May 9, 2021

Pages 3239-3242
Whole Number 142 GEORGE WASHINGTON SPARKS 1848-1906

(Editor's Note: On page 1655 of the June 1974 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 86, we published some incomplete information about the family of George Washington Sparks, son of 44.6.4 Barnett and Polly (Muck) Sparks. Since that time, largely through the efforts of a grandson, Silas F. Sparks, we have acquired additional information about this family.)

Standing, left to right: John Sparks, Amos Sparks, James Sparks and Silas Sparks, sons of George Washington & Mary Sina (Durbin) Sparks.

Child is the youngest son of George W. and Mary Sina Sparks named Harry Reginald Sparks (born November 21, 1903)

Seated: George Washington Sparks.

(Picture circa 1905)

We are also taking advantage of this correction to publish a photograph on the previous page (3654) which includes all fourteen of the children of George W. and Mary Sina (Durbin) Sparks. Note that in order to include all of their children in this photograph, someone superimposed a picture of their daughter, Agnes, in the upper right corner to Jim Sparks's right. Agnes was the oldest child and had married Edward Ball in 1900; thus she probably had left home and had missed the occasion when this family photograph was taken. George Washington Sparks, son of 44.6.4 Barnett and Polly (Muck) Sparks, was born on Millers Creek in Estill County, Kentucky, in 1848. There he grew to manhood. On September 30, 1875, as recorded on page 316 of Estill County Marriage Book 1, he applied for a license to marry Mary Sina Durbin. He said that he was then 26 years of age; his residence was in Jackson County, Kentucky; it was his first marriage; and both of his parents had been both born in Estill County, Kentucky. Mary Sina was 16 years of age according to this document; it was her first marriage; her father, Silas Durbin, had been born in Estill County, while her mother was a native of Missouri. The wedding ceremony was performed, probably a day or two later, by the Rev. A. B. Williams at the home of the bride's parents.

George Washington Sparks apparently took his bride to Jackson County where they began housekeeping next door to his parents. When the 1880 census was taken of Jackson County, they had three children: Maggie, John, and James. The family continued to grow, and George decided to move to newer land in the west. (He may have been accompanied by his brother, Robert Sparks, who is said to have migrated to Oregon in 1892.) by 1890, George was in Arkansas, and two years later he was in Indian Territory. His next move was to Oregon where a child was born to him and Mary Sina in 1891, but a year or two later he moved back eastward to Colorado. The family then settled down in the Indian Territory again, and it was there that George died of pneumonia on April 9, 1906.

George was buried in a country graveyard (called Glory Cemetery) located about five miles south of Holdenville, in the Creek Indian Nation (now Oklahoma). Two sons, James and Algin, who also died in the spring of 1906, were also buried there. Mary Sina Sparks survived her husband by 25 years, dying on July 26, 1931. She was buried in the Flynn Memorial Cemetery near Cushing, Oklahoma. She and George were the parents of fourteen children.

Mary Sina (Durbin) Sparks (1858-1931) with granddaughters
(left to right) Maudie Mae ["Billie"] Ball; Beth Ball;
and Lucille Ball, all sisters. Taken ca. 1910.
(Picture) Agnes Mae ["Maggie"] Sparks was born July 28, 1876, in Jackson County, Kentucky. She married Edward Francis Ball on September 18, 1900, at Holdenville, Creek Indian Territory, and they had eight children: Pearl, Earl, Marie, Cecil, Ted, Maudie Mae, Lucille, and Beth. John William Sparks was born January 4, 1878, in Jackson County, Kentucky. He died on March 4, 1967, at Muskogee, Oklahoma. He married Lula Owen on November 24, 1906, and they had seven children: Eula, Silas Edward, Elmer, Dorothy, Lorrene, Owen, and Mary Frankie. James Nelson Sparks was born June 4, 1879, in Jackson County. He died of pneumonia in the spring of 1906 and was buried near Holdenville, Creek Indian Territory. He never married. Amos Marion Sparks was born on May 1, 1881, in Kentucky. He died on June 12, 1970. He married Emma Hollingshead in January 1918, and they had four children: Mary Neiel, James, Betty, and Barbara. Mary Eliza Sparks was born February 23, 1883. She married John T. Wood, and they had two children: Clyde and Clay. Silas Francis Sparks was born January 16, 1885, in Kentucky. He married Bertha Ella Reese on Christmas Eve, 1913, at Calvin, Oklahoma. She was born on October 6, 1893, at Center Point, Arkansas. Silas died on November 20, 1947. He and Bertha had two children: Berthella and Silas, Jr. Algin Sparks was born March 9, 1887, in Kentucky. He died on June 20, 1906, during the pneumonia epidemic which also took the lives of his father and his brother, James. He was buried near Holdenville, Creek Indian Territory. He never married. Rosa Ellen Sparks was born May 3, 1890, in Arkansas. She married Robert Sorrells, and they had four children: Amos, Myrtle, Thelma, and June. Rosa Ellen died on February 24, 1978. Callie Sparks was born April 2, 1892, in Chickasaw Indian Territory. She died on July 2, 1983. She never married. Lucy Ann Sparks was born January 17, 1895, in Oregon. She married Clyde Maxfield, and they had three children: Betty, Gordon, and Harry. George Wesley Sparks was born October 23, 1897, in Colorado. He married Zelpha Cook on December 14, 1919, at Drumright, Oklahoma. Zelpha died in 1959 and George died on March 4, 1976. They were the parents of eleven children, including two sets of twins: Wesley, Jewell, LaVonne, Glen, Bert, Bertie, Loyal, Basil Leroy, Bud, Buddy G., and Lloyd. Viola Beatrice Sparks was born September 27, 1899, in Creek Indian Territory. She married Mark Crowe, and they had two children: Wilda Faye and Rosemary. Edward Franklin Sparks was born February 7, 1902, in Creek Indian Territory. He died on May 23, 1964, and was buried at Yale, Oklahoma. He married Marie Dorman. They had no children. Harry Reginald Sparks was born November 21, 1903, in Creek Indian Territory. He married (first) Glorene Dorman, a sister of Marie Dorman (see Item m, next above). He married (second) Jimmie MNU. He had no children.

According to Silas Sparks, who has furnished most of the information about the family of George and Mary Sina (Durbin) Sparks, most of the children of this couple had a natural talent for playing stringed musical instruments. Although they had no formal music training, they could pick up a violin or guitar and play them quite respectably. They also had a strong sense of humor and frequently played practical jokes upon each other.