July 08, 2007

Pages 4409
Whole Number 168

UNUSUAL REACTION TO A SPARKS MARRIAGE


<hr> <p>In the June 1987 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 138, pp. 3041-3056, there is an article about <b>Thomas and Rutha (White) Sparks</b> of early Walker County, Alabama. They had nine children, the oldest of whom was a son named <b>James Sparks</b> who was born in 1816. James Sparks became a Baptist preacher and served in several churches in northwestern Alabama and northeastern Mississippi. He was married three times; the second and third times were to sisters, a fairly uncommon and sometimes frowned-on union at that time. (He had been married to <b>Rhoda Dulaney</b> on February 17, 1857, in Itawamba County, Mississippi; she died about six months later, whereupon the Rev. James Sparks married her sister, <b>Margaret Dulaney</b>.)</p> <p>A recently published book gives some insight into the Dulaney family reaction to the third marriage of James Sparks. The book, entitled <u>Elvis and Gladys.</u> a biography of the Rock & Roll star, Elvis Presley, written by Elaine Dundy, was published in 1985 by Macmillan & Company. The "Gladys" in the title was Elvis Presley's mother. Presley was born and reared in Tupelo, Mississippi, in that section of Itawamba County that became a part of Lee County in 1866.</p> <p>The portion of the book that deals with the third marriage of James Sparks was taken from the diary of Henry J. Lentz (1819-1869), a justice of the peace in Itawamba County. An entry in his diary recorded on January 18, 1858, was quoted as follows:</p> <p>"Parson Sparks stole John Dulaney's daughter to marry her and Jim Dulaney and Parson Sparks had a fight."</p> <p>No further details of the incident were given in the diary.</p> <p><a name="end"></a></p><p><a href="#">top</a></p></body> </html>