April 29, 2021

Pages 3448-3455
Whole Number 147 Henry S. Sparks,
Born 1804, Died 1864

The only child of 70.2.1 Jeremiah, Jr. and Nancy Sparks whom we feel we can identify positively at this time is a son named Henry S. Sparks, born on April 22, 1804. Fortunately, we have a record of his wife and children.

Molene Forbes (Mrs. Joe) of 1709 Gill Street, Fort Worth, Texas, has provided the Association with a xerox copy of the family records contained in a family Bible now owned by a cousin of Mrs. Forbes. The Bible was a wedding present on the occasion of the marriage of John Henry Wood and Margaret Jane Sparks, daughter of Henry S. Sparks, on April 13, 1856. It is apparent that records that had been kept by her parents as well as by the parents of her husband, were copied into this new Bible, with the births of the Wood children being then recorded as they occurred. Included was a listing of the names and dates of birth of the children of Henry S. Sparks and his wife, Martha (Osborn) Sparks, which we give below. Henry S. Sparks was born while his parents were living in Franklin County, Georgia, on April 22, 1804. He was 13 years old when his father, 70.2.1 Jeremiah Sparks, Jr., sold his land in Franklin County and moved his family soon thereafter to Gwinnett County, Georgia. It was there that Henry grew to manhood, and it was there that he was married on November 5, 1829, to Martha Osborn. She was called by the nickname "Marthy." She had been born January 29, 1807, somewhere in South Carolina. When the 1830 census of Gwinnett County was taken in the fall of that year, Henry S. Sparks was shown as heading a household consisting of his wife and firstborn son.

Henry S. Sparks moved with his family from Gwinnett County sometime between 1830 and 1840. When the 1840 U.S. census was taken, he was living in Walker County, Georgia, which is in the nortwest corner of the state. He and his wife had six children at this time. Ten years later, when the U.S. census of 1850 was taken, they were living over the state line in Cherokee County, Alabama.

In 1851 or 1852, Henry again moved his family westward, this time to Arkansas. His name appeared on the poll tax list of Pike County, Arkansas, in 1852, as did also that of 70.2.1.x David Sparks, believed to have been Henry's younger brother. In 1853, Henry was shown on the tax list of Pike County as owning 80 acres of land, which had increased to 160 acres by 1861. When the U. S. census of 1860 was taken, he and his wife were shown as living in Caney Fork Township, Pike County, Arkansas, their post office being the village of Redland. Henry's occupation was that of farmer, with his land valued at $1,000 and his other property at $1,391. Still living at home in 1860 were four of Henry's and Martha's children, including their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, as well as their youngest daughter, Sarah. (As will be seen below, Sarah had three middle names.) Two sons were also still living at home in 1860, John Britton Sparks and the youngest son, Henry Teague Sparks. Living very near his parents was William Erwin Sparks (called "W.E." on the census), who was also a farmer. As noted earlier, David Sparks, age 54, and his wife, Rhoda, were living nearby--we believe that David was a younger brother of Henry S. Sparks.

According to the records contained in the family Bible that belonged to Margaret Jane (Sparks) Wood and her husband, her father, Henry S. Sparks, died on March 15, 1864. Her mother, "Marthy" (Osborn) Sparks, had died a few weeks earlier, on January 8, 1864. They were doubtless buried in the family burial plot on Henry Sparks's farm in Caney Fork Township. Their headstones were simply large rocks, amd as the years passed their exact burial sites have been forgotten.

The children of Henry S. and Martha (Osborn) Sparks were as follows. In addition to the information found in the Bible of John Henry and Margaret Jane (Sparks) Wood regarding these children's names and dates of birth, we have benefitted from information provided by B. J. Sparks W., Lynnwood, Washington, 98037; Doris Adcock, Box 65, Thomaston, Texas, 77989; Orene Merchant Moore, Rt. 4, Box 344B, Alexander, Arkansas, 72002; and Molene Forbes, 1709 Gill, Fort Worth, Texas, 76131. Russell Jones Sparks was born in Gwinnett County, Georgia, August 24, 1830; he died on September 29, 1871. He married Sarah Caroline Osborn in Clark County, Arkansas, on November 5, 1852, at the residence of the bride's parents, Jesse and Elvira Osborn.

