March 10, 2021

Pages 1601-1603
Whole Number 84


William Perry Johnson recently came into possession of a series of letters written about two decades ago by a Mr. Amos Redding of Bluffton, Indiana, which contain some interesting data on a branch of the Sparks family on which we have previously published material. Mr. Johnson has kindly shared these data with the editor for publication.

The branch of the Sparks family with which Mr. Redding was connected was that on which we published data in the June 1959 issue of the Quarterly , Whole No. 26, p. 398). There we gave the limited information that we had gathered on Moses Sparks, son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks; we did not at that time even have the birth and death dates for Moses Sparks. Later, in the Quarterly of September 1971 (Whole No. 75, p. 1421) we were able to report that one of our correspondents, Marjorie Crosbie, had discovered the tombstone of Moses Sparks in a cemetery near the town of Markle in Huntington County, Indiana. According to his tombstone, Moses Sparks died on November 11, 1840, aged 25 years and 16 days. This would mean that he was born October 25, 1815. On the same stone are recorded the deaths of two daughters of Moses Sparks, both of whom died in 1845. These were Catherine Sparks (born ca. 1834), died September 15, 1845, aged 11 years and 6 months, and Elizabeth Sparks (born ca. 1833), died September 2, 1845, aged 12 years and 6 months.

We are now able, with the letters of Mr. Amos Redding and data furnished by a relatively new member of the Association, Mrs. Iva Lane of Marion, Indiana, to give a more detailed record of Moses Sparks and his descendants. Mrs. Lane descends from Isaac B. Sparks (1822-1904), brother of Moses Sparks.

Moses Sparks, son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on October 25, 1815. He moved to Indiana in 1834 and settled in Rock Creek Township, Huntington County, Indiana. His father came to Indiana the same year, settling in that part of Huntington County that was cut off to form Wells County in 1835. On February 20, 1838, Moses Sparks married Abigail Redding "by David M. Stewart, a Presbyterian minister." (see Rush County, Ind., Marriage Book 1, p. 17). She was born, according to the records of Mr. Amos Redding referred to earlier, on December 12, 1815, and died on April 8, 1862. She was a daughter of Isaiah Redding.

Besides the two daughters who died in 1845, Moses and Abigail (Redding) Sparks had a son named Albert Sparks born November 24, 1839, and a daughter named Mary Jane Sparks, born ca. 1840, after Moses died. Moses Sparks was only 25 years old when he died on November 11, 1840; the cause of his death is not known. His widow, Abigail (Redding) Sparks was married on April 21, 1841, to her second husband, Robert Roberts (born February 23, 1811, died February 5, 1880) whose first wife had been Nancy Brown (1816-1840). Robert and Abigail had children named John Roberts, Martha Roberts, Nathan Roberts, Elizabeth Roberts, and Robert Roberts.

In a biographical sketch of Albert Sparks, son of Moses and Abigail (Redding) Sparks that appeared in a History of Huntington County, Indiana (Chicago, Brant & Fuller, 1887), pp. 704-05, it was stated that Mary Jane Sparks, daughter of Moses and Abigail (Redding) Sparks, died unmarried.

Albert Sparks, son of Moses and Abigail (Redding) Sparks, was born November 24,1839, according to the published biographical sketch mentioned above. However, Mr. Amos Redding gave Albert 's birth as December 24, 1838. Albert Sparks died June 17, 1923. He was a farmer in Rock Creek Township, Huntington County, Indiana, having inherited the farm that his father had purchased shortly before his death. The sketch mentioned above contains the following: "After his marriage, Mr. Sparks began farming on his present place, twenty-seven acres being ready for the plow. Their first house was made of hewed logs, the room being eighteen by twenty-four feet. He worked hard to improve his home, and the first log rolling held in Rock Creek township was on his farm. After a few years he built his present comfortable house and barn, and carries on general farming. He has one hundred acres of tillable land and fifty-eight acres of rough, uncleared ground, which furnishes excellent pasture for his stock. He has been reasonably successful in life, and has laid up a competency which will insure him against future want. He is a man of strict integrity whose every act will bear the searchlight of truth, his endeavor having been to live up to the teachings of the Christian church of which he is a member. In politics he is a Democrat." (Note that this was published in 1887.)

Albert Sparks was married twice. He married his first wife, Mary Ann Roberts of Grant County, Indiana, on February 10, 1860. She was also called Mara and Manette; she was born in 1842 and died on September 30, 1860, in childbirth; her infant also died. Albert Sparks was married on June 25, 1861, in Huntington County, Indiana, to his second wife, Martha Roberts, who was born November 7, 1831, and died on March 7, 1915. She was a sister of his first wife. Albert and both of his wives are buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County, Indiana.

Albert and Martha (Roberts) Sparks were the parents of the following children: (the data that follow have been taken from the notes of Mr. Amos Redding) Mary Sparks, born May 17, 1862, died March 30, 1927. She married Davilla Lamb who was born June 30, 1858, and died January 10, 1937. They were the parents of: Estella Lamb, married Herman Miller. Ora Lamb, married Ethel Bayless. Infant son, born 1882, died 1882. Nellie Leota Lamb, born 1883, died 1883. Rosella Sparks, born December 1863, died April 14, 1933. She married Rufus Fishbaugh of Wells County, Ind., who was born October 3, 1862, and died October 6, 1941. They had two children: Clarence Fishbaugh, born March 20, 1886, died November 7, 1942. Ernest Fishbaugh, married (first) Mary Louise MNU; and (second) Elsie MNU, born 1902, died 1942; and (third) Hortense MNU. Elisha Sparks, born December 30, 1863; he died when he was nine years old. Emma Sparks, born 1868; she died on November 14, 1886, at the age of 18. William Sparks, born February 8, 1869, died 1931. He married Luella Mason, who was born in 1882. They had children named: Ora Sparks. George Sparks, born November 18, 1902; he married Ethel Forest. Guy Sparks. Imogene Sparks, born October 23, 1910; she married George Gerber. Mildred Sparks; she married Russell Robart. Leslie Sparks, born 1910; he married Dorothy Green, born 1914. Joseph I. Sparks, born June 20, 1870, died August 25, 1932. He married Rosa Hunt, who was born in 1873 and died September 14, 1952. They had children named: Donald Sparks, married Mary Ripley. Kenneth Sparks, married Iris Michaels. Ester Sparks, married Earl Mossburg. Darhl Sparks, born May 11, 1903, died May 7, 1926; she married Lloyd Heck. Almeda Sparks, born 1872, died May 16, 1901. She married Benjamin Francis Fishbaugh, (called Frank) of Wells County, Ind.; he was born October 3, 1866, and died December 19, 1951. After Almeda's death, he married Estella Hite. Children of Almeda Sparks and Benjamin F. Fishbaugh were: Infant son, born 1892, died 1892. Infant son, born 1893, died 1893 Rushes Fishbaugh, died 1894. Anna Fishbaugh, born 1898, died 1898. Martha Fishbaugh; she married Charles Bennett. Martha Sparks, born 1875, died July 27, 1954. She married George Randol (or Reynolds ?) who died in November 1952. They had a daughter, Fern Randol, who married three times: (first) Brice Butterfield, (second) Elmer Balcon, and (third) FNU Russell. Julia A. Sparks, born 2 February 1880; she died December 12, 1954. Charlie E. Sparks, born October 13, 1882; he died April 17, 1913.

(Editor's Note: The photograph of Albert and Martha (Roberts) Sparks, taken on their 50th wedding anniversary, was loaned to us for reproduction on the cover of this issue of the Quarterly by Iva B. Sparks Lane of Marion, Indiana.)