February 3, 2021
Whole Number 121
32.1.8 WALTER AND SUSAN A. (PREWITT) SPARKS
OF HENRY COUNTY, KENTUCKY
(Editor's Note: On pages 844-846 of the September 1964 issue of the Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 47, we published an abstract of the military record of 32.1.8 Walter Sparks who served in the War of 1812. Since the publication of that article, we have received more information regarding his descendants, and although our records are far from complete, we are publishing them in the hope that they will stimulate further responses from other descendants. We are indebted to Mrs. Elsie J. Jamieson, 237 Deltona Blvd., St. Augustine, Florida, (32084) for a large portion of the information about the descendants of John Stephen Sparks, son of Walter Sparks. John Stephen Sparks, who seems always to have gone under his middle name, Stephen, was a great-grandfather of Mrs. Jamieson.)
32.1.8 Walter Sparks was born ca. 1794. We have found no evidence as to the place of his birth. We believe, however, that he was a member of the branch of the SPARKS family that came from western Pennsylvania to the Falls of the Ohio River and settled around Louisville, Kentucky. From Jefferson County, Kentucky, members of this family went on to more distant counties, such as Henry, Oldham, and Spencer Counties. Leaders of this group were three brothers,
32.1 James Sparks,
32.4 Walter Sparks, and
32.5 Daniel Sparks,
sons of 32. Richard Sparks of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. (A detailed record of the life of Richard Sparks, born ca. 1725, died ca. 1792, appeared in the Quarterly of December 1971, Whole No. 76.)
32.1 James Sparks, son of Richard, was born ca. 1753 in New Jersey and died in 1834 in Jackson County, Indiana.
32.2 Benjamin Sparks, born in 1754, who died in 1801 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
32.3 Richard Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1757, died 1815, was stolen by the Shawnee Indians as a little boy; the story of his life was told in the September 1974 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 87.
32.4 Walter Sparks, son of Richard, was born ca. 1760 and died ca. 1828 in Jefferson County, Kentucky.
32.5 Daniel Sparks, son of Richard, was born in 1763 and died shortly before 1820 in Scott County, Indiana. (The declaration of James Sparks for a pension based on his service in the American Revolution was published in the September 1954 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 7.)
We have a record of the children of 32.5 Daniel Sparks (son of Richard) and from this record we know that the Walter Sparks, subject of this article, was not one of his children. We also know that 32.4 Walter Sparks (son of Richard) was not the father of this Walter Sparks; while he did, indeed, have a son named Walter, that Walter Sparks was born ca. 1802. We have fairly well identified the children of 32.1 James Sparks (son of Richard), except for a son known to have been born ca. 1794. We believe there is a strong possibility that the 32.1.8 Walter Sparks who is the subject of this sketch was the son of James Sparks born ca. 1794. We have only bits of circumstantial evidence, however, to support this belief.
On February 8, 1814, 32.1.8 Walter Sparks, subject of this sketch, married Susan A. Prewitt in Henry County, Kentucky. Her nickname was "Sukie" and she was born ca. 1795. She may have been a daughter of Coleman Prewitt. She and Walter went to house-keeping in Henry County and there they lived until ca. 1841. On the 1820 census of Henry County, Walter Sparks was listed with an enumeration of his family as including, besides his wife, four children, all born between 1810 and 1820, three sons and one daughter. The 1830 census enumerated six sons and one daughter. Their last child, 184.108.40.206 Isham Sparks, was born in 1832. Thus, they had a family of seven sons and one daughter.
Shortly after the 1840 census was taken of Henry County, Walter and Susan Sparks moved to Orange County, Indiana. It was there that Susan died in April 1843. Walter survived her by only a couple of months, dying on August 5, 1843. Several years later, William Sparks, guardian of Isham Sparks, made application for bounty land for his ward whom he designated as a son of Walter Sparks. Along with the application, he submitted an affidavit from Richard Sparks and Robert Sparks that they were present when Walter Sparks died. (This application for bounty land was based on the service in the War of 1812 of Walter Sparks; an abstract was published in the Quarterly of September 1964, Whole No. 47, pp. 844-46.)
