May 16, 2021

Pages 4454-4480
Whole Number 170 MILLINGTON SPARKS, III (ca. 1775-ca. 1835)
(Sometimes called William Millington Sparks)

by Paul E. Sparks

[Editor's Note: Much of the materials used in this article have been collected by Mary (Sparks) Matthews and Abbott Sparks. The arrangement of these records was done by the editor, while the compilation was prepared by the Association's President, Dr. Paul E. Sparks.]

the September 1991 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, No. 155, contained an article about Millington Sparks, born ca. 1715, died ca. 1780, of Queen Annes County, Maryland. He was a son of 1.2.4 John and Cornelia Sparks and a grandson of 1.2 William and Mary Sparks who had come from Hampshire County, England, to Maryland ca. 1663. Millington Sparks married Mabel Ruth on February 9, 1740, in Queen Annes County. Among their six children was a son who was also named Millington Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1745.

Although the records pertaining to Millington Sparks, Jr., are scant, we believe he was married and that he had at least one son, born ca. 1775, who was also named Millington Sparks, III. This Millington Sparks, whom we will designate as Millington Sparks, III, married Rebecca Brooks on May 25, 1797, in Kent County, Maryland. Some records indicate that his full name was William Millington Sparks.

[Editor's note: Millington Sparks, III, may have added the name "William" after becoming an adult in order to distinguish himself from others with the same name.]

(For further details about this branch of the Sparks family, see also the March 1971, Whole No. 73 and the December 1974, Whole No. 88 issues of the Quarterly.) Millington Sparks, III (also called William Millington Sparks) was born ca. 1775 in Maryland, probably in Queen Annes County. On the 1800 census of Queen Annes County, he was enumerated as 16 to 26 years of age. We have not found him on any 1810 or 1820 census, but on the 1830 census of Lauderdale County, Alabama, his age was enumerated as between 50 and 60, thus he was apparently born between 1775 and 1780.

We have been unable to make a definite identification of the parents of Millington Sparks, III; however, there can be little doubt that he was a descendant of 1.2.4 John and Cornelia Sparks of Queen Annes County. This couple had a son named Millington, and because of the unusualness of the name, and the fact that later census records indicate that Millington Sparks, III, had been born in Maryland, we can almost be certain that he inherited his name from Millington Sparks, Jr. Millington Sparks, I, had been born between 1710 and 1720, and he was thus about 55 to 65 years older that Millington Sparks, III. For this reason, we are reluctant to suggest that he could have been the father of Millington, III. More information is needed, however, to clear up what appears on the surface to be a fairly simple family relationship.

The first official document that we have found pertaining to Millington Sparks, III, is his marriage record. He married Rebecca Brooks on May 25, 1797, in Kent County, Maryland. The marriage license had been issued on May 23rd. Rebecca had been born on February 6, 1777, and she was a daughter of Esau and Mary (Wyatt) Brooks.

A second source of data about Millington Sparks, III, is found in a Bible which was in the possession of a descendant, Miss Eunice McLeod of Haynesville, Lousi ana, in 1960. The Bible had belonged originally to Samuel Wyatt Brooks, son of Esau Brooks. Esau had been a soldier in Maryland during the Revolutionary War. He died in Maryland in 1797. Some of his descendants had gone to Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, before the Civil War. Here are some pertinent entries found in this Bible. [Webmaster Note: The descendants are listed in birth order, versus how the entries were listed in the Bible].

Mary Wyatt Brooks, Wife of Esau Brooks, died March 31, 1782.
Rebecca Brooks, daughter of Esau Brooks and Mary (MNU) Brooks, was married on May 25, 1797, to William Millington Sparks. Millington Sparks, IV was born April 9, 1799. William Sparks and Mary Sparks, son and daughter of Millington Sparks, III and his wife, Rebecca, was [were] born January 5, 1801. Samuel Wyatt Sparks and Eliza Sparks, son and daughter of Millington Sparks, III and Rebecca, his wife, was [were] born July 7, 1803.

Rebecca Brooks, wife of Millington Sparks, III, departed this life January 5, 1807. Millington Sparks married Ann Swanway on May 12, 1808. John Wesley Sparks, son of Millington Sparks and Ann, his wife, was born December 21, 1809. Rebecca Sparks, daughter of Millington Sparks and Ann, his wife, was born September 1, 1811. Lloyd Sparks, son of Millington Sparks and Ann, his wife, was born August 15, 1813.

It seems obvious from these entries in the Bible of Samuel Wyatt Brooks that the full name of Millington Sparks, who married Rebecca Brooks, was William Millington Sparks. His full name was seldom used, however, and he was usually referred to as Millington Sparks, as in each of the entries in the Bible record following that of his marriage to Rebecca Brooks.

On September 10, 1799, Millington Sparks, III, bought property from his brother- in-law, Samuel Brooks, in Queen Annes County, Maryland. The consideration was 147 pounds and 4 shillings. The property included livestock, farming implements, household goods, and two slaves. Apparently this sale was in preparation for Samuel Brooks to move to Georgia.

Millington Sparks was shown as bead of his household when the 1800 census was taken of Queen Annes County. He was enumerated as 16-20 years of age. Living in his household was a female, aged 10-16, who was probably his wife, but if so, the enumeration was incorrect; there were also two males, under 10 years of age. Millington Sparks also had two slaves, probably the two whom he had purchased from his brother-in-law, Samuel Brooks, the previous year.

Sparks apparently followed his in-laws to Georgia ca. 1803. (The birthplace of his son, Samuel Wyatt Sparks, was listed as Maryland on the 1860 and 1870 censuses of Lampasas County, Texas.) In all likelihood, Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks was in Georgia when she died in 1807, and it was probably there that Millington married Ann Swanway the following year. She had been born ca. 1782 in Georgia. She was the mother of three of Millington's children: John Wesley Sparks, Rebecca Sparks, and Lloyd Sparks.

During the War of 1812, Millington Sparks, III, served as a 3rd-Sergeant in Capt. Jones Kendrick's Company of Infantry, 4th Regiment Georgia Detached Militia. On the company payroll, his record was as follows: "He traveled 90 miles (a trip that took six days) to reach the rendezvous on November 21, 1814. He served as a 3rd-Sergeant until May 6, 1815, for a total term of service of 5 months 27 days. He was paid $11.00 per month and received a subsistence of $1.08. The total amount of his pay was $65.98."

Prior to the taking of the 1830 census, Millington Sparks, III, had moved west ward to Lauderdale County, Alabama. He was shown on that census as aged be tween 50 and 60 years; his wife was enumerated as between 60 and 70, which was probably an error Also in their household were: 1 male, 10-15; 2 males, 5-10; 1 male under 5; 1 female, 15-20; and one female under 5. It appears quite likely that the male aged 10-15 was the youngest son of Millington, and that the female, aged 15-20, was his youngest daughter. The four children shown as under 10 years of age were probably his grandchildren.

We have found no further record of Millington Sparks, III. He does not appear on any 1840 census that we have searched; he probably had died by the time that census was taken. When the 1850 census was taken of Lauderdale County, Alabama, his wife, listed as Nancy Sparks, was shown as 68 years of age; she was living in the household of a daughter, Rebecca (Sparks) Berry. Millington Sparks, III, had eight children: three sons and two daughters by his first marriage and two sons and one daughter by his second marriage. Millington Sparks, IV was born on April 9, 1799, in Maryland. We have found no further record of him. William Andrew Sparks, son of Millington and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks, was born on January 2, 1801, probably in Maryland. Few records have been found pertaining to him. Descendants say that his full name was William Andrew Sparks. He may have been married twice. Apparently he was the William Sparks, born 1800-1810, who was shown as head of a household on the 1830 census of Lauderdale County, Alabama; however, there were no children enumerated in his household. With him was a female, presumedly his wife, born 1810-1815, and another female who had been born 1780-1790.

Sparks may have been the William A. Sparks who married Cordelia Thomas on June 30, 1840, in Lauderdale County. (The license had been issued on June 20, 1840.) He may have been the W. Sparks shown on the 1840 census. If this is correct, however, the census taker was apparently given incorrect age information. This record is the last official document we have found of this man; however, we have received further information from his descendants.

