October 7, 2020

Pages 5255-5259
Whole Number 188

THE FAMILY OF WALTER DAVIDSON SPARKS (1870-1949) A Revision, With a Review of his Sparks Ancestors

In the Quarterly of March 1962, Whole No. 37, we published an article entitled "Amos Sparks (1785-1867) and His Descendants," pp. 618-21. by occupation, Amos Sparks was a shoemaker, according to census records, but as a young man he was ordained as a Methodist clergyman and became a circuit rider from 1829 to 1834. In the Quarterly of September 1969, Whole No. 67, pp.1248-55, we published an article on Amos Sparks's brother, 26.1 Jesse R. Sparks (ca. 1780-1865) and his descendants. Amos and Jesse were natives of Maryland, and both settled in Ohio as young men, later moving to Indiana. Both Amos and Jesse had sons named Jeremiah, born only one day apart, in 1808. The second of these Quarterly articles (September 1969) made a clear distinction regarding the parentage of each Jeremiah, which had been a matter of confusion in the article in March 1962.

26.2 Amos Sparks (1785-1867) married Nancy Borough on June 2, 1805, according to his family Bible. She had been born on December 1, 1789.

26.2.1 Noah Sparks, born January 11, 1807.
26.2.2 Jeremiah Sparks, born November 16, 1808.
26.2.3 Jesse Sparks, born January 12, 1810.
26.2.4 Bathsheber Sparks, born May 30, 1813.
26.2.5 Benjamin A. Sparks, born November 16, 1815.
26.2.6 Asa Egbert Sparks, born November 10, 1817.
26.2.7 May Sparks, born February 17, 1819.

26.2.6 Asa Egbert Sparks, the sixth child of Amos and Nancy (Borough) Sparks was born on November 10, 1817, in Warren County, Ohio. On May 29, 1838, he was married in Shelbyville, Indiana, to Amanda Van Scyoc. She had been born in Wheeling in that part of Virginia that became West Virginia in 1863. In 1843, Asa and Amanda moved to Woodford County, Illinois, where Asa died on June 24, 1892; Amanda died there on August 18, 1901. They were the parents of nine children. On the cover of the Quarterly of March 1962, Whole No. 37, we published a photograph of Asa Egbert and Amanda (Van Scyoc) Sparks, and on pp. 621-31 appeared an article on this couple's descendants written by Hazel T. Tarman. (Mrs. Tarman died on April 29, 1973.) Asa Egbert and Amanda (Van Scyoc) Sparks were the parents of the following children: Robert Davis Sparks, born October 26, 1843. William Anderson Sparks, born May 14, 1846. Margaret Ann Sparks, born 6 February 1848. Leonidius Sparks, born December 16, 1849; died March 23, 1850. Amos Sparks, born June 3, 1851. John S. Sparks, born July 30, 1853. Egbert Sparks, born March 17, 1856; died April 3, 1856. Edward L. Sparks, born August 17, 1857. Clara May Sparks, born March 12, 1861. Robert Davis Sparks, oldest child of Asa and Amanda (Van Scyoc) Sparks, was born on October 26, 1843, and died in Palestine Township, Woodford County, Illinois, on June 23, 1901. He married Margaret H. Davidson on March 10, 1869. She had been born on September 6, 1848, and died on March 15, 1906. Both were buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso, Illinois. Robert Sparks served in the 36th and the 88th Illinois Infantry Regiments in the Civil War and was mustered out of the service on October 8, 1865. He later received a pension based on his Civil War service, an abstract of which appeared in the Quarterly of September 1986, Whole No. 135, pp.2954-56. He spent most of his life in Woodford County. Robert D. and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks were the parents of five children: Walter Davidson Sparks, born August 30, 1870. Lester Sparks, born May 29, 1872. Maude Esten Sparks, born September 17, 1875. Nettie Sparks, born June 21, 1877. Emmaline Gertrude Sparks, born December 29, 1880.

