April 24, 2021
Whole Number 189
LAMarch FRANCIS SPARKS, 1918
SOME DESCENDANTS OF 184.108.40.206.7 SOLOMON SPARKS, JR. (Died 1817)
OF WILKES COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
WHO MOVED TO INDIANA
[Editor's Note: As we enter the 21st Century, members of our Association who belong to my generation (born in 1920, I have been both young and old during the 20th Century), think of World War II as having been yesterday and of World War I as our parents' yesterday. The photograph of LaMarch Francis Sparks in his World War I uniform reminds us of someone we might well have known, although he was born in the 19th Century and died just as the United States was entering World War II. To our children and grandchildren, however, his story of a battle in France where he was gassed, from which he would never fully recover will seem like ancient history if they read his obituary clipped from a newspaper the day following his death on February 15, 1942.
[Here we outline LaMarch Sparks' ancestry, some of which has been noted in past issues of the Quarterly, but much of it has been added through correspondence and research conducted by relatives and descendants. Your editor notes specifically genealogical information provided by Kay Wolniak of Carmichael, California, and Leon K. Sparks of Grand Junction, Colorado. Mrs. Wolniaks grandmother, Lydia A. (Sparks) Hobson, was a daughter of Lamar's grandfather, Jacob Esau Sparks, while Leon K. Sparks is a son of LaMarch. Like tens of thousands of other Americans, LaMarch descended from the 1.2 William Sparks who died in Queen Annes County, Maryland, in 1709.]
1.2 William Sparks (died 1709) had immigrated to Maryland from Hampshire County, England, we believe, in 1662. Articles devoted to William have appeared in the Quarterly of March 1971, Whole No. 73, and that of the December 1992, Whole No. 160.
The youngest son of 1.2 William Sparks (died 1709) was 1.2.5 Joseph Sparks who was not yet of age when his father died. A few years later, he moved west from Queen Annes County to Frederick County, Maryland, and there 1.2.5 Joseph died in 1749. (See the Quarterly of March 1990, Whole No.149).
LaMarch Francis Sparks' photograph with his sisters, Maybelle and Birdie Lena, taken ca. 1905, further suggests a point in time remote from that of six-year-olds today.
Children of James and Lucinda (Craw) Sparks
Maybelle Sparks, born August 18, 1891
Birdie Lena Sparks, born October 12, 1892
LaMarch Francis Sparks, born September 9, 1899
A son of 1.2.5 Joseph Sparks (died 1749) was 220.127.116.11 Solomon Sparks, and with other family members he moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina in 1754, using his inheritance to purchase land in a relatively unsettled area of the country. Hereafter in this article, we will refer to Solomon, son of Joseph, as "the elder Solomon Sparks" because he had a son also named 18.104.22.168.7 Solomon Sparks, jr. whom we will call "Solomon Sparks, Jr."
The elder 22.214.171.124 Solomon Sparks was accompanied in his move from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina by his older cousin, 126.96.36.199 William Sample Sparks and two of the latter's sons, 188.8.131.52.3 James Sparks and 184.108.40.206.2 Matthew Sparks; another son of 220.127.116.11 William Sample Sparks, named simply 18.104.22.168.1 William Sparks, joined his relatives in North Carolina in 1764. Also making the 1754 journey were two of Solomon's brothers, 22.214.171.124 Jonas Sparks and 126.96.36.199 Jonathan Sparks.
The elder 188.8.131.52 Solomon Sparks' wife's name was Sarah MNU. We believe that she and Solomon were married in Frederick County, Maryland, and that they had a son,
184.108.40.206.2 John Sparks, born February 25, 1753, before moving to North Carolina. (This John Sparks was the ancestor of our late President, Paul E. Sparks.) He married Sarah Shores.
Their next son, 220.127.116.11.3 Reuben Sparks, born ca. 1755, was born at the Forks of the Yadkin, as was their next son,
18.104.22.168.7 Solomon Sparks, whom we will call Solomon Sparks, Jr. in this article.
[Webmaster Note: Issue 142 indicates 22.214.171.124.1 Joseph Sparks being the oldest son, John Sparks being second, Reuben Sparks being third and Solomon Sparks being fourth - but is apparently incorrect -- Conflcting information concerning Joseph. More articles than not have Joseph as being 126.96.36.199.1]
Information pertaining to the life of the elder Solomon Sparks appeared for the first time in the Quarterly of December 1955, Whole No. 12, pp.97-108, as part of an article about his son, 188.8.131.52.2 John Sparks (born February 25, 1753), who received a pension for service in the American Revolution. Later research has added many details regarding the life of the elder Solomon Sparks as we have published articles on his sons and grandchildren. A considerable amount of information regarding him was included in a lengthy article devoted largely to his cousin, William Sparks, who died in Surry County, North Carolina, in 1801/02. This article appeared in the Quarterly of June 1991, Whole No.154, pp.3752-3798. William and Solomon lived near one another during much of their lives, both in Maryland and in North Carolina, although William did not join his relatives at the Forks of the Yadkin until 1764. Both Solomon and William remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, although their sons became Patriots--a generational difference, no doubt.
When the elder Solomon Sparks moved to Surry County ca. 1771, the land office controlling the sale of vacant land had been closed, so settlers simply "squatted" on unoccupied land with the expectation of being able to purchase it when the war with Great Britain was over. When that day came, however, and the new state of North Carolina began controlling the granting of patents for vacant land, men who were known to have been Loyalists during the Revolution, like the elder Solomon Sparks and his cousin, William Sparks, were denied the right to purchase the land on which they had "squatted." Also, the tract of 490 acres claimed by Solomon had been divided in 1777 when Wilkes County had been formed from a portion of Surry County. One hundred and fifty acres were now in Wilkes County, while 340 acres, including Solomon's house, remained in Surry County. A Patriot named Richard Goode, who had been a militia officer in the war, succeeded in claiming Solomon's 340 acres in Surry County, while another militia officer, who also had been a "bounty hunter" during the war, named William Terrell Lewis, managed to claim the 150 acres in Wilkes County. Solomon's5 sons, as noted above, had been Patriots during the Revolution, however, and his son whom we call Solomon, Jr. was able to purchase the 150 acres in Wilkes County from Lewis for 8 pounds and 6 shillings on January 12, 1791, while the son named Reuben purchased the 340 acres in Surry County from Goode for fifty pounds "current money" on August 11, 1792. We assume that the elder Solomon and his wife, Sarah, were thus able to spend their last days on the land on which they had squatted some twenty years earlier. (For a fuller account of these events and their documentary sources, see page 3788 of the June 1991 issue of the Quarterly.)
