January 28, 2021
Whole Number 167
32.1 JAMES SPARKS (ca. 1752-1834)
OF NEW JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA,
KENTUCKY, AND INDIANA AND HIS FAMILY
by Paul E. Sparks & Russell E. Bidlack
[Editor's Note: Articles about 32. Richard Sparks (ca.1725-ca.1792), father of 32.1 James Sparks, and about three of James's brothers, 32.3 Richard Sparks, Jr. (ca. 1757-1815), 32.4 Walter Sparks (ca. 1760-1827), and 32.5 Daniel Sparks (1763-ca.1820), have been published in earlier issues of the Quarterly, and our readers are reminded of those sources of information about this branch of the Sparks family. Those issues are as follows:
32. Richard Sparks, Sr., the December 1971, Whole No. 76;
32.3 Richard Sparks, Jr., the September 1974, Whole No. 87;
32.4 Walter Sparks, the December 1987, Whole No. 140; and
32.5 Daniel Sparks, the September 1993, Whole No. 163.
An article devoted to the remaining brother, 32.2 Benjamin Sparks (ca. 1754-1801), will appear in an issue of the Quarterly in the near future.]
Map of that portion of New Jersey which includes Middlesex County and the village of Cranbury, near which James Sparks was born ca.1752.
Map of southwestern Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County; James Sparks lived "near where Elizabethtown now is" during the American Revolution. (Both maps reproduced from The Century Atlas, 1897.)
32.1 James Sparks was born ca. 1752 near the village of Cranbury in Cranbury Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey. (Cranbury is located twenty-two miles northeast of Trenton, the state's capital.) Available records indicate that James was apparently the eldest son of Richard Sparks (ca.1725-ca.1792) who was a resident of Middlesex County as early as 1750. James was a good-sized lad when his father moved the family to the western frontier of Pennsylvania sometime be tween 1763 and 1765. It was there that James Sparks served during the American Revolution, providing service for which he later would receive a pension. (See page 4325 for maps showing both the area of his birth in New Jersey and the area in which the Sparks family settled in what became Forward Township of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. At that time, this part of western Pennsylvania was claimed by both Pennsylvania and Virginia.)
Some half-century after the American Revolution, James Sparks made application (in November 1833) for a pension based on his military service to his country. He was then advanced in age and quite ill, so he was unable to appear in court; the judge of probate of Jackson County, Indiana, where Sparks was then living, named Abel Findly, came to his home to take his deposition. Furthermore, James stated that his memory had failed to the point that he could recall very few details regarding his war service. It is his "declaration," however, that provides most of the data for a sketch of his life. (The full text of James Sparks's "declaration" was published with the other papers comprising his pension application in the Quarterly of September 1954, Whole No. 7.) The original papers pertaining to Sparks's pension are preserved at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., in Revolutionary War Pension File S-32533.
James Sparks stated in his 1833 "declaration" that he had been born near "Brandberry in the state of New Jersey." There can be no doubt that he meant the village or township of Cranbury in Middlesex County. Apparently Judge Findly who recorded the old man's statements simply misunderstood this place name. James Sparks also stated that, at the time the Revolutionary War began, he had been living in Pennsylvania "between the Youghahany and Monongalela ... near where Elizabethtown now is." He meant, of course, the Youghiogheny and Monongahela Rivers, and his residence was in what is now Forward Township in Allegheny County. (See the map on page 4325.)
Sparks also stated that when the Revolutionary War began, he had been a member of the militia in a company commanded by Captain John Crow; later Captain Crow was succeeded by Captain Hartt. (Court records of Yohogania County, Virginia, indicate that John Crow took oath as captain of militia on December 22, 1777. Crow was mentioned frequently in the court records of Yohogania County until March 28, 1780, when John Johnson succeeded him as captain of militia.) Sparks stated that throughout the war, he had "kept himself in continual readiness for service," and that he had responded and had not waited to be drafted. He was not able to remember the number of tours of service in which he had participated, but he recollected that there had been several, ranging from one month to six, and that, in all, he had served a total of three years and four months. During these tours he had been "engaged in defending the frontier settlements ... against the Indians and sometimes the British and Canadians who assisted the Indians."
One of these tours had taken James Sparks to Lake Erie where the Americans had fought the British and Indians. "Many of the enemy were killed and the rest of them were beaten and driven off and they fled," he recalled. "The blood of the enemy who were killed there coloured and stained the water then in the holes and creeks at that place near the Lake." He stated that his commanding general during this campaign had been General Edward Hand. In other campaigns, he had served under General Heath, General Mclntosh, and General Gibson, the latter being the commanding officer at Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) where he had often been stationed. A soldier who had served with him in the same company was Samuel Lemon, Sparks recalled, but he believed that Lemon was dead by the time he made his application for a pension in 1833.
Sparks recalled one of his tours of duty quite distinctly, that in which he had served "under Col. Broadhead in the company commanded by Capt. Hartt" which had been principally to relieve the troops which were besieged at Fort Lawrence, on or near Muskingum River, or a branch thereof." He remembered that during this time "the troops nearly starved and suffered much. We had a part of the time to live on roots and on hides which we roasted and eat."
In addition to his service as a soldier, James Sparks had served also in the Pack Horse Service, in which he had helped to deliver supplies to the American soldiers in the field. In all, he had spent three tours in this service, one for six months and two for three months, each. He stated that he had supplied his own horses, "five and mostly six horses in number," and that he had been "engaged in carrying salt and flour and other provisions for the Army and the war from East over the Allegheny Mountians to supply the western forts and garrisons ... principally to Fort Mclntosh and the Fort at Pittsburgh." Between trips, he would rest for a brief period at his home in Pennsylvania.
Soon after the close of the Revolutionary War, James Sparks had moved from Pennsylvania to Jefferson County, Kentucky. He gave the date as 1782. He also mentioned that in the fall of 1781, his house in Pennsylvania had burned, destroying all of his discharge papers. (This date was incorrectly copied as 1787 on page 43 of the Quarterly of September 1954.) Perhaps it was this disaster which prompted him to move to Kentucky.
In his application for a pension, James Sparks recalled that shortly after moving to Kentucky, he "went a volunteer one tour of service against the Indians under Hardin, called Colonel Hardin, in his campaign." He also stated that he had remained in Jefferson County, Kentucky, until the year 1800.
When 32.1 James Sparks moved to Kentucky in 1782, he probably did so in the company of his brother, 32.5 Daniel Sparks, whose name we have found on a 1782 tax list of Jefferson County, Kentucky. Another brother, 32.4 Walter Sparks, had moved there by 1786. (See pp. 3132-33 of the Quarterly of December 1987, Whole No. 140.)
On June 20, 1783, James Sparks received a warrant (No. 908) for 200 acres of land in Kentucky from the state of Virginia for his having been a "soldier of the Virginia line." Virginia still claimed western Pennsylvania in 1783, for which reason James Sparks's war service was considered as having been rendered to Virginia. Furthermore, the area that became Kentucky in 1792 was, until then, part of Virginia, and land there was freely given by Virginia to its veterans of the Revolution. by 1780, Virginia had divided Kentucky into three counties;
Jefferson, Lincoln, and Fayette. (See Old Kentucky Entries and Deeds by Willard Rouse Jillson, published in 1926 by the Filson Club.) As noted, Kentucky became a separate state in 1792.
The earliest official record we have found thus far in Jefferson County, Kentucky, to mention James Sparks pertains to a law suit dated April 6, 1785, in which Edward Tyier sued James Sparks and won a judgment of five pounds. On the same day, James Sullivan also sued James Sparks and won the same judgment. On May 4, 1785, Sparks sued Edward Brant. These cases involved disputes over land ownership, caused largely by the "metes and bounds" system of land measurement then in use. Based on landmarks which would often decay or change, this system resulted in endless confusion and litigation.
The Jefferson County, Kentucky, tax lists of 1789 survive and contain the name of James Sparks as well as that of his brother, Daniel Sparks. James was also a member of a Jefferson County jury on November 4, 1789, and again on March 6, 1792.
On April 1, 1794, James Sparks bought a 63-acre tract of land from David Leitsch (or Leech) through Leitsch's attorney, John Gillam. The land was located on Broad Run, a tributary of Floyd's Fork (usually spelled without the apostrophe). Sparks paid Leitsch thirteen pounds and two shillings. Walter Sparks, brother of James, was one of the witnesses to the deed, which was recorded on page 140 of Deed Book 4 of Jefferson County. The other witnesses were George Markwell and Nicholas Russell.
One day earlier, on March 31, 1794, Walter Sparks had purchased a neighboring tract of 96? acres on Floyds Run from William Crooks. At about the same time, Daniel Sparks, brother of James, purchased a tract of 343 acres in the same general area, also from David Leitsch. Daniel's land was located on Broad Run. All three tracts were located in that portion of Jefferson County which became part of Bullitt County in 1796. The new boundary line passed directly through land owned by Daniel Sparks. The 63-acre tract belonging to James Sparks was entirely in the new county of Bullitt. (See the map showing this area on page 4155 of the Quarterly of September, 1993, Whole No. 163.)
According to his pension application, James Sparks left Jefferson County in 1800 and went to Vincennes in Indiana Territory, where he and his family lived until 1803. They then returned to Jefferson County, probably accompanied by other settlers who had become tired of living under the threat of Indian raids. On his return to Jefferson County, Kentucky, Sparks probably took up residence on his 63-acre tract of land that he had purchased earlier from David Leitsch.
James Sparks and his family continued to live in Jefferson County for several years. On August 8, 1808, he and his wife, called "Caty Sparks" in the deed, sold their 63-acre tract to James's brother, Daniel Sparks "of Bullitt County." The land was described in this deed as a part of "Leitsch's original 14,000 acres." Daniel Sparks gave his brother fifty pounds for this tract. Valentine Sparks, a son of Daniel, was a witness to the deed, which was recorded on page 677 of Bullitt County Deed Book B.
James Sparks was listed as the head of his household in Jefferson County when the third U.S. census was taken in 1810, but sometime prior to 1813, he moved his family to Bullitt County where, on September 11, 1813, he bought 96 3/4 acres of land from his nephew, Elijah Sparks (son of his brother, Walter Sparks). The consideration was $73.00. This land was located on Goose Creek and was in that part of Bullitt County that would become a part of Spencer County in 1824.
