April 20, 2021

Pages 2250-2255

(Editor's note: the June 1955 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No.10, contained an article entitled "Col. William C. Sparks and His Descendants." According to the information available at that time, 15.1 William Crain Sparks was born June 14, 1798, in Tennessee and was thought to have been a son of a Richard and Mildred (Crain) Sparks. Data uncovered since the publication of that article indicate that the parents were not Richard and Mildred (Crain) Sparks, but were probably 70.1.3 James and Nancy Ann (Crain) Sparks of Franklin County, Georgia. The same data also show that the paternal grandparents of William Crain Sparks were Thomas and Amelia "Milly" Sparks 70.1 Thomas and Margaret Sparks. who moved from Franklin County, Georgia, to Alabama ca. 1820. Other children of Thomas and Milly Sparks were Elijah Sparks, Thomas Sparks, Jr., and John Sparks.

70.1 Thomas and Margaret Sparks
70.1.3 James and Nancy (Crain) Sparks of Franklin County, Georgia. William Crain Sparks married (first) Sarah Reed.

This article is concerned only with the descendants of a daughter of Colonel William C. Sparks and his first wife, Sarah (Reed) Sparks, who married Isaac Carter Spence. Her name was Martha Ann Sparks. A descendant of David Spence, Revolutionary War soldier and grandfather of Isaac Carter Spence, Mrs. Louise Bishop Fowler, of Longview, Texas, has done extensive research on the Spence family and plans to publish a book about that family. She has unselfishly given the data pertaining to the family of Martha Ann (Sparks) Spence to the Sparks Family Association, and we are grateful to her.) Martha Ann Sparks, daughter of William Crain and Sarah (Reed) Sparks, was born on February 11, 1827, probably in Hardeman County, Tennessee. She died on December 31, 1858, at Wheelock, Robertson County, Texas, and was buried in the Arnett-Sparks Cemetery nearby. She married Isaac Carter Spence ca. 1841 in Texas. He was born ca. 1809 in Robertson County, Tennessee, and was a son of Thomas and Catherine (Carter) Spence. The Spence family moved to Illinois in the fall of 1828 and it was there, on January 2, 1836, that Isaac Carter Spence married Mary Ann Keppenbury in Morgan County. They had at least one child, a son, Julius Gustavus Spence.

Nothing has been found to indicate what happened to the first marriage of Isaac or when he moved to Texas. He served on a jury in Brazos County in 1842 and he was appointed as a justice of the peace in 1844. As mentioned above, he married Martha Ann Sparks ca. 1841. He was a merchant in Robertson County, Texas, but after the Civil War ended, his business failed and he moved to Houston where he died on August 14, 1867.

At the time of her marriage, Martha Ann Sparks received from her father the following: 5 cows, 5 calves, a horse, a saddle and a bridle. This was the apparent dowry he gave to each of his daughters. On July 5, 1846, he gave Martha Ann 500 acres from his Brazos County league, the consideration expressed being natural love and affection. The will of Martha Ann, dated December 18, 1857, was filed in Robertson County, Texas, on May 30, 1859. She named her husband as her sole executor and requested that her interest in the community property held jointly with him be divided into two equal shares, one of which she bequeathed to him. The remainder of her estate was to be divided into six equal parts which she devised to her stepson, Julius Gustavus Spence; to her sons, William Thomas Spence,Stephen Eugene Spence, and Belvedere Spence; and to her daughters, Hortense D. B. Spence and Frances Ione Spence.

Martha Ann further stipulated that her husband be appointed as guardian of the property and persons of her children, and as a codicil, she made provision that all of the expense of rearing and educating all six of the children should be reserved out of the community property before any division was made.

Julius Gustavus Spence, son of Isaac Carter and Mary Ann (Keppenbury) Spence, and stepson of Martha Ann (Sparks) Spence, was born ca. 1836 in Illinois. He was probably the J. G. Spence listed on the 1880 census of Walker County, Texas, with his wife, Emily Spence, age 35, and five children:

Cora Spence, 14; Maud Spence, 11; Willis Spence, 6; Gussie Spence, 4; and Hortense Spence, 1. William Thomas Spence was born ca. 1842. He died at Vicksburg, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Family tradition is that during a rest period, the Confederate soldiers were placing hats on sticks and holding them up to draw fire from the Union soldiers. William jumped up to replace a hat and was killed by a sniper. Another tradition is that his comrades, Ted Wilson and Sam Allen, became so interested in the letters he received from his sisters, Hortense and Ione, that they declared they were going to marry the girls although they had never met them. This they did after the close of the war.