A descendant, Mrs. Mildred (Sparks) Singleton of San Angelo; Texas, wrote in 1964 that William's middle name had been Andrew. She also stated that he had a son named William Andrew Jackson Sparks who had been born ca. 1824. She shared the following account which had been given to her by her father, Emmette Elwood Sparks:

We were always told that grandpa had the middle names Andrew Jackson. As far as we knew, his name was that of William Andrew Jackson Sparks. The William Andrew Sparks, son of William Millington Sparks and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks, is my great-grandfather. He was only seven when his father married Ann Swanway; that is why he called her his mother to his children, this leading to the belief that his mother was Ann Swanway Sparks. I have always known that my great-great-grandfather was William Millington Sparks. I have been told that as long as I can remember, and that my great- great-grandmother was a Swanway before they married.

I can remember, even though I was a little kid, Martin Van Buren Sparks. I also remember that his brother was John Sparks, a Governor. Uncle Reuben Sparks said that Governor John Sparks came to see them when they lived in Thorndale in Milam County, Texas, and got grand-daddy to sign some papers that he would move to Nevada and settle on some land, but grand-daddy didn't want to move to Nevada.

Several years ago, another relative of William Andrew Sparks, named John Baxter Sparks (1869-1958), stated that William Andrew Sparks and his brother, Samuel Sparks, had left Mississippi together and had moved to Arkansas. They had lived near each other there until Sam left to go to Texas ca. 1857. William stayed in Arkansas until about twenty years later when he, too, moved to Texas. There he rented land from his nephew, John Sparks (later to become Governor of Nevada) in Williamson County.

From the statements given above, we believe that William Andrew Sparks had at least one son, William Andrew Jackson Sparks. William Andrew Jackson Sparks, son of William Sparks, was born ca. 1824 in Alabama, probably in Lauderdale County. He accompanied his father to Mississippi and then on to Arkansas. He was living in Texas when the Civil War broke out. He joined the Confederate forces, giving his residence as Austin, Texas. A record preserved in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., states the following:

W.A.J. Sparks, private, Capt. Carrington's Company of Giddings' Cavalry Battalion. Residence: Austin, Texas. Appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War of W. H. D. Carrington's Co. Giddings' Battn. Cav'y, Confederate States Army, commanded by W.H.D. Carrington, surrendered at New Orleans, La. by General E.K. Smith, C.S.A. to Major General E.R.S. Canby, U.S.A.  May 26, 1865.  Roll not dated and parole not stated.

Prior to the Civil War, W.A.J. Sparks had been married to Jackie Ann Joyner ca. 1854. She had been born ca. 1830 in North Carolina. After her husband returned from the war, they settled in Caldwell County, Texas. It was there that they were listed on the 1880 census, and it was there that W.A.J. Sparks died on March 10, 1900. We have found no record of the death of his wife. They had six children: Benjamin Franklin Sparks was born ca. 1855 in Texas. He married Effie Best in Grimes County, Texas. Apparently they had no children. He died on April 8, 1936, in Coleman County, Texas. John Richard Sparks was born October 12, 1880, in Bastrop County, Texas. He married Millie Ann Joyner ca. 1883. She had been born on April 15, 1865, in Mississippi. She died on September 25, 1935, at Talpa in Coleman County, Texas. John died there on September 20, 1939. They were buried at Valera, Texas. They had five children. John Reuben Sparks was born July 12, 1884. He was never married. Maggie Thula Sparks was born May 26, 1888. She married James Baily Sluder in 1909 in Coleman County, Texas, and they had one child, James Earl Sluder. Agnes Beulah Sparks was born ca. 1890 at Rockdale in Milam County, Texas. She married Luther Maricle, and they had four children: Gail Maricle Louise Maricle Preston Maricle Faye Maricle. Preston Marvin Sparks was born September 9, 1893, in Milam County. He married Ruth Hardy, and they lived in Brown County, Texas. Apparently they had no children. Emmette Elwood Sparks was born April 12, 1895, at Rockdale, Texas. He married Jannie Estelle Garrison who had been born on November 6, 1902. They had seven children: Richard Elsworth Sparks; Veoma Marie Sparks; Roy Burton Sparks; Norma Louise Sparks; Mildred Maurine Sparks, she married to Andrew Clayton Singleton. Mrs. Singleton has been most helpful to us in providing information about her branch of the Sparks family.; Margrette Ruth Sparks; and Garland Leneal Sparks. Mary Belle Sparks was born ca. 1863 in Texas. She married John Seals ["Dick"] Knight. He was a son of Dr. David Knight and a brother of Rachel Knight and Elnora Knight, wives of John Sparks (see below). Dick Knight accompanied John Sparks to. Wyoming and became a cattleman. He and Belle (as she was called) had four children according to Mrs. Singleton. They were: Mariah Knight; Ed Knight; Susie Knight; and Nora Knight. William ["Will"] Warren Sparks was born ca. 1867. He was married twice. His rirst marriage was to Hattie Daniels, and they had one child named Ora Sparks. Will's second marriage was to Chessie Lemon, and they had one child, John Millington Sparks. Will Sparks died on June 12, 1931, in Wichita County, Texas. Jasper Harvey Sparks was born ca. 1869. He married Rosie Elliott, and they had two children; however, we have learned the name of only one of them, Dovey Sparks. Ida A. Sparks was born ca. 1871. She married William H. Moore, and they had three children: May Moore; Roy Moore; and William H. Moore, Jr. Mary Sparks, daughter of Millington and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks, was born January 2, 1801. She was a twin to William Andrew Sparks, next above. We have found no further information regarding her. Samuel ["Sam"] Wyatt Sparks, son of Millington and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks was born July 7, 1803, probably in Queen Annes County, Maryland, and was just a baby when his parents moved to Wilkes County, Georgia. It was there that his mother died on January 5, 1807, leaving his father with four small children, the oldest one being just eight years old. His father re-married the following year, and Samuel was reared by his step-mother, Ann (Swanway) Sparks.

Samuel had attained adulthood when he went westward with his father to Alabama, and it was there, in Tuscaloosa County, that he married Sarah Deal on January 29, 1829. The license was issued on January 22nd. Sarah had been born on February 15, 1811, in Pendleton District, South Carolina, and was a daughter of John and Frances Deal. The first child of Samuel and Sarah was born in Alabama on October 4, 1830.

Shortly after the birth of his first child, Samuel Sparks followed his in-laws (the Deals) to Noxubee County, Mississippi. He settled with his family near Cooksville. Here, two more children were born to him and Sarah. They did not remain in Noxubee County for very long, however, and when the 1840 census was taken, Samuel Sparks and his household were shown in Winston County, a few miles west of Noxubee County. Samuel and Sarah Sparks now had five children.

Samuel Sparks continued to move westward, according to descendants, and in 1844 he was in Arkansas where he stopped in that portion of Drew County that became a part of Ashley County in 1848. When the 1850 census was taken, he and his family were living near the village of Fountain Hill. Descendants say that he had been accompanied to Arkansas by his brother, William Andrew Sparks, who settled near him.

Samuel Wyatt Sparks made his last move to the west in the summer of 1857, settling at Sparks Crossing on Sulphur Creek in newly-formed Lampasas County, Texas, on September 14th. When the 1860 census was taken of Lampasas County, he was described thereon as a farmer with real estate valued at $6,000 and personal property valued at $3,300. His four sons were still at home, but his three oldest daughters were married. His youngest child, a daughter named Atelia, was now 14 years old and at home.

Three sons of Samuel and Sarah Sparks, Van, Tom, and John, served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Van and Tom were sergeants in Company D, 17th Regiment Texas Infantry, while John served in a regiment of Texas Frontier Cavalry. The war took a toll from Samuel's property, and in 1870 his real estate was valued at only $1,000, while his personal property was valued at only $1,200.

