February 7, 2019

Pages 2044-2052
Whole Number 104 MATTHEW R. SPARKS (ca. 1815-1892)
of Washington County, Indiana, and Mahaska County, Iowa

by Paul E. Sparks

(Editor's Note: In the March 1976 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Vol. XXIV, No. 1, Whole No. 93, a portion of the article about the descendants of 20.1 William Sparks (born ca. 1760, died ca 1834) of Adair County, Kentucky, was devoted to the family of 20.1.1 Matthew W. Sparks, a son of William. Matthew W. Sparks and his wife, Polly (Robinson) Sparks, were the parents of thirteen children, but positive identification could be made of only nine of them. We believe a good case can be made to support the belief that Matthew R. Sparks was also a son of this couple.)

The first official document we have found of Matthew R. Sparks is the record of his marriage to Lucy Callaway in Washington County, Indiana. They were married on February 4, 1836, by Isaac Thomas, a justice of the peace. Matthew stated that he had no parents living in the state, probably to justify his marriage under the age of twenty-one. Lucy said that she was of lawful age to marry. (Book C, page 52) Actually, Lucy became 21 two days after her marriage. Matthew R. Sparks was born ca. 1815 in Kentucky. We have not learned the names of his parents, but there are several points which suggest that he was the youngest son of Matthew Wright and Polly (Robinson) Sparks of Adair County, Kentucky. This couple had a son, born between 1815 and 1820, whom we have been unable to identify. Matthew R. Sparks fits that son in several ways:

1. He fits by age and by given name. (Did the middle initial "R" stand for Robinson?)
2. Both of his parents were born in North Carolina. Matthew and Polly Sparks were natives of that state.
3. He went to Jasper County, Iowa, ca. 1850 at the same time that 20.1.1 Matthew Wright Sparks went there to join his sons, John R. Sparks and Truelove M. Sparks.

4. He was related to the other Sparkses of Jasper County according to information given by some of his descendants.
5. He went to Washington County, Indiana, about the same time as did other persons of the Sparks family from Adair County, Kentucky.
6. He named a son Weedon Sparks an unusual name which was also used by a Sparks family in Adair County.

Perhaps some of our readers will be able to help us make positive identification of the parents of Matthew R. Sparks. (Webmaster note: If this is true, "x" should be "10").

Lucy Callaway Sparks was born in Indiana on February 6, 1815. She was a daughter of Micajah and Frances (Hawkins) Callaway. Micajah was born near Lynchburg, Virginia in 1755 and was a son of James Callaway. He was a friend and companion of Daniel Boone, the famed pioneer. He was married twice and had at least seven children:

James Callaway
Edmund Callaway
John Hawkins Callaway
Betsey Callaway
Noble Callaway
Sarah Callaway
Nancy Callaway.

Matthew and Lucy (Callaway) Sparks settled on land which he acquired from the United States Land Office at Jeffersonville, Indiana, and which was located in Washington Township just a few miles east of Salem, Indiana, in Washington County. There they farmed and reared a family of fourteen children.

In addition to his marriage record and the 1840 and 1850 censuses, we have only two other documents relating to Matthew R. Sparks in Washington County, Indiana. The first of these is a court record. On April 3, 1839, Sparks sued Ezekiel D. Logan and Martin McDonald for slander and malicious persecution. The circumstances of the case are not revealed in the minutes, but a jury found Logan and McDonald not guilty and the judge ordered Sparks to pay the court costs.

The second document is a deed, dated September 13, 1855, by which Matthew and Lucy Sparks conveyed three adjoining tracts of land to Henry Gibbins for 100. No acreage was mentioned and all of the land was in Section 26, Township 3.

After the sale of the land, Matthew moved his family to Jasper County, Iowa, where they settled in Lynn Grove Township. It was there, on December 8, 1859, that Lucy died and was buried in the Swan Cemetery. She left her husband with a large family of children, the youngest of which was five years old. The family apparently broke up. At least two of the children returned to Washington County, probably to live with their mother's people; two of the younger children went to live with a married sister; and one child went to live with the family of Levi Conover in Jasper County. What happened to the rest of the family at that time is conjectural, for we have found no records of them on a census of 1860.

After the death of his wife, Lucy (Callaway) Sparks, Matthew married two more times. His second marriage was to Mary J. LNU ca. 1862. She was born ca. 1826 in Kentucky and apparently she was a widow with two small children. Matthew and Mary J. Sparks had two children, a son Thomas Sparks and a daughter, Nellie Sparks. When the 1870 census was taken, they were in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa.

