Calkins, wife of James Freeman Sparks. When living in Sherwood, he operated a grocery store near the town hall. Their children were: Jennie Calkins, born May 18, 1895; Maud Joy Calkins, born March 31, 1896; Isaiah Whipple Calkins, born 1 April 1898; Ward Leon Calkins, born January 28, 1900; Guy Calkins, born March 24, 1902; Hays Eugene Calkins, born March 3, 1905; Hannah Amanda Calkins, born June 17, 1910; and Harold Calkins, born May 11, 1913. All were born in Sherwood, except Harold who was born in Almond, Wisconsin. There was also a son named Donald Calkins, who died in infancy in 1908. Jessie Sparks, born August 9, 1878, in Sherwood, died April 10, 1961, in Wisconsin Rapids. He married Amelia Diehn Meddough on December 14, 1916. She was born December 3, 1880, and died August 3, 1918, in St. Paul, MN. No children. George Sparks, born September 30, 1880, in Sherwood, died June 22, 1958. He married Coral Belle Schenck on September 24, 1905. She was born July 3, 1884, in Pine Grove and died January 27, 196. Both are buried in Plainfield Cemetery. Their children were: Fern Sparks, born April 12, 1906; Vera Sparks, born November 10, 1907; and Dora Sparks, born April 22, 1911. All born at Pine Grove. Arthur Sparks, born October 20, 1883, in Sherwood; died April 9, 1952. He married Sophia Eggen on July 10, 1911. She lives now in Wisconsin Rapids. They had two children: Henry Sparks, born May 14, 1913; and Vivian Sparks, born December 29, 1917. Sylvia Sparks, born September 10, 1888, in Sherwood; died April 13, 1921; buried in Sherwood Cemetery. She married Dave Janes, a cousin. Their children were: Edna Mae Janes, born July 21, 1907; Ellen Marie Janes, born March 18, 1910; Irma Bloomy Janes, born July 31, 1911; Joseph Arthur Janes, born September 13, 1912; and Arnold Janes, born July 24, 1915. Hannah Sparks, daughter of James F. and Sylvia (Calkins) Sparks, was born May 18, 1848, in Sullivan Co., NY, and died January 1, 1917, at Crane, Montana. She married byron Potter Pickering on September 28, 1866, at either Great Bend or South Gibson, PA. byron was born December 31, 1840, at South Gibson, PA, and died January 11, 1920, at Crane, Mont. Both are buried in a private cemetery on their son's Myron farm.