Although we have no conclusive proof for some of the children of Walter and Susan Sparks, we believe we can name them all. If we are correct, they were:
220.127.116.11 Walter K. Sparks,
18.104.22.168 Nancy Sparks,
22.214.171.124 William Sparks,
126.96.36.199 Richard Sparks,
188.8.131.52 John Stephen Sparks,
184.108.40.206 Edwin Sparks,
220.127.116.11 Robert Sparks, and
18.104.22.168 Isham Sparks. Here is what we have learned about each of them.
22.214.171.124 Walter K. Sparks, son of Walter and Susan (Prewitt) Sparks, was born December 19, 1815, probably in Henry County, Kentucky. He married Mary Jane McCoskey in 1837. She was born June 15, 1821, in Vigo County, Indiana, and was a daughter of Thomas and Ruth (Kester) McCoskey. The marriage took place in Vigo County on October 26, 1837. Walter K. Sparks died March 6, 1871, and Mary Jane died on January 4, 1884. They died in Linn County, Iowa. According to The Pound and Kester Families compiled by John E. Hunt, Chicago, 1904, Walter K. and Mary Jane Sparks had thirteen children:
126.96.36.199.1 Christopher C. Sparks was born August 3, 1838. He died June 3, 1860. He never married.
188.8.131.52.2 Thomas H. Sparks was born December 2, 1839, in Vigo County, Indiana. He served in Company F, 12th Regt. Iowa Infantry during the Civil War and died on January 5, 1863, just a few days after receiving a Certificate of Discharge for Disability. He married Elizabeth Ann Kint on November 7, 1861. She was born in Williams County, Ohio, on October 8, 1845, and was a daughter of John and Hannah S. (Greeley) Kint. Thomas and Elizabeth had one child, Samantha J. Sparks. (See page 2501 of this issue of the Quarterly for an abstract of the pension application papers of Elizabeth Ann Sparks based on the service of Thomas H. Sparks in the Union Army.)
184.108.40.206.3 Nancy L. Sparks was born September 8, 1841. She married (first) James H. Shanklin. He was born May 18, 1837, in Indiana and died August 4, 1863, while serving in the Union forces. Nancy married (second) William McClelland on July 3, 1868. She died August 11, 1869.
220.127.116.11.4 George W. Sparks was born September 25, 1843. He died February 27, 1863. He never married.
18.104.22.168.5 Eliza J. Sparks was born in Vigo County, Indiana, on July 30, 1845. On February 11, 1863, she married George Kint. He was born December 2, 1839, in Williams County, Ohio, and was a son of John and Hannah S. (Greeley) Kint.
22.214.171.124.6 Daniel T. Sparks was born February 22, 1847. He died August 7, 1869. He never married.
126.96.36.199.7 James A. Sparks was born November 26, 1848. He died December 2, 1848.
188.8.131.52.8 Sylvester G. Sparks was born May 24, 1850, in Clark County, Illinois. He served in Company G, 19th Regt. Kansas Militia during the Civil War. On March 8, 1880, he married Cora A. Potter. She was born February 6, 1864, in Illinois and was a daughter of Leland and Eliza C. (Scoville) Potter. Sylvester and Cora had six children:
184.108.40.206.8.1 Esli W. Sparks
220.127.116.11.8.2 Edith P. Sparks
18.104.22.168.8.3 Melvin A. Sparks
22.214.171.124.8.4 Charlotte A. Sparks
126.96.36.199.8.5 Mildred R. Sparks
188.8.131.52.8.6 Epra M. Sparks.
184.108.40.206.9 Milburn D. Sparks was born May 24, 1850, and was a twin brother of Sylvester G. Sparks. In September 1875, he married Frances Jane Sovereign. She was born in Canada on January 6, 1856, and was a daughter of William and Sarah (Beemer) Sovereign. Milburn and Frances had seven children:
220.127.116.11.9.1 Archie L. Sparks
18.104.22.168.9.2 Bentley M. Sparks
22.214.171.124.9.3 Lela M. Sparks
126.96.36.199.9.4 Arthur Sparks
188.8.131.52.9.5 Arlo I. Sparks
184.108.40.206.9.6 Floyd J. Sparks
220.127.116.11.9.7 Belle Sparks.
18.104.22.168.10 Demercy E. Sparks was born September 1, 1853, and died January 5, 1854.
22.214.171.124.11 Council Sparks was born October 23, 1854. He married Florence Amanda Girton. She was born in Buchanan County, Iowa, on December 13, 1857, and was a daughter of James and Sarah (Lemon) Girton. No further information.
126.96.36.199.12 Sarah E. Sparks was born November 9, 1856. She died June 12, 1879. She married John Fay and they had one child who died in infancy.
188.8.131.52.13 Ruth Joanna Sparks was born October 19, 1861, near Oelwein, Iowa. She married John Menny. He was born at Dubuque, Iowa, and was a son of Anthony and Paulina (Prudon) Menny. Ruth and John had twelve children according to The Pound and Kester Families cited earlier, but no names were listed.