Mary J. (MNU) Sparks apparently died between 1870 and 1874, for on July 12, 1874, Matthew R. Sparks married Bellevedere (Barnett) Herrin in Mahaska County. She was born ca. 1835 in Virginia and was the widow of Edward Herrin. Matthew and Bellevedere Sparks had one child, a son, named George W. Sparks. They lived in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa.

Matthew R. Sparks died on May 19, 1892, in Oskaloosa. The death certificate, filed seven months later, stated that he was 80 years old and that he died of cancer. We have found no will or any record of the settlement of his estate; however, documents from three sources have been most helpful in determining the names of his children. The first source of data are census records. On page 666, Family No. 201, of the 1850 census of Washington County, Indiana, Matthew and Lucy Sparks were listed with ten children living in their household. They were:

John Sparks, 13;
Sarah Sparks, 12;
Weden Sparks, 11;
Nancy Sparks, 9;
Chloe Sparks, 7;
Mary A. Sparks, 6;
William Sparks, 5;
Benjamin Sparks, 4;
Noble Sparks, 2; and
Jesse Sparks, 6 months. (See page 1772 of the September 1975 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 91.)

On page 378, Family No. 5, of the 1870 census of Mahaska County, Iowa, Matthew "Sparks and his second wife, Mary J. Sparks, are listed with four children. Two of these were children of Mary's by a previous marriage, and two of them were children of Matthew and Mary. They were Thomas Sparks, age 7; and Nellie Sparks, age 4.

When the 1880 census was taken of Mahaska County, the family of Matthew R. Sparks appeared as follows:

         Name Age  Sex   Relationship   Where born     Father born    Mother born
Sparks, Matthew R.  65  m head Kentucky North Carolina North Carolina
     "      Belle B.  44 f wife Virginia Virginia Virginia
     "      James  24  m son Indiana Kentucky Indiana
     "      Thomas  17  m son Iowa      " Kentucky
     "      Nellie  14 daughter   "      "     "
     "      George W.   2  m son   "      " Virginia
Herrin, Susie  10 f step-daughter   " Iowa     "
Martin, Henry A.  19  m works on farm   "   "     "

The second source of information about the children of Matthew and Lucy (Callaway) Sparks are court records of Washington County, Indiana, relating to the settlement of the estate of John Hawkins Callaway. He was a bachelor brother of Lucy who died in 1890 and left a fair-sized amount of property. The property was sold and the proceeds from the sales were distributed to his nieces and nephews. Named as his heirs through his sister, Lucy (Callaway) Sparks, were:

John Hawkins Sparks;
Sallie (Sparks) Dietchler;
Nancy (Sparks) Baker;
Chloe (Sparks) Stewart;
Mary Ann (Sparks) Gates;
Elizabeth (Sparks) Little;
Jesse Sparks;
Benjamin C. Sparks;
Noble Sparks;
Matthew Sparks;
Franklin Sparks, MD; and
James M. Sparks.

The third source of information about the children of Matthew R. Sparks is the obituary of John Hawkins Sparks, the oldest child of Matthew and Lucy. John Hawk Sparks, as he was referred to in his obituary published in 1913, had the following brothers and sisters: Sarah Dietchler, Nancy Baker, Chloe Stewart, William Sparks, Benjamin C. Sparks, Noble Sparks, Jesse Sparks, and James M. Sparks. Named as half-brothers wereGeorge Sparks and Thomas Sparks.

The three documents cited above indicate that Matthew R. Sparks was the father of seventeen children. They were:

Mother: Lucy Callaway: John Hawkins Sparks Sarah "Sally" Sparks Weeden Sparks Nancy Sparks Mary Ann Sparks Chloe Sparks Benjamin Cager Sparks William Sparks Noble Sparks Jesse B. Sparks Elizabeth Sparks Matthew Sparks Doctor Franklin "Dock" Sparks James M. Sparks

Mother: Mary J. LNU Thomas Sparks Nellie Sparks

Mother: Bellevedere George W. Sparks John Hawkins Sparks was born on November 16, 1836, in Washington County, Indiana. (He was undoubtedly named for his uncle, John Hawkins Callaway.) On July 15, 1861, he enlisted in Company B, 5th Regiment Iowa Infantry. (See the abstract of his pension file in this issue of the Quarterly, page 2055-56.)

