May 15, 2020

Pages 4706-4708
Whole Number 175 ELLA REBECCA (SPARKS) SMITH (1863-1892)

In the Sparks Quarterly of December 1963, Whole No. 44, appeared an article entitled "Descendants of Zachariah Sparks (born 1796)." 27.2.1 Zachariah was a son of 27.2 William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks. He accompanied his parents when they moved from Laurens County, South Carolina, to Indiana in 1812; he was married on May 16, 1815, in Franklin County, Indiana, to Elizabeth Carter. They were the parents of ten children (see page 769 of the December 1963 Quarterly), one of whom was Amaziah Sparks, born in Hancock County, Indiana, on April 13, 1832. A sketch of the life and family of Amaziah appears in the Quarterly cited above, beginning on page 770. His photograph appeared on the cover of that issue, along with that of his second wife, Sarah Ann (Fowler) Sparks. Amaziah Sparks served in the Civil War, and an abstract of his Civil War pension file appeared on pp. 1425-26 of the Quarterly of September 1971, Whole No. 75.

Amaziah Sparks was married twice, first to Elizabeth Ann Rolston in 1851 and, following her death in 1857 or 1858, to Sarah Ann Fowler. by his first wife, he was the father of three children; by his second, he had eleven, all daughters. Following the Civil War, Amaziah Sparks moved his family to Yamhill County, Oregon, then to Modoc County, California, then to Lewis County, Washington, later to Linn County, Oregon, then to Klickitat County, Washington, and finally back to Lewis County, Washington. He died on September 6, 1918, in Mossyrock, Washington.

Sarah Ann (Fowler) Sparks, second wife of Amaziah Sparks, died on October 26, 1913, in Chehalis, Washington. Since the publication of our earlier material on Amaziah Sparks and his family, we have obtained an obituary of Sarah Ann. It reads as follows:

Mrs. Sarah Sparks died Sunday night east of Chehalis at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J. E. Grimes. The funeral was held at the old home at Mossyrock Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock. Interment was in Mossyrock cemetery. Mrs. Sarah Sparks was born in Schuyier county, Illinois, May 13, 1843. She moved with her parents to Kansas, where she met and married A. Sparks in 1859. To this union was born eleven daughters, nine of whom are living. Mrs. Sparks had been a Christian for 53 years and was loved by all who knew her. She was a member of the Christian church and was well known. Mrs. Sparks will be sadly missed by relatives and friends. She leaves to mourn her loss a husband and nine daughters, who are: Mrs. Josephine Stone of Logan, New Mex.; Mrs Anna McGhie of Everett; Mrs. Leia Scammon of Prineville, Ore.; Mrs. Emma Wilson, Mrs. May Rich and Mrs. Loda Miller, all of Mossyrock; Mrs. Effle Grimes of Chehalis; Mrs. Grace Ray of Centralia, and Mrs. Verda McCandless of Raymond. Mrs. Sparks is also survived by 37 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A daughter of Amaziah and Sarah Ann (Fowler) Sparks was Ella Rebecca Sparks, born on November 6, 1863, in Leavenworth County, Kansas. She married John Henry Smith on March 1, 1882, at or near Centerville, Washington, and they were the parents of three children: (see below for more information) Fred A. Smith, born February 25, 1883; Grace M. Smith, born July 5, 1885; and Edna Lee Smith, born November 30, 1888.

Ella Rebecca (Sparks) Smith died on September 29, 1892. John Henry Smith was married a second time to Anna McKillip, on October 16, 1894. She had been born on July 7, 1867, in Callaway County, Missouri; she died on May 8, 1960.

A member of our Association, Virginia Brown of P.O. Box 8, Piedmont, Missouri, 63957, has been tracing the ancestry of her husband, Dennis W. Brown, who is a great-grandson of John Henry and Ella Rebecca (Sparks) Smith, through their daughter, Edna Lee (Smith) Brown (1888-1973), whose husband was George W. Brown (1879-1960). Virginia Brown has provided the photograph appearing on page 4707 of the present issue of the Quarterly. This photograph, which was passed down to Dennis W. Brown by his grandmother, is known to be that of John Henry Smith and his wife, but Virginia Brown and her husband do not have proof whether it is his first wife, Ella Rebecca Sparks, or his second wife, Anna McKillip. Can anyone assist Mrs. Brown in solving this puzzle?

Virginia Brown has provided the following information regarding John Henry Smith. He was born in Scotland County, Missouri, on June 26, 1856, the second son of William D. and Mary (Owens) Smith, in a family of eleven children. He was raised on a farm and received a good education in Missouri schools. He went to California with his family in 1875. About two years later, they moved to Clackamas County, Oregon, where he helped his father for a short time. In the spring of 1877, he joined a small group of people who were traveling by mule team, with Klickitat County, Washington, as their destination. Their route for travel was through The Dalles, Oregon. When they finally arrived, they filed claims adjoining each other. John's claim was about two miles southeast of Centerville, Washington. He took up farming and ranching.

It was there that he met and married Ella Sparks (born on November 9, 1864, in Leavenworth County, Kansas), who had come from Kansas with her parents. They were married on March 1, 1882. Ella and John opened a general store in 1887, before the birth of their third child. They operated this business until Ella's death on September 29, 1892. In the "Register of Deaths" in Klickitat County, it shows the cause of her death as "Unknown." Her grave is beside that of her husband, John, who died on August 5, 1935, at the home of his daughter, Edna, in Centralia, Washington. Their graves are in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Goldendale. Their three children were: Fred A. Smith was born February 25, 1883. He married Elsie I. Coffield (born May 11, 1881, in Colorado) on September 25, 1905. He died on December 18, 1961, at Yakima, Washington; Elsie died on September 19, 1935. They had four daughters: Lucille Smith, born July 27, 1906; Adria Smith, born December 11, 1907; Doris Smith, born October 8, 1912; and Margery Smith, born June 20, 1915. Grace M. Smith was born July 5, 1885. She married Guy Cooper on July 1, 1906. They had a daughter, Alverna Cooper, born on May 22, 1910. Edna Lee Smith was born November 30, 1888. She married George W. Brown (born June 4, 1879) on July 1, 1906. They had two sons: Loren W. Brown, born October 20, 1907, died May 8, 1960; and Gerald L. Brown, born September 18, 1911, died May 8, 1961.

Edna Lee (Smith) Brown died on July 7, 1973; George W. Brown died on August 7, 1960. Loren W. Brown was the father of Dennis W. Brown, husband of Virginia Brown, who has provided the information on this branch of the Sparks family for this issue of the Quarterly, along with the photograph appearing on page 4707.