September 1, 2016

Pages 1732
Whole Number 90

Photograph taken about 1906

A detailed record, to the present day, of the descendants of William Riley and Barbara Elizabeth (Carter) Sparks has been given to the Association by Mrs. E.P. Wallin, Box 345, Grant, Nebraska (69140). Mrs. Wallin has also provided a copy of the family portrait which appears on the cover of this issue of the Quarterly. This photograph was taken about 1906. A record of the children of William Riley and Barbara Elizabeth (Carter) Sparks was published in the Quarterly of March 1969 (Vol. XVII, No. 1, Whole No. 65), on the cover of which we published a photograph of the parents of William Riley Sparks, Calvin and Mahala (Carmichael) Sparks. William Riley Sparks was born December 27, 1847, in Greene County, Indiana, and died on August 12, 1926. His wife, Barbara Elizabeth Carter, was a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Martendale) Carter. She was born 3 February 1851, in Greene County, Indiana, and died on Sep 2, 1930. They were the parents of nine children, all of whom appear in this family portrait. Only the youngest child is living today, Murrell Sparks, who sat between his parents for the portrait; he is now 82 years old and lives at Cheyenne Wells, Colorado.

The nine children of William Riley and Barbara Elizabeth (Carter) Sparks were: William Granvil Sparks, born December 26, 1868; Luala Sparks, born Nov 11, 1870; John Calvin Sparks, born Sep 2, 1872; Joseph Wesley Sparks, born July 10, 1876; Steven Douglas Sparks, born Sep 22, 1880; Charles Sparks, born Sep 21, 1883; Purmela Sparks, born Nov 3, 1886; Alvin Sparks, born December 17, 1890; and Murrell Sparks, born Sep 27, 1892.


Page 85
Whole Number 11


Again we must report the death of a member of the Sparks Family. On June 7, 1955, William Granvil Sparks died at his home in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, being eighty-six years, five months and twelve days of age. William Granvil Sparks was born December 26, 1868, near Bloomington, Indiana. When he was a small boy of about ten years, he moved with his parents and brothers and sisters from Indiana to Nebraska, settling on a farm near Beatrice where he grew to manhood. On March 7, 1894, he was united in marriage with Estella Morse, daughter of Wallace and Eliza (Shaman) Morse, at Beatrice, To this union eight children were born: Mrs. Alta Sparks Crook (born 1895) and Mrs. Lucile Sparks Miller (born 1897), both of Scottsbluff; Mrs. Edith Sparks Wallin (born 1899) of Grant, Nebraska; Chester Sparks (born 1902) of Kear ney, Nebraska; Ralph Sparks (born 1905) of Ft. Collins, Colorado; Wallace Sparks (born 1908, died 1930); Norbert Sparks (born 1913) of North Platte, Nebraska; and Mainard Sparks (born 1919) of Denver, Colorado.

At the time of his death, William G. Sparks had twelve grandchildren and fifteen greatgrandchildren.

In 1915 William G. Sparks moved with his family to a farm south of Paxton, Nebr. He spent the next seventeen years on farms in Perkins, Keith, and Lincoln Counties, near Wallace and Sutherland. In 1932 he retired and moved with Mrs. Sparks to North Platte, Nebr. For four years during World War II he served as custodian at Cody School in North Platte where he endeared himself to many children in the community.

He made his covenant with God and was baptized into the Methodist Church. He and his wife both had their membership in the Methodist Church at Scottsbluff, where they moved three years ago. Mrs. Sparks was a man of intellect and was deeply interested in world affairs, His keen sense of humor made him many friends. He was a kind and loving husband and father, and he was loved by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

The parents of William Granvil Sparks were William Riley and Barbara (Carter) Sparks. He was the eldest of nine children, his brothers and sisters beings Steven Douglas Sparks Alvin Sparks, both of Beatrice; Charlie Sparks of North Platte; Murrell Sparks of First View, Cola.; John Sparks (deceased); Joseph W. Sparks (deceased); Mrs. Luala Sparks Rossiter of Beatrice; and Mrs. Purmela Sparks Craig of Beatrice.

The grandfather of William G. Sparks was Calvin Sparks (born December 3, 1823, died July 3 1903, Hoag, Nebr.) who married Mahala Carmichael (born April 7, 1821, died March 5, 1910) on 1 January 1806, in Monroe County, Indiana. Moving later to Nebraska, Calvin Sparks was the first county comissioner in Perkins County. The children of Calvin and Mahala (Carmichael) Sparks were: William Riley Sparks; Tilda Jam Sparks; Diella Sparks; Lizzie Sparks (Mrs. Lizzie Thompson) is still living near Elsie, Nebraska. She is ninety-four years old.; and Joseph Sparks.

