April 27, 2021
Whole Number 145
THE SPARKSES OF EARLY JEFFERSON COUNTY, TEXAS
by Paul E. Sparks
(Editor's Note: Many of the pioneer settlers who pushed across the Appalachian Mountains during and following the American Revolutionary War were only concerned in an incidental way with records of themselves and their families. Their main concerns were their basic needs--food, clothing, shelter, safety. For this reason, many families moved from county to county and from state to state without leaving any records of births, deaths, marriages, etc. except those which could be kept at home in the family Bible. Today, this seeming indifference to official record-keeping presents an overwhelming obstacle to the amateur genealogist who is forced to use a great deal of logical conjecture in place of records. Here, we present another attempt to solve a genealogical problem created by a lack of records.)
Who were the ancestors of the Sparkses of early Jefferson County, Texas? Where were they from? How did they get to this part of Texas? Their records are sparse and their oldsters have long since passed away. Can a history of their westward movements be restored? We shall try to answer these questions by looking at what we know about the three oldest of these Sparkses--John, Solomon, and Jacob.
There can be little doubt that 22.214.171.124.1.3.1 John Sparks, born in 1811, and his brother, 126.96.36.199.1.3.3 Solomon Sparks, born ca. 1819, were born in Tennessee. This was the information given to the census-taker for the 1850 census of Jefferson County, Texas. The author of History and Progress of Jefferson County, Texas, Lorecia East, stated in her book: "John Sparks was born March 26, 1811, somewhere in the hills of Tennessee." On the other hand, 188.8.131.52.1.3.4 Jacob Sparks, brother of John and Solomon, was born ca. 1828 in Alabama according to information given on the 1860 and 1870 censuses of Colorado County, Texas.
Information received recently from Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, indicates that there may have been another brother who stopped in Louisiana in an area not very far from the Texas line. He was 184.108.40.206.1.3.2 Daniel Sparks, born ca. 1816, who was listed on the 1840 and 1850 censuses of Natchitoches Parish. According to information given to the census-taker in 1850, Daniel Sparks was born in North Carolina; however, a grandson of Daniel says that this is incorrect and that his grandfather was born in Tennessee.
An analysis of the 1820 census of Tennessee and the 1830 census of Alabama points to 220.127.116.11.1.3 William Sparks as the father of these men. Since three of them were born in Tennessee (John Sparks born in 1811, Daniel Sparks born in 1816, and Solomon Sparks born in 1819) they should have been enumerated on the 1820 census as three males born between 1810 and 1820. There were only two Sparks families on the 1820 census of Tennessee with this numerical composition. One of these was the family of William Sparks in Franklin County. The other family was headed by Samuel Sparks in Dickson County. Since the family of Samuel Sparks is known (see pages 2243-2249 of the December 1980 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 112), the family of William Sparks is the only one left with this enumeration. As set down by the census-taker in 1820, the family of William Sparks was enumerated as follows: 3 males, born 1810-20; 1 male, born 1775-94; 2 females, born 1810-20; and 1 female, born 1775-94.
18.104.22.168.1.3 William Sparks, head of the above enumerated 'household, was born between 1780 and 1790 and was probably a son of 22.214.171.124.1 Joseph Sparks, the eldest son of 126.96.36.199 Solomon and Sarah Sparks, who had moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina ca. 1755. Joseph was born ca. 1751 in Maryland. He was listed on the 1790 and 1800 censuses of Surry County, North Carolina, but by 1820 he was in Franklin County, Tennessee. (He may have been there earlier, but we have found no record of him. The 1800 and 1810 censuses of Tennessee have been destroyed.)
188.8.131.52.1 Joseph Sparks apparently had six sons:
184.108.40.206.1.1 John Sparks,
220.127.116.11.1.2 Abel Sparks (the Younger),
18.104.22.168.1.3 William Sparks,
22.214.171.124.1.4 George Sparks,
126.96.36.199.1.5 Solomon Sparks, and
188.8.131.52.1.6 Jonathan Sparks.
184.108.40.206.1 Joseph Sparks probably died between 1820 and 1830 in Franklin County, Tennessee. (See pages 3057-3060 of the June 1987 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 138, for a more detailed sketch of Joseph Sparks and his family.)