In the Quarterly of June 1959, Whole No. 26, pp.382-400, we published an article entitled "Descendants of Solomon Sparks, Jr. (Died 1817) & His Wife Charity of Wilkes County, North Carolina." We believe that Solomon Sparks, Jr. was born ca. 1757, thus about fifteen years old when he accompanied his parents on their move from the Forks of the Yadkin to Surry County. Our earliest record of Solomon, Jr. acquiring land is the Wilkes County deed dated January 1, 1791, by which he purchased the portion of the tract on which his father had squatted that lay in Wilkes County (150 acres). Thereafter, Solomon, Jr. lived in Wilkes County on the North Fork of Hunting Creek; adjoining Surry County, for the remainder of his life. In 1805 he added 61 1/2 acres to his tract through a purchase from George Denney and in 1808, he acquired a tract of 150 acres in Surry County on which his son, William Sparks, lived.
The name of Solomon Sparks, Jr. appears only occasionally in Wilkes County Court records. He served on a road jury in 1809, for instance, and again in November 1817. About 1785, he had been married to a woman named Charity, whose maiden name we have not discovered. We know that they had six sons: George, Solomon, William, Samuel, Jonathan, and Joseph, born between 1787 and ca. 1802.,
When the 1810 census of Wilkes County, North Carolina, was taken, Solomon Sparks, Jr. (though "Jr." was not part of his name on the census) was shown heading his household. (Only heads of households were named on federal censuses before 1850.) His age was given in the 26 to 45 years category, as was also that of his wife. Living with them were four males: two between 16 and 26; one between 10 and 16; and one under 10 years. These were probably their four youngest sons. Solomon Sparks, Jr. was also shown on the 1810 census as owning three slaves.
As noted earlier, a Wilkes County Court record indicates that Solomon Sparks, Jr. was a member of a road jury in 1809 and again in November 1817. Not long after this latter appointment was recorded, Solomon appears to have become sud denly either very ill or mortally wounded. He died on the night of December 18, 1817. The document that reveals the exact date of his death was recorded in Wilkes County Will Book 3, page 171, a photocopy of which appears below:
Nuncupative will of Solomon Sparks, Jr.
Photocopy of the Recorded Copy of the Nuncupative Will of
184.108.40.206.7 Solomon Sparks
of Wilkes County, North Carolina, Certified December 23, 1817
A "nuncupative will" is an oral will expressed by a person who believes he is near death, and having failed earlier to make a will, now wants it to be known how he wishes his estate to be handled. Unable now to summon someone able to prepare such a document in proper legal format for his signature or mark, he informs a person or persons present what he wants to be done, with the understanding that such person or persons will, following his death, report to a proper official what his oral statement had been. As seen in this document, Solomon Sparks, Jr. had told two individuals, his son named Solomon Sparks and Elizabeth Chappel, the manner in which he wanted to have his property divided,
We know from this nuncupative will that Solomon Sparks, Jr. made his wishes known to his own son, also named Solomon, and to Elizabeth Chappel "on the day before" he "died on the Night of the 18th of December 1817." On December 23, 1817, these two individuals appeared before Wilkes County's Open Court, probably the clerk of the court, and reported what Solomon had said. The court official recorded their statement for their signatures, Elisabeth, as her name was spelled here, having to sign by making her mark. It was she who then made oath regarding the document's authenticity, probably because she was unrelated to Solomon Sparks, Jr. This will was accepted for probate in the Wilkes County Court at its February 1818 term.
A Levi Chappel (or Chappell) owned land adjoining that of Solomon Sparks, Jr. Perhaps Elizabeth was the same Elizabeth Chappell who married Jonathan Sparks, son of 220.127.116.11.7 Solomon and Charity, ca. 1819, and was a daughter of Levi.
Charity Sparks, widow of 18.104.22.168.7 Solomon, Jr., was shown as head of her household on the 1820 census of Wilkes County, but she had died prior to February 3, 1829, when her son, Samuel Sparks, was appointed by the Wilkes County Court tb administer the final settlement of his father's estate. In his nuncupative will, Solomon, Jr. had directed that his widow use his estate to support herself for the remainder of her life, so we know that Charity had died by February 1829.
An administrator of an estate was required to post bond; Samuel's brothers, Joseph and Jonathan, served as his bondsmen. On May 6, 1829, Samuel Sparks reported to the County Court that his father's property had been sold for $2,185.91, out of which $186.25 had been paid for legacies, that is, the special provision that Solomon had made for his two youngest sons to receive what their four older brothers had received already. Apparently the remaining $1,999.66 was then divided among all six sons of Solomon, Jr., each receiving $333.28. Solomon and Charity apparently had no daughters.
We believe that Solomon Sparks, Jr.'s six sons were named in his will in the order of their birth: George, Solomon, William, Samuel, Jonathan, and Joseph.
22.214.171.124.7.1 George Sparks, eldest son of 126.96.36.199.7 Solomon, Jr. and Charity Sparks, was born on December 14, 1787, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. We know the date of his birth because it was included in his family Bible, along with names and birth dates of his and his wife's thirteen children. We know that his wife's first name was Delila, but we have not found her maiden name. Her birth was not recorded in their Bible. This family record was copied for us many years ago by Florence N. DeSelms of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She had been able to copy the record from the Bible then owned by a relative named Wilcockson.