After his dischage from the army, John H. Sparks returned to Jasper County, Iowa, where he married Nancy Ellen Matthews on April 29, 1866. She was born ca. 1840 and was a daughter of Matthew T. and Nancy (Swan) Matthews who were early settlers in Jasper County, coming from Illinois. John and Nancy Ellen settled down on an eighty-acre farm which he bought in Lynn Grove Township.

The Past & Present of Jasper County, Iowa, 1912, contains a biography of John H. Sparks which includes the following statement: "It gives the historian no small degree of pleasure to place his (Sparks's) life history on record, partly because of his services to his country during her direst need, partly because of the fact that he is one of our respected pioneers, and partly because of his life of integrity and kindness."

John H. Sparks died on January 24, 1913, at Sully, Iowa, and he was buried at Lynnville. His Nancy Ellen, survived him, dying a few months later. They were the parents of nine children: Lucy L. Sparks was born June 5, 1867. She married (first) FNU Surber by whom she had three children: Forest Surber, Leona Surber, and Bryan Surber. She married (second) Ferris Miller by whom she had two children: Hattie Mliller and Levitt L. Miller. She died in July 1953 at Newton, Iowa. Perry Milton Sparks was born May 5, 1869. He never married. He lived in Carnduff, Saskatchewan, Canada, where he died in November 1960. Ruth A. Sparks was born February 11, 1871, and died on October 7, 1928. Jeremiah Walter Sparks was born April 17, 1873, and he died on April 13, 1955. He married Rebecca McClain on October 7, 1895. She was born in Indiana on March 5, 1874, and was a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Haines) McClain. Jerry (as he was called) and Rebecca Sparks lived on a 160-acre farm in Mariposa Township in Jasper County which, according to a biography, "under his able management yields abundant harvests. He has a comfortable and well-furnished home and large substantial barns and outbuildings." The same source also stated: "Politically, Mr. Sparks is a Republican, and in religious matters, he belongs to the Christian Church of which he is a liberal supporter." Jerry and Rebecca were the parents of four children: Tracey Lewis Sparks, Alta Ellen Sparks, Gladys Irene Sparks, and Muriel Exena Sparks. Richard Luther Sparks was born December 17, 1875, and died on December 23, 1949, at Whitefish in Flathead County, Montana. He married Lillian Laverne Watts, a daughter of George A. and Emily (Porter) Watts. She was born December 9, 1879, and she died on November 3, 1965, at Columbia Falls, Montana. They were the parents of one child, Jesse Eugene Sparks. Moses E. Sparks was born August 21, 1877, and died on January 20, 1951. He married Cecelia ----- and they lived at Lynn Grove, Iowa. They had no children. Raymond A. Sparks was born December 3, 1879, and died on October 10, 1941, at Lynnville, Iowa. He never married. Robert G. Sparks was born May 7, 1882, and died on November 12, 1967. He married Lila Hoover and they had three children: Florence Sparks, Floyd Sparks, and John D. Sparks. Orville Guy Sparks was born January 7, 1884, and died on April 5, 1975. He married Ruth ----- and they lived at Silverado, California. Sarah "Sally" Sparks was born ca. 1837 in Washington County, Indiana. On November 30, 1856, she married George Dietchler in Powesheik County, Iowa. When the estate of her uncle, John Hawkins Callaway, was finally settled in 1911, she was living in Grinnell, Iowa. She and George had at least one child, Carrie Bell Dietchler, born ca. 1858. Weeden Sparks was born ca. 1839 in Washington County, Indiana. On May 20, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, 3rd Regiment Iowa Infantry. (See the abstract of his military file in the present issue of the Quarterly, page. 2056.) Apparently he was not living when the estate of his uncle, John Hawkins Callaway, was partitioned in 1890. (He may have been the Wedin Sparks in Henderson County, Illinois, on the 1860 census; the age for this Wedin Sparks was given as 21 in 1860; he was born in Indiana; and he was a "laborer" in the household of William Foster in the town of Oauawka.) Nancy Sparks born ca. 1840 in Washington County, Indiana. She may not have accompanied her parents to Iowa in 1856, for on November 2, 1861, she married Green C. Baker in Washington County. He was born ca. 1830 in Kentucky. When the 1880 census was taken of Mahaska County, Iowa, they had four children: Noble Baker, born ca. 1864 in Kentucky. Charles Baker, born ca. 1869 in Iowa. Mattie Baker, born ca. 1872 in Maryland. Johnnie Baker, born ca. 1875 in Iowa. Mary Ann Sparks was born ca. 1841 in Washington County, Indiana. On March 12, 1866, she married Wallace W. Gates in Powesheik County, Iowa. She died prior to 1911, for when the estate of her uncle, John Hawkins Callaway, was settled that year, her heirs received an equal part of her share of the estate. Named as heirs were Wallace Gates and Julia Gates. Chloe Sparks was born November 18, 1842, in Washington County, Indiana. On October 7, 1858, she married James Henry Stewart in Jasper County, Iowa. He was born in Ohio on May 12, 1835, and died on February 16, 1908. Chloe and James had at least four children, but we do not know the order of birth of three of them. John R. Stewart was born in August 1859. On October 3, 1889, he married Nellie M. Townsend, a daughter of John and Ann (Cavil) Townsend. Frank Stewart. James Edward Stewart. Almira Stewart. She married Charles Ramsey. Benjamin Cager Sparks was born on March 22, 1844, in Washington County, Indiana. On September 13, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, 40th Regiment Iowa Infantry. (See the abstract of his pension file in the present issue of the Quarterly, page 2053 .) He died on February 18, 1926, and was buried at Chariton, Iowa. He was a butcher by trade and was quite active in the Civil War veterans' organization, the G.A.R.