Sometime between 1820 and 1830, 220.127.116.11.1.3 William Sparks, probable son of Joseph, moved his family to Jackson County, Alabama. It probably was not much of a move, for Franklin County, Tennessee (formed in 1807) and Jackson County, Alabama (formed in 1819) have a common boundary about twenty-five miles long. When the 1830 census was taken of Jackson County, the family of William Sparks consisted of 1 male, born 1825-30; 1 male, born 1820-25; 2 males, born 1815-30; 1 female, born 1815-20; 1 female, born 1820-15; and 1 female, born 1790-1800. Living nearby was 18.104.22.168.1.6 Jonathan Sparks, born 1780-90, and his family. He was probably a brother of William Sparks.
From these census records, it seems apparent that William Sparks was born ca. 1785 and that his wife was born ca. 1790. They were probably married ca. 1810, and they had four sons and three daughters, all born between 1810 and 1830. We have no further information about this couple, they may have died before the 1840 census was taken.
During the 1830s, the family of 22.214.171.124.1.3 William Sparks apparently scattered leaving few, if any, records in either Franklin County, Tennessee, or in Jackson County, Alabama.
Son, 126.96.36.199.1.3.1 John Sparks married, probably in Tennessee ca. 1834, and his first two children were born there, but by 1839, he was in Texas.
Son, Solomon Sparks went to Hardeman County, Tennessee, where he married in 1841. His first two children were born in Tennessee before he, too, started southward. He stopped for a while in Louisiana where his third child was born ca. 1846, but by 1850, he was in Texas.
Son, Daniel Sparks married ca. 1844, probably in Louisiana, and he was in Natchitoches Parish in 1850.
Son, Jacob Sparks was in Jefferson County, Texas, in 1850, but shortly afterwards he married and moved to Colorado County, Texas.
We have no further information about William Sparks, nor have we learned the name of his wife. As can be readily seen, we have used a great deal of conjecture in trying to identify his sons. In spite of the conjecture, however, we feel that there are pieces of substantial evidence in the paragraphs written above. Perhaps some of our feelings come from the similarity of the given names, such as Solomon, Joseph, John, George, William, and Jacob. These are the same names that we find in the Maryland Sparkses and were carried to North Carolina. We believe that they were also carried across the mountains to Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and on west.
188.8.131.52.1.3.1 John S. Sparks, probable son of William Sparks, was born March 26, 1811, in Tennessee. It was probably there that he married Malinda Jones ca. 1834. She was born March 1, 1819, in Tennessee. Two children were born to John and Malinda before they left Tennessee with their ox team and wagon and moved to the Texas border where the Sabine and Neches Rivers meet on the north shore of Lake Sabine. There John worked in a mill that made cypress shingles by using drawing knives. Later he established a ferry on Taylors Bayou and managed to buy 160 acres of land fronting on Lake Sabine on which he built his home. Here he was joined by his brother, Solomon, and others, and the site became known as "Sparks Settlement." The name was changed to Aurora ca. 1856, and it finally became the site of the town of Port Arthur in 1895.
John Sparks was joined by his brother, 184.108.40.206.1.3.2 Solomon Sparks, ca. 1847, and, according to information given in the History and Progress of Jefferson County. Texas by Lorecia East, the two families lived just a few hundred feet from each other. They cultivated the land and raised their own food as well as much of their clothing for they raised sheep and carded and spun their own wool. It was John Sparks who established a family burial ground quite close to his home. The cemetery filled gradually, and as the surrounding property became more desirable, it became necessary to move the graves. They were moved to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont, Texas.
