March 7, 2021

Pages 1305
Whole Number 69


On December 20, 1969, death claimed Charles F. Sparks of Martha, Kentucky, a great-great-great-grandson of John Sparks (1753 -1840/41) -whose life was sketched in the Quarterly of December 1955, Whole No 12, pp. 94-105). His descent from John Sparks was through the following line:

The eldest son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks was: Levi Sparks, born October 2, 1778, in Surry Co., North Carolina, died October 21, 1851, in Lawrence Co., Kentucky. Levi Sparks married twice, first to FNU Walsh in 1801, and second to Sarah Lyon.

by his first wife, Levi Sparks had a son named: Jarrett Sparks (also spelled Garrett), who was born September 15, 1802, and died September 1, 1873, in Lawrence County. He married Elizabeth Boggs in 1825 in Virginia. marriage bond says Kentucky. They were the parents of Levi J. Sparks, M.D., born February 19, 1831, died January 14, 1897; he married Mary (Polly) Gambill. They were the parents of Laban T. Sparks, born November 29, 1860, died 1941. Laban Sparks was married twice, first to Emily Lyon on December 9, 1880, and second to Trinville Lester. Laban and Emily (Lyon) Sparks were the parents of: Charles Franklin Sparks, who was born April 18, 1885, and died on December 20, 1969. He married Virgie T. Sparks in 1905; she was born March 9, 1889, and died April 20, 1934. Her parents were John Calvin Sparks and Mary Elizabeth (Green) Sparks. She was also a descendant of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks. Charles F. Sparks was a retired schoolteacher, a member of Central Christian Church in Portsmouth, Ohio, a former supervisor at the Whitaker & Glessner Steel Corp., (now Detroit Steel) at Portsmouth, and a Kentucky Colonel. During his years of teaching in the Lawrence County, Kentucky, school system he was rated among the top teachers, having made the highest grade on the teacher examinations in 1920. After leaving the Kentucky school system, he and his late wife, Virgie, moved to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he remained until retirement. Since that time he had made his home with a daughter, Mrs. Otis (Tressie) Bailey at Martha, Kentucky. He had been in failing health for some time; however death came shortly after he entered a hospital at Paintsville, Kentucky, for a check-up. He died on December 20, 1969. Funeral services were conducted at the Lewis -Ferguson Funeral Home at Sandy Hook, Kentucky, on December 23, 1969, with the Rev. Charles Vansant officiating. Interment was in the family cemetery on the home place of his birth at Martha, Kentucky.

Mr. Sparks is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Otis (Tressie) Bailey of Martha, KY. and Mrs. M. A. (Maxine) Bilby of Vienna, Virginia; and five sons: Bert L. Sparks of Akron, Ohio; William D. Sparks of Portsmouth, Ohio; Russell V. Sparks of Sacramento, California.; Lowell H. Sparks of Huntsville, Alabama; and the Rev. Charles K. Sparks of Muskegon, Michigan. He is also survived by thirteen grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; two sisters, Mrs. O. B. (Hattie) Kazee of Martha, KY, and Mrs. Emory (Maude) Fannin, of Portsmouth; and two brothers, Paul Edison Sparks and Edward Morton Sparks, both of Ashland, KY.

Information for this sketch was supplied by Bert L Sparks, the eldest son of Charles F. Sparks. Photographs of Charles F. Sparks and members of his family appear on the following page.