After leaving the military service, Benjamin married (first) Emma Stanley on January 14, 1869, in Mahaska County, Iowa. They had no children and Emma apparently died prior to August 1874. On August 28, 1874, Benjamin married (second) Sadie Bradford in Lucas County, Iowa. They had no children. Sadie died on March 28, 1911. On June 22, 1911, Benjamin married (third) Maud Elizabeth (Peterson) Fuller in Lucas County. Maud was born August 3, 1883, and was a daughter of John and Ellen Peterson. She was the widow of William Fuller when she married Benjamin Sparks and had three children: Julia Ellen Fuller, Nettie Bernice Fuller, and 'William Ray Fuller. Benjamin and Maud (Peterson) Sparks had one child: Jessie Pearl Sparks, born August 20, 1915. She married Dean Sutherland and they have three children: Larry Dean Sutherland, James H. Sutherland, and Edward P. Sutherland.

Jessie and Dean live in Horseshoe Bend, Ark. William Sparks was born ca. 1845 in Washington County, Indiana. He was named in the obituary of his brother, John H. Sparks, in 1913; however, his address was given as "unknown." Noble Sparks was born ca. 1847 in Washington County, Indiana, and was undoubtedly named for his uncle, Noble Callaway. After the death of his mother in 1859, Noble Sparks lived for a time with the family of Levi and Mary E. Conover in Jasper County, Iowa.

On May 28, 1864, Noble Sparks enrolled in Company I, 47th Regiment Iowa Infantry at Oskaloosa, Iowa, for a term of 100 days. He stated that he was eighteen years of age, a farmer, and born in Washington County, Indiana. The recruiting officer, M. H. Ranger, stated that Sparks was 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and had hazel eyes, dark hair, and a ruddy complexion. Ranger also stated that, in his opinion, Sparks was of lawful age to enlist. Noble signed the enlistment papers by making his mark and S. B. Cherry, Surgeon, stated that Sparks was examined and passed.

Noble Sparks was not mustered in with Company I when that unit was organized on June 4, 1864, at Davenport, Iowa, and a line was drawn through his name. The only entry on the company roll was this: "Enlisted Fourth Cong. Dist. Iowa. Oskaloosa. City, Mahaska County. Rejected." (See page 1057 of the March 1967 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 57.) In all probability, he was rejected because of his age, since minors were required to have the written consent of their parents to perform military service.

Noble Sparks apparently married ca. 1870 and lived for a short period of time in Arkansas where his two oldest children were born: Louisa ["Lulu"] Sparks Benjamin Sparks, born ca. 1872 in Arkansas. Elmer Sparks, born ca. 1875 in Arkansas.