John Sparks died sometime between 1860 and 1870. Malinda died sometime after the 1880 census was taken of Jefferson County. She and John were the parents of twelve children, ten of whom we have been able to identify.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Julia Ann Sparks, daughter of John and Malinda (Jones) Sparks, was born in 1835 in Tennessee. She married James M. Court on October 15, 1850, in Jefferson County, Texas. He was born ca. 1830 in Louisiana and was a mail carrier for a number of years. He and Julia Ann died at Port Arthur, Texas, sometime after 1910. They were the parents of nine children.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 Mary E. Court was born ca. 1851. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Elisha Brewer on August 2, 1871. Her second marriage was to Thomas F. Smith.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2 Henry Clifton Court was born ca. 1853. He married Frances Smith on December 31, 1874.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.3 Julia Ann Court was born ca. 1856.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.4 William T. Court was born ca. 1858.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.5 Elias Madison Court was born ca. 1860. He married Mrs. Mary Will on November 6, 1890.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.6 Helmer Court was born ca. 1862. He married Helen Clara Gentz on June 13, 1894. (See 22.214.171.124.1.1.8 Arabella Sparks below.)
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7 James F. Court was born ca. 1865.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.8 Ann Court was born ca. 1867.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.9 Eliza Court was born ca. 1870.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 An unknown child was born to John and Malinda (Jones) Sparks ca. 1837.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Thomas Sparks was born January 2, 1839, in Texas.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Albert Sparks was born March 21, 1841. He served in Likens Battalion Texas Volunteers, Confederate States Army. This unit was reorganized and changed to A.W. Spaights Battalion Texas Volunteers. Albert Sparks died while on a military campaign in 1865. (See the December 1969 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 68, for a record of his military service.)
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Eliza Jane Sparks was born on October 2, 1843, in Texas. She married Samuel Lee on June 14, 1860, in Jefferson County. He was born ca. 1822 in Denmark and was captain of a sailing vessel. When the 1870 census was taken of Jefferson County, Texas, they had one child:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Emma Lee, born ca. 1867.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 John Franklin Sparks was born on June 17, 1846. He is quite likely to have been the J. F. Sparks who enlisted at Sabine Pass, Texas, on May 8, 1864, in A.W. Spaights Battalion Texas Volunteers, Confederate States Army. (See the December 1969 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 68, for a record of his military service.)
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Sarah C. Sparks was born on December 25, 1848. She married W. Frank Brewton. He was born ca. 1837 in Tennessee. He and Sarah lived several miles north of the "Sparks Settlement." They had at least four children.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Grace Lee Brewton was born ca. 1865.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Silas Franklin Brewton was born ca. 1870.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Mary Ethel Brewton.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4 Almon Brewton.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Arabella Sparks was born October 1, 1851, on Pavells Island, Texas. She married Fred Gentz on Christmas Day, 1869, in Jefferson County, Texas. They built their house at "Sparks Settlement" at what is now the town of Port Arthur. They had at least five children.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Helen Clara Gentz was born ca. 1871. She married 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Helmer Court on June 13, 1894, in Jefferson County. (See above.)
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Arthur Gentz was born ca. 1873.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Wallace Gentz was born ca. 1875.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4 Stanley Gentz.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5 Earl Gentz.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 James ["Jim"] Christie Sparks was born on December 10, 1854, in Texas. He married Ella J. (Smith) Cleland on October 22, 1879, in Jefferson County, Texas. She was the widow of FNU Cleland. Her mother was FNU Court. Jim and Ella began housekeeping at Aurora, Texas, but ca. 1890 they moved to Beaumont where Jim died on December 21, 1899. He was buried in the Sparks Cemetery, but his remains were moved later to the Forest Lawn Cemetery at Beaumont. Ella survived him nearly thirty years, dying on November 21, 1928. She, too, was buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery. She and Jim had seven children.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Iola Janet Sparks was born October 15, 1882
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Arthur Worthy Sparks was born January 11, 1884. He married 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Maggie George Sparks on October 27, 1903, in Jefferson County. She was born May 16, 1887, and was a daughter of William Milam Sparks and Sarah Frances (Adams) Sparks. (See below.) Arthur died on May 29, 1957, and Maggie died on January 15, 1960. They had four children.
