May 10, 2021
Whole Number 168
SAMUEL ELI SPARKS (1856-1915)
Descendant of Thomas Sparks of Early Walker County, Alabama
[Editor's Note: The June 1987 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 138, contained an article about 65. Thomas and Rutha (White) Sparks of early Lawrence and Walker Counties, Alabama, and some of their descendants. One of their sons, 65.2 Samuel Sparks, married Frances Kitchens ca. 1841. They had eight children, including a son named 65.2.5 Samuel Eli Sparks. Since the publication of that article, a granddaughter of Samuel Eli Sparks has compiled additional information about her Sparkses and has found some photographs of her ancestors which she is sharing with us. We are grateful to Betty Lou (Sparks) Delanois for her interest. The same numeric item numbering system used in the earlier article is continued here, Samuel Eli Sparks being the fifth child of Samuel and Frances (Kitchens) Sparks.]
Samuel and Frances (Kitchens) Sparks, parents of Samuel Eli Sparks, were buried in the Pisgah Cemetery at Carbon Hill, Alabama. According to the dates on his grave marker, Samuel Sparks was born in 1814; thus, he was probably the oldest child of Thomas and Rutha (White) Sparks. He died in 1865, the year in which the Civil War came to an end. His wife, Frances, was born in 1818 and died in 1868. Both were just fifty years of age when they died. They were the parents of eight children, including Samuel Eli Sparks.
Grave Markers in Pisgah Cemetery, Carbon Hill, Alabama
(On Frances's Stone, Weeds Hide the Last Letter in Sparks)
Grave Marker for Zoda D. (Leith) Sparks
PRIVATE LUTHER SPARKS (WORLD WAR I) Son of E.H. and Zoda (Leith) Sparks
(Photograph taken ca. 1917)
65.2.5 Samuel Eli Sparks was born on November 2, 1856, in Walker County, Alabama, and it was there that he married Arazodia ["Zoda"] Demaris Leith on February 21, 1878. She had been born on April 10, 1856, and was a daughter of Mitchell A. and Sisiline (Chilton) Leith. She and Samuel spent all of their lives in Walker. Children of Samuel Eli and Zoda D. (Leith) Sparks:
188.8.131.52 Elizabeth Ann ["Annie"] Sparks was born in 1879; she died in 1950. She married David Brasher ca. 1896. He had been born in 1859; he died in 1941. He and Annie had three children:
184.108.40.206.1 Banks Brasher, born April 26, 1899, died March 9, 1979;
220.127.116.11.2 Henry Clay Brasher, born April 26, 1899, died November 14, 1986; and
18.104.22.168.3 Verna Brasher, born September 27, 1904, died March 22, 1969. She married FNU Anderson.
22.214.171.124 William Shelton ["Will"] Sparks was a member of the Alabama State Legislature and also mayor of the town of Kansas, Alabama, for many years. He married Eula Lee Tesney in 1905, and they had five children:
126.96.36.199.1 William Howard Sparks, died April 15, 1989;
188.8.131.52.2 Rudolph Sparks;
184.108.40.206.3 Everett Lee Sparks;
220.127.116.11.4 Glenn Tesney Sparks; and
18.104.22.168.5 Ruth Ann Sparks.
22.214.171.124 Whit Sparks was born February 6, 1884, at Carbon Hill, Alabama. He married Vera Smith on October 21, 1926, and they had four children. Whit Sparks died on October 1, 1948.
126.96.36.199.1 Samuel Robert Sparks, born December 24, 1928;
188.8.131.52.2 Whit Sparks, Jr.;
184.108.40.206.3 Mitchell Sparks; and
220.127.116.11.4 a daughter Sparks whose name we have not learned.
18.104.22.168 Mae Sparks was born in 1886. She married George Haney. They lived in Georgetown, Illinois, where George was a mine inspector. They had three children. Will Tipper died in 1953, and Molly (Sparks) Tipper died ca. 1978.
22.214.171.124.1 Gay Nell Haney. She married FNU Morris.
126.96.36.199.2 Donald Haney; and
188.8.131.52.3 Emily Haney. She married FNU Farmer.
184.108.40.206 Mary ["Molly"] Sparks was born in 1889. She married Will Tipper, and they had three children:
220.127.116.11.1 John Paul Tipper;
18.104.22.168.2 Cecil Tipper; and
22.214.171.124.3 Carl Tipper.
126.96.36.199 Ida Sparks was born ca. 1892. She married A. L. Kropp. They lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where A. L. was a business man. They had two children:
188.8.131.52.1 daughter Kropp. She died at a very young age.
184.108.40.206.2 A. L. Kropp, Jr.
220.127.116.11 Luther Sparks was born May 18, 1894, in Walker County, Alabama. He served overseas in the U.S. Army during World War I.
It was at about the time of Luther Sparks's service in World War I that he married Lou Belle Tirey. She had been born on November 27, 1900, and was a daughter of Richard J. and Amanda S. (Latham) Tirey. When Luther returned from his military service, he resumed his occupation as a miner. About 1924, he and Lou moved their family to Illinois where he worked as a cutting-machine operator in the Bunsenville Mine near Georgetown, Illinois. He was working in the mine on the night of August 1, 1929, when falling rock knocked him into the cutting machine, killing him instantly. He was buried in the Georgetown Cemetery.
The death of her husband left Lou Sparks with five small children, including twin daughters who were not quite three years old. She kept the family together and reared all of them to maturity with families of their own. She died on October 27, 1982, at Westville, Illinois, and was buried in the Georgetown Cemetery beside her husband. Their children were:
18.104.22.168.1 Ellis Sparks, born March 27, 1918;
22.214.171.124.2 Marie Sparks, born January 22, 1920;
126.96.36.199.3 Eugene Sparks, born March 17, 1923; and twin daughters,
188.8.131.52.4 Beverly June Sparks, born on October 8, 1926.
184.108.40.206.5 Betty Lou Sparks, born on October 8, 1926.
LOU BELLE (TIREY) SPARKS WITH HER CHILDREN
Front row, left to right: Eugene Sparks, Betty Lou Sparks, and Beverly June Sparks
Back row, left to right: Marie Sparks, Lou Belle (Tirey) Sparks, and
(Photograph taken in August 1929)
220.127.116.11 James Sparks was born in 1896. He married Eva May MNU. She died in 1962; James died in 1967.
18.104.22.168 Curtis J. ["Carl"] Sparks was born May 25, 1900. He married Vera MNU. Carl died on August 13, 1967.