(Editor's note: Mr. Wilson has prepared a detailed sketch his grandparents, byron P. and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering, and their children; we shall publish this separately in a future issue of the Quarterly.) John Sparks, son of James F. and Sylvia (Calkins) Sparks, was born October 10, 1851, we believe in Sullivan Co., NY He died at Sherwood (date not known) and was buried at Sherwood. He was married in 1885 to Augusta Messing at Sherwood. She was born August 29, 1868, and died in 1946 at Sidney, Mont. Their children were as follows: Herbert Sparks, born January 22, 1886, in Sherwood, He left there ca. 1906, married, and lived on a farm near Tomahawk, Wise. Although his wife passed away several years ago, he is still living on his farm (1969). There were three children: Harold Sparks, Maxine Sparks, and Gale Sparks. Hanford Sparks, born October 3, 1887, in Sherwood; died ca. 1965. He settled in Merrill, Wise., ca. 1906. He married Lilly Wagsland in 1916. Their children were: Irene Carol Sparks, born September 14, 1921; Harlow Everett Sparks, born September 22, 1922; Lloyd John Sparks, born June 12, 1924; Bernice lone Sparks, born February 19, 1926; Marjorie Elaine Sparks, born September 18, 1927; Gertrude Arlene Sparks, born June 14, 1929; and George Frank Sparks, born May 25, 1933. Frank Lewis Sparks, born June 27, 1889, in Sherwood; died February, 1969, in Sidney, Mont. He married Helen Myers in 1936; she was born March 28, 1912. Children: Loren Frank, born May 30, 1937; Lloyd Albert, born July 17, 1938; and Wayne, born February 21, 1941. All born in Sidney. Mindwell Sparks, born April 12, 1892 at Sherwood; died February 3, 1945, at Sidney, Mont. She married Everett Baldwin on October 4, 1912, at Sidney. He was born June 5, 1892; died June 13, 1957. Children: Myrtle Vivian, born August 24, 1913, married Lester Rozell on December 8, 1930; Evelyn Bernice, born April 10, 1915, married Guy Ensign, November 24, 1938; He died September 26, 1967. She was married on June 2, 1968, to Robert George McMakin. Wesley Earl, born August 30, 1918, died April, 1952; Agnes Augusta, born June 28, 1922, married Glen Howard, December 31, 1938, married (second) James McCluland, and married (third) William Mueller; Beulah Mindwell, born February 23, 1925, married Kenneth Ketchum February, 1944. Florence Sparks, born June 22, 1896, at Sherwood; died in 1956 or 1957. She married Lou Nicolla and they lived near Custer, S.D., in the Black Hills region. They had five children: Vivian Nicolla; Robert Nicolla; Lee Nicolla; Lake Ione Nicolla; and Corben Carlton Nicolla. Clifton Sparks, born February 2, 1901, at Sherwood. He died in 1966. He married Lorna Brigs and they lived near Sacramento, California. Children: Augusta Sparks; Wilbur Sparks; Beatrice Ione Sparks; Mildred Sparks; Elery Sparks; John Sparks; Martha Sparks; and Roger Sparks. Elery Sparks, born June 27, 1903, at Sherwood; died in 1918. Bernice Amanda Sparks, born December 26, 1906, at Sherwood. She married James Cunduff in December 1922. Children: William Cunduff; Helen Cunduff Cora Bell Cunduff; and Ruth Rebecca Cunduff. Clarice M. Sparks, born January 31, 1911; at Sherwood; married Shorty De Vries in 1929 at Sidney, Mont. He died on April 1, 1940. Children: Johnsie De Vries; Siebrigje De Vries; Phyllis De Vries, and Milton De Vries.