Standing, left to right: Seated, left to right: Maggie George (Sparks) Sparks; Alice (Sparks) Halbert. James Leslie Sparks; Arthur Worthy Sparks holding Alvin Brooks Sparks; Ella (Smith) Sparks holding Ella Nora Halbert; and James Chester Sparks.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2.1 James Leslie Sparks was born July 6, 1904, at Beaumont, Texas. He married Berta Beatrice Hobbs on March 28, 1923, at Angleton, Texas. She was born April 26, 1906, in Oklahoma, and was a daughter of Branch Hamilton and Mary Elizabeth (Graham) Hobbs. Berta died on August 23, 1982. She and James Leslie had two children, --James Willis and Bert John. Willis Sparks has been most helpful in collecting material for this article and has furnished the pictures for illustrations.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2.2 Alvin Brooks Sparks was born September 28, 1911, at Clemville, Texas. He married Anne May Possey on March 2, 1933.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2.3 Milam Glenn Sparks was born July 12, 1915. He married Lenah Maytoese Farthing on July 15, 1937.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2.4 Arthuryrene Sparks was born May 29, 1924. She married Richard Clair Harrison on September 29, 1943.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 Mary Kate Sparks was born January 11, 1886.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 James Christie Sparks, Jr. was born August 12, 1888.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5 Lura Ann Sparks was born January 9, 1893. She married Marion Spriggs.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6 Alice Clara Sparks was born on May 15, 1895, at Beaumont, Texas. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Samuel Nave Halbert on July 6, 1910. Her second marriage was to Neely H. Merrell on March 14, 1921. She had three children by each marriage.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.6.1 Ella Nora Halbert was born January 10, 1913. She married FNU Singleton.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6.2 Stella Lura Halbert was born June 4, 1915. She married FNU Singleton.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6.3 Lloyd Monroe Halbert was born June 18, 1918.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.6.4 William Hart Merrell was born October 8, 1922.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6.5 Harold Eugene Merrell was born December 22, 1923.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6.6 Norma Lorene Merrell was born August 13, 1927. She married Hill.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7 James Chester Sparks was born May 19, 1897. He married Inez McDarris, and they had four children:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.7.1 James Arthur Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7.2 Christie Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7.3 Luther L. Sparks, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.7.4 Melvin B. Sparks.
Photograph of WORTHY CRYNDON SPARKS, 1856 -1946
Son of John and Malinda (Court) Sparks
With his Wife, BERTHA A. (KLINE) SPARKS, on his left
and his Sister-in-law, ELLA J. (SMITH) SPARKS
(Widow of James Christie Sparks, 1854 -1899)
on his right
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Worthy ["Word"] Cryndon Sparks was born March 23, 1856, in Texas. He married Bertha A. Kline on February 18, 1885, in Jefferson County. She was born ca. 1868 and died sometime after 1935. Word Sparks died on February 4, 1946. They were buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery. They had five children. (See their photograph on the cover of this issue of the Quarterly.)
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Lucy Ann Sparks was born ca. 1885. She married Joseph Eckles. She was a career teacher for 44 years. She and Joe had one child, a son, named 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Cryndon Eckles.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Howard A. Sparks was born ca. 1888.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Mary Sparks was born ca. 1891. She married A. H. Torian.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4 Ella Bertha Sparks was born ca. 1894. She married (first) FNU Fields and (second) FNU White.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5 Sidney J. Sparks was born ca. 1897. He worked in a plant in the Baytown, Texas area. .
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Henry E. L. Sparks was born on November 21, 1859.