A sketch of the life of George Sparks appeared in the Quarterly of June 1959, Whole No.26, beginning on page 387, but this was written before we had obtained his family Bible record, and in this we made an unfortunate error by confusing his son, 188.8.131.52.7.1.8 George Sparks, Jr., born January 31, 1820, with 184.108.40.206.7.2.4 George W. Sparks, born February 16, 1817, who was a son of George's brother, 220.127.116.11.7.2 Solomon Sparks and wife, Isabella (Swaim) Sparks. This error was corrected on pp.3706-07 of the Quarterly of December 1990, Whole No.152.
George Sparks, son of Solomon, Jr. and Charity Sparks, married Delila MNU in Wilkes County, North Carolina, ca. 1806, and it was there that Delila bore their first twelve children. George brought his family to Randolph County, Indiana, in time for his household to be included on the 1830 census there, and it was in Randolph County that their thirteenth child, 18.104.22.168.7.1.13 Mary Ellen Sparks, was born in 1832. They were probably in that part of Randolph County that helped to form Wells County in 1835. According to the Biographical Memoirs of Wells County, Indiana by B. F. Bowen, published in 1903, p.28, George Sparks was one of the first settlers in Liberty Township in Wells County. He lived there for the remainder of his life, dying in 1843. Delila was living in 1850 with her son, Abel Sparks, in Huntington County, Indiana. The thirteen children of George and Delila Sparks, as recorded in their family Bible, were:
22.214.171.124.7.1.1 Lodicio ["Dicy"] Sparks was born September 28, 1897. She married Richard Vernon ca.1827. He had died prior to 1845 when the estate of her father was settled. A descendant of their son, Andrew Jackson Vernon, has reported that Richard and Dicy were early settlers in Rush County, Indiana.
126.96.36.199.7.1.2 Aaron Sparks was born April 14, 1809. He married Huldah Johnson in Wayne County, Indiana, on December 18, 1831.
Aaron became a farmer in Rock Creek Township in Wells County, Indiana, and he was the administrator of his father's estate. Aaron died in 1854 without leaving a will. When the 1860 census was taken of Wells County, Aaron's widow, Huldah, age 46, was shown as head of her household in Rock Creek Township, and living with her was Elizabeth Johnson, age 71, born in Virginia, whom we believe was her mother. Living in the same dwelling, but numbered as a separate household, was William Sparks, age 23, with wife, Samantha, also age 23, and their month-old-daughter, Armina Sparks. William Sparks was surely the son of Aaron and Huldah Sparks who had been married in Wells County to Samantha Brickley on June 14, 1859. Based on the 1850 census, it appears that Aaron and Huldah were also the parents of Lydia Sparks, born ca. 1835, and Sarah Sparks, born ca. 1843. There is a marriage record in Wells County for the marriage of Lydia Almeda Sparks to Noah Redding on November 22, 1853, and that of Sarah Ann Sparks to William Haflich on March 1, 1859. There is a marriage record in Huntington County, Indiana, for Huldah Sparks and Jacob Roush dated October 18, 1862.
188.8.131.52.7.1.3 Elizabeth ["Betsy"] Sparks was born January 10, 1811. She married Mordecai Samuels. According to a descendant, he had been born around 1810 in North Carolina, and they had the following children:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Lucinda Samuels, born 1829, married George Wilcoxson.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Susan Samuels, born 1834, married Daniel Wilcoxson.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 William R. Samuels.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Sarah Samuels.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Nancy Samuels.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Delilah Samuels, born 1846; she married James C. Wilcoxson.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 James Samuels.
18.104.22.168.7.1.4 Sarah ["Sally"] Sparks was born November 10, 1812. She married James Johnson in 1832 in Randolph County, Indiana.
22.214.171.124.7.1.5 Phereby Sparks was born February 11, 1815; she died prior to 1845. She married Wiseman Brown on September 30, 1833, in Randolph County before Wells County was formed. In the settlement of the estate of her father, Phereby (spelled Faribee in estate papers), was noted as being deceased prior to 1845, leaving "infant heirs" named Delila Brown and William Brown.
126.96.36.199.7.1.6 Lydia Sparks was born May 11, 1816. She married Thomas Brown in Randolph County, Indiana, on March 30, 1834.
188.8.131.52.7.1.7 Matilda Sparks was born July 20, 1818. She married John Jackson Grant on May 29, 1839.
184.108.40.206.7.1.8 George Sparks, Jr. was born January 31, 1820. He married Mary Susanna MNU ca.1841. She was usually called by her middle name, Susanna, in the records we have found. As was noted earlier, this George Sparks was confused with George W. Sparks on page 393 of the Quarterly of June 1959. The George W. Sparks, discussed in that article, was a son of Solomon Sparks, son of George and Delila Sparks. Based on the 1850 and 1860 censuses of Huntington County, Indiana, where he lived near the town of Markle. George, Jr. and Mary Susanna were the parents of the following children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Elizabeth Sparks, born ca.1842. She was probably the Elizabeth Sparks who was married in Huntington County on June 4, 1859, to Lafayette Massler.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Mary Sparks, born ca.1844.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Amos Sparks, born ca.1851.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Catherine Sparks, born ca.1852.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Amanda Sparks, born ca.1854.
Neither George nor Mary Susanna appeared on the 1870 census of Huntington County and we have no further record of them.
188.8.131.52.7.1.9 Solomon Sparks was born October 5, 1822. He may have died prior to 1845 because there was no mention of him in the settlement of his father's estate.
184.108.40.206.7.1.10 Jane Sparks was born July 7, 1824. She may have died prior to 1845 because there was no mention of her in the settlement of her father's estate.
220.127.116.11.7.1.11 Abel Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, May 1827. He married Elizabeth Douglass in Wells County, Indiana, on May 4, 1850.
18.104.22.168.7.1.11 Mary Sparks, daughter and only child of Abel and Elizabeth (Douglas) Sparks, was married in Lane County, Oregon, on May 12, 1869, to John Joseph Brown, son of Silas and Jane Ann (Blair) Hiatt, a widow. A record of their children was given in the December 1978 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No.104, pp.2064-65. Mary died on August 29, 1931.