Russell J. Sparks served in the Union Army in the Civil War, and following his death, his widow applied for a pension based on his service. We are publishing in this issue of the Quarterly an abstract of the papers pertaining to this application which are on file in the National Archives. [See pages 3458-3461.] It is believed that Russell J. and Sarah C. (Osborn) Sparks had twelve children. William Wiley Sparks, born March 2, 1854, in Pike County, Arkansas; died April 6, 1930, in Snyder, Oklahoma. He married Penelope Keller on June 27, 1878, in Franklin County, Arkansas. She was born October 18, 1860, in Franklin County and was a daughter of Nathan and Nancy (Stone) Keller. She died on October 16, 1932, at Huntington Beach, California.

A photograph of William Wiley and Penelope (Keller) Sparks appeared on the cover of the June 1965 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 50, in which appeared also a brief sketch of their lives. The information regarding them had been submitted by Agnes Sparks Jaynes, daughter of William and Penelope Sparks, over 25 years ago, at which time Mrs. Janes lived in Long Beach, California. We do not know whether she is still living at this time. According to Mrs. Jaynes, William Wiley and Penelope (Keller) Sparks had nine children, all born at Branch, Franklin County, Arkansas, as follows: Nathan Russell Sparks, born June 6, 1880. Marion Andrew Sparks, born February 28, 1882. Nancy Caroline Sparks, born February 20, 1884. Mary Etta Sparks, born October 28, 1886. Minnie Sparks, born February 9, 1889. Ora Sparks, born October 5, 1896. Agnes Sparks, born January 12, 1900. Millard McKinley Sparks, born January 8, 1903. Marvin Sparks, born January 4, 1906; he died 5 days later. Nancy M. Sparks, born ca. 1855. She was shown as 5 years old in the home of her parents in Clark County on the 1860 census. Sarah A. Sparks, born ca. 1857. She was shown as 3 years old in the home of her parents on the 1860 census. She was probably the daughter named "Alice" who married FNU Glover. Elvira Sparks, born ca. 1859. She was shown as 1 year old in the home of her parents in Clark County, Arkansas, on the 1860 census. Linn Frank Sparks. We have no information regarding him other than his name as a son of Russell J. Sparks according to family tradition. John , born ca. 1862. On the 1880 census of Pike County, Arkansas, he was shown as 18 years old, farmer, living with his mother. Henry B. Sparks, born ca. 1864. He was at home, age 16, laborer, living with his mother when the 1880 census was taken of Pike County. Cyntha E. Sparks, born ca. 1866. She was at home, age 14, with her mother in Pike County, Arkansas, when the 1880 census was taken. Marian J. Sparks, born ca. 1870; he was 10 years old when the 1880 census was taken, and was shown as a twin of Mary. Mary Sparks, born ca. 1870; she was a twin of Marian J. Sparks. James R. ["Jimmie"] Sparks, born ca. 1872; he was 8 years old when the 1880 census was taken on which he was shown as a twin of Caroline. Caroline ["Callie"] Sparks, born ca. 1872; a twin of James R. Sparks. William Erwin Sparks was born on September 10, 1831. He married Bede Caroline Osborn in 1854 in Clark County, Arkansas. They had three children. Mary Elizabeth Sparks was born in September 1855. She was married on September 7, 1876, to William McWha, and they had eight children. James McWha was born in August 1877. Willis McWha was born in March 1881. Rebecca J. McWha was born in March 1883. William E. McWha was born in February 1885. Carrie M. McWha was born in February 1887. Jacob J. McWha was born in May 1889. Mary M. McWha was born in November 1891. Edgar A. McWha was born in May 1894. Rebecca Sparks was born in 1857. She was married in September 1871 to William Thompson. They are known to have had a son named Tommy Thompson. Marian Jackson ["Buddy"] Sparks was born February 25, 1859; he died on December 5, 1943. He married Caroline Luticia Lightfoot (born 1831, died 1873) on January 16, 1887. Their children were: William Alma Sparks, born January 13, 1888; died July 26, 1912. Mary Lafada Victoria Sparks, born September 4, 1890; died July 12, 1899. Clarence Frederick Sparks, born April 4, 1892; died October 28, 1871. May Belle Sparks, born May 8, 1895; died January 9, 1981. Bonham John Sparks, born in Bonham, Texas, on November 11, 1898; died June 13, 1971. He married Alma H. Maxey who died December 2, 1986. They were the parents of Bonham J. Sparks, born December 23, 1921, in Victoria County, Texas, who has contributed important information toward the writing of this article and is the author of the piece describing efforts of Sparks descendants to restore the cemetery in Pike County, Arkansas, where his great-great-grandfather, Henry S. Sparks, is believed to have been buried. Myrtle Sparks, born April 11, 1900; died in April 1983. Cadder Isabelle Sparks, born November 11, 1902; died March 18, 1989. Paralee Gertrude Sparks, born March 28, 1905. Marian Jackson Sparks, Jr., born July 8, 1907; died July 17, 1987. Virgil Lee Sparks, born March 13, 1912. Elizabeth Ann ["Becky"] Sparks was born July 21, 1833; she died on February 3, 1864. She married John Cox on July 24, 1861. Nancy Caroline Sparks was born April 30, 1835. She married W. M. Jinkins on May 18, 1852. Margaret Jane Sparks was born on November 23, 1836, and died on January 28, 1916. She married John Henry Wood on April 13, 1856. He was born May 20, 1834, and died on July 19, 1917. According to information recorded in their family Bible, buth Margaret Jane and John Henry were "of Mountain Home," which is a town in Baxter County, Arkansas, located a considerable distance from Pike County where Margaret's parents lived. According to the Bible, they were married "at Parents Home."