184.108.40.206.1.3.2 A daughter Sparks was born between 1810 and 1815.
220.127.116.11.1.3.3 Daniel Sparks, probable son of William Sparks, was born ca. 1816 in Tennessee according to the 1850 census of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Much of the information about him has been given to us by a grandson, Oscar Sparks, who lives in Provencal, Louisiana. He wrote the following in 1985:
I know very little about my father's people. I was told that my Grandfather Sparks came from Tennessee. Rode horseback from there. His first name was Daniel and his job was overseeing a plantation worked by Negro slaves, approximately four miles north of where I now live on Kisatchie Creek. He married a girl whose last name was Justice and they had five children, two girls, Frances and Milissa, and three boys, Tom, Jake, and Wesley. His first wife died and he married someone whose name I don't know and they had three children, two girls, Luwie and Julia, and one boy, Hardy, my father.
Uncle Tom had three sons, Elic, Craf, and Math. Last two lived in and around Anacoco and Many, Louisiana, who did drift into east Texas. I never did know Craf or Math, just heard of them. I was also told that when Grandpa Sparks left Tennessee, he had a brother who also left Tennessee and settled near Nacogdoches or San Augustine, Texas. Several years back, I met one of the Sparks boys from over there and from what he said, I feel sure our grandpas were brothers.
My father and mother had eight children, three sons and five girls. All are dead now except me. I was the youngest, born in 1904. We all lived in or near Natchitoches County all of our lives.
This letter from Oscar Sparks, together with census records, helps us to form a family for Daniel Sparks. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Julia Justice ca. 1842. She was born ca. 1825 in Louisiana, and she died ca. 1853. Daniel's second marriage was to a woman whose name we have not learned. Daniel is said to have died in the late 1800s. He had eight children.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Frances Sparks was born ca. 1844 at Bellwood, Louisiana.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Jacob Sparks was born ca. 1845. He died ca. 1900.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Melissa Sparks was born ca. 1847. She died ca. 1900.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Daniel Wesley Sparks was born ca. 1849.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Thomas Sparks was born ca. 1852. He married and had at least three children.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Elic Sparks. His name was probably Alexander.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Craf Sparks. His name may have been Crawford.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Math Sparks. His name was probably Matthew.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Luwie Sparks, daughter of Daniel Sparks and his second wife, was born ca. 1854.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Julia Sparks was born ca. 1856.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Hardy Sparks was born ca. 1858. He married Elizabeth [ "Lizzie" ] Rhodes, and they lived at Vowells Mill, Louisiana. Hardy died in 1917 and Lizzie died in 1956. They had eight children.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Mary Jane Sparks was born ca. 1890. She was still living in 1985 when she was 95 years old.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Jennie Sparks was born ca. 1892. She died in 1964.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Bertha Sparks was born ca. 1894. She died ca. 1940.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4 Lettie Sparks was born ca. 1896. She died in 1914.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5 Joseph Sparks was born ca. 1898. He died in 1924.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.6 Ola Sparks was born ca. 1900. She died in 1983.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.7 Vertie Sparks was born ca. 1902. She died in 1984.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.8 Oscar Sparks was born April 28, 1904, at Bellwood, Louisiana. He married Katie Norsworthy on May 24, 1924. She was born May 20, 1906, at Luftus, Louisiana, and was a daughter of Simon and Julia (Craig) Norsworthy. Oscar has been extremely helpful in sharing information about his Sparkses. He and Katie have eleven children:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8.1 Elton Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.8.2 Esther Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.8.3 Clinton Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8.4 Earl Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.8.5 Donald Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.8.6 Carl Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8.7 Bonnie Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.8.8 Ralph Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.8.9 Gerald Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8.10 Troy Sparks, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.8.11 Freddie Sparks.
18.104.22.168.1.3.4 A daughter Sparks whom we have been unable to identify was born between 1815 and 1820.
22.214.171.124.1.3.5 Solomon Sparks, probable son of William Sparks, was born ca. 1819 in Tennessee. He married Martha Caroline Smith on March 23, 1841, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. She was born in May 1820 in South Carolina. Caroline (as she was apparently called) and Solomon began house-keeping in Tennessee, but they moved to Louisiana ca. 1847. After a short stay there, they moved on to Jefferson County, Texas, where they joined the family of Solomon's brother, John Sparks, at "Sparks Settlement." There, Solomon built a home just a few hundred feet away from the home of his brother.