James Sparks continued to pay taxes in Bullitt County until 1819, but during that year he moved to Jackson County, Indiana, to join his sons who had already gone there ca. 1811. (Indiana had still been a territory in 1811, but had become a state in 1816.) James arrived in Carr Township, Jackson County, in time for him to be named, and his household to be enumerated, on the 1820 U.S. census. James left few records in Indiana. When the 1830 census was taken, the enumeration of the household of his son. Henry Sparks, in Lawrence County, Indiana, appears to have included James Sparks and his spouse.
On November 28, 1826, James Sparks, described in the deed as a resident of Jackson County, Indiana, sold the land that he still owned on Goose Creek in Spencer County, Kentucky, to his son, Stephen Sparks, for $400. (Spencer County Deed Book B, page 62.) Three years later, in 1829, however, James and his son, Stephen, were sued over this transaction. 32.5 Daniel Sparks, a nephew of James Sparks (whose father was James's brother, 32.4 Walter Sparks) brought suit in Chancery Court to require James and Stephen Sparks to sell the 96-acre tract to him. He was successful and then paid his uncle and cousin $270 for the land. (Spencer County Deed Book B, page 271.)
The last record that we have found of James Sparks is the application he made in November 1833 for a pension for his Revolutionary War service. He made his application in accordance with the provisions of an Act of Congress dated June 7, 1832. This law provided that any Revolutionary War veteran, regardless of his health or financial means, who had served at least two years in the Continental Line or state troops, volunteers or militia, was eligible for an annual pension equal to his pay as a soldier. (In James Sparks's case, this would be forty dollars a year.) A provision was made, also, for a pensioner's heirs to claim any unpaid portion following his death.
As noted earlier, James Sparks made his pension "declaration" before Jackson County Probate Judge Abel Findly. It was probably at the home of James's son, 32.1.1 Stephen Sparks at "Sparks Ferry" in Carr Township, that Judge Findly recorded James's declaration. Findly stated that "on this occasion," since James was physically unable to appear in court, his "room" had become the Judge's "Chamber for the time being" while Sparks made his application. Three witnesses supported Sparks's "declaration." One was Benjamin Newkirk of Flinn Township in Lawrence County, Indiana, though "of the immediate nighbourhood [sic] of Sparks Ferry in Jackson County." He said he had known James Sparks since 1783, although he did not add that he was also his father-in-law. Another witness was "Stephen Sparks of Sparks Ferry aforesaid residing at this place." Stephen was James's eldest son and, as will be noted in greater detail later in this article, he was the proprietor of "Sparks Ferry" in Carr Township, Jackson County. The third witness was William Lux "of Hamilton Township residing here in Jackson County."
Stephen Sparks, son of James, testified that he had often heard his father tell of his Revolutionary War experiences, noting also that "Colonel Richard Sparks, since late of the United States Army ... was the brother of the said James and knew him to be in the service...." (As noted earlier, an article on Colonel Richard Sparks appeared in the Quarterly of September 1974.)
James Sparks's application for a Revolutionary War pension was approved, and his name was inscribed on the Indiana Pension List in the amount of $40.00 per year. According to subsequent documents in his pension file at the National Archives, James Sparks died May 25, 1834.
Three years later, on January 1, 1837, William Marshall, U.S. Representative to Congress from Indiana, wrote to John Tipton, U.S. Senator from Indiana, asking him to help his (Tipton's) old friend. Major Stephen Sparks of Jackson County, with a matter of "deep interest." Sparks's father, Marshall explained, had been a "revolutionary soldier" and had been entitled to a pension, part of which he drew during his lifetime. Since the date of his death (May 25, 1834), the Major could get no information on the subject. "The papers, the Major thinks, are in the Pension Office or in the possession of General John Carr, at least Gen'l. Carr can inform you where they can be found." Stephen Sparks was obviously trying to collect the unpaid portion of his father's pension. (See Vol. XXVI of the Indiana Historical Collections) There is also a power of attorney document among the papers in James Sparks's pension file by which, on March 22, 1856, Ailcy (Sparks) Newkirk, daughter of James Sparks, appointed C. H. Barkley of Louisville, Kentucky, to ascertain what had become of her father's pension application. Then a resident of Lawrence County, Indiana, Ailcy was seventy-nine years old.
As stated earlier, 32.1 James Sparks died May 25, 1834, in Jackson County, Indiana. Nothing has been learned about the cause of his death nor the place of his burial. His wife, Caty (a nickname for Catherine), apparently had died between the taking of the census in 1830 and November 1833, when her husband made his application for a pension. Neither of them left a will, nor have we found any record of the settlement of their estates. From various sources, however, we believe that we have learned the names of all of their children.
32.1.1 Stephen Sparks, born June 25, 1775
32.1.2 Ailcy Sparks, born March 11, 1777
32.1.3 Benjamin Sparks, born July 1, 1778
32.1.4 Henry Sparks, born ca.1780
32.1.5 James Sparks, Jr., born ca.1783
32.1.6 Elizabeth Sparks, born ca.1785
32.1.7 Moses Sparks, born ca.1789
32.1.8 Walter Sparks, born ca.1794
32.1.1 Stephen Sparks, eldest son of James and Caty Sparks, was born June 25, 1775, in that part of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, which became a part of Allegheny County in 1788. He was a small boy when his parents moved to Jefferson County, Kentucky, ca. 1782. It was there that he grew to manhood, and it was probably there that he met and courted Catherine Padget. They were married in Jefferson County, Kentucky, in August 1799. (The marriage license was issued on August 13, 1799, and in all likelihood, they were married a few days later.) "Catha" (her nickname) Padget had been born ca. 1774 in Virginia and was a daughter of Theophilus and Abigail Padget of Shenandoah County, Virginia. (Padget was sometimes spelled Padgett and Paget.) Theophilus Padget acted as bondsman for his son-in-law to be, and the marriage ceremony was performed by Jacob Barton. The license was not returned to the courthouse until May 7, 1800.
Stephen Sparks apparently did not accompany his father to Vincennes, Indiana, in 1800; he continued to live in Jefferson County where he paid taxes until 1809. His name appeared on the 1810 census of Jefferson County, and his household was enumerated as comprising, besides himself, a female aged 26 to 45 (doubtless his wife, Catha), and four boys under ten years of age, whom we believe to have been their sons.
About 1811, Stephen Sparks and his family crossed the Ohio River with several other families into Indiana Territory. He settled at a place referred to as "The Forks" in what became a part of Jackson County in 1816. This is the place where the Driftwood Fork of White River and the Muscatatuck River join to form the East Fork of White River. It is also the point at which Jackson, Lawrence, and Washington Counties join. From this time forward, Stephen Sparks was identified with Indiana, and records pertaining to him have been found in six Indiana counties: Brown, dark, Harrison, Jackson, Lawrence, and Washington.
Stephen Sparks's brother, 32.1.7 Moses Sparks, and his brother-in-law, Benjamin Newkirk, accompanied him to the new settlement, and there is a good probability that his brother, 32.1.5 James Sparks, Jr., was also in this group of settlers.
Another settler, John Ketcham, recalled many years later that at first the Indians in the area were friendly, but on April 7, 1812, a man named Hinton was killed, which marked the beginning of a series of Indian murders that continued throughout the period of the War of 1812. Ketcham recalled:
At the commencement of our Indian troubles, there were upward of seventy families living in The Forks, but a few weeks after Hinton's murder upward of fifty families left the country. About eighteen families were determined to remain, however, and built blockhouses and forts. John Sage and others built a fort at his place, but the principal fort was at Vallonia, Huff's Fort, higher up, and Ketchams Fort, still above and outside." (John Ketcham's memoir is found in Vol. IX of the Indiana Historical Collections, published in 1922, pp. 274-84.)
This settlement at The Forks was originally called the Driftwood Settlement. One of the few surviving documents relating to the early years of the settlement is an undated petition to Congress signed by fifty-four settlers, including Stephen Sparks, Moses Sparks, and Benjamin Newkirk. Received by Congress in May 1813, the petitioners complained that there were no mills within twenty-four or twenty-five miles of their settlement, and that the only satisfactory mill seat was on government land that was "so indifferent that no one will purchase it." They proposed, therefore, that Stephen Sparks be granted this tract by lease or donation "to erect a Water Grist mill and Saw mill." The petition was eventually rejected by Congress, however.
In 1816, Stephen Sparks signed a petition with thirty-nine other settlers informing Congress that they had remained on their land throughout the War of 1812 while many other settlers had fled to a "more populated part of the Country for security." Therefore, these petitioners asked "a right of pre-emption" for each settler who had remained; that is, that the land be given to them without charge by the Federal Government. This petition was also rejected. (Both of these petitions have been published in the U.S. Territorial Papers, Indiana Territory.)
Further evidence that Stephen Sparks was one of the settlers who remained at Driftwood Settlement during the Indian troubles is a petition presented to Congress in 1838 by the Hon. William Graham, a Congressman from Indiana, signed by citizens from Jackson County "praying that the said Stephen Sparks may be paid for property of which he was plundered by hostile Indians in the year 1813." (See the Journal of the House of Representatives, 25th Congress, 2nd Session, February 14, 1838, page 396.)
On May 1, 1813, Stephen Sparks joined a company of Indiana Mounted Rangers and continued in this service until his discharge on August 25, 1813. His captain was Craven Payton. Many years later, Stephen Sparks was given forty acres of bounty land for this service in the War of 1812. John Ketcham recalled in his memoir, cited earlier, that in one expedition against some Indians that had stolen horses from the settlement, Stephen Sparks and three or four other settlers spotted the Indians and began creeping up on them. Sparks fired too soon, however, and the Indians escaped. General Tipton, who was in command of this expedition, was so angry at Sparks, according to Ketcham, that "he cried like a child, and was tempted to tomahawk the major." (Stephen Sparks later became a major in the militia, and for this reason Ketcham referred to him as "the major" in his memoir. See also the December 1963 issue of the Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 44, for an abstract of the bounty land application of Stephen Sparks based on his service in the War of 1812.)
Stephen Sparks continued to be active in military affairs. In April 1817, he received a commission from the state of Indiana appointing him a captain of the 17th Militia Regiment. He later advanced to the rank of major and was often referred to in the county records simply as Major Sparks. The title "Major" became so strongly fixed in identifying Stephen Sparks, both in public and private records, that it came gradually to be thought of as his given name, i.e., he was often called simply "Major Sparks." In fact, "Major" was bestowed as the forename on at least three of his descendants.