22.214.171.124.7.1.12 Delilah Sparks was born January 26,1830; she died on February 12, 1921 in Falls City, Nebraska. She married David C. Conklin in Wells County, Indiana, on February 23, 1847. He had been born in Ohio ca. 1826. They were the parents of ten children whose names were given on page 393 of the June 1959 issue of the Quarterly cited earlier. Her photograph with a great-grandson was published on page 394.
126.96.36.199.7.1.13 Mary Ellen ["Molly] Sparks, youngest child of George and Delila Sparks and the only one born after they had moved to Indiana, was born January 30, 1832. She died on January 12, 1913. She was married in Wells County, Indiana, on December 6, 1851, to Elias Wilcoxson, a son of Jesse and Sarah Elizabeth (Denny) Wilcoxson. He died at Pentwater, Michigan, on February 4, 1913. Mary Ellen and Elias were divorced prior to 1889--he was married (second) to Margaret Dewitt on March 14, 1889, in Wells County.
Florence N. DeSelms, a granddaughter of the youngest child of Elias and Mary Ellen Wilcoxson, provided us with a record of the children of Elias and Mary Ellen contained in their family Bible owned by Mrs. Hazel Crabill (died August 24, 1976), and this record was published on pp.1831-32 of the Quarterly for June 1976, Whole No. 94. Mrs. DeSelms also provided a photograph of Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson believed to have been taken in the 1870s. With her are two other women (seated) who may have been her sisters. We publish this photograph again with the hope that someone may recognize the two women sitting.
Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson (1832-1913) - Standing
(Might the the two women seated be her sisters?)
188.8.131.52.7.2 Solomon Sparks, III, the second son of 184.108.40.206.7 Solomon Sparks, Jr. and his wife, Charity, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, ca. 1792. Because his grandfather had been Solomon Sparks and his father was Solomon Sparks, Jr., both of whom died in North Carolina, we call him, the third in line, simply Solomon Sparks, III; he was the first Solomon Sparks in Indiana. He died in Wells County, Indiana, on April 28, 1854, and carved with his date of death on his tombstone is his age, 62 years. He had been married in Wilkes County, North Carolina, ca. 1808 to Isabella Swaim who had been born, also, ca. 1792. Her tombstone in Wells County, Indiana, gives her date of death as May 25, 1852, age 59 years and 6 months.
Solomon appeared on the 1810 census of Wilkes County as head of a household consisting of a female (his wife), both in the age category of 16 to 20, and one male under 10 years, who was doubtless their first son, William Sparks, born on December 10, 1809. Solomon and his growing household were also enumerated on the 1820 census of Wilkes County, but he was in Randolph County, Indiana, by August 27, 1828, when he purchased from Jesse and Nancy Ruth of Union County, Indiana, a 50-acre lot for $175 located in Township 18, section 15. Solomon was identified in this deed as "of West River Township, Randolph County, Indiana." The witnesses were Isaac and Lilly Barnes. (Deed Book B, p.59) The families of both Solomon and his brother, George Sparks, were enumerated on the 1830 census of Randolph County.
Parts of Randolph County went to form a number of other counties as the population grew, including Wells County that was formed in 1835. B. F. Bowen, in his 1903 Biographical Memoirs of Wells County, Indiana, cited earlier, stated (p.29) that "the first settlers of Rock Creek Township (in Wells County], were Solomon Johnson, Benjamin Brown, Solomon Sparks, and Isaac Dewitt, who located here in 1836." The following is a further quotation from the sketch of Isaac B. Sparks:
He [Solomon Sparks] settled near the present site of Markle on the south side of the Wabash, and was one of the earliest settlers in that locality. He entered a valuable tract of land near Rock Creek, and spent quite a number of years in true pioneer style, meeting with many interesting adventures with the Indians and wild beasts during his early experience in the backwoods. He lived to see ten of his children grown and settled, was a man of influence in the community where he resided, and died sometime prior to 1860.
After the death of his wife, Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, on May 25, 1852, Solomon married Susannah (Shibeley) Eikenbery, widow of Joseph Eikenbery. We have not found an official record of this marriage so are uncertain where it took place. Susannah had been born ca. 1805 in Ohio, according to census records.
Our information regarding Solomon's second marriage was provided many years ago by Denton H. Sparks, born September 24, 1804, who was a grandson of Andrew Jackson Sparks, the youngest son of Solomon and Isabella Sparks. It is interesting to note that when Solomon Sparks wrote his will on April 14, 1854, he left nearly all of his personal property to his second wife, Susannah, and also made the following provision affecting her:
I give and bequeath to my son Andrew Jackson Sparks one hundred (100) acres of land the same to be taken from the west side of my farm, including my farm buildings, in case he will keep and maintain my beloved wife in a good, comfortable and respectable way during her natural life.
It is also interesting to note that Susannah's youngest daughter, Mary Eikenbery, born ca. 1839, married Andrew Jackson Sparks on June 22, 1854, in Wells County, Indiana. Thus, the mother-in-law of Andrew Jackson Sparks had been also the second wife of his father. When the 1860 census of Wells County was taken, Andrew Jackson Sparks, age 26, with wife, Mary, age 21, a native of Ohio, were listed with two children, Josiah Sparks, age 4, and Lydia Sparks, age 2. Numbered as a second family but living in the same dwelling, was the household of Susannah Sparks, age 55, a native of Ohio. Living with Susannah was a female named Hannah Bain (or Bane), age 21 and born in Ohio, and Sylvester Huff, age 15, born in Indiana, and called a "Laborer."
A more complete record of the life of Solomon Sparks, including the full text of his will, appeared in the Quarterly of June 1959. Although he failed to name each of his children in his will, the record of the division of his property provides us with their identification. He had designated his son-in-law, Albert Draper, husband of his daughter, Rachel, to be the executor of his estate. The eleven children of Solomon and Isabella were:
220.127.116.11.7.2.1 William Sparks, oldest child of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on December 10, 1809; he died on May 18, 1872, and was buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Rock Creek Township, Wells County, that had once been part of his father's farm. Solomon Sparks had specified in his 1854 will that these two acres should henceforth serve the public for a burying ground,....