The great-grandfather of Wiilliam G. Sparks was Hardy Sparks who was a native of North Carolina. He moved to Indiana, settling in Monroe County, probabty in the 1820's. It is believed that he was the Hardy Sparks who married Susanna Brown in Wilkes County, N.C., in 1815 (marriage bond dated 5 January 1815) and who appears on the 1820 census of Wilkes County with two sons (under ten years), himself (between twenty-six and forty-five years), and wife (between sixteen and twenty-six years). He may also have been the Hardy Sparks who obtained a land grant in Ashe County, N.C., in 1824. A grandson of Hardy Sparks (Thomas V. Sparks) stated in a volume published in 1884: (History of Morgan, Monroe & Brown Counties, Indiana, Chicago, F. A. Battsy & Co., p. 651) that his grandfather, Hardy Sparks, served in the War of 1812. According to records in the National Archives in Washington, the Hardy Sparks from Wilkes County, N.C., did serve in that war.

A great-granddaughter of Hardy Sparks (Mrs. Jessie Sparks Conder of Stanford, Md.) gives his wife's name as Lizzie Brown rather than Susannah Brown, and states that they had seven children: Allen Sparks, married Elizabeth Burton, died 1882. Issue (according to his will): William Thomas Sparks, Calvin Sparks Sarah Breeden Sparks, Eli Sparks, and Nancy Jane Sparks. Tilda Sparks, married Arthur Young. No issue. William Sparks, born ca.1819, married Betsey (or Nancy) LNU. Issue: Pad (John ?) Sparks, Lam (Leonard ?) Sparks, Betsey Sparks, Susie Sparks, Nancy Harriett Sparks, John Sparks, Martin Sparks, and Lewis Sparks. Lizzie Sparks, married FNU Carmichael. Issue: John Calvin Carmichael, Tilda Jane Carmichael, Joseph Carmichael, Silvester Carmichael, Wesley Carmichael, Martha Carmichael, Martin Carmichael, Ensley Carmichael, and William Harrison Carmichael. Calvin Sparks (see above). Henry Sparks, born April 16, 1829; died August 21, 1900, in Monroe County, Md. He married Sallie J. Holder, born 1833, died 1911. Issue: Thomas W. Sparks, John A. Sparks, Martha E. Sparks, George N. Sparks, and Solomon S. Sparks James Sparks, married Unknown. Issue: Tilda Sparks, John Sparks, Mary Sparks, Tom Sparks, and Mabel Sparks.

Mrs. Conder tells us that the first wife of Hardy Sparks died and he married (2d) Martha Motley. by his second wife, Hardy Sparks had eight children, as follows: John Sparks, married Unknown. Issue: Newton Sparks, Sarah Sparks, Mary Sparks, John Sparks, Jasper Sparks, Henry Sparks, George Sparks, Laura Sparks, Alice Sparks, Ida Sparks, and Andy Sparks, Alfred Sparks, married Unknown. Issue: Emmer (daughter) Sparks, John Sparks, Calvin Sparks, Angeline Sparks, James Sparks, Elvie Sparks, Theodore Sparks, and Cornelia Sparks. Andy Sparks, married Unknown. Issue: John Sparks and Daniel Sparks. Mary Ann Sparks, married FNU Nellinger. Issue: Andy Nellinger, George Nellinger, Lydia Nellinger, Martha Nellinger, and
perhaps others. Martha Sparks, married FNU Hutchins. Issue: Mary Hutchins, Jane Hutchins, Joseph Hutchins, Calvin Hutchins, and Lydia Hutchins. Merritt Sparks, married Elinor LNU. Issue: James Sparks, Alice Sparks, and John Sparks. Jane Sparks, married Dave Weaver. Issue: Frances Weaver, John Riley Weaver, Newton Weaver, Lucinda Weaver, Allie (son) Weaver, Joseph Weaver, Sarah Weaver, Myrtle Weaver, and Jasper Weaver. Joseph Sparks, married Hannah Carmichael. Issue: Tilda Sparks, Ida Sparks, Henry Sparks, Florence Sparks, Rosa Sparks, Edgar Sparks, and Bessie Sparks.

(Editor's Note: If any of our members descend from this family, we would be very grateful for any additional information which they might send us.)