Indiana Territory became the state of Indiana in 1816, and Jackson County was formed that same year. Stephen Sparks was a member of the first grand jury of Jackson County, which met on April 7, 1817. According to a History of Jackson County, published by Brant & Fuller in 1886 (page 377), Sparks erected a tread mill near his home at Sparks Ferry, "and all who patronized it were compelled to loan the use of their horses or oxen to furnish power to do the grinding."
"Sparks Ferry" was located, according to the above history of Jackson County, "on the principal line of travel between settlements of Washington and Lawrence Counties," and Stephen Sparks prospered as a result. The Jackson County Court authorized him to charge for his ferry service at the following rates: 50¢ for each wagon and four horses; 37 1/2¢ for each wagon and two horses; for two-wheel carriages, 25¢ for a man and a horse, 12 1/2¢; for grown cattle or hogs, 4¢ and for sheep, 2¢.
Sparks did more than just operate a ferry. He also built ferry boats. On March 16, 1833, Creed H. Baswell of Mason County, Virginia, signed an indenture with Sparks giving "Sparks the right to make, construct, use and vend ferry boats on the East Fork of White River from Sparks's place to the head of the river for a period of 14 years." (Jackson County Deed Book C, page 360)
Today, there is little to indicate the site of Sparks Ferry. An "old" iron bridge built in 1879 serves the area and is quite likely near the place where the ferry boat once crossed the river. Two momentos of its existence have been preserved. They are mileposts or milestones which were used to give the traveler both the direction and the distance to some of the neighboring villages and towns. One of these still stands in Brown County, Indiana, at the junction of Indiana Highway 135 and the New Bellsville Pike and tells the traveler that he is 28 miles north of Sparks Ferry and 43 miles south of Indianapolis. The other is only a fragment of the marker that once stood at the junction of the Christiansburg Pike and the road that leads to Rockford and Seymour. Of these stones, Ms. Helen H. Reeve of the Brown County Historical Society writes:
In the mid-eighteen hundreds. Henry Cross, a local tombstone cutter, paid his taxes by making three carved road markers for the county. One marker has disappeared, the second marker still stands, and we were fortunate enough to have found a fragment of the third marker.... I have made a rubbing of the fragment so that you can see what is left of what must have been a fine road marker.
We have reproduced Ms. Reeve's rubbing of this fragment on the cover of this issue of the Quarterly.
An article by W. Douglas Hartley entitled "To Sparkesferie, 28 Miles," with. a photograph of the "second marker" to which Ms. Reeve refers, above, appeared in the October 1972 issue of the magazine Early American Life. Dr. Harley, in his article, referred to this milepost as "the Stone Head," because a crudely carved man's head is atop (and part of) the square block of sandstone, on two sides of which are carved hands pointing the direction of localities. One side reads: "To Columbus 17ms and "To Fairfax 27 ms." On the second side, another hand points, with the information "To Indianapolis 43 ms" and "To Sparkesferie 28 ms." This side is also signed: "H. Cross 1851."
Several deeds are on file in Jackson County, Indiana, pertaining to the buying and selling of land by Stephen Sparks. One interesting document, dated March 30, 1837, pertains to his contracting with the "Overseers of the Poor" to accept an eleven-year-old boy named James Hickman as an apprentice for ten years "to be taught the trade of a farmer." At the end of the ten years, it was agreed that Sparks would provide young Hickman with a horse, saddle, and bridle worth not less than fifty dollars. (Deed Book E, p. 60)
As indicated earlier, Stephen Sparks left records not only in Jackson County, but in several adjacent counties as well. For example, he paid taxes on two horses in Harrison County in 1813. It was also there that he had a dispute with Major Noll in 1814 in an unidentified case that apparently was dismissed. About the same time, a deed was recorded in dark County whereby he and his wife, Catherine, sold a 100-acre tract of land to John Henthorn, son of William Henthorn, of dark County. This land was described as being "in the Illinois grant which was given to Isaac Yates, a soldier in the Illinois regiment." The consideration was $200.
At the September 1832 term of the Second Judicial Court of Indiana, seated at Salem, Washington County, Indiana, and composed of Judges John F. Ross, Henry W. Hackett, and William Phelps, Stephen Sparks brought suit against Roswell Seaton for defamation of character. Seaton had apparently become disgruntled over the fees Sparks was charging for the use of his ferry boat and took an opportunity to vent his feelings on Sparks's son, Hiram. Seaton told Hiram that his father was a rogue, thief, and rascal, and was in the habit of robbing every wagon that traveled the road. Seaton also accused Sparks of stealing some hogs belonging to a man named Gray.
Sparks, in his own defense, stated that for twenty years and upward, he had been the owner and keeper of a house of public entertainment for travelers using the state road from Salem to Bloomington and had kept a public ferry opposite the tavern to help travelers cross the East Fork of White River. The statements made by Seaton had grievously injured his business as a tavern-and ferry-keeper, and he asked for damages in the amount of $2,000 along with court costs. Apparently the witnesses who testified on Sparks's behalf persuaded the court to render a verdict in his favor, and he was awarded $2,000 and court costs. This was probably beyond what Seaton could pay, however, and Sparks reduced the amount of the award to $50 and court costs.
In 1836, Stephen Sparks was one of the "locating commissioners" appointed by the Indiana Legislature to locate the county seat of newly-formed Brown County. The commissioners named the site Jacksonburg. Sparks received twenty-one dollars for seven days of work, but he had to wait until October 1843 to get paid. He was also a traverse juror in Brown County at the April 1837 term of court.
The six sons of Stephen and Catha Sparks were all in Jackson County in the spring of 1836. An old ledger belonging to their son, William H. Sparks, contains a list of the names of the men who were working on a road in Carr Township on April 15, 1836. Men named Sparks were: Uriah, Richard, Warden, Moses, Hiram, and Harrison. Stephen Sparks was probably exempt from working on public roads because of his advanced age. The owner of this ledger, George Leslie Sparks, shared this entry in 1953. He is now deceased.
Uriah Sparks, son of Stephen Sparks, died in the early part of 1843, and Stephen Sparks asked the Jackson County Court to appoint him as administrator of his son's estate. He received the appointment on July 24, 1843.
Map of Southern Indiana, including Jackson County, in which Sparksville is located.
(Reproduced from The Century Atlas Published in 1897).
The broken gravestone of STEPHEN SPARKS (1775-1851)
(The Sparks Cemetery near Sparksville, Indiana)
Late in the 1840s, Stephen Sparks's health apparently began to fail, and he commenced to dispose of his property. In 1848, he sold two tracts of land to his sons, William H. Sparks and Hiram Sparks. On January 24, 1848, he and Catha gave a 65-acre tract of land to their grandchildren. Arena, Isaac, and Jacob Sparks, all children of their deceased son, Uriah Sparks. The consideration was $1.00 and "love and affection."
Stephen and Catha were in Carr Township in Jackson County when the 1850 census was taken. He was aged 75, a farmer, and he owned real estate valued at $3,000 according to what the census taker recorded. Catha was aged 74. Living in their household were two of their grandchildren:
Amanda Sparks, daughter of their son, Hiram, and Jacob Sparks, son of their son, Uriah.
Stephen Sparks died August 9, 1851, aged 76 years, 1 month, and 14 days. He was buried in the Sparks Cemetery about one mile west of pre-sent-day Sparksville. His gravestone, now broken, shown above, was photographed by Robert L. Sparks, son of Paul E. Sparks, in June 1994.
Stephen Sparks did not leave a will, and his son-in-law, Villorous Wray, was appointed administrator of his estate.
A general view of Sparks Cemetery - June 1994
Photograph taken in June 1994 of Paul E. Sparks holding the upper portion of the gravestone of Stephen Sparks
Although Sparksville was named in honor of Stephen Sparks, it did not come into existence until 1857 when Charles J. Rosenbaum platted the present-day village, about eight miles west of Medora. It was designated a post office shortly thereafter. Today (1994), only two street signs mark the original plat. They are in fairly good condition and mark First and Second Streets. About two dozen houses compose the village. Sparks Cemetery is about one-half mile west of Sparksville and can be reached by walking on the CSX railroad track. It is on the top of a fair-sized bluff and is on the railroad's right-of-way. It has not been used for several decades. The tombstone of Stephen Sparks has fallen and is broken into three pieces. [Editor's Note: See the photograph of Paul E. Sparks, President of the Sparks Family Association, taken in June 1994, holding a portion of this stone, reproduced on page 4336.]
Catherine (Padget) Sparks survived her husband only a short time, dying in the spring of 1854. She had made a will on August 10, 1853, and it was probated at the Jackson County Court on April 27, 1854. Following is an abstract of her will:
The will was to be executed by her "friend and worthy neighbor, Josiah Shewmaker."
To the heirs of her oldest son, Uriah Sparks, she left $3.00.
To her second son, James Sparks, she left $3.00.
To her third son, Warden P. Sparks, "or his legal representative," she left $3.00.
To her sixth son, Hiram Sparks, "or his heirs," she left $3.00.
To her "worthy son in law Villorous Wray and Amanda Sparks Wray my daughter" she left $3.00.
To her "worthy sons Richard A. Sparks and William H. Sparks for their Superior love and care and the great trouble they have had and the trouble and care they must naturely have in taking care of me through my old age in as much as I have become so extremely helpless" she "thought proper" that they have the remainder of her estate "to be divided equally between them." This included her "buggy and small household estate."
Although no tombstone for Catherine Sparks has been found in the Sparks Cemetery or elsewhere, in all probability she was buried beside her husband. She and Stephen Sparks had seven children.
126.96.36.199 Uriah Sparks, eldest son of 32.1.1 Stephen and Catherine (Padget) Sparks, was born ca. 1800 in Jefferson County, Kentucky, and was a good-sized lad when he accompanied his parents to Jackson County, Indiana. He was commissioned in the 17th Regiment Indiana Militia on March 22, 1821, with the rank of ensign. He was married ca. 1828, but the name of his spouse has not been learned. According to the 1830 census of Jackson County, she appears to have been born between 1800 and 1810, and she and Uriah apparently had a son born between 1825 and 1830. When the 1840 census was taken, however, this boy was not enumerated, so he may have died. Uriah and his wife are known to have had three children: a daughter born between 1830 and 1835, and two sons, born between 1835 and 1840.