1848-1878 Hortense de Beauharnaise Spence was born February 5, 1848, at Wheelock, Texas. She died on June 18, 1878, at Houston and was buried there in the Glenwood Cemetery. She married Edward "Ted" Houston Wilson on June 15, 1865. He was born on July 25, 1840, at Baltimore, Maryland, and was a son of Peter and Mary (Warren) Wilson. Edward was a grocer. He died on May 28, 1918, and was buried in the Glenwood Cemetery. Six children were born to Ted and Hortense Wilson. Zanetta "Nettie" Paralee Wilson was born July 2, 1866, at Houston. She married Wallace O'Leary there on November 5, 1884. He was born on March 1, 1863, and was a son of John and Martha Jane (Lee) O'Leary. He was associated with the railroad in his early life, but was a hotel manager at the time of his death in 1915. Nettie was a Presbyterian. She and Wallace had four children. Hortense O'Leary was born July 15, 1887. She studied art in Atlanta and opened the first art studio in Houston. She married Thomas Coleman Born and they had two children: Hortense Born and Annette Born. Wallace Cauldwell O'Leary was born July 30, 1891, at New Orleans, La. He managed the Warwick Hotel in Houston from 1926 until his death in 1944. He married Frances Mason Dennis and they had two children, Susanna O'Leary and Wallace O'Leary, Jr. Lillian Ione O'Leary was born November 24, 1896. She married Thomas Levin Powell. He was in the hotel business in Houston and San Antonio. They had three children: Lillian Ione Powell, Thomas Levin Powell, and Eleanor Inez Powell. Alice Lelia O'Leary was born August 16, 1898. She married Fred W. McConkey, Jr., a rubber company executive, and they had one child, Fred McConkey, Jr. Thomas Winfield Wilson was born August 21, 1868, at Houston. He married Lelia Blake,a daughter of Eugene C. and Marylou (McQueen) Blake. Thomas was connected with the oil industry of Houston. He died on August 1, 1946, and Lelia died on June 26, 1970. They are buried in Olenwood Cemetery. They had two children: Edward Clifton "Clif" Wilson was born July 13, 1891. He married Miriam Moore and they lived in Houston where Clif is chairman of the board of a stationery and printing firm. They have two children, Edward Wilson, Jr. and Carolyn Lelia Wilson. Wallace Daniel Wilson was born July 13, 1893. He is chairman of the board of Wilson Industries. He married Elizabeth Barry and they have one child, Wallace S. Wilson Edward Houston Wilson was born ca. 1870. He married and had at least one child. We have no further information about him. Eugene Spence Wilson was born August 21, 1873, and he died in 1927. He never married. N. R. Wilson was born December 12, 1875, and he died on November 21, 1878. Ione Fulton Wilson was born June 8, 1878, and she died on July 1, 1878 Frances Ione Spence was born September 25, 1849, at Wheelock, Texas. She married Samuel Allen on February 20, 1867, at Houston. He was born May 26, 1843, and was a son of George K. and Harriet (MNU) Allen. Samuel was a Captain of Cavalry during the Civil War and after the war ended, he walked from Georgia to his home in Texas where he became an important figure in the lumber and logging business. After the death of her husband in 1899, Frances moved to Portland, Oregon, where she died on September 23, 1927. She and Samuel had nine children, all born in Houston.

Daughter of Isaac and Martha Ann (Sparks) Spence Percy Allen was born December 12, 1868. He died on April 21, 1949, Portland, Oregon. After attending the University of the South, he returned to his family's lumber business. He was married three times. by his first wife, Ruth A. Dumble, he had one child. Charlotte Mary Allen was born June 13, 1893. She died on February 22, 1911.

After the death of his first wife in 1896, Percy Allen married (second) Mamie Scholibo and they had one child. Sam Scholibo Allen was born June 26, 1901. After studying forestry at Oregon State University, he continued in the lumber business. He was a talented musician. He married Louise Jacobsen and they had a daughter, Suzanne Marie Allen.