According to a descendant, Mrs, Mary (Sparks) Matthews of Glendora, California, Samuel Sparks was killed on August 19, 1871, while blasting for a well. He was buried in a cemetery on the Sparks farm, but no tombstone can now be found to mark his grave. He and his family were members of the Baptist faith.

Sarah (Deal) Sparks survived her husband for more that twenty-five years, dying on November 20, 1897, at the age of 86 years. She and Samuel had nine children, eight of whom lived to adulthood, with families of their own. Frances Emeline Sparks was born on October 4, 1830, in Alabama, probably in Tuscaloosa County. She was a young woman when she accompanied her parents to Mississippi, and then on to Arkansas. There she married David D. Sims on May 13, 1849, in Ashley County. He had been born ca. 1825 and was a son of John and Isabella (Johnson) Sims.

Shortly after their marriage, David and Frances moved to Lampasas County, Texas. It was there that David died, apparently between 1856 and 1860. When the 1860 census was taken of Lampasas County, Frances was shown as the head of her household, near that of her parents. When the 1870 census was taken, however, she and her four children were living in the household of her parents. She was still living in Lampasas County when the 1880 census was taken, but she was then living in her own household.

Frances (Sparks) Sims moved to Kent County, Texas, in 1892, where she bought a ranch. She died there on January 4, 1914, and was buried in the cemetery at Snyder, Texas. She and David had four children. Melissa Eudora Sims was born in September 1850, in Ashley County, Arkansas. She married George W. Lamphiew, and they had twelve children. We have learned the names of only three of them. Walter Lamphiew Zulieme Lamphiew Bertha May Lamphiew married James Calvin Jones, and they had five children: May Jones; James Calvin Jones, Jr.; Nancy Eudora Jones; Ada Elizabeth Jones; and Jack Jones. Eliza J. Sims was born September 14, 1851, in Ashley County, Arkansas. She died on September 9, 1924, in Garza County, Texas. Belle Sims was born March 16, 1853, in Ashley County, Arkansas. She died on January 11, 1926, in Garza County, Texas. Samuel David Sims was born July 6, 1857, in Rusk County, Texas; he may have been a posthumous child. He married Laura Belle Smith on January 9, 1882, in Burnet County, Texas. She had been born January 17, 1865, and was a daughter of James Gibson and Sarah (James) Smith. Samuel Sims died on May 23, 1919, at his ranch home in Kent County, Texas. Laura died on June 30, 1956, in Garza County, Texas. They were buried in the cemetery at Post, Texas. They had ten children. Ada Pearl Sims was born November 7, 1882, in Mills County, Texas. She married George McMeans on April 23, 1905. She died on December 10, 1956, in DeBaca County, New Mexico. Edward Caldwell Sims was born July 22, 1884. He married Gladys Johnson on August 31, 1905, in Scurry County, Texas. He died on December 16, 1916, and was buried at Post, Texas. Sallie Ethel Sims was born November 18, 1886. She married Walter Trammall on October 19, 1912. She died on September 28, 1983, and was buried at Sweetwater, Texas. U. Valdie Burns ["Kelly"] Sims was born 6 February 1888, in a covered wagon enroute to Kent County, Texas. He was marrled to Lora ["Sweet"] Nance on January 17, 1915, in Garza County, Texas. He died on March 27, 1957, and was buried at Post, Texas. Samuel David Sims, Jr. was born March 18, 1890, in Kent County, Texas. He married Alma Taylor on September 28, 1910. He died on December 10, 1962, and was buried at Post, Texas. Eva Sims was born August 4, 1892, in Kent County, Texas. She married Hugh Davis on April 18, 1917. She died on November 24, 1979, in Fisher County, Texas, and was buried at Clairmont, Kent County, Texas. Lee Roy Sims was born October 19, 1895, in Kent County, Texas. He married Mattie Daniels on February 3, 1920. He died on July 19, 1969, at Lubbock, Texas, and was buried there. John Tom ["Red"] Sims was born February 9, 1899. He married byrdie Nelle Davis on December 12, 1923. He died on July 31, 1975, and was buried at Post, Texas. Golda Belle Sims was born February 11, 1901, in Kent County, Texas. She married Scott Stanfield on December 24, 1921. She died on September 21, 1987, at Santa Fe, New Mexico. Georgia Leon Sims was born December 1, 1904. She married Bill Taylor on August 19, 1921. She died on May 20, 1964, and was buried at Post, Texas. Eliza Jane Sparks, daughter of Sam and Sarah (Deal) Sparks, was born February 14, 1833, in Noxubee County, Mississippi. She married Ambrose Bull on August 27, 1851, in Ashley County, Arkansas. He had been born on February 9, 1802, in Craven County, North Carolina, and was a sbn of James Hogan and Lovey (Campbell) Bull. He was a widower with nine children who ranged in age from two years to twenty years. (A daughter, Susan Bull, born in 1842, married Van Sparks, brother of Eliza Jane.) Ambrose and Eliza Jane went to Texas where they settled in Goldthwaite, a village in Mills County. It was there that Ambrose died on April 1, 1890. Eliza Jane died there on March 12, 1911. They were buried in the Mahler Cemetery in Mills County. They had two children: Samuel M. Bull was born December 10, 1853, in Ashley County, Arkansas. He married Emily Booth on February 9, 1876, in Lampasas County, Texas. She was a daughter of Charles Fox and Emma Marcella (Fitzgerald) Booth. Samuel died in 1937 at Rodeo, New Mexico. He and Emily had at least four children, including two un-named daughters who died at birth. The other two children were Benjamin Bull and Charles Edward Bull. The latter gained minor fame for impersonating Abraham Lincoln at various places, including the World's Fair in Chicago in the 1930's. He had the title of "Judge." John Franklin Bull was born in 1857 in Ashley County, Arkansas. Elizabeth ["Betty"] Sparks, daughter of Sam and Sarah (Deal) Sparks, was born June 21, 1835, in Noxubee County, Mississippi. She married Shadrach Denson on Christmas Day, 1851, in Ashley County, Arkansas. He had been born on February 1, 1833, in Rankin County, Mississippi, and was a son of Isaac and Cassandra (Grayson) Denson. Shadrach was a captain in Company D, 17th Regiment Texas Infantry, Confederate States Army, during the Civil War. He served as sheriff of Lampasas County, Texas, from 1870 to 1874. He and Betty had six children, including an unnamed child who died at birth. Betty died on July 21, 1861, just a few days after the birth of her sixth child. Shadrach died on March 31, 1892. He and Betty were buried in the Sparks Cemetery near Lampasas, Texas. Their children were: Frances E. ["Fanny"] Denson was born March 30, 1853. She married Henry ["Harry"] Bowman on February 20, 1880, in Lampasas County. She died on July 7, 1936. She and Harry had two children, Claude Bowman and William Bowman. Albert Denson was born October 6, 1854. He died on November 17, 1854. Samuel W. Denson was born April 10, 1856, and was a lad of about sixteen when his father was shot (but was not killed) by Mark Short. At the time, Shadrach Denson was sheriff of Lampasas County. Sam Denson swore that he would kill Short and did so. He hid for a time in Lampasas, then fled to Montana where he assumed the name of Gatlin or McGatlin. He was apparently quite prosperous there and managed to corner a lot of water rights. After twenty-five years, he returned to Texas, stood trial, and was acquitted.

Sam Denson was married twice, but we have been unable to learn the names of his spouses. He is said to have had four children. Three of them were by his first marriage. Eva Denson, Anna Denson, and Clifton Denson,

by his second marriage, he had a daughter, Shady Denson. He died on July 10, 1939. Mary Cassandra Denson was born June 30, 1858. She died on October 19, 1921. She apparently was never married. A child Denson was born to Shadrach and Betty Denson ca. 1860 and died at birth. Sarah E. Denson was born July 4, 1861. She married Thomas Norris. She died on December 30, 1941. Martin Van Buren ["Van"] Sparks, son of Sam and Sarah (Deal) Sparks, was born on March 4, 1837, in Winston County, Mississippi, on the day that Martin Van Buren was inaugrated as the eighth President of the United States, and was named for the president. He was just a small boy when his parents moved to Fountain Hill in Ashley County, Arkansas. There, he grew to manhood, and in 1859 he was a teacher in the Fountain Hill Academy.

