January 28, 2021

Pages 2064-2065
Whole Number 104


In the Quarterly of March 1977 (Whole No. 97, page 1890) we published a query regarding Abel Sparks who was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, ca. 1828. He was a son of George and Delia Sparks who moved to Randolph County, Indiana, ca. 1830, then on to Wells County, Indiana, ca. 1836. George Sparks died there in 1843. Abel Sparks, youngest son of George and Delia Sparks, married Elizabeth Douglass in Wells County, Indiana, on May 4, 1850.

A great-granddaughter of Abel Sparks, Doris Cornett (Brown) Macomber, joined our Association recently and has provided some additional information regarding Abel Sparks. Mrs. Macomber writes that early in 1852, Abel and Elizabeth Sparks and their small daughter, Mary, joined a wagon train headed for Oregon. Almost all of Elizabeth's family, father, mother, married sisters and their husbands, two younger sisters and her only brother, were members of the same wagon train. Abel Sparks died of cholera somewhere along the Platt River on June 13, 1852. His widow, Elizabeth, continued on, of course, and settled in Lane County, Oregon. There, on May 23, 1854, she married, as her second husband, James Richard Phillips.

On May 12, 1869, Mary Sparks, daughter of Abel and Elizabeth (Douglass) Sparks, was married in Lane County, Oregon, to John Joseph Brown, son of Silas Brown and Jane Ann (Blair) Hiatt, a widow. (In the query cited above the father of John Joseph Brown was given incorrectly as Charles Arthur Brown.) The first two children of John Joseph and Mary (Sparks) Brown, Ben Leroy and Frank Mason, were born in Cottage Grove, Lane County, Oregon. Sometime between 1873 and 1876, John Joseph Brown moved his family to what was then Wasco County, now Gilliam County, Oregon. On the sheep ranch on Rock Creek there were five more children born to Mary and John Joseph.

Mary (Sparks) Brown and her husband, John Joseph Brown, were sheepmen who ran five and six large bands of sheep. After the death of John Joseph (June 26, 1890), Mary continued to run the sheep ranch under the name of MARY BROWN AND SONS and at one time owned over 1200 acres of land in Gilliam County, Oregon. The children of John Joseph and Mary (Sparks) Brown were: Ben Leroy Brown, born January 25, 1872, died March 5, 1883. Frank Mason Brown, born December 21, 1873, died November 25, 1944. He married Emma E. Campbell December 2, 1908 and they had seven children: Malcolm Campbell Brown, born October 20, 1909; Francis Damen Brown, born May 2, 1911, died May 12, 1911; Gordon Thomas Brown, born August 21, 1912; Mary Jane Brown, born June 21, 1915; Douglas William Brown, born November 21, 1916; Mason Oliver Brown, born April 15, 1919; and Donald Sparks Brown, born November 14, 1921. Charles Arthur Brown, born March 11, 1876, died September 12, 1960. He married Missouri Pearl Fitzwater on December 1, 1901. They had five children: Chester Arthur Brown, born January 15, 1903, died October 31, 1908; Dean Blair Brown, born August 9, 1906, died June 1976; Daniel Campbell Brown, born October 25, 1908, lives in LaGrande, Oregon; Doris Cornett Brown, born November 8, 1909, lives in Oak Harber, Wash.; and Dorothy Vernon Brown, born October 13, 1916. Herbert George Brown, born May 16, 1880, died 1964. William Campbell Brown, born July 19, 1883, died February 22, 1964. He married Louise June Merrill March 17, 1909. They had two children: Bremerton Merrill Brown, born May 24, 1914; and Elizabeth A. Brown, born May 8, 1918. Elsie Ann Brown, born July 25, 1885; she lives in Portland, Oregon. She married Frank Ira Golden on January 28, 1908, and they had three children: Leslie Maud Golden, born November 26, 1908, died ca. 1959; Stacy Burdett Golden, born July 18, 1912, died September 12, 1915; Leonard Douglas Golden, born May 19, 1914, died April 19, 1978. John Joseph Brown, born July 28, 1887, died 1963.