January 18, 2020

Pages 2513-1514
Whole Number 121


with his second wife, SARAH ELIZABETH (RUSSELL) SPARKS (1855-1903)
and nine of their children; also one by his first wife

Front row, on Father's right: John Franklin Sparks (born 1894) Front row, on Mother's left: Allie Ann Sparks (born 1892) Standing behind John Franklin, from left to right: James Thomas Sparks (born 1883) & William Robinson Sparks (born 1881) Standing directly behind Father: Alta (or Altia) C. Sparks (born 1870, daughter of first wife) Standing directly behind Mother: Myrtle Lucinda Sparks (born 1885) & Charlie Sparks (born 1889) Standing in rear, center: Hiram Turner Sparks (born 1876)

Standing in rear behind Myrtle and Charlie: Maud Sparks (born 1885) Standing in rear on far right: Grover Cleveland Sparks (born 1886).


In the Quarterly of June 1978, Whole No. 102, appeared an article on Richard and Sarah (Peterson) Sparks with a record of descendants. A grandson of this couple was John Peterson Sparks (1846-1936), son of Hiram C. and Talitha (Scarbrough) Sparks. A descendant of this family, Rose Nell Harris of 4107 Bent Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado (80909) has provided additional information on the family of John Peterson Sparks taken from family records.

John Peterson Sparks was born October 14, 1846, in Roane County, Tennessee, and died in 1936 at Waldron, Scott County, Arkansas. He was a shoemaker and during the Civil War he made shoes for the Confederate Army, for which service he later drew an Arkansas pension. The story is told that Sparks's shoe-making shop during the war was in a rock shelter, not far from a gunpowder works which was captured by a Union Army force on September 11, 1863. Sparks's sister, who regularly carried food to him, saw the Union soldiers coming and, to hide the food she was carrying that day, sat on a log and spread her long skirts over it. After talking to her for a short time, the Yankees moved on. She later found out that not only had she hidden the food, but that she had sat on the log where her brothers and others had hidden their rifles.

The first wife of John Peterson Sparks was Lucy Susan Whiteley; she was born August 21, 1849. They had four children: Sarah E. "Belle" Sparks, born 1867; she married John Wright of Berryville, Arkansas. Alta (or Alita) Sparks, born November 14, 1870; she married Nathaniel "Bud" Self. Samuel E. Sparks, born March 4, 1872; he married Ania MNU at Boxley, Arkansas. Unnamed infant Sparks, died at birth.

Lucy Susan (Whiteley) Sparks died at the time the unnamed infant died at birth.

John Peterson Sparks subsequently married (second) Sarah Elizabeth Russell, who was born January 6, 1855 They had the following children: Hiram Turner Sparks, born November 15, 1876. He married Belle Whiteley and they had children named Mary Sparks, Minnie Mae Sparks, Arnold Sparks, Lawrence Sparks, and Clyde Sparks. Lucy S. Sparks, born February 2, 1879. William Robinson Sparks, born March 31, 1881, at Boxley, Arkansas, and died on November 29, 1964, in Porterville, California. He married Phoebe Gennettie Whiteley, who was born July 20, 1881. Their children were: Vol Coin Sparks, born January 2, 1903; Ova Gay Sparks, born July 13, 1905; William Russell Sparks, born December 27, 1911; Winnie Bunch Sparks, born March 3, 1914; John Roy Sparks, born May 6, 1918; Auther Lynn Sparks, born February 9, 1916. James Thomas Sparks, born February 1, 1883, in Boxley, Arkansas. He married Ellen (or Ella) Carlton and they had the following children: Archie Sparks, Beulla Sparks, Eula Sparks, Floyd Sparks, Bill Sparks, and Mable Sparks. Maud Telitha Sparks was born January 5, 1879, in Boxley, Arkansas, and died February 17, 1964, in Low Gap, Newton County, Arkansas. She married James Allen Williams and they had the following children: Claude Denver Williams; James Clyde Williams, Edna Williams; Ivory Bell Williams; William Clinton Williams; Ruby Jenettie Williams; and Walter Jay Williams. Myrtle Lucinda Sparks was born in Boxley, Arkansas, on January 5, 1885, a twin of Maud Telitha Sparks, and died in April 1907 in Waldron, Scott County, Arkansas. She married Henry Carlton on June 10, 1906, and they had one child, Rae Franklin Carlton who died at birth. Grover Cleveland Sparks, born April 2, 1886, in either Boxley or Berryville, Arkansas; he died on November 22, 1962, in Waldron, Arkansas. He married on May 21, 1905, Matilda Louise Carlton who was born October 30, 1881, and died on February 4, 1946. They had the following children: Clairsie Sparks, born July 5, 1906; Arville Sparks, born April 26, 1908; Bessie Sparks, born June 10, 1910; Sophie Sparks, born November 14, 1912; Versie Sparks, born April 3, 1914; Faye Sparks, born June 9, 1915; Otis Sparks, born September 3, 1911; Everette Sparks, born March 29, 1919. Ora Sparks, born July 28, 1888, at Low Gap, Arkansas, died at birth. Twin of Dora. Dora Sparks, born July 28, 1888, twin of Ora; also died at birth. Charlie Sparks, born December 28, 1889, at Low Gap, Arkansas. He married Harriet Self and they had children named: Troy Sparks, Clarence Sparks, and Florrie Sparks. Garland Sparks, born March 8, 1891, at Low Gap, Arkansas. He died in youth. Allie Ann Sparks, born June 17, 1892, in Berryville, Carroll County, Arkansas. She died on June 4, 1953, in Edinburg, Hidalgo County, Texas. She was married or March 8, 1911, to John Harve Willis, who was born January 18, 1888, and died February 7, 1964. They lived in Newton County, Arkansas, until 1930 when they moved to Oklahoma, then in 1936 they moved to South Texas where they both died. Their children were: Denver Edward Willis, born October 18, 1911; Myrtle Rae Willis, born January 18, 1913; Dessie Bee Willis, born September 18, 1914; Frankie Pauline Willis, born April 24, 1918; Elwanda Modean Willis, born April 27, 1922; James Leslie Willis, born October 1, 1924; Rose Nell Willis, born February 15, 1927; John Doyle Willis, born December 31, 1929; Helen Lynora Willis, born January 27, 1936. Mellie Sparks, born June 17, 1892; she died in youth. John Franklin Sparks, born April, 1894. He died in 1955 in Waldron, Arkansas. He married Minnie Belle Wisdom, who was born in 1893 and died in 1960. Their children were named: Stillman Sparks, Demmon Sparks, and Lester Sparks.

Sarah Elizabeth (Russell) Sparks, the second wife of John Peterson Sparks, died in March 1903 at Low Gap, Newton County, Arkansas. John Peterson Sparks was married for a third time in 1911 to Nancy Murphy Carlton, who was born in 1853 and died in 1926. There were no children. Her son by a previous marriage, Henry Carlton, married Myrtle Lucinda Sparks, and her daughter, Matilda L. Carlton, married Grover Cleveland Sparks.