Uriah Sparks died in Jackson County in June 1843, and on July 24, 1843, his father, Stephen Sparks, asked the probate court for a letter of administration of Uriah's estate. The request was granted, and Richard Sparks, a son of Stephen's, acted as security for his father in the amount of $800. On August 16, 1843, John A. Weddel asked the court for release as the guardian of Arena Sparks, infant daughter of Uriah Sparks, deceased. (This suggests the possibility that Uriah's wife's maiden name may have been Weddell or Weddle.) Richard A. Sparks, brother of Uriah, was then appointed guardian of all three of Uriah's children: Arena, Isaac, and Jacob.
188.8.131.52.1 Arena Sparks was born October 14, 1832, in Jackson County, Indiana, and she was about eleven years old when her father died. John Weddel was appointed her guardian, but shortly after his appointment, he asked to be relieved of the responsibility. The Jackson County Court granted his request, and Arena's uncle, 32.3? Richard A. Sparks, was appointed as her guardian; he was also appointed guardian of her brothers, Isaac Sparks and Jacob Sparks.
On December 21, 1848, Arena Sparks married John Curtwright in Jackson County. The license was issued on December 19, 1848, and the wedding ceremony was conducted by the Rev. William K. Richards. John Curtwright had been born on October 18, 1818, near Cincinnati, Ohio. When the 1850 census was taken, he and Arena were living in Household 365 in Morgan County, Indiana. Also living in their household was Arena's brother, Isaac Sparks..
Seated, left to right: Margaret (Kurtright) Hall; Julia (Kurtright) Talcott;John Kurtright; Arena (Sparks) Kurtright.
Standing, left to right: Mary C. (Kurtright) Carter; James Richard Kurtight; Sarah Jane (Kurtright) Anderson; Joseph Franklin Kurtright; Alice (Kurtright) Anderson Rouner.
(Photograph taken ca. 1875)
This photograph was taken on October 16, 1910, to celebrate the ninety-second birthday of John Kurtright ("Uncle Johnny"). The community celebrated with a picnic-basket dinner on the Sunday nearest October 18th, which was his actual birthday. Among his children present were: James Richard Kurtright, Alice (Kurtright) Rouner, Sarah (Kurtright) Anderson, and Joseph Franklin Kurtright. "Uncle Johnny" was seated in the center of the second row, holding a pair of crutches. On his left was his wife (2nd marriage), Melvina (Tucker) Fountain Kurtright, holding a walking stick.
In the early records pertaining to John Curtwright, his surname was written as Curtwright, or Cartwright, but sometime, probably in the 1850s, his name began to appear as Kurtright. This was the name his children were known by, and it is the name we will use in the rest of this account.)
John and Arena (Sparks) Kurtright remained in Morgan County, Indiana, until ca. 1864 when they moved to Gentry County, Missouri, settling near the village of Evona. It was there that they reared their children, and it was there that they spent the rest of their lives. Arena died there on August 20, 1893, and was buried in the Kurtright-Hardin Cemetery.
After the death of his wife. Arena (Sparks) Kurtright, John Kurtright was married to Mrs. Melvina Fountain in 1894. She was a widow whose daughter, Rebecca Fountain, had been married to James Richard Kurtright, son of John, in 1878. John Kurtright died June 23, 1917, and was buried beside his first wife, Arena (Sparks) Kurtright, in the Kurtright-Hardin Cemetery.
John and Arena (Sparks) Kurtright had thirteen children, including five unnamed children who died at birth. The eight who survived were:
184.108.40.206.1.1 Mary C. Kurtright;
220.127.116.11.1.2 Elizabeth Kurtright;
18.104.22.168.1.3 Sarah Jane Kurtright;
22.214.171.124.1.4 James Richard Kurtright;
126.96.36.199.1.5 Alice Kurtright;
188.8.131.52.1.6 Julia C. Kurtright;
184.108.40.206.1.7 Margaret Kurtright; and
220.127.116.11.1.8 Joseph Franklin Kurtright.
James Richard Kurtright was married to Rebecca Fountain, and they were the maternal grandparents of Mary K. (McCarty) Harris who has been most helpful in providing information about this family; she has also provided the family photographs appearing on pages 4338 and 4339.
18.104.22.168.2 Isaac Sparks was born ca. 1835 in Jackson County, Indiana. After the death of his father, he became a ward of his uncle, Richard Sparks, in 1843. When the 1850 census was taken of Morgan County, Indiana, however, he was fourteen years of age and living in the household of his sister, Arena (Sparks) Kurtright. He was undoubtedly the Isaac Sparks who married Carolyn Taylor on February 13, 1856, in Morgan County. We have found no further information about this couple.
22.214.171.124.3 Jacob Sparks was born October 15, 1837, in Jackson County, Indiana, and was a small boy when his father died. He was living with his grandparents, 32.1 Stephen and Catha Sparks, when the 1850 census was taken, but after their deaths in the early 1850s, he went to Illinois. It was there that he married Matilda Fitzsimmons on September 24, 1859, in Edgar County. He joined the 4th Regiment Illinois Infantry of the Union Army in September 1864 and served until July 1865. (See the abstract of his pension file beginning on page 4359 of this issue of the Quarterly.)
Most of what we have learned about Jacob Sparks has come from his pension application and will not be repeated here. He and Matilda had five children. He died April 1, 1909, probably in Oklahoma. Matilda died April 30, 1913. Their children were:
126.96.36.199.3.1 Ellen Sparks;
188.8.131.52.3.2 Benjamin Franklin ["Frank"] Sparks;
184.108.40.206.3.3 John Sparks;
220.127.116.11.3.4 William M. Sparks; and
18.104.22.168.3.5 Jacob W. Sparks.
22.214.171.124 James Sparks was born ca. 1803 in Jefferson County, Kentucky, and was probably named for his paternal grandfather. On June 22, 1825, he married Elizabeth ["Betsey"] Hamilton in Washington County, Indiana. She had been born ca. 1804 in Kentucky and was a daughter of Benjamin and Nancy (Dryden) Hamilton. James and Betsey began housekeeping in Lawrence County, Indiana, and it was there that they lived for the next forty years. From census enumerations of their household, it appears that they had four children born to them between 1825 and 1840, including three daughters and one son. James was listed as heading his household on the 1830, 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses of Lawrence County. Betsey was a member of the Bethlehem Presyterian Church that had been established in Lawrence County ca. 1840. When the 1850 census was taken, James's nephew, Stephen Sparks (son of his deceased brother, Hiram Sparks), was living in their home.
James Sparks made a will on July 24, 1862, by which he left his farm, house, and its furnishings to his wife, Elizabeth, and at her death the property was to go to his son, William M. Sparks, and his daughter, Mary Jane Clayton. His son, William M. Sparks, was named as his executor, and the will was witnessed by James C. Carlton and Pleasant A. Parks. The will was probated on August 26, 1865.
According to a History of Lawrence. Orange, and Washington Counties published in 1884, James Sparks died August 3, 1865. Betsey died August 23, 1884. They were survived by their son, William, and by their daughter, Mary Jane. Apparently their two older daughters had died prior to 1862.
126.96.36.199.1 Mary Jane Sparks was born ca. 1825-30 in Indiana. She married William Daniel Clayton on May 26, 1846, in Lawrence County. As stated above, she was named in her father's will on August 26, 1865. We have no further information about her.
188.8.131.52.2 William M. Sparks was born on September 11, 1830, in Lawrence County, Indiana. Most of what we have learned of him has come from the History of Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties, mentioned above. He was described in that book as a "poor boy who by diligent work and economy has secured a good farm of 231 acres. He is a Democrat and one of the county's best citizens." He was married twice. His first marriage was to Semira Trueblood on June 8, 1857, in Washington County. She had been born ca. 1832 in Indiana and was a daughter of Nathan S. and P. (White) Trueblood. She and William had two children: 184.108.40.206.1 Laura Sparks and 220.127.116.11.2 Adolphus Sparks. Semira died August 13, 1863, probably when Adolphus was born. Adolphus died in infancy; Laura died in 1883.
William Sparks married (second) Lydia A. Payne on February 20, 1869, in Lawrence County. She had been born on August 16, 1841, and was a daughter of George and Sarah (Woody) Payne. She and William had three children:
18.104.22.168.2.3 James E. Sparks, born June 9, 1870, died September 17, 1882;
22.214.171.124.2.4 Charley H. Sparks, born February 15, 1875; and
126.96.36.199.2.5 Spencer C. Sparks, born May 7, 1882.
We have not learned the dates of death of William and Lydia, nor the place of their burials.
188.8.131.52 Warden ["Ward"] Pope Sparks was born ca. 1805 in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He may have been named for the popular clerk of Jefferson County, Warden Pope, who held that office for several terms. We have not learned the name of his first wife to whom he was married ca. 1828. According to census analysis, they apparently had two children, a son born ca. 1830 and a daughter born between 1830 and 1835. Ward's first wife probably died ca. 1835, and he married (second) Sarah Reynolds on September 12, 1836, in Jackson County, Indiana. She had been born between 1800 and 1810. When the 1840 census was taken, she and Ward were shown with two children who had been born between 1836 and 1840. She died ca. 1840, after the census was taken, and Ward Sparks married (third) Nancy MNU, ca. 1841. She had been born ca. 1817 in Indiana.
Shortly after his third marriage. Ward Sparks moved his family to Tennessee where a daughter was born to him and Nancy. Soon thereafter Ward Sparks moved his family to Arkansas where they settled in Fulton County. There, eight more children were born to him and his third wife, Nancy. It was also there, apparently, that Ward died ca. 1858. by the time that the U.S. census of 1860 was taken. Nancy had moved her large family to Barry County, Missouri. On that census, her occupation was recorded as "Domestic." With her in 1860 were eight of her own children and two of her step-children.
Warden Pope Sparks apparently was the father of thirteen children; however, we have information on only one of them, his oldest child, Francis Marion Sparks.