In 1853, Solomon and a partner named Douglas built a steam sawmill on Old River but, in the main, he was a farmer. He apparently died prior to 1870 for he was not listed on the census of that year. Caroline died sometime after 1880 for she was listed on that census along with her son, Joseph M. Sparks. Both Solomon and Caroline were buried in the Sparks Cemetery, but years later their remains were moved to Forest Lawn Cemetery. They had eight children. (See the June 1980 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 110, pages 2202-04, for additional information about Solomon Sparks and his family.) The eight children of Solomon and Caroline were:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Lucy Ann Sparks was born ca. 1842 in Tennessee. Shortly after her parents moved to Texas, she was wading in the Old River cove and was caught and drawn under by an alligator. Her body was never recovered.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 John L. Sparks was born ca. 1844 in Tennessee. He married Nasecyntha Court on December 26, 1871. He was buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery at Beaumont.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 James Edwin Sparks was born ca. 1846 in Louisiana. He was buried in the Forest Lawn Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont.
126.96.36.199.1.5.4 Mary Susan Sparks was born ca. 1849 in Texas. She married Phillip Crawford. Both of them were buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 William Enos Sparks was born in October 1853 in Texas. He was buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Joseph Madison Sparks was born in 1854 in Texas. He married Susan MNU, ca. 1880, and when the 1900 census was taken, they were living in Wharton County, Texas. Madison (as he was called) rode for a wealthy rancher named Shanghai Pierce for a number of years. Pierce owned land from Colorado County to the Gulf of Mexico at one time, and his land holdings rivaled the King Ranch in size. Madison and Susan Sparks had eight children.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 Bittie Sparks was born ca. 1881.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2 Mary Sparks was born ca. 1883.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.3 Malissa ["Lissie" ] Sparks was born ca. 1885.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.4 Hope Sparks was born ca. 1888.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.5 Janie Sparks was born ca. 1889.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.6 Bernice Sparks was born ca. 1891.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.7 Reuben Sparks was born ca. 1895.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.8 Lilby Sparks was born ca. 1899.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Oscar C. Sparks was born ca. 1856 in Texas.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Julia C. Sparks was born ca. 1858.
188.8.131.52.1.3.6 An unidentified son Sparks was born between 1820 and 1825.
184.108.40.206.1.3.7 An unidentified daughter Sparks was born between 1825 and 1830.
220.127.116.11.1.3.8 Jacob E. Sparks, probable son of William Sparks, was born ca. 1828 in Alabama. (When he registered to vote in Colorado County, Texas, in 1867, he stated that he had been born in Alabama; had come to Texas in 1844; and had lived in Colorado County since 1854.) The first record we have found of him is in the 1850 census of Jefferson County, Texas. At that time, he was living in the household of his brother, Solomon Sparks, and he was 22 years of age.
Willis Sparks (mentioned above) tells a most interesting story about his great-grandparents, Jacob and Nancy (Johnson) Sparks. He wrote:
About 1853, Jacob Sparks was working for a freight line which ran between Lake Charles, Louisiana, and San Antonio, Texas, probably following a trail which is present-day U.S. Highway 90. The line used oxen and wagons to haul supplies. It was at the village of Orange, Texas, that Jake met, courted, and married fourteen-year-old Nancy Johnson. They went by the freight line to the San Bernard River in Colorado County, Texas, where they started housekeeping about three miles northeast of the village of Mentz. There, they reared their family. Jake died at the age of forty-three, and some descendants say he was shot.
Photograph taken ca. 1936. From left to right
Ellis Milam Sparks, Arthur Merrell Sparks, George Edgar Johnson, Milam Sparks, and Dallas Reid Sparks.