In all probability, the first wife of Noble Sparks died and he moved to Missouri. He married Elizabeth MNU ca. 1880. She was born ca. 1863 in Germany. When the 1895 state census of Iowa was taken, Noble and Elizabeth Sparks were living in Oskaloosa with the following family: George Sparks, born ca. 1881 in Missouri. Lewis Sparks, born ca. 1883 in Mahaska County, Iowa. Joseph Sparks, born ca. 1886 in Mahaska County, Iowa. Frank Sparks, born ca. 1889 in Mahaska County, Iowa. Elizabeth Sparks, born ca. 1891 in Mahaska County, Iowa. Theodore Sparks, born ca. 1894 in Mahaska County, Iowa.

Noble Sparks was a street car conductor for a period of time in Kansas City and was living in that city when his brother, John H. Sparks, died in 1913. His religious preference was the Methodist Church. Jesse B. Sparks was born December 25, 1849, in Washington County, Indiana. He enrolled in Company I, 47th Regiment Iowa Infantry on May 28, 1864, for a term of 100 days; however, like his brother, Noble Sparks, he was never mustered in with that company. Since he was only fourteen years of age, he was probably rejected because of his youth, although he told the recruiting officer that he was eighteen years of age. According to military records, his personal description was quite similar to that of his brother, Noble. (See page 1057 of the March 1967 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 57.)

On December 26, 1873, Jesse B. Sparks married Sarah M. Northrup in Mahaska County. She was born December 26, 1850, in Waddington, St. Lawrence County, New York, and was a daughter of John and FNU (Vandercook) Northrup, natives of Canada and Holland, respectively. Jesse and Sarah lived near Oskaloosa where he was a farmer. They were Methodists by religious preference. He died on February 23, 1932, and she died ca. one month later, on 1 April 1932. They were the parents of eight children, seven of whom attained maturity.

(View photograph)

Children of Jesse B. and Sarah (Northrup) Sparks: Mamie Bell Sparks was born November 13, 1874, and died on January 13, 1964. She married Hiram Daniel Whitsel on October 2, 1894. He was born August 6, 1875, and died on August 9, 1969. They were the parents of four children: John Whitsel, Ralph Whitsel, George Whitsel, and Mary V. Whitsel. Frank Sparks was born ca. 1876 and died in 1969. He was a graduate of the Salvation Army Training School in Burlington, Iowa, and he served as a Captain in that organization in the state of Washington. He was married twice, but he had no children. Fred Sparks was born ca. 1877 and died in 1933. He married Rella mnu and they had three children: Howard Sparks, Finery Sparks, and Pearl Sparks. Rosa Sparks was born ca. 1880 and died in 1937. She married Jesse B. Hooten and they had four children: Jesse Hooten, Paul Hooten, Bessie Hooten, and Faye Hooten. Lucy Nora Sparks was born in 1886 and died in 1925. She married William Brown and they had three children: Daniel Brown, Jesse Brown, and Margaret Brown
. Jennie E. Sparks was born September 8, 1889, and died on March 31, 1975. She married Lewis Dye. They had no children. Charles M. Sparks was born in 1892 in Missouri and died in 1967. He married Eva B. Dye, a daughter of Grant and Rosie (Vaness) Dye, and they had seven children: Mary J. Sparks, Charles B. Sparks, Robert C. Sparks, T. R. Sparks, Margaret Sparks, Glen Sparks, and Claude Allen Sparks. Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Matthew and Lucy (Callaway) Sparks, was born ca. 1851 in Washington County, Indiana. She married fnu Little. She was named as an heir in the settlement of the estate of her uncle, John Hawkins Callaway, in 1890, but she apparently had died when the final settlement was made in 1911, and only her heirs were named. We do not know the order of their births: Della Little, married fnu Pepper. Bertha Little, married fnu Hesley. Ida Little, married fnu Thane. Maggie Little, married fnu Kearns. Jessie Little. Modie Little Anna Little. Matthew Sparks was born ca. 1852 in Washington County, Indiana. On November 14, 1874, he married Mary J. Herrin in Mahaska County, Iowa. She was born ca. 1855 in Iowa. Matthew Sparks died prior to 1911 and his heirs were named in the final settlement of the estate of his uncle, John Hawkins Callaway. They were: Jerusha Birdie Sparks, born ca. 1876. She married FNU Risney. John Edward Sparks, born ca. 1878. James Sparks was born ca. 1880. He married Nellie Martin ca. 1905. She was a daughter of Richard and Rachel (Sprole) Martin. James and Nellie had eight children: Virgil Sparks, Ethel Sparks, Blanche Sparks, Russell Sparks, Martin Sparks, Raymond Sparks, Selma Sparks, and James Sparks. Susan Sparks, born after 1880. Frank Sparks, born after 1880. Doctor Franklin "Dock" Sparks was born May 4, 1853, in Washington County, Indiana. He died there on February 5, 1923, and was buried in the Old Quaker Cemetery. He undoubtedly accompanied his parents to Jasper County in 1856 as a small boy, but he probably returned to Washington County after the death of his mother in 1859. He was living with his uncle, Noble Callaway, when the 1870 census was taken of Washington County. On October 2, 1873, Dock Sparks married Sarah E. Buttorff in Washington County. She was born November 28, 1854, and died on July 16, 1902. They were the parents of at least three children: Delila Viola Sparks was born ca. 1875. On November 19, 1892, she married William Greider in Washington County. Addie Bertha Sparks was born ca. 1877. She married in 1901, but we have not learned the name of her husband. Frank Sparks was born after 1880.

