March 30, 2021

Pages 1735-1736
Whole Number 90

OF 20.1 WILLIAM SPARKS (ca. 1760-ca. 1834) OF
ADAIR COUNTY, KENTUCKY GEORGE W. SPARKS, son of Truelove M. and Sarah (Guessford) Sparks, was born on February 8, 1847, in Lee Co., Iowa, and he died after June 1922. He married Amanda J. Butrum on August 29, 1867, in Jasper Co., Iowa. He served in Company C, 10th Regiment Iowa Infantry. File Designation No. 853,401.

George W. Sparks enlisted as a private in Company C, 10th Regiment Iowa Infantry on October 3, 1864, at Grinnell, Iowa, for a term of one year. He enlisted as a substitute for his brother William P. Sparks, who had been drafted. George was 17 years of age, 5 feet 10½ inches tall, and he had dark hair and a dark complexion with gray eyes. He said that he was born in Lee County, Iowa, on February 8, 1847, and was a farmer by occupation.

On January 12, 1889, George W. Sparks made application for an invalid pension, claiming that he was a victim of chronic diarrhea, pleurisy and disease of the spine from his military service. The Adjutant General's Office confirmed his service from his date of enlistment until he was mustered out with his company on August 15, 1865, at Little Rock, Arkansas. His final pay was for $68.12 which was for service from October 3, 1864, until August 30, 1865.

Apparnetly George was granted a pension, but there is no record of the date of issuance nor of the amount in those papers from his pension file that have been furnished by the National Archives. On July 4, 1898, he responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions as follows: He was married on August 19, 1867, in Jasper County, Iowa, to Amanda Berthram by the Rev. Elisha Flaugh, M.E. Church. There were two children born to this marriage who were living in 1898:

Dora Sparks, age 27, thus born in August, 1871 and
Burt A. Sparks, age 23 years on December 14, 1897.

The next document in George Sparks's pension file is his discharge from the Western Branch of the National Home for Disabled Veteran Soldiers in Kansas on October 22, 1920.

On March 10, 1922, he responded to another questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. In his response, he confirmed the date and place of his birth, his military service, and his marriage to Amanda Berthram. He said that three children had been born to this marriage: Dora Sparks, born August, 1871; Alberta Sparks, born December 14, 1875; and Herbert Sparks, born ca. 1886.

Both Dora and Alberta were still living, but Herbert Sparks was dead. He said that on October 5, 1905, he and Amanda (Berthram) Sparks had been divorced and that he had married (second) Nancy Cadwell, but he could not remember the date. Nancy had died ca. ten years earlier at Council Bluffs, Iowa, and he had not married again.

The last document (in chronological order) in the documents furnished by the National Archives from this file is a request by George W. Sparks for an increase in the amount of his pension which he made on June 30, 1922. He stated that he was now 75 years of age and resided at Marshalltown, Iowa. He said he believed he was entitled to an increase in his pension because he had reached the age of seventy-five. After he had left the military service, he had lived at the following places in Iowa: Davenport, Lynnville, Crawford County, Pottawattamie County, and Marshalltown. Minnie E. Grimm and Frances Sellers were witnesses to the application. There is nothing in the pension file to indicate what action was taken on this request.

(Editor's Note: As indicated above, George W. Sparks was a descendant of 20.1 William Sparks, born ca. 1760, died ca. 1834, of Adair County, Kentucky. William Sparks was a member of that branch of the Sparks family that went from Prince Georges Co., Maryland, to Pittsylvania Co., Virginia, ca. 1777. About 1800, some members of this family moved to Adair Co., Kentucky, and then on westward to Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Dr. Paul E. Sparks is presently working on a lengthy article on this branch of the family and would elcome correspondence with descendants.)