Whole Number 187
The photographs on page 5237 of John A. Sparks (ca. 1844-1880) and his wife, Arbizena (Jackson) Sparks (1845-1885), were shared with us a number of years ago by Johnette L. Franke who was then (1984) a resident of Boise, Idaho. It is appropriate that we publish them in this issue because John A. Sparks, a son of Willis and Mary Sparks, was shown as a 15-year-old lad on the 1860 census of Clay County, Texas (page 5212). Willis Sparks, born ca. 1815, was apparently married twice. John A. Sparks appears to have been a son of the first wife, whose name was given on the 1850 census of Scott County, Arkansas, as Mary Sparks. On the 1860 census of Clay County, Texas, the wife of Willis Sparks was given as Thankful Sparks.
Willis Sparks was a son of Elsberry Sparks and a grandson of Absalom and Lydia (Elsberry) Sparks. See the Quarterly of September 1982, Whole No. 119, for an article regarding Absalom Sparks, although at that time we did not have proof that he was the father of Willis Sparks. Sarah Sparks, second wife of Absalom, was living in Kaufman County, Texas, when the 1860 census was taken (page 5217).
Ms. Franke reported that the photographs on page 5237 were taken at about the time of the marriage of John A. Sparks and Arbizena Jackson ca. 1869, probably in Montague County, Texas. Arbizena was a daughter of William and Amanda (Jones) Jackson and had been born in Panola County, Mississippi, on May 7, 1845. John A. Sparks died in Courtney, Indian Territory, on November 2, 1880. Arbizena died there on March 30, 1885.