She was married a second time in 1945 and had four more children, Sally, Rose, Frank, and Samuel. She died in 1969. Robert Sparks, born March 27, 1913, at Sherwood. He married Mildred Boggs at Sidney. Children: Robert Clifton Sparks; Virginia Lee Sparks; Myrtle Sparks; and James Sparks. James Sparks, son of James F. and Sylvia (Calkins) Sparks, and a twin of John Sparks, was born October 10, 1851, in Sullivan Co., NY He died on January 11, 1928, at Beloit, Wisconsin and is buried in Plainfield Cemetery beside his mother, Sylvia Sparks. For several years, he lived at the home of his brother, John. In 1901 he married Ada Hall, a widow, at Nevins, Wisconsin, where she and her daughter Emaline were staying. She was born September 3, 1865. James and Ada had two daughters: Jewell Sparks, born October 18, 1903, married Donald Scott. They have a son named Kenneth Scott, born April 12, 1936. He married Karen Sally Corlett, born August 13, 1937. They have two children: Donald Kenneth Scott, born July 1, 1959, and David Alan Scott born March 27, 1962. Dolly Marie Sparks, born March 23, 1906, died 1963, she married (first) Keith Hill and (second) Robert Behrens. Jesse Sparks, son of James F. and Sylvia (Calkins) Sparks, was born November 18, 1854, in Sullivan Co., NY, and died in 1940. He married Laura Messing in 1892. She was born June 28, 1873, at Almond, Wisconsin, and died in 1938. Both are buried in the Sherwood Cemetery. Their children were: Hattie May Sparks, born January 21, 1893, died May 23, 1963. She married Reuben Fields, who died in April 1968. Both are buried in the Sherwood Cemetery. They had two sons: Wilbur Fields, who is married and lives in Granton, Wisconsin, and Alfred Fields, who teaches school. Edith Ethel Sparks, born December 31,1894, at Sherwood. She married Bert Todd, who died on February 27, 1969. Children: Mildred Todd; Elaine Todd; James Robert Todd; Russell Todd; Maxine Todd; and Rebecca Todd. Esther Naomi Sparks, born March 16, 1897; died January 26,1924; buried in the Sherwood Cemetery.She married Alfred Anderson. Helen Sparks, born May 31, 1899, at Sherwood; died May 4, 1963. She led a colorful life as a school teacher in the nearby district schools, She never married. Hazel Sparks, twin of Helen, born May 31, 1899, died 1951. Daniel Sparks, born February 28, 1904, at Sherwood. Robert William Sparks, son of James F. and Sylvia (Calkins) Sparks, was born February 28, 1859, in Sullivan Co., NY, he died on September 4, 1936, at Hood River, Oregon. He married Julia Messing on October 3, 1883. She was born November 1, 186l, at Almond, Wisconsin, and died August 13, 1939, at Hood River. They lived on a farm at Nevins, Sherwood Twp., for many years where all their children were born. In 1905 the family, with all the children except the oldest daughter, migrated to Oregon, settling in the Hood River district. They had ten children: Laura Grace Sparks, born September 22, 1881, died July 28, 1909, in Wisconsin Rapids, where she lived after marrying Michael Mason in June 1903. They had two children; Lloyd Mason, born June 8, 1904 at Nevins; and Margaret Mason, born July 22, 1906, at Wisconsin Rapids. Myra Viola Sparks, born March 30, 1886, at Nevins, died July 8, 1968, she married Grover McKee on July 3, 1908, at Vancouver, Wash., He was born March 9, 1885, and died November 25, 1951. Children: Edyth McKee, born June 1, 1911, married Isaac Bowman on January 10, 1940; Kenneth McKee, married Ruth L. Larson on August 9, 1941; Grace McKee, born September 8, 1918, died November 10, 1918; Robert McKee, born April 25, 1921, married Theda Hall on August 3, 1944; and Margaret McKee, born September 21, 1924, married Earl Jorgenson on October 8, 1948. Edna May Sparks, born May 27, 1887, at Nevins. She went west with her parents and married a Charles Dickson in October 1907. She died May 28, 1926, from an accident, walking in her sleep, she stepped out of a second story window. They had one son, Harold Clifford Dickson, born September 2, 1908, died January 6, 1926. Bessie Naomi Sparks, born October 28, 1888, at Nevins; died December 12, 1962. She married Ernest Monroe, March 14, 1913. Cyrus Clyde Sparks, born April 8, 1890, at Nevins; died February 6, 1921, at Hood River. Never married. Margaret Elizabeth Sparks, born December 1, 1892, at Nevins; died November 8, 1918, at Hood River. Inez Lillie Sparks, born November 8, 1894, at Nevins; died May 18, 1928, at Hood River. Never married. Walter George Sparks, born August 25, 1898, at Nevins; he married Eva Getchel. Kenneth Rollin Sparks, born December 17, 1900, at Nevins; He married Lillian Lucille McDonald, Children: Virginia Sparks, born July 28, 1925, married Kenneth Jubb; Earl Sparks, born August 8, 1926, married Betty L. Osentowski; and Mike Sparks, born October 9, 1946. Loren Milton Sparks, born August 20, 1902, at Nevins; married Edith Mae Harper. They have one child, Julia LaVelle Sparks, born July 14, 1921; she married William Frank Seebauer.

John, Jesse, and Robert Sparks (all sons of James Freeman Sparks) lived on small farms in the vicinity of my grand-parents, byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering. They were her brothers. The farms were unprofitable and with their large families, had difficulty providing food and clothing. byron and Hannah were their "mainstays", providing food when necessary. When Grand-dad operated his mill, he would employ them, thus giving them much needed cash. He also at times would hire them or their sons to help on his farm.

Nevins or Sherwood was just a farming community, with no employment possibilities for the young people. The farms not being able to support them, when they were old enough, they left home to better themselves, seeking employment in the nearby larger villages and towns. Many of the girls would try to better themselves by getting married.

Robert tried his hand in various ways to supplement his small farm income, but he was not very successful. When the Pickerings moved, Robert and his family also left, going to the West Coast and settling on a homestead claim near Hood River, Oregon.

John Sparks stayed on at Nevins and after his death, his wife Augusta, with the younger children and third son, Frank, moved to Sidney, Montana, where previously the oldest daughter had settled. It was also near the place where the Pickerings had settled. Augusta again married.

Jesse Sparks stayed on at Nevins. With the help of his children, the farm was improved. His daughter Helen became a teacher in the nearby schools and lived at home helping the family.