After the death of his wife, Sarah (Buttorff) Sparks, Dock Sparks married (second) Sarah L. (Spaulding) Gilchrist on August 1, 1903. She was the widow of David Gilchrist. We have no further information about them. James Monroe Sparks was born on February 3, 1854, in Washington County, Indiana, and was carried as a two year-old child to Jasper County, Iowa. When the 1880 census was taken, he was living with his father and his step-mother in Mahaska County. He married Sarah Emma Vance, ca. 1886. She was born March 20, 1870, at Eddyville, Iowa, and was a daughter of Joseph and Mary Jane (May) Vance.

James and Sarah moved to Oskaloosa ca. 1889 and they continued to live there until their deaths, which occurred for him on November 24, 1931, and for her on February 4, 1933. They were buried in Forest Cemetery. Data which we received from a daughter states that they were the parents of twelve children; however, three of them died in infancy. They were: Grace May Sparks was born August 29, 1887. She married E. E. Bingaman and they lived at Albia, Iowa. She died on February 2, 1969. They had two children, Georgia Bingaman and Freeman Bingaman. Freeman died when quite young. Viola Sparks was born ca. 1889 and died in infancy. Myrtle Sparks was born ca. 1891 and died in infancy. Charles Edward Sparks was born ca. 1893. He married Mary mnu and they lived in Des Moines, Iowa, where Charles died in 1955. They had three children: Lucille Sparks, James Sparks, and Charles Sparks, Jr. Ida Sparks was born ca. 1895 and died in infancy. Bess Sparks was born December 25, 1898. She married Joe Daugherty and they lived in Oskaloosa. She died on November 25, 1928, and was buried in Forest Cemetery. They had no children. William Sparks was born ca. 1900. He married Gladys mnu and they lived in Springfield, Illinois, where he died on February 10, 1966. Francis M. "Frank" Sparks was born March 15, 1902, and died on August 27, 1953. He lived in Oskaloosa. He married Nadene Austin. Raymond E. Sparks was born August 22, 1904, and died on August 10, 1965. He never married. Dorothy Sparks was born September 6, 1906. She married (first) Eugene Blacketer and (second) Albert West. They had no children. She lives in Delta, Iowa. Daisy Sparks was born ca. 1909. She married Nason Burtlow and they live in Delta, Iowa. They had three children: Betty Burtlow, Dale B. Burtlow, and Judith Burtlow. Hubert Joseph Sparks was born September 1, 1911. He married Fleeta Coons and they lived in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Hubert died on January 21, 1976, and Fleeta died on April 16, 1976. They had one child, Hugh Vance Sparks. Thomas Sparks, son of Matthew Sparks and Matthew's second wife, Mary J. mnu, was born ca. 1862 in Mahaska County, Iowa. He died on 14 May 1914, in Polk County, Iowa. He married Catherine "Katy" Grey ca. 1890. She was born in Ireland and was a daughter of James Grey. Katy was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. She and Thomas had at least two children: Fred C. Sparks was born ca. 1891 in Polk County, Iowa Helen Sparks was born ca. 1895 in Polk County, Iowa. Nellie Sparks was born ca. 1865 in Iowa. When the 1880 census was taken of Mahaska County, she was fourteen years of age and living with her father and step-mother. We have no further information about her. George W. Sparks, son of Matthew R. Sparks and his third wife, Bellevedere (Barnett) Sparks, was born ca. 1877 in Mahaska County. He married Minnie Vanulert ca. 1896. She was born ca. 1879 in Iowa and was a daughter of H. M. and Minnie (Vanvark) Vanulert, natives of Holland. George and Minnie Sparks were the parents of at least one child: H. M. Sparks was born ca. 1897 in Iowa. He married Veda M. Daniels ca. 1919. She was born ca. 1898 in Iowa, a daughter of Fred and Myrtle (Sharp) Daniels. They had at least two children, Glen Sparks and Harrell Sparks.