William Sparks was married in Wells County on December 27, 1838, to Hester ["Hettie"] Miller. She had been born on August 6, 1821, and died on April 14, 1901; she was buried, also, in the Sparks Cemetery. William was a farmer by occupation and in 1840 was living near his brother, Moses Sparks, in Huntington County. (Huntington and Wells Counties adjoin and it is important to note there is a Rock Creek Township in both counties-- these two townships actually adjoin.) A biographical sketch of a grandson of William and Hester Sparks named Jacob Sparks appeared in A Standard History of Kosciusko County, Indiana, by Lemuel W. Royse and published in Chicago in 1919 contains the statement that William and Hester were the parents of six children: Moses, Henry, James, K. P., John, and Rachel. Our further knowledge of these children, based on census records, is quite limited:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Moses Sparks was born ca. 1839 and died in Wells County, Indiana, on October 9, 1874. He married Hannah A. Bane on February 14, 1861, in Huntington County.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 James P. Sparks was born ca. 1846.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Henry Sparks was born ca. 1848.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 K. P. Sparks.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 John Sparks, born ca. 1854.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Rachel Sparks, born ca. 1858.
18.104.22.168.7.2.2 Moses Sparks, second son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born on October 25, 1815. In the History of Huntington County, Indiana, published in Chicago in 1887, it is stated (p.748): "In 1834 Moses Sparks, a native of North Carolina, moved to the township [Rock Creek] and settled a short distance southwest of Markle, where he located and improved a small farm."
When he made his will on April 14, 1854, Solomon Sparks, father of Moses, made no mention of Moses, but four days later, on reflection, he added a codicil stating: "I do hereby give and bequeath to the heirs of my son Moses Sparks, namely Albert Sparks and Mary Jane Sparks, the sum of twenty dollars to be equally divided between them."
Moses Sparks had been dead fourteen years when his father wrote his will, and Solomon probably had little contact with Moses' children, hence his not thinking of them when he signed his will. Moses Sparks had died on November 11, 1840, and had been buried in a cemetery in Huntington County, Indiana, located on the bank of Rock Creek, three miles east and four miles south of the town of Markle. On his gravestone are carved, also, the record of the deaths of two Sparks children, but their ages at death precludes their being children of Moses. While we cannot identify them, we note them here:
Elizabeth Sparks died on September 2, 1845, age 12 years and 6 months;
Catherine Sparks died on September 15, 1845, age 11 years and 6 months.
Many years ago Mrs. Iva Lane of Marion, Indiana, (from whom we last heard in 1988) who descended from Moses Sparks's brother, Isaac B. Sparks, shared with us letters that had been written by Amos Redding of Blufflon, Indiana, providing biographical and genealogical information on the family of Moses Sparks. Mr. Redding was a member of the Redding family to which Moses' wife had belonged. We believe that his information is accurate.
22.214.171.124.7.2.2 Moses Sparks married Abigail Redding "by David M. Steward, a Presbyterian minister" on February 20, 1838, in Rush County, Indiana. (See Rush County Marriage Book 1, p.17.) Abigail had been born on December 12, 1815, a daughter of Isaiah Redding.
Moses Sparks was only 25 years old when he died on November 11, 1840. His son, Albert Sparks, was still an infant, and his daughter, Mary Jane, would be born posthumously. On April 21, 1841, Moses' widow was married in Wells County, Indiana, to Robert Roberts, whose first wife, Nancy (Brown) Roberts, had died in 1840, as had Moses Sparks. Robert Roberts had been born on February 23, 1811, and died on February 5, 1880. Abigail was the mother of five Roberts children (John, Martha, Nathan, Elizabeth, and Robert); she died on April 8, 1862.
126.96.36.199.7.2.1 Albert Sparks, son of Moses and Abigail (Redding) Sparks, was born on November 24, 1839, according to a biographical sketch of him appearing in the 1887 history of Huntington County cited earlier (pp.704-05). Amos Redding, mentioned above, however, gave his date of birth as December 24, 1838. He died on June 17, 1923. He was a farmer in Rock Creek Township in Huntington County, having inherited the farm that his father had purchased shortly before his death. A record of his life and children appeared in the Quarterly of December 1973, Whole No.84, pp.1601-03. A photograph of Albert Sparks and his second wife, Martha (Roberts) Sparks, taken on their 50th wedding anniversary, appears on the cover of the December 1973 issue of the Quarterly.
188.8.131.52.7.2.2 Mary Jane Sparks, born after her father had died, did not marry, accord ing to the records of Amos Redding.
184.108.40.206.7.2.3 Rachel Sparks, eldest daughter of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born April 15, 1817. Nearly forty years ago a member of our Association named Mrs. Cecil Crowell of Orient, Illinois, who was a great-granddaughter of Rachel, provided us with information regarding her, including her date of birth shown here. She was married on June 9, 1836, to Albert Draper in Huntington County, Indiana. He had been born on April 8, 1808. According to census records, he had been born in New York. When Rachel's father, Solomon Sparks, made his will in 1854, he designated Albert Draper to be the executor of his estate.
Photographs of Rachel (Sparks) Draper and Albert Draper
(Photocopies provided by Kay Wolniak from
Photograph Album of Mrs. Wolniak's Great-Grandfather, Jacob Esau Sparks)
When the 1860 census of Rock Creek Township of Huntington County was taken, Albert Draper was credited with real estate valued at $10,600 and personal estate at $1300. In addition to their four youngest children then still at home, two of the children of Rachel's deceased sister, Charity (Sparks) Snyder, were living in her and Albert's household: Catherine Snyder and Rachel Snyder. Also living with them was Joseph Sparks, age 55; he was Rachel's uncle, from whom Albert had purchased 40 acres of land in Wells County in 1838. Joseph Sparks seems to have been a troubled man; he had left his second wife in Adams County, Indiana, and had apparently been "taken in" by his niece. (See p.5310+ of the present issue of the Quarterly for a sketch of his life.) Rachel's great-granddaughter, Mrs. Crowell, once provided us a list of Albert and Rachel's children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 John Riley Draper was born September 24, 1837.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Mary Draper, born March 14, 1842.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 William Draper, born July 7, 1843.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Slomon Draper, born January 18, 1845.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Benjamin Draper, born November 19, 1846.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Rachel Draper, born September 3, 1849
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Albert Draper, Jr., born April 2, 1855.