James Freeman Sparks, known as Grandpa Sparks to the inhabitants of his locality, was a loveable and colorful character. Although he called home the house and family of his oldest daughter, Elizabeth, he also had a daughter Hannah and four sons, along with other nearby relatives, with whom he would frequently visit, thus breaking the monotony of living in one place. It was not unusual to see him trudging along the dusty road carrying a carpet bag valise, containing a few personal belongings plus a supply of "Grand-dad's Liniment", some pills and salve, which he would sell along the way, thus obtaining some spending money.

When James Freeman Sparks died, he was survived by seven children and approximately one hundred grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

42.1.5 Nancy M. Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born at Summit on August 17, 1820; she died February 23, 1907. She married William B. Wood at either Summit or Great Bend. He was born March 4, 1814, and died on February 15, 1897. Both are buried in the Plainfield Cemetery. They were the parents of nine children: Andrew Wood, born January 4, 1837. Hiram G. Wood, born August 2, 1844. Lucy Wood, born May 5, 1840; she married Thomas Baker. Sarah R. Wood, born March 27, 1842; she married - Crawford. James Wood, twin of Jane, born May 30, 1847. Jane Wood, twin of James, born May 30, 1847; married FNU Ferdon. David Thomas Wood, born October 15, 1849. Asaneath Wood, born March 27, 1859; married George Ellis on February 20, 1876. Mary Wood, born July 8, 1863; married Frank Perry.


Born June 2, 1823, died February 2, 1903
Daughter of Thomas & Mary (Howe) Sparks

42.1.6 Mindwell Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born at Summit, New York, on June 2, 1823, and died on February 2, 1903, at South Gibson where she lived with her daughter, Mindwell Charity Howell. She married Henry Manzer on February 3, 1842, at South Gibson. He was born December 14, 1819, at Fly Creek, Otsego Co., New York. He died in November 1902. They are buried in the Manzer Cemetery on what was his father's farm and now operated by a nephew. This farm has been in the family for more than a century. This cemetery was started by Henry's father, the Rev. Lawrence Manzer, a minister and farmer. It was first a family cemetery, then enlarged to accommodate neighbors.

Henry Manzer was a member of an honored pioneer farming family. They were very prominent in the community as farmers and business men. They were active in politics and the church. Henry served three years in the Union Army during the Civil War and was discharged because of a service connected disability.

Mindwell led a colorful life as an evangelist in the Methodist Episcopal Church and later became the first ordained lady minister in the Free Methodist Church. She was so prominent that during the Chicago World Fair in 1893 she was invited to attend and preach. Because of her advanced age and travel difficulties, she did not accept. The children of Mindwell Sparks and Henry Manzer were: Charles H. Manzer, born March 31, 1844. While in service with the Union Army during the Civil War, he died in Georgetown Hospital, Washington, D.G., on November 22, 1861. Mindwell Charity Manzer, born June 1846, died 1920. She was named after her mother and her Aunt Charity. Her first husband was Henry Hobert Davis who was born in 1846 and died in 1872. No information as to children. She later married a widower named Silas Howell who died in 1908. There was a daughter named Grace Howell. Truman C. Manzer, born April 23, 1852. Harriet Manzer, born May 26, 1856, died March 1859.

42.1.7 Robert Davenport Sparks, son of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born in Schoharie County, New York, on February 8, 1827; he died on January 7, 1913. He accompanied his parents when they moved to Great Bend, Susquehanna County, Penn. On December 25, 1847, he married Armina Pickering, daughter of Potter and Silona Pickering; she was a brother of byron Potter Pickering who married Hannah Sparks, sister of Robert Davenport Sparks. Armina was born March 16, 1828, in Susquehanna County and died on November 8, 1865, at Plainfield, Wise.

In 1854, Robert Davenport Sparks and his wife and son Eugene moved to Plainfield, Wise. Although he lived on a farm, he was a carpenter by trade. Later he became a Baptist minister, preaching in the district schoolhouses. He became so well known and liked, that he performed marriages for miles around.

