Whole Number 115
The photograph appearing on the cover of this issue of the Quarterly has been provided by Norman L. Sparks of Arkansas City, Kansas. He writes as follows regarding the history of this church.
The "Sparks Church" in Barry County, Missouri, is located on the banks of Flat Creek. According to Emory Melton, the Barry County historian, the church was probably built around 1865-1870. Since the Barry County Courthouse burned in the 1870s, there is not a clear record of who gave the land nor who built the church. However, my great-grandfather, John Sparks (born ca. 1832, died ca. 1891), lived on and owned the land on which the church is located. (See page 2323 of this issue of the Quarterly.) Mr. Melton feels sure that my great-grandfather, John Sparks, was the donor of the land for the "Sparks Church," the "Sparks Cemetery," and the "Sparks Schoolhouse" because he was the only Sparks in that area at that time.
The Sparks Church is located three-fourths of a mile north on Flat Creek from the Sparks Cemetery and the plot where the Sparks Schoolhouse once stood. The Sparks Cemetery is located eleven miles north-east of Cassville, Missouri, in McDonald Township, Barry County. The Sparks Schoolhouse stood on the same plot of land, in front of the cemetery. The cemetery is now commonly referred to as the Sparks-Fairview Cemetery due to its location about one-fourth of a mile north of what used to be Fairview, Missouri. The Sparks Church is near what used to be "Star City" but no longer exists.
My great-grandfather was also road overseer in District 12, McDonald Township, Barry County.