As has been noted, it is from the family Bible that belonged to this couple that much of our information regarding the family of Henry S. Sparks has been taken. The births of four children of Margaret Jane and her husband were recorded in the Bible, as shown below. Molene Forbes, a descendant, has furnished the additional information given. Henry Jefferson Wood was born April 30, 1857, at Shawmutt, Pike County, Arkansas. He married Elmina MNU Their children were: Henry Dolphus Wood, born September 7, 1881. Bedie B. Wood, died in infancy. Robert J. Wood, born July 1884. John W. Wood, born November 1885. Sara Josephine Wood, born March 1887. Susannah Elizabeth Wood was born November 3, 1859, in Arkansas. She married William A. Haynes, and they had six children: Eliza J. Haynes. Lorence ["Cap"] Haynes. John H. Haynes. Leathie Haynes. Marylin Haynes. Ed Haynes. Edward Jackson Wood was born December 25, 1867, at Shawmutt, Pike County, Arkansas. He was married twice, first to Lizza Amada Haynes and (second) to Ruth Cordelia Widener. He died February 24, 1927, in Wichita Falls, Texas. His children were, the first 4 by his first wife: William Alford Wood, born March 28, 1889. Ella Tennessee Wood, born February 26, 1891. John Luther Wood, born December 29, 1893. Ira Wood, born December 23, 1894. Lydia Wood, born July 18, 1903. Harl Dean Wood, born March 21, 1906. Flossie Marie Wood, born August 12, 1910. Joe Henry Wood, born May 8, 1913. Freeman ["Dick"] Wood, born August 19, 1911. Omilea Wood, born January 2, 1919. Martha Isabel Wood, a twin of Edward Jackson Wood, was born December 25, 1867, in Pike County, Arkansas. She was married on February 28, 1885, to William Anderson ["Buck"] Wilson. She died on June 27, 1948, at Hugo, Oklahoma. Their children were: Viola Wilson, born June 10, 1886. Ida Margaret Wilson, born April 29, 1889. Ada Belle Wilson, born August 2, 1891. Luther Wilson, born December 2, 1893. William Newton Wilson, born July 3, 1895. Noah Jushua ["Joshaway"] Wilson, born January 30, 1898. Arther Jackson Wilson, born February 28, 1900. Raymond ["Dick"] Wilson, born August 4, 1904. Lulla Pearl Wilson, born November 7, 1907. Inez Bethel Wilson, born November 11, 1909. Fred Wilson, born March 20, 1913. Rutha Marier Sparks was born May 10, 1838. She died in infancy, on July 12, 1839. John Britton J. Sparks was born on August 22, 1840, in Georgia and died on March 13, 1886, in Pike County, Arkansas. He was married in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, on July 29, 1866, to Sarah E. Carpenter. She died on March 3, 1923.