Following the death of his first wife, Robert married (second) Nancy Janes Holmes, a widow, in March 1866. She was born January 14, 1843, and died in June 1882. In 1884, Robert married for the third time--he married Mrs. Margaret Lahy Wilson, a widow. She was born May 17, 1834, in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. Her first husband had been James Wilson who had migrated with his brother Mark from England ca. 1850 and had become a sailor on the Great Lakes where he was drowned in a shipwreck in September 1871. Margaret was known far and wide as "Aunt Maggie". She died February 18, 1923. Although she was a Roman Catholic and Robert was a Baptist minister, everything worked out smoothly and she aided him in his work.

Robert Davenport Sparks organized the first Sunday School in the vicinity of Campbell's Corners and was its Superintendent for three years. During this time he felt a call to preach, but ignored it and kept farming and doing carpenter work. In 1845 he had joined the Free Will Baptist Church at South Gibson, PA, while his sister, Mindwell, became an evangelist minister in the Methodist Church at South Gibson.

He enlisted in the Union Army early during the Civil War and served three years until he was seriously wounded at the Battle of Vicksburg. He was placed on deck of a steamboat and left for dead near the smokestack. In the night a heavy shower came and water that hit the smokestack spattered off onto the wounded soldier. This water warmed and revived him, and it was then that he made a promise to God that if He would spare his life, he would become a minister of the Gospel and preach for the rest of his life. In the morning, the officers, amazed to find him still alive, dressed his wounds and cared for him. After recovering enough to come home, he was given an honorable discharge. He did not forget his promise to God and began to preach, using the district schools as his chapels. According to church records in a church clerk's book, which Robert's granddaughter, Vesta Sparks Cain, now has, a church was organized on February 25, 1871, called the First Free Will Baptist Church of Plainfield, Wisconsin. Robert was one of the first deacons of the new church and was granted a license to preach for one year. In 1873 he was ordained to this ministry. He filled that office with honor and preached as long as his health permitted. In those days, the minister's salary was what he received at a service by passing the hat. The parishioners; however, were usually good about donating of their farm produce.

My father, Marcus J. Wilson, was a son of Margaret by her first husband, James Wilson. For several years when I was a youngster and in my early teens, it was a "must that Dad take our family to visit his mother and his step-father (Robert Davenport Sparks) at Thanksgiving. (My mother was a daughter of byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering, and was thus a niece of Robert Davenport Sparks, but so far as we children were concerned, he was our real Grand-dad.) Grandmother raised turkeys and always had a good one ready, with all the trimmings, for the occasion, and what a feast it was. There would be other aunts, uncles, and cousins, some for the day only, while others like us stayed up to a week. To sleep it was necessary for some to go to neighbor Campbell's across the road. It was a good place to go, for Mrs. Campbell could pop the best popcorn. It was also fun to hitch a ride with Mr. Campbell and his sleigh, when he went to the field to bring fodder for the cattle. As much as our grandparents were glad to see us come, I am sure that after a few days they glad to see us go. As members of both families would get together, you would never know but that they were all brothers and sisters, they thinking so much of each other and getting along so well. Never a dissension.

Grandmother, with her Irish ways, provided a lot of fun. She was always saying things that could be taken differently than what she meant and of course she would be kidded about it, but she also took the kidding in fun. Once we were all in the wagon, about twelve of us, to go to the train depot about four miles, and waiting for the driver, Cousin Sumner, she said: "Sum, hurry, I would not want them to miss the train for anything." She did not want to get rid of us, but was thinking of all the commotion, etc., it would cause if we missed out. She could never get used to the telephone. Once a neighbor called and wanted to borrow the potato bug sprayer. She answered and said he could, then with the receiver still in her hand she said, 'they never bring a thing back.' She wondered for a long time why they did not come after it.

In Grandmother's days, their spare time was used in knitting socks or mittons, or piecing quilts and then having quilting parties. After Grand-dad passed away, she spent a lot of her time at our home in Minneapolis. To keep her busy, mother supplied material for piece quilts. I have several of them waiting to be quilted.