Jacob Sparks married Nancy Johnson ca. 1853. According to census records, she was born ca. 1839 in Louisiana. She and Jacob ["Jake"] had seven children.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Emma S. Sparks was born ca. 1854 in Texas.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Sophronia Sparks was born ca. 1857.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 William Milton Sparks was born ca. 1858.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Franklin ["Frank"] Sparks was born ca. 1860.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 William Milam Sparks was born March 1, 1863. He was called Milam. He was married three times and had twenty children. His first marriage was to Sarah Frances Adams, ca. 1885. She apparently died in October 1897 when her fourth child was born. The children of Milam and Sarah Frances Sparks were:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Maggie George Sparks was born May 16, 1887. She married 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Arthur Worthy Sparks on October 27, 1903, in Jefferson County, Texas. He was born January 11, 1884, and was a son of James Christie and Ella (Smith) Sparks, thus he and Maggie George were second cousins. (See above for further details of this family.)
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Hope Elizabeth Sparks was born May 26, 1890. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to FNU Delano, and her second was to FNU Huddleston.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Arthur Merrell ["Bud"] Sparks was born February 13, 1892. He married Edna Perry.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Myrtle Frances Sparks was born November 13, 1897. She married FNU Norfleet.  .
After the death of his first wife, Sarah Frances, Milam Sparks married (second) Viola ["Vee"] (Court) Nobles. She was born ca. 1878 and was a widow of Leroy Nobles. Milam and Vee were married in Jefferson County, Texas, on December 4, 1897. They had seven children.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 Valee Sparks was born November 19, 1899. She married William Wakefield.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 James Wilford Sparks married Kate O'Rear.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7 Ellis Milam Sparks was born October 18, 1903. He married Ollie Mae Albers on June 27, 1923.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8 Ruby Sparks married Buddy Hooper.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.9 Frank Sparks. He is said to have been married several times, but we have received no further information about him.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.10 Lillie Sparks is said to have been married twice. Her first marriage was to Gale Johnson by whom she had a son named George Edgar Johnson. Her second marriage was to Carl Pranl.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.11 Dallas Reid Sparks was born ca. 1911.
The third marriage of Milam Sparks was to Alice Williams ca. 1912. She was born June 26, 1897, and was a daughter of Robert and Rose Lee Williams. She and Milam had nine children. Milam died in January 1942 in Jefferson County, Texas, and was buried at Bay City. Alice died there on May 30, 1974. Their children were:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.12 Loryanna Sparks.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.13 Eloise Sparks
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.14 Wymer Sparks
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.15 June Sparks
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.16 Clairlee Sparks
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.17 Milam Lloyd Sparks
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18 Early Sparks
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.19 Pauline Sparks
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.20 Alice Marie Sparks
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 James ["Jim"] Albert Sparks, son of Jacob ["Jake"] and Nancy (Johnson) Sparks, was born in January 1866. He married Mary Irene Roberts, ca. 1888. She was born in January 1866 and was a daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Elizabeth (Scheat) Roberts. Jim and Mary Irene had six children, all probably born in Colorado County, Texas.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Buna Sparks was born August 26, 1890.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Vivian Sparks was born January 27, 1894.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Winnie Sparks was born in September 1895.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Opal Elizabeth Sparks was born October 25, 1903.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 Light Roberts Sparks was born October 10, 1904.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 Edna Sparks was born September 10, 1909.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Jacob ["Jake"] S. Sparks was born ca. 1869. He married Fannie Irene Court on January 13, 1892, in Jefferson County, Texas. They had six children according to the 1910 census of Jefferson County.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Dhi Sparks was born ca. 1892.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Pearl Sparks was born ca. 1894. She married Wayne Kindred on October 3, 1910.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 Herbert Custard Sparks was born ca. 1897. He married Bertie Heam. He died on October 8, 1918, and was buried at Bay City, Texas.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 Ray Sparks was born ca. 1900.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5 Alice Sparks was born ca. 1903.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6 Nettie B. Sparks was born ca. 1905.