184.108.40.206 Richard W. Sparks, son of Walter and Susan (Prewitt) Sparks, was born ca. 1816 in Kentucky. On January 7, 1840, he married Mildred Ann Satterwhite in Henry County, Kentucky. She was born ca. 1822 in Kentucky and was a daughter of Elizabeth Satterwhite. Mildred died ca. 1875 in Jefferson County, Kentucky. According to the 1850 census of Johnson County, Indiana, she and Richard had four children.
220.127.116.11.1 James H. Sparks was born ca. 1840 in Kentucky.
18.104.22.168.2 John W. Sparks was born ca. 1841 in Indiana. He was killed in an accident while serving in the Union forces during the Civil War. See pages 1757-1761 of the September 1975 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 91, for an abstract of his pension file.
22.214.171.124.3 Nancy Sparks
126.96.36.199.4 William H. Sparks was born ca. 1847 in Indiana.
(Editor's Note: There is a strong possibility that 188.8.131.52 Richard W. Sparks, son of 38.1.8 Walter and Susan A. (Prewitt) Sparks, was married twice. There was a Richard W. Sparks who was also born in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1816 who married Elizabeth Elder in Iowa County, Iowa, on April 10, 1856. Two children were born to them in Iowa before they moved to Bartholomew County, Indiana, ca. 1861. It was there that Richard W. Sparks enlisted in Company E, 93rd Regt. Indiana Infantry on August 20, 1862. He served until he was discharged on August 17, 1864, because of a gunshot wound in his right hand. He received an invalid pension until his death on June 1, 1883, in Bartholomew County. After his death, his widow, Elizabeth Sparks, received a pension until her death on August 29, 1917, at Clinton, Illinois. According to the 1870 census of Bartholomew County and cemetery records, she and Richard had six children:
184.108.40.206.5 Emily J. Sparks,
220.127.116.11.6 Isham Sparks,
18.104.22.168.7 Jerusha Sparks,
22.214.171.124.8 Ezra W. Sparks,
126.96.36.199.9 Ira Wesley Sparks, and
188.8.131.52.10 Lora E. Sparks.
[Webmaster Note: Based upson subsequent published issues, Elizabeth was, indeed, a second wife. Richard and Mildred separated and then divorced.]
From Whole No. 177:
184.108.40.206.5 Emily J. Sparks was born ca. 1857 in Iowa.
220.127.116.11.6 Isham Sparks was born ca. 1859 in Iowa; he was probably named for his uncle, 18.104.22.168 Isham Sparks, who had been born in either 1832 or 1834. (See page 2495 of the March 1983 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 121.)
22.214.171.124.7 Jerusha Sparks was born ca. 1861 in Iowa.
126.96.36.199.8 Ezra W. Sparks was born ca. 1865 in Indiana.
188.8.131.52.9 Ira Wesley Sparks was born August 17, 1867, and died on June 3, 1884, at the age of sixteen, of spinal meningitis.
184.108.40.206.10 Lora E. Sparks was born October 27, 1875. She died on September 1, 1877.
From the records, it seems likely that this is the 220.127.116.11 Richard Sparks who married Mildred Ann Satterwhite in Henry County in 1840 and who was listed on the 1850 census of Johnson County, Indiana, with three children. If he is the same person, he and Mildred Ann were apparently divorced between 1850 and 1856. In her request for a pension because of the death of her son, John W. Sparks (see above), Mildred Ann stated in 1863 that she was the widow of Richard Sparks. Perhaps a reader can help with this puzzle.
An abstract of the pension application forms for 18.104.22.168 Richard W. Sparks and those of his widow, Elizabeth (Elder) Sparks, appears in the March 1983 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 121, beginning on page 2499. An abstract of the papers pertaining to the application of Mildred Ann (Satterwhite) Sparks based on the service of her son, 22.214.171.124.2 John W. Sparks, appeared in the September 1975 issue of the Quarterly Whole No. 91, pp. 1757-1761.
126.96.36.199 Nancy Sparks, probable daughter of Walter and Susan (Prewitt) Sparks, was born ca. 1816. She was probably the Nancy Sparks who married William Hardin on October 4, 1838, in Henry County, Kentucky.
188.8.131.52 William Sparks, son of Walter and Susan (Prewitt) Sparks, was born ca. 1818 in Kentucky. On April 4, 1837, he married Catherine Tiller in Henry County. She was born ca. 1818 and was probably a daughter of Lucy Tiller, a native of Virginia. William and Catherine Sparks were listed on the 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses of Henry County, Kentucky, and, according to these records, they had three children.