184.108.40.206.1 Francis Marion Sparks was born or about August 5, 1831, in Jackson County, Indiana, according to a statement that he made to the U.S. Pension Office in 1907; however, we are inclined to believe that the year of his birth was actually 1830, and that he had been enumerated in his father's household on the 1830 census. He served in the 3rd Regiment Missouri Cavalry during the Civil War. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Elizabeth Holcomb ca. 1852. After her death in 1855, in Fulton County, Arkansas, he married (second) Easter Elizabeth Troutman on October 28, 1859, in Howell County, Missouri. Apparently, he had no children, or at least none were living in 1898 when he filled out a questionnaire from the Pension Office. (See page 4358 of this issue of the Quarterly for an abstract of the Civil War pension file for Francis Marion Sparks.)
220.127.116.11.2 Evaline Sparks was born ca. 1835 in Indiana.
18.104.22.168.3 Martha J. Sparks was born ca. 1837 in Indiana.
22.214.171.124.4 John E. Sparks was born ca. 1839.
126.96.36.199.5 Esther Ann Sparks was born ca. 1841 in Tennessee, according to information given to the census taker in 1850.
188.8.131.52.6 William Jacob Sparks was born ca. 1843 in Arkansas.
184.108.40.206.7 Nathan Sparks was born ca. 1844 in Arkansas.
220.127.116.11.8 Catherine Sparks was born ca. 1847 in Arkansas.
18.104.22.168.9 Stephen Sparks was born ca. 1848.
22.214.171.124.10 Malinda Sparks was born ca. 1850.
126.96.36.199.11 Amanda Sparks was born ca. 1851.
188.8.131.52.12 George W. Sparks was born ca. 1854 in Arkansas.
184.108.40.206.13 Aretta Sparks was born ca. 1856 in Arkansas.
220.127.116.11 Richard A. ["Dick"] Sparks, son of Stephen and Catha (Padget) Sparks, was born ca. 1809 in Kentucky. He was listed on the 1850 census of Jackson County, Indiana, as a farmer with real estate valued at $800. He was married three times. He was married, first, to Julia Anna Cummins in Jackson County in 1830. (The marriage license was dated June 17, 1830, and they were probably married a few days later.) She had been born ca. 1809; she died on February 16, 1849, aged 39 years and 5 months, according to her gravestone in the Brown Cemetery, Plummers Crossroads, in Jackson County. She and Dick Sparks had four children.
Dick Sparks married (second) Hannah Burcham on April 11, 1850, in Washington County, Indiana. She had been born June 29, 1813; she died January 28, 1859. She and Dick Sparks had three children, none of whom survived for very long. She was buried in the same cemetery as Julia. Dick Sparks's third marriage was to Salina ---, ca. 1860. She had been born ca. 1819 in Kentucky. She and Dick had no children. Dick Sparks moved to Crawford County, Illinois, in April 1865. It was there that he died, probably in the fall of 1892. Children:
18.104.22.168.1 Catherine Sparks was born ca. 1831 in Indiana. We have no further information regarding her.
22.214.171.124.2 Philanda Sparks was born ca. 1833. She married Charles A. Fowler in Jackson County, Indiana, in 1851. (The marriage license was dated March 21, 1851.)
126.96.36.199.3 Major A. Sparks was born on October 13, 1836, in Jackson County, Indiana. He was obviously named for his paternal grandfather, Stephen Sparks, who was frequently called "Major Sparks." Major was married twice. His first marriage was on March 12, 1857, to Margaret Carlisle in Jackson County. She had been born ca. 1837 in Ohio. She and Major moved to Crawford County, Illinois, in April 1865 where they lived near Hardinsville. It was there that Margaret died December 19, 1877. She and Major had five children:
188.8.131.52.3.1 Philanda Sparks;
184.108.40.206.3.2 Catherine Sparks;
220.127.116.11.3.3 James C. Sparks;
18.104.22.168.3.4 William S. Sparks; and
22.214.171.124.3.5 Mary Etta Sparks.
Major Sparks enlisted on August 9, 1862, at Medora, Indiana, in the 67th Regiment Indiana Volunteers during the Civil War and received a Certificate of Disability for Discharge on April 14, 1863. He received a pension for his service. (See pp. 2470-71 of the December 1982 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, No. 120, for an abstract of his pension file.)
After the death of his first wife, Margaret, Major Sparks married Phoebe Sarah Richart on March 6, 1879, in Crawford County, Illinois. She had been born on February 7, 1838, in Owen County, Indiana, and was a daughter of Webster Richart. She and Major had one child: 126.96.36.199.3.6 John Richard ["Dick"] Sparks, born on February 7, 1881. Major Sparks died November 15, 1922; Phoebe (Richart) Sparks, his second wife, died May 11, 1926.
188.8.131.52.4 James C. Sparks was born on May 19, 1840, in Jackson County. He enlisted in the 50th Regiment Indiana Infantry on October 9, 1861, and died while in the service, on March 15, 1862, at Munfordville, Kentucky. His father, Richard A. ["Dick"] Sparks, received a Father's Pension based on his son's service. (See pp. 2471-72 of the December 1982 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, No. 120, for an abstract of his father's pension file.) James C. Sparks was buried in the Brown Cemetery in Jackson County, Indiana. The inscription on his tombstone includes the following lines:
Remember me as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so you must be
Prepare for death and follow me.
184.108.40.206.5 Son Sparks was born to Dick and his second wife, Hannah (Burcham) Sparks, ca. 1851 and died February 25, 1851.
220.127.116.11.6 Richard F. Sparks was born ca. 1855 and died in September of that year.
18.104.22.168.7 Daughter Sparks was born to Dick and Hannah Sparks on December 15, 1857; she died that day.
Gravestones of the first and second wives of William H. H. Sparks Sparks Cemetery near Sparksville, Indiana
22.214.171.124 William Henry Harrison ["Harry"] Sparks, son of Stephen and Catha (Padget) Sparks, was born November 27, 1811, in Indiana Territory; he died September 2, 1893, in Jackson County, Indiana. He was buried there, in the Leesville Cemetery. He was married four times. His first marriage was to Desire Albert in Lawrence County, Indiana, in 1833. (The marriage bond was dated March 16, 1833, and her name was spelled on it as "Alvord.") She died August 30, 1837, aged 22 years, 2 months, 8 days. She was buried in the Sparks Cemetery near Sparksville where her gravestone still stands (see photograph, above, left). Harrison, as he was usually called, married (second) Eliza King on January 15, 1838, in Jennings County, Indiana. She died in April 1850, aged 38 years, and was also buried in the Sparks Cemetery (see photograph, above, right). [Note: In the Union Pension article, Eliza's last name is Hosea]
(Robert L. Sparks took both photographs in June 1994.)
Gravestone of infant child of William H. H. Sparks and his second wife, Eliza (King) Sparks Sparks Cemetery, Sparksville, Indiana
William Henry Harrison Sparks (or Harrison Sparks, as he was usually called) and his second wife, Eliza (King) Sparks, had one child who lived to maturity. This was George Washington Sparks (see below).
Harrison Sparks's third marriage was to Joanna Summers in 1850 in Jackson County. (The license was dated November 25, 1850.) She had been born on October 15, 1814, in Indiana. She died August 20, 1865. Harrison's fourth and last marriage was to Nancy Weddle (also spelled Weddel) on November 11, 1868, in Jackson County. She had been born on March 12, 1829, and was a daughter of James and Charity (Curry) Weddle. She was buried beside William Henry Harrison Sparks in the Leesville Cemetery, but the date of her death has not been found.
Harrison Sparks was listed on the 1850, 1860, and 1880 censuses of Jackson County. On the 1860 census, he was listed as a farmer with real estate valued at $2,000, and personal property valued at $1,000. On that census, his son, George W. Sparks, aged 19, was living with him.
126.96.36.199.1 George Washington Sparks, son of Harrison and Eliza (King) Sparks, was born on April 17, 1841, near Sparks Ferry in Jackson County. He served in the 25th Regiment Indiana Infantry during the Civil War from July 1861 until March 1862, when he received a medical discharge. (See pp. 1934-35 of the December 1977 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, No. 99, for an abstract of his pension file.)
A few weeks after he was discharged from the Union Army, George W. Sparks married Nancy A. Shortridge at Medora, Indiana. (The license was issued on May 1, 1862, and they were probably married shortly thereafter.) She had been born on November 13, 1838.
George W. and Nancy A. (Shortridge) Sparks had three children before Nancy's death, which occurred on April 15, 1869, probably from complications involving the birth of her third child. She was only 31 years old. Their children were:
188.8.131.52.1.1 William Henry Sparks;
184.108.40.206.1.2 Mary Ida Sparks; and
220.127.116.11.1.3 Italy Clyde Sparks. The latter child was born March 23, 1869, and died in the following October.
The second marriage of George W. Sparks was to Elizabeth Simmons on February 16, 1871, in Jennings County, Indiana. She had been born on April 12, 1841, at North Vernon, Indiana. She and George had two children. Continuing the numbering sequence for George's children by his first wife, these two children were:
18.104.22.168.1.4 Edith Sparks; and
22.214.171.124.1.5 George Leslie Sparks.
Elizabeth died May 10, 1897, at Elwood, Indiana. After her death, George went to live in the National Military Home at Marion, Indiana. He died there on July 29, 1920. They were buried at North Vernon, Indiana, in the Summerfield-Vawter Cemetery.
126.96.36.199 Hiram D. Sparks, son of Stephen and Catha (Padget) Sparks, was born ca. 1813 in Indiana Territory. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Elizabeth Albert (or Alvord) in 1833. (The marriage license was issued on February 22, 1833, in Lawrence County, Indiana.) She had been born ca. 1815 and was probably closely related to Desire Albert (or Alvord), the first wife of 188.8.131.52 William H. Harrison Sparks, brother of Hiram. (See above) Hiram and Elizabeth had two children before her untimely death, which occurred ca. 1836, probably when her second child was born. She was probably 21 or 22 years of age. Hiram married (second) Margaret S. Walker in 1837. (The license was issued on November 27, 1837, in Washington County, Indiana.) She had been born ca. 1815 in Kentucky. She and Hiram had only one child, born ca. 1844.
