February 2, 2021
Whole Number 70
CAN ANYONE IDENTIFY DAVID SPARKS, WHO DIED IN 1917?
The following item appeared recently in the Williamson County Sun published in Georgetown, Texas: "A poignant story and mystery dating back to 1917 came to light last week as a gentleman and his family made the journey all the way from New Mexico to try and locate information about his father, who died near Georgetown in early May of 1917. The visitor this year was A. J. Sparks of Deming, New Mexico. Just a little more than 53 years ago, his father, David Sparks, and David's brother, Henry, were travelling across Texas. David Sparks became ill and the two men camped near a small creek a few miles from Georgetown. Sometime between May 1 and May 14, 1917, David Sparks died, His brother buried him and continued on his journey, arriving at the home of David's wife in Kemprier, Texas. Henry informed his sister-in-law of the tragedy. A. J. was just a young man at the time, recalls only this meager information regarding the death of his father. David Sparks had been a Texas Ranger around the 1870s and 80s, and also served as a deputy sheriff in El Paso in the late 1890s. He had never lived in Georgetown, but fate simply claimed his life at the time he was nearby. A. J. Sparks would like to find out something more about his father - - and the trip down to central Texas was in search of information. Files of the Sun revealed nothing regarding his death, and records of him in the Court House were also not found."
Whole Number 72
MORE ON DAVID SPARKS WHO DIED IN 1917 NEAR GEORGETOWN, TEXAS
In the Quarterly for June 1970, Whole No. 70, page 1314, we reprinted an item from the Williamson County Sun about a man named A. J. Sparks who was searching for the grave of his father. The following item appeared in this paper on June 18, 1970:
"A story in last week's SUN asked for help for a New Mexico man, A. J. Sparks, who was here recently searching for information about his father who died near Georgetown when he was traveling through the country on an expedition in 1917. Clyde Raney reported that he remembers the incident and can take Mr. Sparks to his father's grave in Berry's Creek Cemetery. The SUN staff wrote this news to Mr. Sparks immediately. Mr. Raney remembers hearing his father tell of the traveler who camped in the upper end of the park and took sick and died; of the men who went out to dig a grave; and of the eight or ten men who were at the funeral service - - all of this made an indelible impression on the twelve year old Clyde. He remembers the careful way the grave was dug and that it was close to the fence where two live oak trees grew. He went out to the old cemetery last week and located an unmarked grave in the spot that he remembered."