Van Sparks served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. He entered into service at Camp Terry in Capt. Hillary Ryan's Company of Allen's Regiment Texas Infantry. This company subsequently became Company D, 17th Regiment Texas Infantry. His incomplete military record on file in the National Archives shows that on August 6, 1863, he "resigned office of 3rd Sgt.; pay due him as Sgt., April 30 to August 6, 1862."  From April 17 to May 28, 1864, he was in the C.S.A. General Hospital, Shreveport, Louisiana. He was discharged as a sergeant on April 30, 1865.

A grandson of Martin Van Buren Sparks recalls that in reminiscing as an old man, his grandfather said that his greatest concern during his army life had been for the safety of his younger brother, Tom Sparks, who served in the same military unit--Company D, 17th Regiment Texas Infantry. This regiment served in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

Sometime near the end of the Civil War, Van Sparks married Susan ["Susie"] Leonora Bull. She had been born on September 26, 1842, in Yazoo County, Mississippi, and was a daughter of Ambrose and Sarah (Maxwell) Bull. (See above.) Van and Susie started housekeeping in the village of San Saba, Texas, where Van taught school for one year. Their first child was born there in 1866. They returned to Lampasas County shortly thereafter, and it was there that Susie died on March 22, 1870, of typhoid fever. She left Van with three small children.

On October 6, 1875, Van married (second) Mary Elizabeth ["Betty"] Newton in Lampasas County. She had been born in 1839 in Walker County, Texas. She and Van had one child. Van died on December 12, 1914, in Lampasas County, and Betty died on April 11, 1926, in McCulloch County, Texas. They were buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lampasas County.

Fred Winchell Sparks wrote the following description of his grandfather, Martin Van Buren Sparks:

M. V. B. Sparks was elected a justice of the peace in Lampasas County in 1873, and in 1876 he was elected the district clerk of Lampasas. He then was elected Presiding Justice, the same as county judge; to serve from 1886 to 1888.

After retiring from politics, he was briefly in the mercantile business and then opened a fire insurance office in partnership with another man. This business continued until 1899 when his son, Lloyd Sparks, bought out the partner, and from then on until his death the business was titled "M.V.B. Sparks and Son."

Van was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church and served as church clerk and deacon, although he was a silent parishioner. He did not sing or lead in public prayer and seldom took part in testimonial sessions. As a man, he was stern, serious, stoical, and silent. He seldom laughed and rarely let his feelings be known, either by word of mouth or facial expression. He was highly respected as a citizen and as a churchman, but few people really knew him. He detested hypocrisy, flattery, and ostentation.

Frontier conditions, financial stringency, and the scarcity of schools had limited him to a very rudimentary formal education, but he supplemented what he had by his reading and private studies. He was particularly fond of history and biography, and he read everything he could get his hands on. He took great pride in his handwriting. During his youth, all legal documents and court records were done in pen and ink, and he aspired to become a recorder. Lloyd R. Sparks, son of Van and Susie (Bull) Sparks, was born April 1, 1866, in San Saba, Texas, where his father was teaching school, and he was a little boy when his parents returned to Lampasas. There he grew to maturity, and by the age of twenty-two he had a book and stationery store. He was visiting his uncle, John Sparks, in Georgetown, Texas, when he met Lucy Belle Eubank, a cousin of the wives of John Sparks. She had been born on December 8, 1866, and was a daughter of Cyrus and Caroline (Knight) Eubank. She and Lloyd were married in the Georgetown Baptist Church on November 19, 1890, by the Rev. Isaac Sellars.

In 1893, Lloyd Sparks moved his family to Waco, Texas, where he was a bookkeeper for the Baptist State Mission Board for a period of time and then went to tne Baptist Standard in the same capacity. When the Baptistoffices were moved to Dallas, he and his family lived there for about one year. In 1899, he bought a half interest in his father's Home Insurance Company, and he moved his family back to Lampasas. He was elected mayor of Lampasas in 1914 and served until 1919.

Lucy Belle (Eubank) Sparks died on January 12, 1925. Two years later, Lloyd married Pearl ["Sally"] Bolding. He died from complications involving a ruptured gall bladder on September 12, 1934, in Temple, Texas. He was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery beside Lucy Belle. Lloyd R. and Lucy Belle (Eubank) Sparks were the parents of four children. Fred Winchell Sparks was born November 13, 1891, at Georgetown, Texas. He became a teacher when he was nineteen years old, and he made teaching his professional career. His teaching experiences ranged from the elementary grades to graduate school. He was a full professor at Texas Technological College from 1926 to 1961. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Sparks was best known as the author of a series of mathematics textbooks published by McGraw, Hill & Company. He was honored by many professional organizations, Including membership in Sigma Xi. Fred Sparks served in the united States Army during World War I and was in France for nine months. When he returned from military service, he married Mary Elizabeth ["Madge"] Romans on January 13, 1921. She was a daughter of William M. A. and Ella E. (Kelly) Romans; she had been born on May 15, 1894, in Austin, Texas.

Fred Sparks died on February 15, 1982, at La Verne, California. Madge died just two months later, on April 15, 1982. They were buried at Pomona, California. They had one child, Mary Romans Sparks. She married Kermit D. Matthews, and they have two children, Fred K. Matthews and Mary Lois Matthews. Mary (Sparks) Matthews has done an outstanding job of collecting information about her branch of the Sparks family and has furnished several photographs used in this issue as illustrations. Mary and her husband, Kermit Matthews, are planning to publish a book about her Sparkses and Knights. Robert Burdette Sparks was born March 7, 1898, in Georgetown, Texas. He married Maurine Griffis on September 3, 1923. He died on January 16, 1959, in Houston, Texas. He and Maurine had two children, Robert Burdette Sparks, Jr. and Alice Sparks. Gladys Sparks was born June 15, 1902, in Lampasas, Texas. She married William R. Arrington on June 23, 1935, in Williamson County, Texas. She died on January 1, 1981, at Bartlett, Texas. She and William had two children, Anita Rae Arrington and William R. Arrington, Jr. Mattie Ruth Sparks was born May 18, 1910, at Lampasas, Texas. She married Wellborn R. Hudson, Jr. on December 23, 1933. She died on July 9, 1986. She and Wellborn had two children, Wellborn Hudson, III, and James S. Hudson. Thomas ["Tom"] Ulysses Sparks, son of Van and Susie (Bull) Sparks, was born on November 26, 1867, in Lampasas. He is said to have been married three times. His first marriage was to Eunice Vivienne Eubank on October 30, 1889, in Lampasas County. She had been born on October 11, 1869, in Salado, Texas, and was a daughter of John Thomas and Julia Jackson (Lamar) Eubank. She was also a second cousin of Lucy Bell Eubank, wife of Tom's brother, Lloyd R. Sparks. (See above.) Tom and Eunice had two children before her death, which occurred on October 7, 1894. Tom's second marriage was to Mrs. Gennie Pickett and his third was to Mrs. Miriam MNU. He died on April 3, 1940, and was buried in the Oatmeal Cemetery near Bertram, Texas. The two children of Tom and Eunice (Eubank) Sparks were: Iva Lee Sparks was born October 4, 1890, at Lampasas, Texas. She died on December 17, 1918, at Austin, Texas, and was buried there. Julia Lenore Sparks was born June 24, 1892. She married Earl Jackson Crawford on March 20, 1916. He had been born on November 13, 1889, at Post Oak, Texas, and was a son of Andrew Jackson and Anne (Evans) Crawford. Julia and Earl had six children: Earl Sparks Crawford Ivan Lee Crawford Dorothy Lenore Crawford Herschel O. Crawford William K. Crawford Douglas J. Crawford.

