March 15, 2020

Pages 5035-5038
Whole Number 183

JOHN ALBERT SPARKS (1899-1947) and
Information and Queries

In the Quarterly of June 1978, Whole No. 102, pp. 1993-2014, we published an article devoted to Richard Sparks, who was born in Virginia between 1779 and 1781. We are quite certain that it was in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, that he was born and that his father was 17.2.4 Samuel Sparks, about whom information was included, also, in the June 1978 issue, pp. 1990-93.

Richard Sparks spent his youth in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, and it was there that he married Sarah Peterson, daughter of Peter and Ruth Peterson. Richard and his family moved to adjoining Rutherford County, North Carolina, before 1810. Early in the 1820s, they moved to Roane County, Tennessee, where they were still living when the 1850 census was taken. by 1860, however, they were in Carroll County, Arkansas. On the census of that year, Richard's age was given as 81 and Sarah's as 78.

Richard Sparks had died before the 1870 census was taken; Sarah was living that year with her son, Joshua Sparks, in Newton County, Arkansas.

Among the thirteen children of Richard and Sarah (Peterson) Sparks was a son named Peterson Sparks, born in 1806. He was married shortly before the 1830 census was taken, at which time he was living in Blount County, Tennessee. The first wife of Peterson Sparks died sometime prior to 1840; his second wife, who had been born ca. 1820, was Isabella FNU. by 1840, Peterson and his family had moved to Jefferson County, Alabama, where three of his brothers, Samuel Sparks, James Sparks, and Thomas Sparks, were also living. by 1850, he had moved to Pontotoc County, Mississippi, but by 1854 he was in Conway, Arkansas, and by 1850 he was in Carroll County, Arkansas. Descendants believe that his last move was to Johnson County, Texas, where he died, perhaps during the Civil War.

A son of Peterson Sparks was Robert Turner Sparks, born in Mississippi, in 1847; he died in 1936. He was married in Harrison, Boone County, Arkansas, to Jane Rankins, born 1850, died 1928. (See p. 2000 of the Quarterly cited above.)

The only son of Robert Turner and Jane (Hankins) Sparks was John Walker Sparks, born July 5, 1871, in Boone County, Arkansas. He was married in 1891 to Katherine Hickey. She died in 1906; he lived until 1927.

Among the six children of John Walker and Katherine (Hickey) Sparks was John Albert Sparks. Several of the dates given in his record on page 1001 of the Quarterly are in error, according to research done by his granddaughter, Donna Isbell of Wiggins, Colorado. These corrections have been incorporated in the additional information provided by Mrs. Isbell; she has also provided the photo- graphs appearing on page 5057.

It was in Gaither Township, Boone County, Arkansas, that John Albert Sparks was born March 12, 1899; he died on January 1, 1947, in Denver, Colorado. He was married at Harrison, Arkansas, on May 17, 1924, to Verlie Josephine Hayes, daughter of James Buford and Hannah Alice (Hendricks) Hayes. She had been born April 28, 1904; she died on September 25, 1933, at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; she was buried there, in the Rose Hill Burial Park. John Albert Sparks was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Denver County, Colorado. John Albert and Verlie Josephine (Hayes) Sparks were the parents of five children: Florence Opal Sparks was born December 25, 1924, at Chelsea, Rogers County, Oklahoma; she died on December 29, 1924, when 4 days old. Lois Alberta Sparks was born June 24, 1926, also at Chelsea; she was married on November 9, 1942, to Lee M. Priest. They have 3 children: Donna, Jonathan, and Richard. James Leo Sparks was born December 29, 1928, also at Chelsea; he died 28 days later, on January 26,1929. James Kenneth Sparks was born January 17, 1930, at Foyil, Rogers County, Oklahoma. He was married on June 23, 1956, to Martha Coe. Gertrude Marie Sparks was born September 28, 1931, at Foyil, Rogers County, Oklahoma.

1899-1947 1904-1933

Mrs. Isbell has asked that the following queries be published regarding the two youngest children of John Albert and Verlie Josephine (Hayes) Sparks. Anyone having information that would be helpful to Mrs. Isbell is urged to write to her at the following address: Donna Marie Isbell, 16524 C. R. #3, Wiggins, Colorado, 80654.

Query: Where is Gertrude Marie Sparks? She may be known as Gertrude Marie Turner. She was born September 28, 1931, so would be 67 years old today. When Gertrude was two years old, her mother, Verlie Josephine (Hayes) Sparks, died. The Edgar Turner family of Center, Oklahoma, was caring for Gertrude and took her to raise following her mother's untimely death. The Turner family moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon, ca. 1936. Gertrude's father, John Albert Sparks, took his two other surviving children (Lois Alberta and James Kenneth), to Monte Vista, Colorado, to live. My grandfather, John Albert Sparks, tried to keep in touch with the Turners, but lost track of them. He died in 1947, but I would love to have information about his daughter, Gertrude Marie, because she is my aunt, and I was named after her. My mother is Lois Alberta (Sparks) Priest Nuss, John Albert's oldest daughter to survive infancy. Please respond to the address given above.

Query: Does anyone know the whereabouts of James Kenneth Sparks, son of John Albert and Verne Josephine (Hayes) Sparks, who was born January 17, 1930? He would now be 68 years old. His last known whereabouts was Elmira, New York. He was a truck driver for Transit Homes, Inc. He left for work and after three weeks called us one time from Elmira, New York. He was never heard from again. This was in 1971. We have no idea of what happened to him. His home was in Denver, Colorado. If anyone has information on James Kenneth Sparks, please write to: Donna Marie Isbell, 16524 C.R. #3, Wiggins, Colorado, 80654.