Robert Davenport Sparks and his three wives are buried side by side in the Plainfield Cemetery. by each of his first two wives, Robert had three sons. There were no children of the third marriage. Eugene E. Sparks, son of Robert Davenport Sparks and his first wife, Armina Pickering, was born August 6, 1849, in Susquehanna Co., PA; he died on September 10, 1930, at Brockett, N.D., near Devils Lake where he farmed. He married Lillian lone Perry of Plainfield on July 23, 1871. He was a drummer boy in the Union Army during the Civil War. Eugene E. and Lillian lone (Perry) Sparks had twelve children: Estella Sparks, born April 25, 1872; Inez Sparks, born April 3, 1871; Minnie Sparks, born November 12, 1875; Armina Sparks, born (date not known); Elizabeth Sparks, born July 13, 1878; Wendell Sparks, born March 9, 1880; Vernon Sparks, born June 30, 1882; Margaret Sparks, born September 25, 1885; Harry Sparks, born February 14, 1889; Cora Sparks, born June 15, 1893; Grace Sparks, born January21, 1894; and Gladys Sparks, born April 7, 1896. Charles F. Sparks, son of Robert Davenport Sparks and his first wife, Armina Pickering, was born August 26, 1856, in Plainfield and died in Stevens Point, Wise. He worked as a custodian in the public schools and also at one time was a mechanic in the railroad shops there before they were moved. He married Mamie Sievright. Their children were Robert Samuel Sparks, born December 2, 1877, in Portage Co., Wisconsin; and Nida Nancy Marie Sparks, born May 23, 1889, at Nevins, Clark Co., Wisconsin Winfield Scott Sparks, son of Robert Davenport Sparks and his first wife, Armina Pickering, was born May 18, 1861, in Plainfield and died on October 8, 1887, at Grefton, N.D., where he was farming. He married Flora Harris of Plainfield who, after Winfield's death, returned to Plainfield where she married FNU Castler. She was born September 9, 1858 and died in 1952 and is buried in Plainfield. Winfield and Flora had two sons: Edward Sparks, born September 14, 1884, died July 13, 1952, in Bellingham, Wash., he was married but there were no children. Frank Sparks, the second son, was born April 3, 1887, at Grafton, N.D. He became a dentist and settled in Alabama or Georgia where he also raised cattle. He married and there was one daughter, Virginia Sparks. Freeman James Sparks, son of Robert Davenport Sparks and his second wife, Nancy Janes, was born January 12, 1869, in Plainfield and died on March 3, 1937. He married Alice Lane of Wild Rose, Wise. on March 26, 1891. She was born in 1863 and died February 27, 1927. Both are buried in Plainfield Cemetery. Freeman farmed near Plainfield. They had two children, a son who died at birth on September 29, 1892, and a daughter. Vesta Jewell who was born May 3, 1894, at Springwater, Waushara Co., Wisconsin She graduated from the Plainfield public schools, then attended the Stevens Point Normal School, taking the teacher examinations of the state and received teaching certificates in Portage, Waushara, and Adams Counties. After teaching awhile, she married Vernie E. Campbell on October 26, 1916. He died on August 8, 1918, and she resumed her teaching until her marriage to Lyle Stephen Cain on April 14, 1927.

They now live on her father's farm, plus her original farm, a total of 180 acres. She does substitute and private teaching and both are active church and Sunday school workers. They have one son, adopted, Marvin Alson Gain, born January 12, 1928. He married Alice Buege of Stevens Point and they have four children: David Charles, born July 14, 1951; Lynn Stevens, born August 29, 1953; Keith Alien, born September 25, 1954 and Judy Mae, born March 4, 1959. Sumner Sparks, son of Robert Davenport Sparks and his second wife, Nancy Janes, was born June 18, 1871, in Plainfield; he died in 1931. He married Naomi Trickey on November 15, 1892. She was born April 24, 1872, and died October 24, 1895. They had two children: Edna Mabel Sparks, born September 11, 1893, and died in 1936 in Milwaukee; she married Robert Wood and had two children: Zeida Wood Shirley Wood; Ethel Sparks, died in infancy on September 12, 1895.