In recording information on the family of Walter Davidson Sparks, son of Robert Davis and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks, Mrs. Tarman made a number of errors. Rather than attempt to make individual corrections for pages 622-23, we provide here the following revised record of their children. This information has been provided by Mrs. Willis E. Slaughter and Larry Eugene Sparks. We urge Association members and libraries holding files of the Quarterly that include the issue for March 1962, Whole No. 37, to note on page 622 that this revision has been published here. Walter Davidson Sparks, son of Robert Davis and Margaret N. (Davidson) Sparks, was born August 30, 1870, in Woodford County, Illinois, and died on November 7, 1949. He was married on December 24, 1902, to Lillah Maude Thomas, who had been born on April 22, 1887, in Blue Rapids, Kansas. She died on August 17, 1974. They were buried in Secor Cemetery, Secor, Illinois. Their children were: Leiand Thomas Sparks was born March 21, 1904, He married Helen Evaline Wood on December 15, 1925. She had been born on September 24, 1904, at Golden Gate, Illinois, in Wayne County, a daughter of Sylvester and Helen Cordie (Johnston) Wood. She died on May 17, 1996. Leiand Thomas Sparks died on October 16, 1981, at Hudson, Illinois, and was buried there. They were the parents of three children: Roy Lee Sparks was born October 5, 1929, in Bloomington, Illinois. He married Loretta Joanne Norman on February 7, 1954. She had been born on March 8, 1933, in Arrowsmith, Illinois. Their three children were: Steven Lee Sparks was born July 24, 1954; he married Mary Ellen Grim on June 29, 1974, daughter of Charles and Doris Grim. (They were divorced on May 4, 1999.) Their children are Michael Lee Sparks, born January 18, 1978, and Melanie Ann Sparks, born March 31, 1980. Thomas Eric Sparks was born July 27, 1955. He was married on November 4, 1978, to Peggy Berg, daughter of Shirley Berg and the late Robert L. Berg. Their children are:

Eric Thomas Sparks, born December 28, 1983;
Courtney Jo Sparks, born July 12, 1988; and
Brian Robert Sparks, born April 9, 1992. Dale Edward Sparks was born November 8, 1956. He was married on March 19, 1977, to Debra Sue Arteman who was born December 11, 1957, a daughter of Ronald and Shirley Arteman. They had the following children: Shannon Kimberly Sparks, born September 7, 1978; Justin Edward Sparks, stillborn March 22, 1980; Amanda Jo Sparks, born November 10, 1981. Amanda was married on July 3, 1998, to Nick Smith, son of Frank and Peg Smith of Bloomington, Illinois. They have one son, Tyler Nicholas Smith, born April 29, 1998. Mary Ellen Sparks, daughter of Leiand Thomas and Helen Evaline (Wood) Sparks, was born November 11, 1931, in El Paso, Woodford County, Illinois. She was married on July 10, 1951, to Marlin Eugene Hathaway who had been born June 14, 1928. They were divorced in November 1975. He died on January 23, 1994. They were the parents of four children: Marlene Ella Hathaway was born February 12, 1954. She was married on December 8, 1973, to Charles Harsha. He had been born in April 1954. Their daughter, Sarah Ann Harsha, was born January 21, 1976. Sarah married Donald F. Connelly on September 26, 1998, and their son, Devon Connelly.

They were divorced in 1978, and Marlene was married, second, to Darral Beer on May 28, 1982. He was born July 11, 1946. They have a son. They were divorced on August 1, 1990. Matthew Aaron Beer, born November 26, 1984. Michael Eugene Hathaway was born December 27, 1955. He married Nancy Westfall on September 19, 1987; she had been born on August 22, 1950. Their children are Tyler Hathaway, born September 19, 1988, and Molly Grace Hathaway, born December 30, 1989. Maureta Elaine Hathaway was born October 16, 1958. She was married on June 9, 1979, to Mark Anthony Lynch, who had been born January 8, 1959. They have two children: Paul Anthony Lynch born July 15, 1988 Joseph Robert Lynch, born March 2, 1990. Marcella Eileen Hathaway was born November 8, 1961. She was married on August 31, 1984, to Kerry Lynn Hinshaw, who had been born July 7, 1960. They have no children. Doris May Sparks, daughter of Leiand Thomas and Helen Evaline (Wood) Sparks, was born August 5, 1933, at El Paso, Woodford County, Illinois. She was married on January 1, 1960, to Willis Earl Slaughter. He was born on October 31, 1931, in Bloomington, Illinois, a son of Charles and Goldie Slaughter. Willis has two sons by a previous marriage: Willis Earl Slaughter, Jr., born December 29, 1950, and Terry Lee Slaughter, born July 15, 1952. Chris Lee Sparks, born May 23, 1957, married Tina Joan Burton on June 19, 1976; they were divorced on April 19, 1979; there were no children. He was married, second, to Marcy Berfield on October 6, 1979; they were divorced on March 29, 1985; no children. He was married, third, to Linda (Needy) Dodson on June 28, 1985. Linda was born October 10, 1952, and has two children: James Dodson, born March 24, 1972 Pleshlette Dodson, born December 28, 1974. Susan Eileen Slaughter born May 22, 1962, is unmarried. William Lee Slaughter, born September 15, 1967; was married on November 2, 1985, to Patricia Ann Fleming; their children:

William Lee Slaughter, Jr., born July 23, 1986;
Stephanie Kristine Slaughter, born August 31, 1988;
Samantha Michael Slaughter, born July 19, 1991.