Dorothy Lenore (Crawford) Lewis has been most helpful in sharing information about her family. John Baxter Sparks, son of Van and Susie (Bull) Sparks, was born July 26, 1869, in Lampasas County, Texas, and it was there that he married Etta Josephine Cunningham on October 9, 1890. She had been born on February 26, 1871, at Millican, Texas; she was a daughter of Joseph and Malissa (Edwards) Cunningham. She and John went to the Oklahoma Territory ca. 1895 and were shown on the 1900 census of the Chickasaw Nation at Pauls Valley. John died there on October 7, 1958, and Etta died there on August 26, 1962. They were the parents of five children: Baxter Abbott Sparks was born August 7, 1891, in Lampasas, Texas. He was married on April 25, 1915, in Garvin County, Oklahoma, to Vivian Braden; She had been born on August 2, 1894, in Garvin County and was a daughter of Robert Edward and Jessie(Manning) Braden. Vivian died on September 27, 1978, and Baxter died on February 6, 1985. They had one child, Baxter Abbott Sparks, Jr.

Abbott Sparks (as he is called) has shown a remarkable interest in his Sparks lineage. A book which he co-authored, entitled Cattle in the Cold Desert, contains an excellent insight into the cattle industry and, in particular, the activities of his great-uncle, John Sparks. (See below; see also page 2929 of the September 1986 issue of the Sparks Quarterly, No.125.) Abbott has given permission for our use here of photographs from his book. He and his wife, Vicki, recently made a gift of $25,000 to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. William Jack Sparks, son of John Baxter and Etta (Cunningham) Sparks, was born December 23, 1895. He married Ruth Needham in April 1927. He died on April 7, 1972. He and Ruth had two children, Billy Jack Sparks and Maryl Dee Sparks. Van Joseph Sparks was born January 28, 1898, in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. He was married on April 21, 1922, to Fanne Woods Oehler at Maysville, Oklahoma. She had been born on December 21, 1900, at Huntersville, North Carolina, and was a daughter of Miles T. and Susan D. (Morrison) Oehler. She and Van had two children: Van F. Sparks and Norma Jo Sparks. Ima Susie Sparks, daughter of John Baxter and Etta (Cunningham) Sparks, was born August 15, 1900. She married Frank Fulbright Lam on August 15, 1926. She died at Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, on August 1, 198?. She and Frank had two children: Carol C. Lam and Robert R. Lam. Nora Sparks, daughter of John Baxter and Etta (Cunningham) Sparks, was born on May 5, 1907, at Pauls Valley. She married Odis Fletcher ["Bill"] Warren on March 7, 1926, at Sulphur, Murray County, Oklahoma. She died on January 7, 1979, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and Bill had four children: Jo L. Warren; Courtney V. Warren; Faith Warren; and John R. Warren. Samuel Buren Sparks, son of Van and Betty (Newton) Sparks, was born January 5, 1879, in Lampasas, Texas. He became a Baptist minister and served for a time in a church at Santa Fe, New Mexico; he was also chaplain for the New Mexico Senate, in the state legislature. On November 17, 1910, he married Mayme Lou Harper in Bell County, Texas. She had been born on September 11, 1891, and was a daughter of Lee Walker and Lora Elizabeth (Hoover) Harper. Buren (as he was called) Sparks died on December 13, 1948, at Burnet, Texas. Mayme died there on December 18, 1973.

The Rev. Buren Sparks made his last appearance as a clergyman in June 1946, according to an account written in a book, Home toTexas by Stanley Walker, 1954, about the funeral of Walker's mother. Walker wrote: "Sparks was dying of cancer and could hardly see, but he was still a delight. He was religious, make no mistake about that, but he never forgot that he was a human being. He could tell wonderful west Texas and New Mexico cow-country stories. He was a pretty good writer; he was a dead shot; and if he felt like it, he would take a drink of whiskey without appologizing to anyone. His remarks at my mother's funeral were brief, sensible and terribly moving; mercifully free of mawkishness and false eloquence. He spoke of her pioneer girlhood, her rugged life, her devotion to her family, her friends and neighbors, and to her church, and he reminded his listeners of their loss, That was it.

Buren and Mayme Sparks had six children: Buren Harper Sparks was born October 10, 1911 He married Berdelle Lewellen. He died on November 8, 1979. He and Berdelle had two children: Sylvia Lee Sparks and James Harper Sparks. Charles ["Red"] Marshall Sparks was born May 26, 1913. He married Dorothy Bowers, and they had one child, Charlotte Frances Sparks. Lora Elizabeth Sparks was born March 8, 1915. She married Russell Lanier Chestnut. She died on July 14, 1974. She and Russell had two children, Beverly Chestnut and Mary Frances Chestnut. Mayme Frances Sparks was born January 21, 1919. She married Charles Hoyt Lohnes, and they had four children: Sally Lou Lohnes; Sandra Sue Lohnes; Sharon Kay Lohnes; and Malcolm Hoyt Lohnes. James Brady Sparks was born July 20, 1922. He married Bea Strickland. He died on February 11, 1961. He and Bea had one child, Karen Sparks. Van Lee Sparks was born November 10, 1924. He died on July 10, 1926. Samuel Wyatt Sparks, Jr., son of Sam and Sarah (Deal) Sparks, was born January 30, 1839, in Winston County, Mississippi. He married Sarah (Landrum) Piper on January 27, 1868, in Lampasas County. She had been born ca. 1843 in Tennessee and was probably a widow with a seven-year- old daughter, florence. Sam Sparks, Jr. died on August 7, 1872, at the untimely age of 33 years, leaving Sarah with two small children. He was buried in the Sparks Cemetery, three miles east of Lampasas. Harvey Deal Sparks was born November 2, 1868. He married Eleanor ["Ella"] Christian on February 7, 1895. She had been born on October 2, 1875. Harvey died on August 22, 1917, and Ella died on May 13, 1928. They were buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery at Lampasas. They had three children. Samuel Sparks was born August 16, 1897. He died in May 1915. Hazel Deal Sparks was born August 3, 1899. She married Bolin W. Stephens on June 17, 1919. Emily E. Sparks was born April 4, 1915. She married Clint R. Mckinney on June 6, 1957. Atelia Sparks was born ca. 1871 in Lampasas County, Texas. She was obviously named for her aunt, Atelia Sparks, sister of her father. She married William A. Alexander on November 5, 1891, in Lampasas County. They had three children. Van Alexander Tol Alexander Sam Alexander Thomas Sparks, son of Sam and Sarah (Deal) Sparks, was born April 23, 1841, in Winston County, Mississippi, and was almost grown when he went with his parents to Lampasas County, Texas, in 1857. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted on April 5, 1862, in Company D, 17th Regiment Texas Infantry, Confederate States Army, along with his brother, Martin Van Buren Sparks. He promptly caught the measles. A company muster-roll for April 5-June 30, 1862, has the following entry:

"Tom Sparks, absent with measles." Later, on the muster-roll for Nov-December 1862, he was listed as "Present, sick." On April 1, 1865, he was carried on the muster-roll as "On detached service".

A granddaughter, Nancy (Sparks) Lawrence, said that he had been wounded by a Minie ball and furloughed home to recover. He was on his way back to join his regiment when the war ended.

Tom Sparks returned to Lampasas County where, in 1867, he registered to vote in Precinct No. 1 along with his father, Sam Sparks, and his brother, John Sparks. Three years later, he was married in Lampasas County to Alice Eugenia Coffey on March 10, 1870. She had been born on September 26, 1853, in Texas and was a daughter of Cyrus and Mary Ann (Gibson) Coffey. When the 1870 census was taken of Lampasas County, Tom and Alice were listed in a household near his father. His real estate was valued then at $1,000, and he had personal property valued at $600.

In the early 1870s, Tom Sparks and his brother, John Sparks, drove four "gigantic" herds of cattle from Texas to Wyoming; however, he continued to live in Lampasas County until the early 1880s. His family was enumerated twice on the 1880 census. It appeared on the census of Lampasas County and also on the census of Knox County. Since Knox County is a considerable distance from Lampasas County and in the northwest direction, perhaps Tom and his family were then on their way to Idaho while the census was being taken.