John Britton J. Sparks served in the Union Army during the Civil War and in 1890 his widow applied for a pension based on that service. An abstract of the papers pertaining to her application which are on file at the National Archives in Washington, D. C., appears in this issue of the Quarterly, beginning on page 3461.

From this pension application, we know that when he died in 1886, John Britton Sparks left three children under the age of 16 years. There were others born earlier, and we are indebted to Doris Adcock of Thomaston, Texas, for the following information regarding the family of John Britton and Sarah E. (Carpenter) Sparks. Martha Jane Sparks (called Jane) was born ca. 1867-69. Acey (or Asia) Britton Sparks (called Britton) was born June 10, 1871; he died on September 2, 1924. He was married on January 2, 1891, on a boat in the middle of the Red River to his first cousin, Texas Seney Bell America Sparks, daughter of Henry Teague and Susanna Jane (Griffin) Sparks. She was under age at the time of the marriage. After living in Alabama and Pike County, Arkansas, this couple moved to Nursery, Victoria County, Texas, in 1901. They were the parents of the following children: Evyline ["Evy"] Sparks, born April 18, 1895. She married Larkin Langford. William ["Bill"] Sephus Sparks, born June 13, 1897. He died on January 12, 1971. Newton ["Newt"] Sparks, born December 8, 1899. He died in 1962. Jim Harrison Sparks, born November 22, 1902. He died April 7, 1987. Dora Alice Sparks, born September 20, 1906. She died March 22, 1986. Willie Pearl Sparks, born November 10, 1908; died September 29, 1963. Claude Sparks, born February 12, 1911. He died October 4, 1975. Sterling J. Lee Sparks, born May 17, 1913. He died July 24, 1988. Amanda Sparks, born 1873. James Edward ["Jim"] Sparks, born January 10, 1875, died October 31, 1930, at Victoria, Texas. He was married on February 6, 1895, to Prudy Alice Wilson in Arkansas. She was born April 13, 1879, in Pike County, Arkansas, and died on September 19, 1959, in Victoria, Texas. They moved from Pike County, Arkansas, to the Victoria area around 1906 or 1907. They had nine children. A baby died as an infant. May Bell Sparks, born January 24, 1897. Albert Newton Sparks, born March 19, 1900. Carrie Melissa Sparks, born July 10, 1902. & 6 Twins, boy and girl, died as infants. Fred Richard Sparks, born August 1, 1905. Esther Myrtle Sparks, born August 31, 1907; she was the mother of Doris Adcock who has supplied this information. James Edward Sparks, Jr., born December 31, 1910. Matthew A. ["Matt"] Sparks, born July 5, 1879; he married Bertha R. Garner, born in 1884. The had the following children: Bessie Sparks, born March 15, 1902. Ezra Sparks, born 1906. Vera Sparks, born in September 1908. Velma Sparks, born September 15, 1911. Viola Sparks. Gilbert Sparks, born July 21, 1920. Leroy Sparks. Nancy Sparks. Virginia Bell Sparks. Katie Sparks, born December 13, 1881; she married (first) FNU Williams and (second) FNU Dobson. She was divorced from her second husband. She had a daughter named Rhoda. Martha Manurvey Sparks was born September 7, 1844. She died on May 7, 1854. Sarah Amanda Lucinda Trimble Sparks was born June 21, 1846 (or 1847 ?), in Cherokee County, Alabama. She died on December 17, 1914, in Pike County, Arkan sas. She married Jett Millard Davis on August 13, 1865. He was born ca. 1846 and died ca. 1889 in Pike County. Both were buried in the Wood Cemetery there. He was a son of William and Anna Davis. Jett M. and Sarah (Sparks) Davis were the parents of the following children: William Henry Davis, born January 1867. He married Emily Fagen in March 1889 in Pike County. John F. Davis, born October 1871. When the 1900 census was taken, he was living with his mother and a sister in Pike County, Arkansas. Millard Davis, born October 14, 1874, in Texas; he died on August 14, 1932, in Clark County, Arkansas. He was married in Pike County, Arkansas, on July 9, 1899, to Anna Neal; he married (second) Lissie Wagner Glace on March 18, 1906, in Pike County, Arkansas. Elijah Davis, born ca. 1879 in Arkansas. He married Sarah L. -----It is known that they had three sons. Gracie Davis, born November 1, 1888, in Pike County, Arkansas; she died on August 9, 1974, in Prescott, Arkansas. She was married on March 24, 1907, to James Riley Folsom (1883-1961). Their children were named:

Carlis Folsom, Olive Folsom, Pauline Folsom, Hazel Folsom, Carlton Folsom, Lorene Folsom, Ione Folsom, Elwanda Folsom, and Mildred Louise Folsom ["Jo"]. Henry Teague [ "Doc" ] Sparks was born October 15, 1849, in Cherokee County, Alabama. He died on March 8, 1893. Our information regarding him and his family comes primarily from a record copied for us in 1972 by Major Gerald H. Sparks of Runge, Texas, from a Bible then owned by Willie Walter Jackson Sparks, Sr. who had been born on August 31, 1885, and who lived in Victoria, Victoria County, Texas. He was a son of Henry Teague Sparks. He died on March 18, 1975, at the age of 90.

According to this family Bible, Henry Teague Sparks was born October 15, 1848, rather than 1849 as appears in the Bible record which had been copied from another source into the Bible of Margaret Jane Sparks, sister of Henry Teague Sparks. Henry Teague Sparks married "Susaner" Jane Griffin on July 30, 1871. She had been born on February 14, 1858, and died on March 29, 1891. There was a note in the Bible owned by Willie Walter Jackson Sparks, Sr. to the effect that Grum Griffin, a gunsmith born in Lauderdale County, Alabama, who was 42 years old in 1863, and John C. Griffin, born in Pike County, Arkansas, were brothers of Susannah Jane Griffin. John C. Griffin was 18 years old in 1865.

Another note in this same Bible was copied by Major Sparks as follows:
" Mr. and Mrs. Britton Sparks, Mr. and Mrs. Holbirt Lewis, and Mr. and Mrs. Ed Harton came to Victoria County, Texas, in 1901." Martha A. T. ["Mat"] Sparks was born July 14, 1873. She died on June 25, 1893, at the age of 20. Texas Seney Bell America Sparks was born July 17, 1875; she died November 30, 1959. She married Acey Britton Sparks, her first cousin, who was a son of John Britton J. Sparks. Their children are listed earlier in this article. Henry Andrew Anderson Sparks was born January 19, 1878. He died at the age of 14, on October 16, 1892. Green Hunter Milton Sparks was born September 28, 1882. He died as a small child, on April 1, 1884. Willie Walter Jackson Sparks was born August 31, 1885; he died on March 18, 1975. As noted above, it was a Bible in his possession which contained the information given here. He married Cora Bell McCurry on August 23, 1908. She was born February 10, 1889. Their children, as recorded in this Bible, were: Nellie Jewell Sparks, born June 3, 1909, died January 24, 1910. (Wallace Sparks, son of Walter Jackson Sparks, has her date of of death as January 4, 1910.) Willie Warren Sparks, born March 22, 1911. Walter Jackson Sparks, Jr., born November 24, 1914. Allen Sparks, born August 21, 1917. Lucille Sparks, born September 29, 1919. Wallace E. ["Sonny"] Sparks, born December 18, 1921. Dale Sparks, born February 6, 1924. Calvin Wesley ["Cowboy"] Sparks, born April 22, 1926. Kenneth Ray Sparks, born December 18, 1933. Arthur Osro Ansire Sparks was born September 13, 1890; he died when 5 months old, on February 12, 1891.