184.108.40.206.1 John Sparks was born May 8, 1838, in Henry County, Kentucky. He served in Company E, 93rd Regt. Indiana Infantry and in Company G, 54th Regt. Kentucky Mounted Infantry. On November 14, 1859, he married Juriah Schooler in Henry County. They were divorced in August 1866. They had no children. John Sparks married (second) Elizabeth Ann Perry on January 24, 1867, in Bartholomew County, Indiana. She was born August 8, 1852, in Indiana. John died June 9, 1902, and Elizabeth Ann died on August 9, 1910. They had eleven children:
220.127.116.11.1.1 William Henry Sparks
18.104.22.168.1.2 Martha Ellen Sparks,
22.214.171.124.1.3 Stephen Edward Sparks,
126.96.36.199.1.4 James Marshall Sparks,
188.8.131.52.1.5 Francis Thomas Sparks,
184.108.40.206.1.6 Charles Calvin Sparks,
220.127.116.11.1.7 Nora Alice Sparks,
18.104.22.168.1.8 John Aicha Sparks,
22.214.171.124.1.9 Benjamin Franklin Sparks,
126.96.36.199.1.10 Verna Victoria Sparks, and
188.8.131.52.1.11 Gracie May Sparks.
The papers pertaining to the application of John Sparks for a Civil War pension have been abstracted for publicaion in the present issue of the Quarterly, beginning on page 2496.
184.108.40.206.2 James Sparks was born ca. 1840 in Kentucky. He was listed on the 1870 census of Bartholomew County with his wife, Lucinda, aged 19, and a son, John S. Sparks, who had been born in October 1869.
220.127.116.11.3 Stephen Sparks was born ca. 1842 in Kentucky. No further information.
18.104.22.168 John Stephen Sparks, son of Walter and Susan (Prewitt) Sparks, was born ca. 1822 in Kentucky. (He seems always to have been called by his middle name, Stephen.) He served in Company F, 9th Regt. Kentucky Infantry of the Union Army in the Civil War and died April 15, 1862, near Pittsburg, Tennessee, from wounds received at the Battle of Shiloh. He married Elizabeth Jane Levi on June 3, 1843, in Allen County, Kentucky. She was born ca. 1826 in Kentucky. After the death of her husband, Elizabeth received a widow's pension. She moved her family to Jefferson County, Indiana, where they stayed until ca. 1866. She then moved to Missouri where she died in Howell County in August 1874. She and Stephen had six children. See pages 1143 -1184 of the June 1968 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 62, for further details about this family. The papers pertaining to the application of Elizabeth J. Sparks for a Civil War pension based on the service of Stephen Sparks have been abstracted for publication in the present issue of the Quarterly, beginning on page 2497. The children of Stephen and Elizabeth J. (Levi) Sparks were:
22.214.171.124.1 Amanda E. Sparks was born October 23, 1845, in Indiana.
No further information. See the article in the June 1988 issue, Whole No. 142.
126.96.36.199.2 Robert Thomas Sparks was born September 14, 1848, in Orange County, Indiana. He died April 15, 1925, in Denton, Texas. He married (first) Amanda Caroline Collins on November 19, 1876, in Bakersfield, Missouri. She was born February 20, 1851, and was a daughter of John Bunyon and Ruth Elizabeth Collins. She died on June 11, 1888. After her death, Robert Sparks married (second) Ruth Isabel Collins on January 27, 1889. She was a sister of his first wife. Robert Sparks had ten children. by his first wife he had:
188.8.131.52.2.1 George W. Sparks,
184.108.40.206.2.2 Mary O. Sparks,
220.127.116.11.2.3 Thomas L. Sparks, and
18.104.22.168.2.4 Lotta E. Sparks.
by his second wife, he had:
22.214.171.124.2.5 John Stephen Sparks,
126.96.36.199.2.6 William F. Sparks,
188.8.131.52.2.7 Ruth E. Sparks,
184.108.40.206.2.8 Amanda C. Sparks,
220.127.116.11.2.9 Gilford R. Sparks, and
18.104.22.168.2.10 Milbra June Sparks.
22.214.171.124.3 John Solomon Sparks was born July 13, 1851, in Allen County, Kentucky. He died January 31, 1941, at Bakersfield, Missouri. He married Mary Smith. She was born January 9, 1856, and was a daughter of John Blair and Sarah (Thompson) Smith. She died February 10, 1932, at Bakersfield, Missouri. She and John had six children:
126.96.36.199.3.1 William Stephen Sparks,
188.8.131.52.3.2 Ora Elizabeth Sparks,
184.108.40.206.3.3 Edward T. Sparks,
220.127.116.11.3.4 Sarah A. Sparks,
18.104.22.168.3.5 Roxy J. Sparks, and
22.214.171.124.3.6 Noah Sparks.
126.96.36.199.4 William W. Sparks was born April 10, 1854, in Barren County, Kentucky. He is said to have married Eudora Horsman. No further information.