William Lee and Patricia were divorced on February 10, 1992. William then married Mary Kathryn Muller on November 22, 1997, at El Paso, Illinois. She was born June 17, 1974; her parents are Sheldon and Mary Muller. Harry Adelbert Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maud (Thomas) Sparks, was born March 25, 1906, in Woodford County, Illinois. He was married on April 1, 1939, to Corable Graybill Shomaker of Secor, Illinois. Harry Adelbert Sparks died on August 5, 1990, at Aurora, Missouri; cremation. Corable was born on February 10, 1904, and died on September 8, 1994, at Pewee Valley, Kentucky. Adelbert Eugene (Toby) Sparks now lives in Renton, Washington. He was born September 11, 1940; he was married on July 26, 1959, to Joyce Lee Dodson. They have two sons: Ronald Eugene Sparks, born March 16, 1960 (since adopted by his grandfather. Harry Adelbert Sparks), and Donald Adelbert Sparks, born April 8, 1961. Step-Daughter, Marcella Shomaker. She married Everett (Pete) Quiram and they reside in Bloomington, Illinois. Step-Daughter, Margaret Shomaker. She married Norman Wesley and they reside in Louisville, Kentucky. Step-Son, Harry Shomaker, deceased. Faye Virginia Sparks, daughter of Walter and Lillah Maude (Thomas) Sparks, was born August 20, 1908. Faye Virginia Sparks died on August 10, 1967, and was buried at Secor, Illinois. She married Leslie Brown on July 27, 1932. They had three children: Joan Margaret Brown was born December 18, 1933. She was married (first) to Donald Miller who died of wounds received in the Korean War: he was a son of Fred Miller. They had one son, Donald Miller, born January 14, 1953.

Joan married (second) George Rutledge, and they had four sons: Daniel Lee Rutledge, born December 10, 1953; David Lynn Rutledge, born August 26, 1955; Dennis Rutledge; and Douglas Rutledge. Leslie Gene Brown was born January 17, 19??. He married Lois Bigger on February 3, 1952, and they had three children: Terry Brown, born January 24, 1956; Pamela Diana Brown, born September 18, 1958; Rebecca Faye Brown, born April 25, 1960. Walter James Brown was born December 17, 1934. He was killed in Louisiana on January 9, 1985, and was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, El Paso, Illinois.

Faye Virginia (Sparks) Brown was married (second) on November 18, 1939, to Kellis Mounce. by this marriage she had one daughter: Virginia Lee Mounce was born September 15, 1940. She was married on August 30, 1959, to Robert Pierce. They had a daughter, Kelly Jo Pierce, born on February 9, 1960. Paul Eugene Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maude (Thomas) Sparks, was born on October 4, 1910. He married Arnetas Pease of Muskogee, Oklahoma, on January 16, 1946. They have two sons: Larry Eugene Sparks was born December 3, 1946, in Bloomington, Illinois. He married Judith Ann Leeper of St. Louis, Missouri, on September 6, 1969, in St. Louis, Missouri, and they live in Blue Springs, Missouri. They have two sons: Travis Eugene Sparks, born September 5, 1973. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri. Christopher Blair Sparks born October 1, 1978. He lives in Blue Springs, MO. Richard Allen Sparks was born December 9, 1951, in Bloomington, Illinois. He married Cynthia Lee Hutsell on September 3, 1977, in Springfield, Missouri, where they now reside. They have two sons: Dustin Allen Sparks, born July 24, 1983. Darren Lee Sparks, born March 31, 1989. Robert Hiram Sparks, son of Walter and Lillah Maude (Thomas) Sparks, was born July 3, 1916; he died on September 28, 1957, at Veterans Hospital, Temple, Texas. He married Jean Doughty at Peoria, Illinois. Children: Robert Hiram (Butch) Sparks, Jr. of Austin, Texas, born July 2, 1941. Jacqueline Sparks of Alaska, born May 8, 1943. Walter Donald Sparks was born December 7, 1918; he died on August 31, 1985, in Paris, Tennessee, and was buried there. He married Agnes Swanson on February 6, 1943. They had three children: Lois Carol Sparks, born in 1940; she married Frankie Jeroed Craven, born June 14, 1935. Rodger Don Sparks, born January 16, 1945, died in 1945. Donald Dell Sparks, born March 14, 1957. William Hamilton Sparks was born September 28, 1923. He married Sammie Joyce Bryan, and they reside in Salado, Texas. They have two children: Sandra Jo Sparks, born April 24, 1951; she married Richard Grossman on April 13, 1974. Cynthia Kay Sparks, born October 6, 1957; she married Brad Wiewel; they have three sons and live in Austin, Texas.

[Editor's Note: As current members of the Association know, it has not been our policy to include recent vital statistics, from the latter half of the 20th Century, for Sparks descendants. When the article for the above branch of the family was published in March 1962, however, that limitation was not in effect. For this reason it has seemed appropriate to use more recent information in this revision. This does not represent a change in our editorial policy.]