Mamie (Scholibo) Allen died in 1906, and Percy Allen married (third) May Belle Eggeman. One child was born to this marriage. May Belle Allen was born February 25, 1909. She married Dr. Ralph M. Prag and they had three children: John Allen Prag, Gretchen Jane Prag, and Susan Louise Prag. Baltis Allen was born December 2, 1870, and he died in October 1945. He married (first) Annie May Bridewell and they had two children. He married (second) Winifred Chance. No children were born to the second marriage. Baltis Allen, Jr. He was married three times. He had no children. Bessie Allen. She married Lucien Butler. They had no children. Hortense Allen was born July 6, 1873. She married Lee Bruce Menefee, Sr. They lived in Portland, Oregon, where Lee was in the lumber and milling business. They had five children. Percy Lee Menefee was born ca. 1898. He married and had three children. Virginia Menefee. She married and had a son. Lee Bruce Menefee, Jr. He married and had two daughters. Edith Menefee was born in 1909. She married (first) Ernie Johnson who was killed in a plane crash in 1957. She married (second) M. L. Crimmons. Edith had two daughters. Richard Allen Menefee. He married and had two sons. Samuel Allen was born in 1876. He died in infancy. Ione Allen was born October 30, 1877, and she died in 1902. She married Edward Andrew Peden, an official in the Peden Iron and Steel Company of Houston. They had three children. Edward D. Peden. Allen V. Peden. lone Peden. She married Birdwell Masterson. George Allen was born in 1878. He died in infancy. Eugene Allen was born March 24, 1882, and died in 1946. He was in the lumber and milling business in Rainier, Oregon. He married Bernie Maynard and they had two children. Ben Jean Allen. She married FNU Smith. Mary Jane Allen. She married FNU Brennan. Jennie Nettie Allen was born May 24, 1884, and died on June 13, 1962. She married Edward G. Bleker and they had one child. Hortense Alice Bleker was born June 15, 1904. She married Luther O. Lemon. Ruth Lelia Allen was born December 30, 1888, and she died on May 27, 1955. She was a talented singer and studied voice, opera, and piano in Berlin, Germany, for four years. She married John Vassie, a native of Edinburg, Scotland, and they had one child. Cecelia Vassie was born October 31, 1914. She married Wendell E. Kent and they had three children: Larry Edward Kent, David Allen Kent, and John Paul Kent. Stephen Eugene Spence, son of Isaac and Martha Ann (Sparks) Spence, was born November 9, 1852, at Wheelock, Texas. He died on December 12, 1906,at Houston, On February 1, 1875, he married Sarah Ann Perkins. She was born February 1, 1857, and was a daughter of Henry E. and Ann (Wrigley) Perkins. Stephen and Sarah Arm lived on a sheep ranch near Morgan, Texas, later moving to Houston. They were the parents of eight children. Annie Ione Spence was born February 6, 1876, and she died on May 29, 1959. She married William Edward Hornbuckle on June 30, 1898. He was a son of Wyley Hornbuckle. He served as an official of a Houston bank. Annie and William had two children. John Spence Hornbuckle was born November 9, 1901. He married Margaret K. Shearn and they had one child, John Spence Hornbuckle, Jr. William Edward Hornbuckle was born April 12, 1905. He married Grace Palmer and they had three children: William E. Hornbuckle, Jr., Thomas Stephen Hornbuckle, and Catliryn Carmen Hornbuckle. Mamie Fannie Spence was born May 30, 1878, and she died on August 17, 1962. She married Dr. Wallace N. Shaw on November 22, 1899, and they had two children. Sarah Agnes Shaw was born March 6, 1906. She married Stanley C. Hornsby, an Austin, Texas, attorney. They had one child, Joan Hornsby. Hampton Lee Shaw was born July 15, 1910. He married Jesse Jean Jeter and they lived at Freeport, Texas, where he is a dentist. They had three children: Mary Jean Shaw, Patricia Lucile Shaw, and Wallace Nelson Shaw. William Henry Erastus Spence was born December 7, 1879; he died on January 24, 1885. Julius Gustavus "Jewell" Spence was born April 8, 1884. He was a dentist in Houston. He married (first) Frances H. Roussel and they had one child. He married (second) Gertrude MNU. Frances Ione Spence was born January 6, 1909. She married Harold B. Kirkham and they had two children, Frances Ione Kirkham and Harold Spence Kirkham. Ella Spence was born August 8, 1886, and died on October 24, 1886. Stephen Eugene Spence, Jr. was born March 13, 1890; he died on April 9, 1890. Edward Lorraine Spence was born April 24, 1892; he died on June 25, 1892. Jack Sampson Spence was born September 5, 1897; he died on September 25, 1897. Belvedere Brooks Spence was born ca. 1855. He was killed by a horse when in his youth.