184.108.40.206.1 Stephen Sparks
220.127.116.11.2 Amanda Sparks
Hiram and Maragret had:
18.104.22.168.3 Elizabeth Sparks
Hiram Sparks died in 1849; he did not leave a will. When the 1850 census was taken, his son, 22.214.171.124.1 Stephen Sparks, aged 16, was living in the home of Hiram's brother, 126.96.36.199 James Sparks, in Lawrence County, Indiana. Hiram's daughter, Amanda, aged 14, was living with her grandparents, Stephen and Catha Sparks in Jackson County. His widow, Margaret Sparks, was living with her daughter, Elizabeth, aged 5, in Jackson County.
188.8.131.52.1 Stephen Sparks was born on January 2, 1834, near Sparks Ferry in Jackson County, Indiana. (A descendant believes that his given names were John Stephen, but we have found no other record giving "John" as his first name; in all records we have found, including those of his service in the Civil War, his name appears simply as Stephen Sparks.) He was married twice. His first marriage was to Nancy Jones in 1856 in Jackson County. (The license was issued on March 15, 1856.) Nancy had been born ca. 1834 in Indiana. When the 1860 census was taken of Jackson County, Stephen and Nancy were shown with two children:
184.108.40.206.1.1 Major Sparks; and
220.127.116.11.1.2 Mary E. Sparks.
Nancy (Jones) Sparks died June 1, 1862, at Medora, Indiana. Two months later, Stephen enlisted in the 67th Regiment Indiana Volunteers to serve for three years. He served until July 19, 1865. When he returned to Jackson County, he married Mary Emily Hoover. (The license was issued on September 12, 1865.) She had been born ca. 1840. They were married at Brownstown, Indiana, by Squire Ewing. (See page 4361 of this issue of the Quarterly for an abstract of his Civil War pension file.)
STEPHEN SPARKS MARY EMILY (HOOVER) SPARKS
Son of Hiram D. & Elizabeth Sparks Second Wife of Stephen Sparks
Photographs provided by descendant Enola Jane Shepard of Piggott, Arkansas
Shortly after their marriage in 1865, Stephen and Mary Emily (Hoover) Sparks moved to Wayne County, Illinois, where their five children were born.
18.104.22.168.1.3 James Marian Sparks;
22.214.171.124.1.4 William Sherman Sparks;
126.96.36.199.1.5 Eliza Jane Sparks;
188.8.131.52.1.6 Alvin Uriah Sparks; and
184.108.40.206.1.7 John Edward Sparks.
220.127.116.11.2 Amanda Sparks, daughter of Hiram and Elizabeth (Albert) Sparks, was born ca. 1836 and was probably named after her father's sister, Amanda (Sparks) Wray. She went to live with her paternal grandparents after the death of her father. In 1853, she married Thomas Carr. (The license was issued on February 8, 1853, in Jackson County, Indiana.) Thomas Carr had been born June 19, 1827, and was a son of Thomas and Margaret (Buchanan) Carr. Thomas died May 8, 1887. No record has been found of the death of Amanda (Sparks) Carr, but she was buried with Thomas in the Sparks Cemetery near Sparksville, Indiana. Their children were:
18.104.22.168.2.1 William Carr;
22.214.171.124.2.2 Samuel Carr;
126.96.36.199.2.3 James Carr;
188.8.131.52.2.4 Mary Carr;
184.108.40.206.2.5 Jane Carr;
220.127.116.11.2.6 Alexander Carr;
18.104.22.168.2.7 Mariah Carr;
22.214.171.124.2.8 Stephen Carr;
126.96.36.199.2.9 Nancy Carr;
188.8.131.52.2.10 Daniel Carr; and
184.108.40.206.2.11 Margaret Carr.
Tombstone (left) of Thomas Carr (1827-1887) Grave of his wife, Amanda Sparks, is doubtless nearby Sparks Cemetery, Sparksville, Indiana (1994)
220.127.116.11.3 Elizabeth ["Betty"] Sparks was born ca. 1844. She married Daniel W. Hosey (or Hosea) on August 12, 1864, in Jackson County, Indiana. We have no further information about them.
18.104.22.168 Amanda Catherine Sparks, only daughter of Stephen and Catha (Padget) Sparks, was born February 16, 1822, in Jackson County, Indiana. It was there that she married Villorous Wray in 1836. (The marriage license was dated June 23, 1836.) He had been born on August 1, 1810, in Franklin County, Virginia, and was a son of Elias and Mary ["Polly"] (Thurman) Wray. He and Amanda had eleven children. She died September 22, 1896, at the home of her son. Grant L. Wray.
The photographs reproduced on page 4349 have been provided by Jack K. Carmichael of Muncie, Indiana. He is a great-grandson of Villorous and Amanda Catherine (Sparks) Wray, through their son, James A. Wray. Regarding the photograph of the four sons of Villorous and Amanda, Mr. Carmichael writes:
"I would have loved to know these Great-uncles, but all of them died before I was born. In fact, my grandfather (James A.) was the last survivor of the eleven siblings." (James A. Wray was the one standing at the left in this photograph, next to his nephew, Salem Wray.)
Villorous Wray died December 30, 1894, two years prior to the death of Amanda. He died at the home of their son, Villorous Wray. Both Amanda and Villorous were buried in the Wray Christian Church Cemetery. Their children were:
22.214.171.124.1 Mary Catherine ["Kate"] Wray was born September 21, 1839, near Medora, Indiana. She died August 7, 1919, at Blair, Nebraska. She married Clifton Hall Newkirk on August 25, 1864, in Jackson County, Indiana. He had been born on October 23, 1833, and was a son of Enoch B. Newkirk. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He died July 16, 1903, at Hot Springs, South Dakota. He and Mary Catherine had eight children:
126.96.36.199.1.1 Marshall Newkirk;
188.8.131.52.1.2 Anson Newkirk;
184.108.40.206.1.3 Marilla Newkirk;
220.127.116.11.1.4 Edward Newkirk;
18.104.22.168.1.5 Henry Newkirk;
22.214.171.124.1.6 Vernie Newkirk;
126.96.36.199.1.7 Elizabeth Newkirk; and
188.8.131.52.1.8 Clidie Newkirk.
184.108.40.206.2 Cyrilda Elaine ["Rill"] Wray was born December 19, 1840. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to John Trueblood. They had no children. He died on February 12, 1880. Her second marriage was to Edmond Harrell, Jr. She died February 22, 1915, at the home of her brother. Grant L. Wray, in Muncie, Indiana.
220.127.116.11.3 Sylvania Melvina ["Vane"] Wray was born December 3, 1843, in Jackson County, Indiana. She was married on April 12, 1866, to James Franklin ["Polk"] Curry. He had been born on December 31, 1843. Vane died from childbirth complications on May 22, 1888. Polk died August 9, 1924. They had three children:
18.104.22.168.3.1 Ishmael Curry;
22.214.171.124.3.2 Maggie Curry; and
126.96.36.199.3.3 Vana Curry.
188.8.131.52.4 Florentine Vandevar ["Joe"] Wray was born April 14, 1846. He married Frances Winegar on September 10, 1893. He died September 10, 1910. He and Frances had at least two children:
184.108.40.206.4.1 Fred Wray; and
220.127.116.11.4.2 Sadie Wray.
18.104.22.168.5 Villorous Worchester Wray was born July 30, 1848. He married Jemima Jane Barnett on September 30, 1870. Villorous died October 5, 1909, and Jemima died September 3, 1903. They had ten children:
22.214.171.124.5.1 Salem Wray;
126.96.36.199.5.2 Villorous Wray;
188.8.131.52.5.3 Myrtle Wray;
184.108.40.206.5.4 Ula Wray;
220.127.116.11.5.5 James Wray;
18.104.22.168.5.6 Clarence Wray;
22.214.171.124.5.7 Cora Wray;
126.96.36.199.5.8 Benjamin Wray;
188.8.131.52.5.9 Carrie Wray; and
184.108.40.206.5.10 Lucille Wray.
220.127.116.11.6 Bernetta Urbania ["Nett"] Wray was born January 16, 1850. She "went west" and settled somewhere in Oregon. The family lost contact with her. In 1904, some contact was made with a son, Claude Shelton, who had lived in Jordan, Oregon, and also in Scio, Oregon. Another son, Cecil Sanford, once lived in Salem, Oregon. This is all the information we have about her.
18.104.22.168.7 Amanda Emarine ["Mandy"] Wray was born August 25, 1853, near Medora, Indiana. She married Foster Toms Nixon on July 30, 1873. He had been born on May 21, 1848, in Salem, Indiana. Mandy died September 21, 1931, at Elwood, Indiana, and Foster died January 4, 1934. They had seven children, including an unnamed child, who died at birth. The six who were given names were:
22.214.171.124.7.1 Curtis Nixon;
126.96.36.199.7.2 Bert Nixon;
188.8.131.52.7.3 Nora Nixon;
184.108.40.206.7.4 Claude Nixon;
220.127.116.11.7.5 Oliver Nixon; and
18.104.22.168.7.6 Anson Nixon.
22.214.171.124.8 Lockey Addiline ["Ad"] Wray was born December 7, 1855. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Charles Chase on July 27, 1880. They had two children:
126.96.36.199.8.1 Lena Chase and
188.8.131.52.8.2 Thomas Chase.
Charles Chase died August 2, 1886, and Ad married (second) "Polk" Curry, widower of her sister, 184.108.40.206.3 Vane (Wray) Curry. (See above). She and Polk had two children:
220.127.116.11.8.3 Edith Curry and
18.104.22.168.8.4 Hugh Curry.
It is said that a neighbor told of a time when Ad came into the house, all wrought up, and said to Polk:
"Your children and my children are fighting our children." She died July 12, 1924.