Pages 2533-2534
Whole Number 122


(Editor's Note: The December 1978 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 104, contained an article about the descendants of Matthew R. Sparks (born ca. 1815, died 1892) of Washington County, Indiana. Among his seventeen children was a son, Noble Sparks. Since the publication of the article, additional data about Noble Sparks have been given to us by a grandson, Joseph Benjamin Sparks. We present the new information below.) Noble Sparks was born September 15, 1850, in Washington County, Indiana. He died on October 9, 1919. He married (first) Rhoda Turner, ca. 1870, and for a short time they lived in Arkansas according to the 1895 census of Mahaska County, Iowa. There, two children were born to them, Louisa ["Lulu"] Sparks, born ca. 1870, and Benjamin Sparks, born ca. 1872. by 1876, however, Noble had returned to Missouri, where, on February 8, 1876, another son, Don Elmer Sparks, was born to them at Miami, Missouri. Noble's wife, Rhoda, died a short time later and was buried at Miami, Saline County, Missouri. NOBLE SPARKS (1850-1919)
(Picture) Noble Sparks married, (second), Elizabeth Metzger, ca. 1880, and they had at least six children as recorded on page 2049 of the December 1978 issue of the Quarterly (whole No. 104). Noble Sparks died on October 9, 1919. Louisa ["Lulu"] Sparks married FNU Collins and they moved to Oregon. No further information has been found of them. Don Elmer Sparks, son of Noble and Rhoda (Turner) Sparks, married Marian Estella Weeks on September 30, 1895. She was born January 15, 1878, at Eddyville, Iowa, and was a daughter of Calvin and Elizabeth (Royalty) Weeks. Don Elmer Sparks died on August 9, 1965, and Marian Estela Sparks died on June 30, 1960. They had twelve children. Archie Lee Sparks was born December 20, 1896, at Brooklyn, Iowa. Carl Francis Sparks was born August 15, 1898, at Oskaloosa, Iowa. Edward Alvin Sparks was born August 1, 1900, at Oskaloosa, Iowa. Ruth Gertrude Sparks was born March 21, 1902, at Oslaloosa, Iowa. Edith Irene Sparks was born July 14, 1904, at Kansas City, Kansas. Calvin Noble Sparks was born August 21, 1906, at Kansas City, Kansas. Elmer Lewis Sparks was born November 27, 1908, at Kansas City, Kansas. Elma Marguerite Sparks was born November 27, 1908, at Kansas City, Kansas. John Matthew Sparks was born January 12, 1910, at Kansas City, Kansas. Joseph Benjamin Sparks was born December 15, 1911, at Kansas. Louise EsteIle Sparks was born December 21, 1915, at Seymour, Iowa. Elmo James Sparks was born in 1918 and died at birth.

Page 3040
Whole Number 137


In the December 1978 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 104, we presented the family of Matthew R. and Lucy (Callaway) Sparks of Washington County, Indiana, and Jasper County, Iowa. They were the parents of a large number of children, but at the time the article was written, we were not sure of either the number or the order of birth of these children. Recently, however, we received the following record of this family as it appeared on a special census that was taken of Iowa in 1856. We believe that this is an accurate record of both the size of the family and the order of the children's births.

Jasper County, Iowa - 1856 Special Census

Lynngrove Township.

60-67 Sparks, Matthew R. 42  (M) Farmer Kentucky
       "      Lucy 42 (F)   Indiana
       "      John 19 (M) Farmer     "
       "      Sarah 18 (F)       "
       "      Weden 17 (M) Farmer     "
       "      Nancy 16 (F)       "
       "      Chloe 15 (F)       "
       "      Mary A. 13 (F)       "
       "      William  11 (M)       "
       "      Benjamin 9 (M)       "
       "      Noble 7 (M)       "
       "      Jesse B. 5 (M)       "
       "      Mathew 5 (M)       " 
       "      Francis M. 3 (M)       "
       "      Doctor Franklin 3 (M)       "
       "      James Monroe 0 (M)   Iowa
       "      Elizabeth T. 0 (F)     "