A descendant says that Tom Sparks purchased a three-thousand-acre ranch near American Falls, Idaho, probably in the early 1880s. He was a member of the last territorial legislature of the Idaho Territory and represented Oneida County when it comprised a large portion of southeastern Idaho. (Idaho became the 43rd state in 1890.) He suffered a severe loss of cattle during the memorable winter of 1889-1890. (See also Item 7, below.)

The role of Tom Sparks in the business affairs of his brother, John Sparks, is not clear. In 1885, in dictating some autobiographical notes, John recalled that in 1872 "in company with my brother, I drove cattle to Wyoming and sold them at a good profit." It seems fairly certain that Tom made several cattle drives with John during the 1870s. It seems equally certain that Tom managed some properties for his brother. This, however, is about all of the knowledge that we have about their relation ship.

Tom Sparks died on January 4, 1892, in Idaho. Alice survived him by forty years, dying on April 12, 1932, at Pocatello, Idaho. They were the parents of eight children. Mary Knox Sparks was born February 10, 1872, in Lampasas County, Texas. She died on July 10, 1875, of diphtheria. She was buried in the Sparks Cemetery three miles east of Lampasas. Walter Scott Sparks was born January 21, 1874, in Lampasas County and was a fair-sized lad when his parents moved to the general area where the present-day states of Nevada, Utah, and Idaho meet. It was probably in this area that he grew to maturity. He was not quite eighteen years old when his father died, but he took over the manage ment of the ranch. The 1901 Idaho Gazetteer listed him with 1,865 acres of land valued at $8,770. His post office was American Falls, Idaho.

Walter Scott Sparks was married twice. His first marriage was to Freda Herrera ca. 1899. She died on September 4, 1914. After her death, he married (second) Mrs. Zulema ["Zula"] Clark, a widow. He died on April 23, 1931, at American Falls, Idaho. He had four children, all by his first marriage. Walter Shirley Sparks was born August 25, 1900, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He married Geraldine ["Gerry"] F. McClellan on June 26, 1921, in Power County, Idaho. She had been born January 6, 1901. Walter died on April 1, 1960, in Oregon and Gerry died on April 1, 1984, in San Antonio, Texas. They had two children, Walter Shirley Sparks and Mary Patricia Sparks. Pauline Sparks was born February 2, 1902, at American Falls, Idaho. She married Earl Hower. She died about 1950. Marian Sparks was born March 27, 1905. She married Forrest Daniel ["Red"] Newcomb on January 26,1929. She died on November 2, 1993. She and Red had two children, Carol Lee Newcomb and Joan Paula Newcomb. Elbert Harvey Sparks was born October 3, 1910, at American Falls, Idaho. He married Adell Peterson in 1931, and they had four children: Betty Louise Sparks; Karen Lee Sparks; Ronald W. Sparks; and Gary Elbert Sparks. Mabel Clare Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Alice Eugenia (Coffey) Sparks, was born November 1, 1875, in Lampasas, Texas. She married Edwin Elymer Stuart about 1900, and they had four children. Edwin Elymer Stuart was born March 6, 1903, at Pocatello, Idaho. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Cleon Baker in 1927. They were divorced, and he married (second) Olive Gnose in 1930. He was the chief of police of Anaconda, Montana, when he was killed by a gunman on June 6, 1939. He and Olive had two children, Donald Bruce ["Scotty"] Stuart and Edwin Elymer Stuart, III. Thomas Sparks Stuart was born October 15, 1904, at Pocatello, Idaho. He married Hazel Zaring in December 1926. He died in 1982. He and Hazel had one child, Edwin Zaring ["Ned"] Stuart. Paul Bruce Stuart was born January 11, 1913, at El Paso, Texas. He married Dorothy Cordelia Van Dermark. He died on April 5, 1963. He and Dorothy had four chfldren: Edwin Bruce Stuart; Mary Clare Stuart; Olive Catherine Stuart; and Cynthia Lee Stuart. John ["Jack"] Pattison Stuart was born July 31, 1914, at American Falls, Idaho. He was wounded in Australia during World War II and died there on February 17, 1943. John Wyatt Sparks, son of Thomas and Alice Eugenia (Coffey) Sparks, was born on September 6, 1877. He married Lila Barton on October 23, 1901. He died on December 7, 1941, and was buried in the American Falls Cemetery. He and Lila had three children. Alice Vinata Sparks was born April 6, 1903, in Canada. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Gaylord Harrison, and they had two children, Alice ["Allie"] Mae Harrison and Edith Lyn Harrison.

Alice (Sparks) Harrison and Gaylord Harrison were divorced, and she married (second) FNU Fawcett. They had one child, Adelaine Rae Fawcett. John Kennrith Sparks was born in May 1907. He was killed in an automobile accident in 1925 and was buried beside his father in the American Falls Cemetery. Thomas Arthur Sparks was born in 1910. He was married and had a son. We have no further. information about him. Thomas Sparks. Ethel Vinata Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Alice Eugenia (Coffey) Sparks, was born August 28, 1879, in Lampasas, Texas. She married Walter R. Siders on December 26, 1904. He had been born on December 4, 1871, in Marion County, Iowa. He died on October 25, 1940, in Omaha, Nebraska. Ethel died in Medford, Oregon. She and Walter had three children. Walter Raleigh Siders, Jr. was born January 13, 1906. He married Helen Day Smith, and they had one child, Cyrus Siders. Bernard Whiteman Siders was born August 19, 1908, at Pocatello, Idaho. He accidentally ingested lye used in making soap and died in the children's hospital in Salt Lake City on July 13, 1911. Carol Knox Siders was born November 13, 1916, at Pocatello, Idaho. She married Jim Rolls. She died at Medford, Oregon, in 1991. Paul Millington Sparks, son of Thomas and Alice Eugenia (Coffey) Sparks, was born June 25, 1882, in Lampasas, Texas. He married Lilly Blame on July 7, 1917, in Power County, Idaho. She had been born June 18, 1892, at Grand Junction, Colorado. Paul died on June 6, 1959, and Lilly died on June 20, 1971. They were buried in the IOOF/Eastwood Cemetery in Medford, Oregon. They had four children. Jene Margaret Sparks was born June 8, 1918, at Sunbeam Ranch, Idaho. She married Riley Cook on April 23, 1939, at Medford, Oregon, and they had three children: Forrest Paul Cook; Arthur Charles Cook; and Alice Jene Cook. Rae Sparks was born October 5, 1919. She married Ralph McGonagle on February 14, 1942. She died while in her twenties from heart valve damage caused by childhood pneumonia. She was buried in the IOOF/Eastwood Cemetery at Medford, Oregon. Paul Millington Sparks, Jr. was born April 16, 1921, at American Falls, Idaho. He served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. After returning from service, he married Ruth Childs on June 1, 1948, at Medford, Oregon. He died on February 10, 1994. He and Ruth had two sons: Harlan Sparks and Paul Millington Sparks, III. Alice Marian Sparks was born September 26, 1922. She married James Gordon Bennett on February 28, 1946, at Tacoma, Washington, and they had three children: Lynda Bennett; Barbara Bennett; and Clinton Bennett. Thomas Coffey Sparks, son of Thomas and Alice Eugenia (Coffey) Sparks, was born October 5, 1888, at Salt Lake City, Utah. He married Edith Olinda Miller on June 19, 1921, at Pocatello, Idaho. He died on February 2, 1970, at Twin Falls, Idaho. Edith died there on May 1, 1977. They were buried in the American Falls Cemetery. They had one child: Edith Nancy Sparks was born September 24, 1928. She married John Allen Lawrence on March 4, 1951. He had been born June 6, 1928. He and Edith had two children, Carolyn Nan Lawrence and Barbara January Lawrence. Rachel Nancy Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Alice Eugenia (Coffey) Sparks, was born posthumously on March 19, 1892. She died on December 14, 1896. John Sparks, son of Sam and Sarah (Deal) Sparks, was born August 30, 1843, in Winston County, Mississippi, where his father was a cotton farmer. Shortly after John's birth, Sam Sparks moved his family to Ashley County, Arkansas, where the family was enumerated on the 1850 census, living near the village of Fountain Hill. John was a teenage boy when his father made his last move, this time to newly-formed Lampasas County, Texas, where he settled on the Salt Fork (later Sulfur Fork) of the Lampasas River in Lampasas County. It was here that John Sparks attained manhood.