22.214.171.124.9 James Anderson ["Jim"] Wray was born November 30, 1858. He married Carrie Harrell on October 21, 1891, in a buggy on a county road in Jackson County. She had been born on October 2, 1873, and was the only child of Erastus and Laura Ann (Dixon) Harrell. She and Jim moved to Muncie, Indiana, in 1901 where he worked for the Ball Brothers Glass Company. Jim died April 25, 1940, and Carrie died June 8, 1962. They had eleven children:
126.96.36.199.9.1 Goldie Wray;
188.8.131.52.9.2 Josie Wray;
184.108.40.206.9.3 Bert Wray;
220.127.116.11.9.4 Gertie Wray. Gertie Wray married John K. Carmichael, and they were the parents of:
18.104.22.168.9.4.1 Jack K. Carmichael who has been most helpful in the preparation of this article.
22.214.171.124.9.5 Roberta Wray;
126.96.36.199.9.6 Ivan Wray;
188.8.131.52.9.7 Zenobia Wray;
184.108.40.206.9.8 Kenneth Wray;
220.127.116.11.9.9 Mildred Wray;
18.104.22.168.9.10 Ruby Wray; and
22.214.171.124.9.11 Carlton Wray.
126.96.36.199.10 Grant Lincoln Wray was born on September 30, 1861, in Jackson County, Indiana. He was married three times. His first marriage was to Mary Estella Brown. She had been born on October 15, 1871. She and Grant had five children, including an unnamed child who died at birth. She died April 4, 1896. The four children who were named were:
188.8.131.52.10.1 Ola May Wray;
184.108.40.206.10.2 Marshall Wray;
220.127.116.11.10.3 Nellie Wray; and
18.104.22.168.10.4 Edgar Wray.
Grant Wray married (second) Ida A. Johnston, and they had one child,
22.214.171.124.10.5 Eddie Wray.
Grant's third marriage was to Nora Coffman. He died August 31, 1924, at Muncie, Indiana.
126.96.36.199.11 Odysia Sheridan Ida ["Idy"] Clifton Wray was born October 12, 1864. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Walter Bruce Owen on February 25, 1885. They had five children:
188.8.131.52.11.1 Ralph Owen;
184.108.40.206.11.2 Mabel Owen;
220.127.116.11.11.3 Corda Owen;
18.104.22.168.11.4 William Owen; and
22.214.171.124.11.5 Ida Owen.
Idy married (second) James Bailes Cramer in Mattoon, Illinois. She died May 24, 1934, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
32.2 Ailcy Sparks, daughter of James and Caty Sparks, was born March 11, 1777, in what is now Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. (We believe that her name was spelled Ailcy, although we have found it spelled as Ailsy, Alcy, Alsey, Aley, Elgy, Elsie, Eley, and Alice.) She was a small girl when she made the journey with her parents from near present-day Pittsburgh to the Falls of the Ohio River ca. 1781. It was there, in Jefferson County, Kentucky, that she grew to womanhood, and it was there that she married Benjamin Newkirk in 1801. (The marriage bond was dated November 30, 1801.) Benjamin had been born on December 25, 1754, probably in Berkeley County, Virginia, and he was a son of Peter and Cornelia (Southey) Newkirk. He had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War and had been married previously to Mary Hawkins on December 18, 1789, in Jefferson County.
Benjamin was listed with his household on the 1810 census of Jefferson County, Kentucky, but when the 1820 census was taken, he and his family were in Jackson County, Indiana, where Benjamin entered land that same year. He had moved his family there probably with Ailcy's parents and they had settled near The Forks, a point where Jackson, Lawrence, and Washington Counties join. When the 1830 census was taken, Benjamin Newkirk was shown, with the enumeration of his family, in Lawrence county. It was in Lawrence County, Indiana, that Benjamin Newkirk died in May 1840, and his widow, Ailcy, became the head of her household. Benjamin was buried in the Brown Cemetery in Jackson County, Indiana.
The last official record we have found of Ailcy (Sparks) Newkirk is an affidavit made on March 22, 1856, in Jackson County by which she inquired what had happened to the pension application made by her father in May or June 1834. There is nothing in her father's pension file at the National Archives to indicate that she ever received an answer to her request. (Her intent was probably to ask whether she might be an heir to any portion of her father's pension that he had not yet received when he died.) Ailcy (Sparks) Newkirk died May 10, 1857, and she was buried beside her husband in the Brown Cemetery. She and Benjamin had eight children.
[Editor's Note: For much of the following information on the Henderson family, we are indebted to SFA member Kenneth W. Parent. He has shared with us the results of research conducted by himself and by Robert R. Henderson, Jr. This research has been replicated among census records and published county histories by Dr. Paul E. Sparks, coauthor of this article.]
32.2.1 Jemima Newkirk, daughter of Benjamin and Ailcy (Sparks) Newkirk, was born ca. 1802 in Kentucky. She married William Henderson in 1817 in Jackson County, Indiana. (The marriage bond was dated December 31st.) He had been born on December 22, 1794, in Montgomery County, Virginia, and was a son of Joseph and Jane (McGee) Henderson. William and Jemima lived in Jackson County all their lives. She died there on July 4, 1863. They were buried in the Henderson Cemetery in Brown County. They were the parents of ten children.
126.96.36.199 Delilah Henderson was born ca. 1818.
188.8.131.52 James M. Henderson was born November 20, 1820. He married Elizabeth C. Poole in 1842, and the had eight children:
184.108.40.206.1 Elvira Henderson;
220.127.116.11.2 William Henderson;
18.104.22.168.3 John Henderson;
22.214.171.124.4 Adeline Henderson;
126.96.36.199.5 Susana Henderson;
188.8.131.52.6 Joel Henderson;
184.108.40.206.7 Florence Henderson;
220.127.116.11.8 Elizabeth Henderson.
18.104.22.168 Sarah Ann Henderson.
22.214.171.124 Amanda Henderson.
126.96.36.199 Elsie (or Alicy) Henderson.
188.8.131.52 Joseph P. Henderson, born ca. 1832, was probably named for his paternal grandfather.
184.108.40.206 Robert M. Henderson was born ca. 1833. He was a Baptist, a Democrat, and a Mason, according to a History of Jackson County, Indiana. He married Martha M. Poole in 1852. She was a sister of Elizabeth C. Poole who had been married to Robert's brother, 220.127.116.11 James Henderson, in 1842. (See above) Robert and Martha had six children:
18.104.22.168.1 John Henderson;
22.214.171.124.2 Benjamin Henderson;
126.96.36.199.3 James Henderson;
188.8.131.52.4 Francis Henderson;
184.108.40.206.5 Eliza Henderson; and
220.127.116.11.6 Carrie Henderson.
18.104.22.168 Benjamin Henderson.
22.214.171.124 Preston Henderson.
126.96.36.199 Elizabeth Henderson.
32.2.2 Permelia Newkirk, daughter of Benjamin and Alley (Sparks) Newkirk, was born on February 20, 1806, in Jefferson County, Kentucky. In 1826, she married Robert Henderson in Lawrence County, Indiana. (The marriage license was dated August 26, 1826.) It was Robert Henderson's second marriage. He had been born on February 14, 1795, in Montgomery County, Virginia, and his parents were Joseph and Jane (McGee) Henderson, thus he was a brother of William Henderson who married 32.2.1 Jemima Newkirk in 1817. (See above) About 1829, Permelia and Robert moved to Brown County, Indiana, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Permelia died there on January 17, 1865; Robert died there on March 3, 1885. They were buried in the Henderson Cemetery in Brown County. They had eleven children.
188.8.131.52 Robert Henderson, Jr. was born August 28, 1827. He married Mary Ann Davis on December 13, 1849. She had been born on August 27, 1830, in Jennings County, Indiana, and was a daughter of John and Sarah Davis. She died January 29, 1892; Robert died August 10, 1910. They were buried in the Henderson Cemetery in Brown County. They had eleven children, but we can account for only nine of them. They were:
184.108.40.206.1 Emmaline Henderson;
220.127.116.11.2 James Henderson;
18.104.22.168.3 John Henderson;
22.214.171.124.4 William Henderson;
126.96.36.199.5 Permelia Henderson;
188.8.131.52.6 Robert Henderson:
184.108.40.206.7 Benjamin Henderson;
220.127.116.11.8 Jasper Henderson; and
18.104.22.168.9 Freeman Henderson.
22.214.171.124 William Henry Henderson was born January 20, 1829. He was married three times. His first marriage was on January 18, 1852, to Emmaline King. After her death on January 5, 1868, he was married on November 8, 1868, to Mariah E. Rambo, a daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth (Moore) Rambo. The third marriage of William Henderson was to Hannah Rambo on November 1, 1877. She had been born January 9, 1844, and was a sister of William's second wife. William died August 15, 1898, in Brown County and was buried there in the Henderson Cemetery. Hannah died September 19, 1925. We have not learned whether William Henderson had any children.
126.96.36.199 James M. Henderson was born November 7, 1831. He married Jane Bright on August 19, 1855, in Brown County. She had been born on March 12, 1833, in Ohio and was a daughter of the Rev. Thornton and Mary Frayle (Bell) Bright. She died on December 23, 1915. James was killed by a tornado on July 13, 1917, along with a daughter-in-law, Ida Henderson, wife of his son, Richard Marion Henderson. James and Jane (Bright) Henderson had at least three children: 188.8.131.52.1 Richard Marion Henderson; 184.108.40.206.2 Florence Henderson; and 220.127.116.11.3 Surilda Henderson.
18.104.22.168 Elizabeth Ann Henderson was born February 27, 1833. She married Isaac M. King on March 17, 1852, in Brown County. He was a son of Henry and Roseannah King. We have not learned whether they had children.
22.214.171.124 Richard Henderson was born on February 27, 1835. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Mary Jane King on June 9, 1861. She had been born ca. 1840 and was a daughter of Henry and Roseannah King, thus she was a sister to the husband of 126.96.36.199 Elizabeth Ann Henderson. (See above) After the death of Mary Jane on December 20, 1873, Robert married Elizabeth Darr on January 28, 1875, in Lawrence County, Indiana. We have not learned whether Richard Henderson had children.
188.8.131.52 Eicy (or Ailcy) Jane Henderson was born March 23, 1836. She married Wesley Kirts on March 13, 1859, in Brown County. He had been born on August 22, 1836, and was a son of James Kirts. Eicy died December 30, 1909; Wesley died on September 27, 1916. They had at least two children: 184.108.40.206.1 Cordelia Kirts; and 220.127.116.11.2 Charles Kirts.
18.104.22.168 Malinda Henderson was born February 19, 1839. She married Logan Ping on April 23, 1859. He had been born on August 9, 1830, and was a son of Job and Christine (Miece) Ping. Logan died March 26, 1912, in Bartholomew County. Malinda died January 14, 1872, in Brown County.
22.214.171.124 Delilah Henderson was born January 12, 1841. She married Louis Burkhart on November 26, 1866, in Brown County.
126.96.36.199 Amanda Henderson was born January 12, 1841, and was a twin of Delilah Henderson, next above. She married George Burkhart on March 16, 1862, in Brown County.