Sumner Sparks married (second) Viola May Schenck on February 2, 1905; she was born December 18, 1886. by his second wife, Sumner had three more children: Maude Irene Sparks, born October 9, 1906; she married Ollan Praeger on September 26, 1927, and they have a son named Calvin Edward Praeger; Robert Glenn Sparks, born April 19, 1913, he married Edith Madge Rice in 1940 and they have children named: Robert Sumner Sparks, born 1941, Sandra Kay Sparks, born 1943, Nancy Lucille Sparks, born 1949, Norrine Bertha Sparks, born 1950, and Claudette Margaret Sparks, born 1951; Margaret Esther Sparks, born August 29, 1916; she married Roger Roy Krueger and they have four children: Robert Roy Krueger, born 1936, Richard Walter Krueger, born 1938, Wayne Lee Krueger, born 1941, and Donna Kay Krueger, born 1943. Willie Sparks, son of Robert Davenport Sparks and his second wife, Nancy Janes, died on December 21, 1873, in infancy.

42.1.8 Rebecca Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born July 29, 1829. No further records.
42.1.9 Susan Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born August 19, 1831, at Summit. No further record.
42.1.10 Amanda Sparks was, according to the inscription on her gravestone in Plainfield, Wisconsin, born in 1836 and died in 1856. It is said that she was the first person buried in the Plainfield Cemetery, at least she is the first of record. Later information gives her date of birth as December 1, 1830, and her death date as November 11, 1857. Plainfield records were destroyed by fire some years ago, so we are unable to check that source. Family records indicate that she married FNU Young. The 1850 census of Great Bend shows an Amanda Young, aged 17 years, the wife of Nathan Young, aged 20 years. In all probability, this is our Amanda. If her age was given correctly on the 1850 census, which was taken during the summer, she may have been born December 1, 1832. (Note that Susan was born August 19, 1831, therefore Amanda could not have been born December 1, 1830, as suggested above.)

42.1.11 Asena Sparks, possibly a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, is listed as a deceased daughter in a volume entitled "Biographical Record of Northeast Pennsylvania" published in 1900. No other record of this child.
42.1.12 Trewath Sparks, possibly a child of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks, was born June 9, 1839. Several members of the family doubt that she was a daughter. Note that Mary (Howe) Sparks was 44 years old in 1839.

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Whole Number 70


Vesta J. Cain of Bancroft, Wisconsin, has provided us with additional material on the descendants of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks. The original article on this family appeared in the Quarterly of March 1970 (Vol. XVIII, No. 1, Whole No. 69). On page 1302 we listed Charles F. Sparks, son of Robert Davenport and Armina (Pickering) Sparks. This record has been expanded for us by Mrs. Cain as follows: Charles F. Sparks, son of Robert Davenport Sparks and his first wife, Armina Pickering, was born August 26, 1856, in Plainfield, Wisconsin, and died in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He worked as a custodian in the public schools and also at one time was a mechanic in the railroad shops there before they were moved. He married Manie Sievright and they had five children of their own plus an adopted daughter named Grace. Their children and descendants are the following: Robert Samuel Sparks, son of Charles F. and Armina (Pickering) Sparks, was born December 2, 1877, in Portage County, Wisconsin; he married Lulie Todd. They were the parents of three children: Adelaide Armina Sparks, born September 3, 1906, at Stevens Point, Wisconsin She married Robert Goetz in July 1937.Children: Robert Sparks Goetz, born August 15,1940; he married Nancy Ness on June 2, 1962, and Laura Lynn Goetz, born August 7, 1963. Agnes Eulalia Sparks, born July 5, 1908. She has been a teacher at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, for many years. Roberta Sparks, born July 15, 1913. She married Maurice Brown on September 1, 1943. They had one daughter, Beth Lu Brown, born November 10, 1946. Beth Lu now married and has a child.

Roberta is a teacher at Superior, Wisconsin. Nida Nancy Marie Sparks was born May 23, 1880, at Nevins, Clark County, Wisconsin. She married Thomas Moore on September 21, 1907; he died at Kalamazoo, Mich. They had two children: Marian Moore, born March 11, 1912; she married Nelson Deyoung. Their children are Mary Lou Deyoung, Thomas N. Deyoung, and Karen L. Deyoung. Charles A.Moore, born August 1, 1919; he married Alice Zehl on July 26, 1934, in Goshen, Indiana. They had children named Judith Ellen Moore and June Diane Moore. Loron Sparks married and had one daughter. He was a teacher and superintendent of schools in Ellensburg, Washington. He was born March 9, 1883. Lula Sparks was born July 18, 1886. She lived in Michigan, had no children. Jessie Sparks was born March 20, 1892. She married and lived in Michigan; no children.