Lampasas County is located on the eastern fringe of the well-known Texas "cattle country," and John Sparks became involved in cattle raising at an early age. As a young lad, he learned to ride horses, rope steers, and shoot "varmints." He also learned cattle raising from weaning and branding to the final sale at a cattle market.

Sparks became a large man physically. Estimates of his height vary from six feet, two inches to six feet, five inches, and apparently he had great muscular strength as well. A contemporary described him as "like a grizzly bear in strength." He was also described as "warm and friendly," "courageous and fearless," "sincere and honest," and "gentle and generous." Apparently he was also a "joiner," and he held memberships in the Odd Fellows, Masons, Elks, and Eagles. He was also a Baptist.

The Civil War service of John Sparks is not too clear. In 1885, he dictated a modest account of his military service as follows: "I, being about 14 years of age (1857) remained on my father's farm until the breaking out of the Civil War between the North and South when I joined what was known as the Home Texas Rangers and was attached to Norris's Regiment State Troops. (We were) detailed to guard the whites and citizen inhabitants against the Comanche Indians, they being very troublesome at this time. In this important service, I remained nearly four years and until the close of the war, when I once (again) actively engaged in the cattle business."

Many years later, on May 2, 1930, Sparks's widow, Nancy Elnora (Knight) Sparks, applied for a Texas Confederate States Army Pension. She stated that her husband had served in Capt. J. M. Callan's Company, Texas Frontier Regiment from December 13, 1862, until sometime in 1864. The service was confirmed a few days later by the Texas Adjutant General's Office which stated: "John Sparks was a private in Capt. J. J. Callan's Company, Texas Frontier Regiment. He was enrolled on December 13, 1862, at Camp Colorado, Texas, and was paid for his service through December 31, 1863. The Regiment was accepted into the Confederacy in the early part of 1864." Mrs. Sparks's application was approved on May 8, 1930. Certificate No. 46,500 was issued to her, and she was placed on the Texas pension roll.

John Sparks participated in several cattle drives as a young cowboy. In the main, these drives were from Texas northward to new ranges in Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, and Montana where the cattle were turned loose to fatten before they were shipped east to markets. One drive took him from Texas to Virginia. He was finally able to acquire his own herds.

In 1868, Sparks took a herd of cattle to the area where Nebraska and Wyoming join. He remained in this area nearly three years before returning to Texas. It was there, in the spring of 1872, that he married Rachel Knight. She had been born on November 20, 1853, and was a daughter of Dr. David and Susannah Knight. She accompanied her husband when he returned to Wyoming where they lived at Cheyenne. He bought a ranch in the Chugwater River valley in 1873.

During the next quarter of a century, the story of the life of John Sparks can best be told by following his business deals involving the buying and selling of land and cattle. Each of his transactions seemed to be larger than the one before and finally reached a peak when he and his partner, John Tinnin, owned nearly 80,000 head of cattle scattered over land that equalled in size the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, and half of the state of New Jersey. During the harsh winter of 1889-1890, they lost at least 35,000 head of cattle through freezing and starvation.

John Sparks also had lost his wife, Rachel, a decade earlier, during the winter of 1878-1879. She was only twenty-six years old when she died on February 14, 1879. John was left with two small daughters, ages four and two. He turned to his sister-in-law, Nancy Elnora ["Nora"] Knight for help, and they were married on January 25, 1880. Rachel was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery at George town, Texas.

During this time, Sparks had not lost interest in his Texas upbringing, and in 1878 he had built a home in Georgetown. He also acquired about 10,000 acres of land south of Taylor, Texas, in Williamson County and became half-owner of the Steele & Sparks Bank in Georgetown.

After his second. marriage, John Sparks took his bride to Elko County, Nevada, where they lived for a time at the Rancho Grande ranch on Goose Creek in the extreme northeast corner of the county, but by 1885, he had moved his family across the state to the town of Reno. There, he purchased a 1,640-acre tract of land that he named "The Alamo." It became a showcase ranch and was the center of a most successful cattle-breeding operation. It also became the center of the community's social life where John and Nora gave barbecue parties, entertaining their neighbors and guests. Guest lists contained the names of several prominent persons at the national level, including Leland Stanford, Edward Harriman, and Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1891, Sparks and Jasper Harrell formed a new cattle company that became quite successful. He sold his share to Harrell in 1901. A year later, Sparks had an opportunity to buy the Wedekind gold mine just a few miles north of Reno. The mine turned out to be a fraud, but Sparks learned this only after he had built a thirty-ton mill, with a store, machine shop, assay office, and boarding facilities. It is said that he lost over $150,000 on the deal.

In 1902, John Sparks was persuaded to become a candidate for governor of Nevada on the Fusion Party ticket (actually a combination of Democrats and Republicans). He was victorious, and he was reelected to the office four years later. During his terms of office, legislation was enacted to (1) establish much-needed irrigation policies; (2) establish an eight-hour work day for miners and abolish "company stores," and (3) establish an employer's liability law. Sparks was responsible, also, for improving the relationship between Nevada and the federal government with respect to the cattle industry, the use of water, and the use of public lands. He became known as "Honest John" because of his fights for the rights of his fellow men.

In 1904, John Sparks had a newly-built town in Nevada named for him. The Central Pacific Railroad, completed in 1868, served the entire northern part of the state and had repair shops near Reno. In 1901, changes in the Railroad's route caused a need to relocate the repair shops and a "new" town was built for that purpose. It was named for the Governor and became known officially as Sparks, Nevada, on May 27, 1904.

Governor Sparks suffered for several years from chronic Bright's Disease, and in the spring of 1908, the malady began to take a heavier toll, probably due to the problems and stresses of his office. Shortly after arbitrating a bitter dispute in the mining camp of Goldfleld, Nevada, Sparks died at his home, "The Alamo", on May 22, 1908, at the age of sixty years. His death brought forth a period of intense mourning across the state.

The body of Governor Sparks lay in state in Nevada's capitol building, and hundreds of people filed by his bier to pay their last respects. The Hon. Frank H. Norcross, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, delivered the eulogy at the funeral on May 25, 1908. He ended his address with the following words:

"His work on earth is ended. He has gone to his reward. A kind and devoted husband and father; a true and steadfast friend; a noble citizen; a faithful, honest, and conscientious public official; a real gentleman, comprises in brief, the sum and substance of the life of John Sparks."

John Sparks was buried in Reno, Nevada. A tall, white marble shaft with a bronze bust of him on the top was erected at his grave in the Masonic Memorial Cemetery in Reno. The bust was sculptured by Sparks's daughter, Maud (Sparks) McKenzie.

In 1958, Sparks was honored by the Oklahoma Western Hall of Fame for his role as a cattleman and as a public official. A plaque testifying to his place of leadership in the cattle industry was placed on the wall of the Western Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Cited were:

(1) his ownership of one of the biggest ranches in the west;
(2) his two elections to the position of governor of Nevada; and
(3) his steadying influence in the fight between federal and state governments over their respective roles in the use of western land.

According to census records and Information given by relatives, John Sparks had six children. by his first marriage he had two daughters, and by his second marriage he had four sons. Efforts to find information about these children and their descendants have not been very successful. Maud D. Sparks was born in August 1875 in Texas, probably in Lampasas County. She was in Paris, France, when, on January 29, 1897, she gave 2,214 acres of land in Williamson County, Texas, to her father. She had inherited this land from her mother, Rachel A. Sparks, as Rachel's only surviving child at Rachel's death in 1879.