22.214.171.124.7.2.4 George W. Sparks, son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on February 16, 1818 (?) (Although a descendant believed the year of his birth was 1817, this was not possible if his sister, Rachel, was born in 1817 as claimed by her great-granddaughter.) In the Quarterly of June 1959, Whole No. 26, p.393, appeared a biographical sketch of George W. Sparks with information on his family. We believe that record is largely correct except that we then thought that he was a son of George and Delila Sparks. As has been noted earlier in the present article (page 5289), George and Delila did have a son named George Sparks, although he did not have a middle initial, and we learned later that he had been born January 31, 1820. This error in confusing the parentage of these two first cousins was corrected in the Quarterly of December 1990, Whole No. 152, pp.3706-07, as well as here.
George W. Sparks, son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was married in Wells County, Indiana, on August 7, 1838, to Sarah ["Sally"] Mossburg. She had been born on May 14, 1817, in Ohio and died in Wells County, Indiana, on May 26, 1864. On July 18, 1865, George W. Sparks married (second) a widow named Phoebe Jane (Pouless) Light. She had been born on February 11, 1832, in Highland County, Ohio. A photograph of George W. and Phoebe Jane appears on the cover of the June 1959 Quarterly.
According to family lore, George W. Sparks was sympathetic toward the Southern Cause during the Civil War, although his sons were loyal to the Union. He died in Wells County on September 14, 1892, and in his will, dated May 2, 1890, he left his entire estate to his second wife, Phoebe Jane. She died in Wells County on January 18, 1921. George W. Sparks and his first wife, Sarah Mosburg, were the parents of four children; by his second wife he had one child.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 William Henderson Sparks was born May 18, 1839. He was married in Wells County, Indiana, on November 15, 1860, to Mary Jane Sale (some times spelled Sales), daughter of Hiram and Margaret (Mitchell) Sale. She had been born in Wells County on March 24, 1843. In the fall of 1866, William and Mary Jane, with their first three children, set out by covered wagon for St. Clair County, Missouri. A number of their neighbors accompanied them in this move, including William's sister, Malinda Ann, and her husband, William Earhart, as well as Mary Jane's parents. They began their journey on October 16, 1866, and arrived at their new home on the following November 18. According to William's reckoning, they had traveled 578 miles in 32 days.
Two extant and very interesting letters were written by William Henderson Sparks to his younger brother, Emerson Barber Sparks, back in Wells County, the first dated February 20, 1867, and the second on March 5, 1867. We were able to borrow and copy these letters, then owned by Elizabethe S. Ericksen of Colorado Springs, Colorado (now deceased), and we published them in the Quarterly of September 1959, No.27.
William Henderson Sparks died on January 24, 1904, at Lowry City, Missouri, at age 64. His wife, Mary Jane, died near Osceola, Missouri, on February 24, 1908. Their fourteen children are listed on page 407 of the Quarterly for September 1959.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Henry Sparks was born November 25, 1841. He married Elizabeth E. Grant in Wells County, Indiana, on August 22, 1867. They are known to have had at least one child, Oscar W. Sparks, born in 1869. Henry Sparks died in April 1882.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Melinda Ann Sparks was born June 16, 1847, in Indiana and died there in 1923. She married William Henry Earhart; he died in Markle, Indiana, on October 6, 1937. Although Melinda and her husband accompanied William H. Sparks and other relatives to Missouri in 1866, they did not long remain there and returned to their Indiana home. it was there that their eight children were born, a record of whom appears on page 408 of the June 1959 issue of the Quarterly. A reproduction of their photograph appeared on page 409.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Emerson Barber Sparks was born in Warren, Huntington County, Indiana, on March 25, 1850. He spent most of his life, however, over the line in Wells County, Rock Creek Township. It was to the 16-year-old Emerson that William Henderson wrote his Missouri letters. Emerson was married on July 27, 1873, in Shelbyville, Indiana, to Lovicy Gunn, daughter of William and Jane (Morford) Gunn. She had been born on December 14, 1854, in Hancock County, Indiana, and died on August 29, 1921, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They were the parents of eight children about whom information appears on page 408 of the June 1959 issue of the Quarterly.
George W. Sparks and his second wife, Phoebe Jane (Pouless) Sparks, were the parents of one child:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Ellison George Sparks born on December 19, 1866, in Wells County, Indiana, and died on November 27, 1846, at Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana. He married Rosella Ellen Redding, daughter of John and Sarah (Nicholson) Redding, in Wells County, Indiana, on Novem ber 17, 1888. She had been born on February 16, 1868, in Huntington County, Indiana; she died on June 8, 1954, at Bluffton, Wells County. A record of their three children appears on page 408 of the June 1959 issue of the Quarterly.
18.104.22.168.7.2.5 Jane Sparks, daughter of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born ca. 1819. She married Nathan Washburn Rogers on April 20, 1839, in Wells County, Indiana. We are indebted to Emily Irons Rogers of Geneva, Illinois, and to Nancy Gilliam of Kingsville, Texas, for much of the information that follows.
Nathan Washburn Rogers had been born on April 7, 1818 (or 1819) in Delaware County, Ohio. He and Jane were the parents of five children. Jane died on July 3, 1850, at the age of 31, three months following the birth of her fifth child. She was buried in the Sparks Cemetery, then part of her father's farm in Wells County. Their children were:
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 James Calvin ["Bill"] Rogers was born September 15, 1840, and died on October 15, 1921. He married Eliza Ann Trusler on June 30, in Huntington County, Indiana. She died on January 26,1921.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Solomon Rogers was born February 9, 1842, and. died on March 30, 1853.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Mary Jane (or Ann) Rogers was born January 20, 1844, and died in April 1845.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Leroy Rogers was born September 14, 1845, and died on June 13, 1921. He was married twice, (first) to Nancy S. Kelsey on March 31, 1867, and (second) to Livonia Duddleson.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Philo B. Rogers was born March 31, 1850, and died on September 7, 1906, in Wells County, Indiana. He married Maria Elizabeth Prillaman on October 22, 1872. She had been born on April 13, 1850, and died on July 17, 1935, in Wells County.