188.8.131.52 Harriet Henderson was born March 26, 1844. She married Jasper Job Ping April 22, 1866, in Brown County. She died there on February 5, 1909.
184.108.40.206 Francis Marion Henderson was born May 30, 1846. He died July 13, 1853, and was buried in the Henderson Cemetery in Brown County.
32.2.3 Moses Kuykendall Newkirk, son of Benjamin and Ailcy (Sparks) Newkirk, was born December 6, 1806, in Jefferson County, Kentucky. (He was doubtless named for the Moses Kuykendall who was closely associated with his grandfather, James Sparks, and whose wife, Elizabeth Sparks, was a sister of James Sparks; see the Quarterly of September 1993, Whole No. 163, page 4149.) Moses accompanied his parents to Jackson County, Indiana, where he married Eleanor Fountain on August 27, 1833. She had been born January 2, 1814, in North Carolina, and was a daughter of Stephen Fountain. Moses Newkirk was a shoemaker and also a carpenter. He and Eleanor were of the Baptist faith. He died January 28, 1881, at Heltonville, Indiana. Eleanor died there on January 2, 1896. They had five children:
220.127.116.11 Barilla (or Burilla) Newkirk was born July 25, 1834. She never married. She died March 20, 1894.
18.104.22.168 Jeptha Newkirk was born on May 13, 1836. He was an undertaker in Heltonville, Indiana. He married Ann Brock on February 6, 1864, and they had two children: 22.214.171.124.1 Clarence Newkirk; and 126.96.36.199.2 Avis Newkirk. Jeptha died June 9, 1906, and was buried in the Gilgal Cemetery in Lawrence County, Indiana.
188.8.131.52 Lemuel Newkirk was born on August 27, 1838. He was a cabinet-maker. He was also the postmaster of the village of Erie in Lawrence County, Indiana, and in that connection, he also ran a country store. He was married three times. His first marriage was to Nancy J. Browning on August 26, 1860, and they had one child,
184.108.40.206.1 Homer Newkirk.
Lemuel married (second) Mary Ellen Ramsey, a daughter of Francis and Elizabeth (Patton) Ramsey. Lemuel and Mary Ellen had two children:
220.127.116.11.2 Vara Newkirk; and
18.104.22.168.3 Everett Newkirk.
Lemuel's third marriage was to Laura Jane Martin on November 16, 1882, and they had one child,
22.214.171.124.4 Emory Newkirk.
In 1887, while attending a funeral, Lemuel Newkirk became thoroughly chilled, and he died January 24th. He was buried in the Gilgal Cemetery in Lawrence County, one mile north of Heltonville.
126.96.36.199 James F. Newkirk was born on February 28, 1842. He died January 10, 1863, while in the service of the Union Army during the Civil War. He was never married.
188.8.131.52 William L. Newkirk was born May 18, 1849. He married Mattie E. Stipp on July 27, 1873, at the home of her father, Michael Stipp. He died August 30, 1929, at Bedford, Indiana. He and Mattie had four children: 184.108.40.206.1 Edith Newkirk; 220.127.116.11.2 Nora Newkirk; 18.104.22.168.3 Ella Newkirk; and 22.214.171.124.4 Mattie Newkirk.
32.2.4 James Leonard Newkirk was born on March 3, 1809, in Kentucky. He married Elvira Critchelow on December 14, 1834, in Lawrence County, Indiana. They lived near the village of Leesville. Elvira had been born July 23, 1816, in Kentucky. James died on September 22, 1865, and Elvira died three months later, on Christmas Day. They were buried in the Dixon Chapel Cemetery in Lawrence County, near Fort Ritner. They are said to have had fourteen children; however, we have learned the names of only eight of them.
126.96.36.199 Lucinda Newkirk was born ca. 1835.
188.8.131.52 Lavinia Newkirk was born ca. 1837.
184.108.40.206 Malinda Newkirk was born ca. 1839.
220.127.116.11 Benjamin Newkirk was born March 2, 1841. He married Mary Dixon, and they had six children, but their names have not been learned. He died on January 26,1896. He and Mary were buried in the Dixon Cemetery.
18.104.22.168 Elizabeth Newkirk was born ca. 1842.
22.214.171.124 Eleanor J. Newkirk was born ca. 1845.
126.96.36.199 Nancy A. Newkirk was born ca. 1847.
188.8.131.52 Francis M. Newkirk was born in March 1850.
32.2.5 Richard Newkirk was born in 1810 in Kentucky. He became a well-to-do farmer in Jackson County, Indiana. He was married four times. His first marriage was to Lucinda Beezley on June 19, 1828. She had been born ca. 1811 and died July 20, 1831, when their second child was born. Richard Newkirk married (second) Amanda Crothers on November 16, 1834, in Washington County, Indiana, and they had three children. The third marriage of Richard Newkirk was to Nancy Owens on September 30, 1840, in Jackson County, and they had two children. Richard's fourth marriage was to Mary Ann Mills on October 15, 1846, in Jackson County. He and Mary Ann had four children before his death which occurred on September 24, 1857. He was the father of eleven children by his four wives.
184.108.40.206 An unnamed son was born ca. 1831 to Richard and Lucinda (Beezley) Newkirk; he died at birth.
220.127.116.11 Lemuel Newkirk was born ca. 1831 to Richard and Lucinda (Beezley) Newkirk. He married Lucy Ann Houston on March 11, 1855, and they had one child. Lemuel died in 1874, and Lucy married Jeptha Driscoll on August 4, 1885, in Jackson County. She died September 20, 1920.
18.104.22.168 Jacob Newkirk was born ca. 1836 to Richard and Amanda (Crothers) Newkirk.
22.214.171.124 Elsie (or Ailcy) Newkirk was born November 3, 1837, in Jackson County, to Richard and Amanda (Crothers) Newkirk. She married Richard Newton Beem on May 13, 1855, in Lawrence County, Indiana. He had been born on November 12, 1834, in Jackson County and was a son of Michael and Mary ["Polly"] Ann (Lockman) Beem. Shortly after their marriage, Richard and Elsie Beem moved to Iowa where they settled in Madison County. Elsie died there on March 10, 1907, and Richard died there on August 12, 1908. They had at least one child, Lemuel Lycurtis Beem; there may have been other children.
126.96.36.199 William C. Newkirk was born ca. 1839 to Richard and Amanda (Crothers) Newkirk.
188.8.131.52 Nancy Newkirk was born ca. 1842 to Richard and Nancy (Owens) New kirk.
184.108.40.206 Lucinda Newkirk was born ca. 1844 to Richard and Nancy (Owens) Newkirk. She married Samuel Matthews, and they had one child,
220.127.116.11.1 Thornton Matthews; he married Alica Consalus in 1900.
18.104.22.168 Amanda Newkirk was born ca. 1848 to Richard and Mary Ann (Mills) Newkirk. She married James Fowler.
22.214.171.124 James M. Newkirk was born in November 1849 to Richard and Mary Ann (Mills) Newkirk. He married Unknown and had a son named
126.96.36.199.1 Frank Newkirk.
188.8.131.52 Sarah Newkirk was born ca. 1852 to Richard and Mary Ann (Mills) Newkirk. She married FNU Cook.
184.108.40.206 Mary Richard Newkirk, daughter of Richard and Mary Ann (Mills) Newkirk, was born May 19, 1858, and was thus a posthumous child. She married Thomas Jefferson Cook, and they had two children,
220.127.116.11.1 Fred Cook. He married Ella Henderson, daughter of Mitchell Henderson.
18.104.22.168.2 Florence Cook. She married FNU Ikerd.
32.2.6 Benjamin Franklin Newkirk was born January 29, 1812, in Kentucky. He became a cabinet-maker. On October 16, 1834, he married Euphonia White in Lawrence County, Indiana. She had been born July 28, 1818, in Indiana and was a daughter of David White. She died June 11, 1863, and Benjamin died March 5, 1887. They were buried in the Granny White Cemetery. They had two children:
22.214.171.124 Nancy Newkirk was born May 25, 1839. She married Robert W. Ellison on December 9, 1862. He had been born on April 4, 1839, in Lawrence County, Indiana, and was a son of James and Polly (Hamilton) Ellison. Robert and Nancy had three children:
126.96.36.199.1 Polly Ellison;
188.8.131.52.2 Elmira Ellison; and
184.108.40.206.3 Oscar Ellison.
220.127.116.11 David Newkirk was born ca. 1843. He married Mary Jane Brown on September 4, 1865.
32.2.7 Isaac B. Newkirk was born ca. 1814 in Indiana. He became a shoemaker. On April 18, 1838, he married Mary Ann Critchlow in Lawrence County, Indiana. She had been born on October 5, 1815, in Kentucky. When the 1850 census was taken of Lawrence County, she and Isaac were shown with six children. They may have been other children born to them later. Mary Ann died in Pike County, Indiana, on June 23, 1880. The six children shown on the 1850 census were:
18.104.22.168 William T. Newkirk, born ca. 1839
22.214.171.124 Nancy A. Newkirk, born ca. 1841.
126.96.36.199 Alanson Newkirk, born ca. 1843.
188.8.131.52 Margaret E. Newkirk, born ca. 1845.
184.108.40.206 Joshua Newkirk, born ca. 1847.
220.127.116.11 Benjamin Newkirk, born ca. 1849.
32.2.8 Mary ["Polly"] Newkirk was born ca. 1816. She may have died when she was quite young. It appears unlikely that she was the Polly Newkirk who died in 1837 in Lawrence County, Indiana, leaving a will that gave her estate to a brother, Benjamin Newkirk.
[Editor's Note: This record of the descendants of James Sparks (ca. 1752-1834) will be continued in a future issue of the Quarterly, and will include information about the other children of James Sparks. They include:
32.1.3 Benjamin Sparks, born July 1, 1778;
32.1.4 Henry Sparks, born ca.1780;
32.1.5 James Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1783;
32.2.6 Elizabeth Sparks, born ca.1785;
32.1.7 Moses Sparks, born ca.1789, and
32.1.8 Walter Sparks, born ca. 1794.
Any reader having information on these children of James Sparks and their descendants who has not yet shared that information with us, is urged to do so in the very near future. We always welcome photographs of Sparks descendants taken in the 1800s or early 1900s. Originals loaned to us will be carefully protected while copies are made.]