A niece of Maud Sparks, Nancy (Sparks) Humiston, (See Item f, (1), below) states that her aunt was a talented person who was a painter, sculptor, and a writer of novels, plays, and screen scenarios. She was educated in Europe because her father believed that a frontier ranch was not a proper place in which a young lady should grow up. While she was studying in Paris, one of her best friends was Jean McKenzie. She was later married to Jean's brother, James A. McKenzie, an attorney and a son of a Presbyterian minister

Maud and James McKenzie lived near the Pacific Ocean in a mansion designed by her and which faced the Pebble Beach Golf Course. When the wife of her brother, Benton Hackett Sparks, died in 1918, Maud and her husband took over the care of her brother's three sons.

James A. McKenzie died during the Great Depression in the early 1930s, after which Maud could no longer afford to live in the mansion; she moved into another house that they owned. Here she was cared for by her niece, Nancy Humiston, and her nephew, Benton Knight Sparks, until her death.

The last account we have of Maud (Sparks) McKenzie tells that she returned to Texas in 1944 to visit a cousin, the Rev. Buren Sparks. At that time, she was living in the old retreat of Aimie Semple McPherson at Carmel-by-The-Sea, California. With her were her eleven cats. Rachel K. Sparks was born April 15, 1877, in Texas. She died on December 3, 1881, and was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Georgetown, Texas.

(On February 1, 1882, John and Nora (Knight) Sparks gave two acres of land to the Southern Presbyterian Church in Georgetown, Texas. The plot was described as "now fenced in for cemetery purposes and upon which stands a monument to the memory of the late Rachel Sparks." The land is situated about a mile south of the public square in Georgetown.) Deal Sparks, son of John and Nora (Knight) Sparks, was born on September 4, 1880, in Texas. He died on January 29, 1882, and was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Georgetown, Texas. Since his death occurred just about three weeks after the death of his half- sister, Rachel Sparks, perhaps they both died during a childhood disease epidemic. Benton Hackett Sparks, son of John and Nora (Knight) Sparks, was born April 24, 1882. He was in charge of "The Alamo" ranch at the time of his father's death. Apparently, he married Ada Ede soon afterwards. She had been born in 1884; she died in 1918. Benton Sparks died on December 22, 1980, in San Francisco at the age of 98 years. He and Ada had three children who were cared for by Benton's sister, Maud D. (Sparks) McKenzie, and her husband following the death of their mother. John Sparks was married twice, but we have not learned the names of his spouses. He was buried in the Mountain View Cemetery in Reno, Nevada. Benton Knight Sparks was born in 1909. He married Helen Honnold. She had been born on March 22, 1904, in Idaho. Benton died in 1978. He and Helen were buried in the Mountain View Cemetery in Reno, Nevada. Alfred Sparks was married twice. His first marriage was to Barbara Jones. His second marriage was to Marjorie MNU Charles M. Sparks, son of John and Nora (Knight) Sparks, was born in October 1885. He may have been named for his father's friend, Charley Goodnight, a noted cattleman. Charles Sparks was crippled when he was a small boy after accidentally falling down a flight of steps while roller skating. According to an account given by one of his father's contemporaries, he was quite friendly and reliable. He is believed to have become a professional gambler. Leland John Sparks, son of John and Nora (Knight) Sparks, was born August 8, 1889. He may have been named for the noted capitalist and philanthropist, Leland Stanford. Leland Sparks is said to have been married twice. His first marriage was to Ruth Searles; his second was to Allie M. Burwitz. He died on July 6, 1972, and was buried in the Mountain View Cemetery in Reno, Nevada. He was the father of two children. Nancy Elnora Sparks (her named was changed later to Nancy Lee Sparks) was born June 16, 1920. She married Thomas Frederic Humiston in 1959. Leland John Sparks, Jr. was born July 26, 1926. He married Patricia Clarkin in 1948. They had eight children: John Sparks Thomas Sparks Patricia Ann Sparks Anthony Charles Sparks Katherine Sparks Nancy Jo Sparks Diane Sparks George Benton Sparks
. Atelia Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Sam and Sarah (Deal) Sparks, was born on August 5, 1846, in Ashley County, Arkansas. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Emanuel MeVey ca. 1865. It was a second marriage for him. He and Atelia had four children before his death, which occurred sometime between 1878 and 1880. When the 1880 census was taken of Lampasas County, Texas, Atelia (Sparks) McVey was shown as head of her household. With her were her four children and her mother, Sarah (Deal) Sparks, aged 68 years.

Atelia (Sparks) McVey married (second) Joseph Holt Brown ca. 1885. They had two children. Atelia was buried in Hill County, Texas, at the village of Itasca. She was the mother of six children in all. Rebecca McVey was born ca. 1867. She married Thomas Jefferson ["Jeff"] Chance on June 23, 1889, in Lampasas County. Sarah E. McVey was born ca. 1869 in Arizona. She married Daniel W. Taylor on December 1, 1890, In Lampasas County, and they had two children, Daniel Taylor and John Twiggs Taylor. George McVey was born ca. 1870 in Texas. Eugene McVey was born ca. 1872. Hyder Joseph Brown was born January 25, 1887. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Rosalie Wilkinson. She had been born on September 18, 1886. She and Hyder had two children before her death, which occurred on September 13, 1939. Hyder married (second) Jane Monday in May 1944. He died in August 1969. He and Rosalie were buried at Itasca, Texas. Rosalie Brown was born May 4, 1920. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Stanley Erwin McCormick on October 31, 1943. Her second marriage was to Irving M. Cumbie on February 14, 1963. Hyder Joseph Brown was born October 16, 1925. He died on June 14, 1981, in Austin, Texas. Hallie L. Brown was born, apparently, ca. 1890. He married Docia Martin, and they had one child. He died in 1964. He and Docia were buried at Itasca, Texas. Phoebe Elizabeth Brown married Oran Johnson, and they had a daughter, Janet Johnson. William L. Sparks was born in January 1850, probably in Ashley County, Arkansas, although his death record states his birthplace was Louisiana. He was two months old when he died of whooping cough. Lloyd Sparks was born probably in the early 1850s; apparently he died when he was quite young. Eliza Sparks, daughter of Millington and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks and a twin sister of Samuel Wyatt Sparks, was born July 7, 1803. She died on September 1, 1803.

As noted above, Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks, first wife of Millington Sparks, III, died on January 5, 1807, probably in Georgia. Millington married (second) Ann Swanway on May 12, 1808. She had been born ca. 1782 in Georgia. She and Millington had three children: John Wesley Sparks, son of Millington and Ann (Swanway) Sparks, was born December 21, 1809. We have found no further record of him. Rebecca Sparks, daughter of Millington and Ann (Swanway) Sparks, was born September 1, 1811, in Georgia and was a teenage girl when she went with her parents to Lauderdale County, Alabama. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Thomas Scott on July 10, 1830, in Lauderdale County. They had five children before his death, which occurred, apparently, ca. 1844. Rebecca married (second) Thomas Berry on July 6, 1846. He may have died shortly after their marriage since Rebecca was shown as the head of her household when the 1850 census was taken of Lauderdale County. With her were her five children from her first marriage. Also living in Rebecca's household in 1850 was her mother, Ann [or Nancy] (Swanway) Sparks, aged 68 years. The children of Thomas and Rebecca (Sparks) Scott were: John Scott was born ca. 1831 in Alabama. He was 19 years of age and was living with his mother and siblings when the 1850 census was taken of Lauderdale County; his occupation was given as "weaver." Martha Scott was born ca. 1832 in Alabama. Called "Marthy"on the 1850 census of Lauderdale County, she was shown as 18 years of age and living in her mother's household. She may have been married later to FNU Hutton. Nancy Scott was born ca. 1835 in Alabama. William Scott was born ca. 1840 in Alabama. Ann Eliza Scott was born ca. 1843 in Alabama. Lloyd Sparks, son of Millington and Ann (Swanway) Sparks, was born August 15, 1813, probably in Georgia. We have found no further record of him.

[Editor's Note: Our record of Millington Sparks, III (or William Millington as he was sometimes called) is far from complete, as shown above. While our story of the life of Governor John Sparks is fairly complete, the record of his children and grandchildren is remarkably incomplete, considering John's prominence as a public figure. We shall welcome additional information on this branch of the Sparks family from anyone having further knowledge of it.]