After the death of Jane, Nathan W. Rogers married (second) Sarah Jane (Price) DeWitt, a widow with three children of her own, on July 7, 1852, in Wells County. Nathan and Sarah Jane had eight children born between 1853 and 1871. She died on May 20, 1895. Nathan died on November 24, 1895. Both were buried in the Markle Cemetery in Huntington County, Indiana.
220.127.116.11.7.2.6 Isaac B. Sparks, son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on April 2, 1822, and was twelve years old when he accompanied his parents and siblings on their move to Indiana. He was married on December 18, 1851, in Wells County, Indiana, to Cynthia A. Roberts, daughter of William and Martha (Hultz) Roberts. Cynthia had been born on December 27, 1832, and died on December 17, 1897. Isaac died on January 15, 1904, in Wells County. Both were buried in the Sparks Cemetery that had once been part of the farm of Solomon Sparks, Isaac's father.
A sketch of the life of Isaac B. Sparks appeared in the History of Huntington County (1887), pp.786-87. We published this in full in the Quarterly of June 1959, p.399. A great-granddaughter of Isaac and Cynthia (Iva Sparks Lane of Marion, Indiana) provided us with a photograph of Isaac which we reproduced on the cover of the Quarterly for September 1975, Whole No.91. Mrs. Lane also provided a photograph of Isaac and Cynthia with 26 grandchildren taken ca. 1895, which we reproduced on page 1755 of the same issue of the Quarterly.
The two photographs reproduced above were sent by a relative to Lydia Anelie (Sparks) Hobson (daughter of Jacob Esau Sparks) many years ago. On the small envelope enclosing them was written: "Ike Sparks' sons Albert & William," but which was Albert and which was William is not known to Lydia Anelie's granddaughter, Kay Wolniak, who loaned them to us for reproduction here.
Isaac B. and Cynthia A. (Roberts) Sparks were the parents of twelve children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 William Lewellen Sparks was born February 16, 1853, in Huntington County, Indiana, and died on July 2, 1923. He married Dorcas Sleetor Hayes on October 26, 1877.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Albert D. Sparks, born in February 1855, died on October 6, 1877.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Robert R. Sparks, born 1857, died 1945; he married Mary Jane McClurg.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Rachel E. Sparks. She married Frank Hart.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Frederick F. Sparks, born January 2. 1861, died 1948. He married Ruth E. Roos (or Rous) on September 3, 1887.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Sarah A. Sparks. She married Alvidor Roos (or Rous).
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Maria Sparks, born 1865, died 1922. She married John Dalrymple.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Rebecca Jane Sparks, born in November 1868, died July 19, 1869.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Susan E. Sparks. She married Silas Thrailkill.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Isaac H. Sparks, born 1872, died 1938. He married Clara Wiegle.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Cynthia B. Sparks, born June 21, 1874; died June 25, 1874.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Mary E. Sparks, born August 21, 1875; died September 12, 1875.
18.104.22.168.7.2.7 Charity Sparks was probably born between 1820 and 1825. We believe that she was the female in the age category of 5 to 10 (thus born 1820-25) in Solomon's household when the 1830 census was taken in Randolph County, Indiana. She was married on February 16, 1839, to Daniel Snyder (or Snider) in Wells County, Indiana.
Charity (Sparks) Snyder had died a number of years prior to the settlement of her father's estate. Solomon had made no mention of her or her children in his 1854 will, but, as we have noted earlier, he had actually named but few of his children or grandchildren in that document. However, Charity's "heirs" were noted in the later documents pertaining to the division of Solomon's property by his executor, Albert Draper. For example, in 1857, at which time Solomon's land had been rented and the rental income was divided among the heirs, each to receive $13.25, the son of Solomon and Isabella also named Solomon signed a receipt "for the heirs of Daniel Snyder," which indicates that both Charity and Daniel were deceased. The farm was rented for a number of years, and in 1860 when $13.07 was paid to each of the children or their heirs, the following receipt has been preserved among the Wells County Court records:
Rock Creek Township. March 8, 1860. Received $13.07 of Albert Draper, executor of the estate of Solomon Sparks, deceased, it being the share of rent for the year 1860 belonging to the heirs of Charity Snider. [signed] Solomon Sparks.
When the 1860 census of Rock Creek Township in Huntington County, Indiana, was taken, two Snyder children were living in the household of Albert and Rachel (Sparks) Draper: Catherine Snyder, age 17, and Rachel Snyder, age 8; both were shown as natives of Indiana. They may well have been children of Charity Sparks, thus being nieces of Rachel. An Isaac Snyder was living with John and Rebecca (Roberts) Sparks in 1860. Isaac Snyder was shown as 18 years old, born in Indiana, and he was called a "common laborer."
22.214.171.124.7.2.8 John Sparks was born in January 1825. When the 1850 census was taken of Wells County, Indiana, John was shown as living in the household of his father in Rock Creek Township in Wells County. His age was given then as 22, but we believe that this was in error; his place of birth was given as Indiana, which, if true, means that his parents had made the journey from North Carolina as early as 1824.
John Sparks was married in Wells County, Indiana, on July 25, 1853, to Rebecca Roberts, who had been born in March 1836 in Ohio according to census records. He was living near Markle in Huntington County, Indiana, by 1860.
Many years ago, a member of our Association sent us a photograph of an item in a January 1915 issue of a Markle, Indiana, weekly newspaper headed: "John Sparks Observes Ninetieth Birthday." We do not have the precise date of this item within the month of January 1915:
John Sparks of Markle celebrated his ninetieth birthday anniversary Friday. The day was spent quietly, a few relatives being entertained at this home at the dinner hour. Mr. Sparks, who is a pioneer of Markle, has spent most of his life in and near Markle. The house in which he now lives was built before there was a town of Markle. Mrs. Sparks will be seventy nine years old next March.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Sparks are enjoying fairly good health, and take much interest in the affairs of the town. Mr. Sparks owns a farm on the edge of the town, but each year he has a "patch" of corn on the lot where he lives. This affords him both recreation and work during the summer months.