188.8.131.52.5 Louisa Margaret Catherine Sparks was born November 25, 1857, in Barren County, KY. Her nickname was "Puss." She married Samuel M. Smith, a brother of Mary (Smith) Sparks who married 184.108.40.206.3 John Solomon Sparks, see above. Puss and Samuel had nine children:
220.127.116.11.5.1 Sarah ["Sallie"] Smith,
18.104.22.168.5.2 Emily Smith,
22.214.171.124.5.3 William A. Smith,
126.96.36.199.5.4 Ida Smith,
188.8.131.52.5.5 Homer E. Smith,
184.108.40.206.5.6 Hattie Smith,
220.127.116.11.5.7 Theodore Smith,
18.104.22.168.5.8 Johnny Smith, and
22.214.171.124.5.9 Thomas Smith.
126.96.36.199.6 Mary Virginia Elizabeth ["Ellie"] Sparks was born June 26, 1860. She is said to have married FNU Westmoreland. No further information.
188.8.131.52 Edwin Sparks, probable son of Walter and Susan (Prewitt) Sparks, was born on January 24, 1823, in Kentucky. On March 1, 1844, he married Elizabeth Armstrong in Oldham County, Kentucky. She was born June 12, 1820, and was a daughter of Daniel and Mary Armstrong. She died January 11, 1872, and Edwin died June 19, 1897. They were buried in the Sharon Cemetery, Republican Township, Jefferson County, Indiana. They had two children:
184.108.40.206.1 Robert Dennis Sparks was born January 14, 1845, in Kentucky. He served in Company F, 145th Regt. Indiana Infantry in the Union Army in the Civil War and died March 19, 1865, from injuries received from falling underneath a train of cars near Cleveland, Tennessee. He was buried in the National Cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee. His father received a pension because of the death of his son. The papers pertaining to this application have been abstracted in the March 1983 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 121, beginning on page 2498.
220.127.116.11.2 Mary Ann Sparks was born July 19, 1849, in Kentucky. She died January 27, 1926, and was buried beside her parents in Sharon Cemetery. Apparently she never married.
18.104.22.168 Robert Sparks was born ca. 1830 in Henry County, Kentucky. It was there that he married Elizabeth Estis on May 28, 1849. She was born ca. 1833 in Kentucky and was a daughter of George and Josena Estis. According to the 1860 census of Henry County, Robert and Elizabeth had two children; there may well have been others born after 1860.
22.214.171.124.1 John T. Sparks was born ca. 1852.
126.96.36.199.2 Mary Frances Sparks was born ca. 1855.
188.8.131.52 Isham Sparks was born in Henry County, KY, on November 22, 1834; however, his brothers, William Sparks and Robert Sparks, stated that he was born in December 1832. He married Sarah C. Prewitt in Henry County on July 11, 1854. She was born in February 1839 in Kentucky and was a daughter of Delinah Prewitt. Isham and Sarah lived for awhile in Oldham County, Kentucky, near his brother, Edwin Sparks, and were listed on the 1860 census of that county. With them were two children, Georgeanna Sparks, aged 5, and Mary C. Sparks, aged 8 months. The next child of Isham and Sarah Sparks, however, was born in Allen County, Kentucky, in 1861. Isham Sparks apparently moved there to be near his brother, Stephen Sparks.
Isham and Sarah Sparks were listed on the 1880 and 1900 censuses of Allen County. According to census records, they had six children:
184.108.40.206.1 Georgeanna Sparks was born ca. 1855 in Kentucky.
220.127.116.11.2 Mary C. Sparks was born in 1859. She may have been the Mary C. Sparks who married James W. Atwood in Allen County on September 1, 1875.
18.104.22.168.3 Delinah Frances ["Fanny"] Sparks was born in Allen County on March 18, 1861.
22.214.171.124.4 Lady Belle Sparks was born ca. 1870.
126.96.36.199.5 Emma H. Sparks was born ca. 1875.
188.8.131.52.6 Sarah E. Sparks was born in October 1879.