John Sparks was shown on the 1860 census as a farmer living in Huntington County, Indiana, with his wife and three children. A number of obvious errors were made by the census taker in listing his family in 1860, but we believe that the enumeration of his family on the 1870 and 1880 censuses was largely correct. John Sparks died on May 24, 1917, at Markle, at the age of 92. He was buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County, as was also his wife, who died in 1926. From census records, we judge their children to have been:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Martha Sparks (called Mary on the 1860 census) was born ca. 1854.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Lillian Sparks (called Elizabeth on the 1860 census) was born ca. 1865.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Robert Sparks (called Scott on the 1860 census) was born ca. 1868.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Jenette Sparks was born in October 1869.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Nathan Sparks was born ca. 1874.
18.104.22.168.7.2.9 Solomon Sparks, son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks was born ca. 1827, after her parents had moved to Indiana. He was married in Wells County, Indiana, to Susannah Johnson on November 16, 1846. When the 1850 census was taken of Wells County, he was shown as age 23; Susannah's age was shown as 21, and both were shown as having been born in Indiana, by 1850, Solomon and Susannah's first two children had been born: Henry C. Sparks was 2 and Isaac Sparks was one year. Little Isaac, however, died in 1855. Five more children had been born by the time that the 1860 census was taken; their last child was born in ca. 1865.
Solomon died ca. 1877 We do not have copies of the probate records pertaining to the settlement of his estate, but following the death of his son, 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Charles W.Sparks, and the appointment of Henry C. Sparks (Solomon's oldest son) to administer Charles' estate at the September 1889 term of the Wells County Court, the following document was recorded (Probate file 925):
Henry C. Sparks, administrator of the estate of Charles W. Sparks, deceased, petitions the Court to permit him to sell land belonging to the decedent as follows: Section 7, Township 27, North, of Range 11 East, since the decedent left personal assests [sic] of less than $8.00 and he has debts of more than $600.00. The only surviving heirs are a child, 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 Chester Sparks.
Henry C. Sparks, administrator of the estate of Charles W. Sparks, deceased, shows the Court that the said decedent is one of four heirs of Solomon Sparks, deceased; that there was a large body of land belonging to the estate of the said Solomon Sparks; that this land was inherited in equal shares by:
this affiant [Henry C. Sparks]
and Charles W. Sparks
that the personal estate of the said decedent, Solomon Sparks, was insufficient to pay the debts of the estate in the sum of $1434.40; that the above named heirs entered into an agreement to sell the land of Solomon Sparks; that before the land could be sold, one of the heirs, Charles W. Sparks, also died; that because of this the remaining heirs assumed the indebtedness of the estate of Solomon Sparks; and lastly, these heirs pray the court to permit them to take monies due from the estate of Charles W. Sparks.
We have found no record to reveal when Susannah (Johnson) Sparks died. Following is a list of the children of Solomon and Susannah:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Henry C. Sparks was born ca. 1848. He married Margaret E. Reilly on October 1, 1868, in Wells County, Indiana. He died in 1923 and was buried in the Sparks Cemetery.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Isaac Sparks was born July 24, 1849; he died on May 25, 1855.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Andrew J. Sparks was born ca. 1852; he died in his youth.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Sarah J. Sparks was born ca. 1853; she had died prior to 1889, leaving no heirs.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Elvina Sparks was born ca. 1857; she married David Seebold in Wells County, Indiana, on July 10, 1875.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Charles W. Sparks was born ca. 1858; he married Maggie Baker on May 12, 1881, in Wells County. He died prior to 1889.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Laura Sparks was born ca. 1865. She married John W. McCance on September 2, 1883, in Wells County, Indiana.
JACOB ESAU SPARKS
SON OF SOLOMON AND ISABELLA (SWAIM) SPARKS
ELLEN JANE (McCARTY) SPARKS
WIFE OF JACOB ESAU SPARKS
22.214.171.124.7.2.10 Jacob Esau Sparks was born ca. 1831 in Randolph County, Indiana. He was a lad of about five years when his parents and siblings moved to Huntington County, Indiana, settling near the future site of the town of Markle. He was married in Hamilton County on January 24, 1852, to Ellen Jane McCarty, daughter of Patrick and Jane (Bennett) McCarty. She had been born in Indiana ca. 1837 according to census records.
Jacob Sparks was shown as head of his household on the 1860 census of Rock Creek Township in Huntington County; his age was given then as 38 and Ellen's as 22. Their daughter, florence, was 4 years old and their son James was two months. Ellen's mother, Jane McCarty, age 41, who had been born in Pennsylvania, and Ellen's sister, Lydia McCarty, age 7, born in Indiana, were also living in Jacob and Ellen's family. When the 1870 census was taken in Rock Creek Township, Jacob's age was given as 52 and Ellen's as 33. He was a farmer with land then valued at $2,000.
When the 1880 census was taken, three of the children of Jacob Esau Sparks and Ellen Jane (McCarty) Sparks were still living at home: Mary, age 17; Francis (called Franklin on this census) age 10; and Lydia, age 9. The two daughters named Helen, born ca. 1873, and Martha, born ca. 1875, were not included in the family in 1880. They had either died or, perhaps, because of their mother's illness, were staying with relatives.
We are indebted to two descendants of Jacob Esau and Ellen Jane (McCarty) Sparks for much of our information regarding this family: Kay Wolniak of Carmichael, California, and Leon Keith Sparks of Grand Junction, Colorado.
It was sometime after 1880 that Ellen Jane, ill with the dreaded disease then called consumption, went to Chicago to live with a niece, Lydia Cole Nix, to seek medical treatment. Leon Sparks has an undated clipping from a Markle newspaper telling of her death.
Mrs. Jacob Sparks, wife of Jacob Sparks, living in Rock Creek township, left for Chicago sometime ago, hoping to improve her health. On her return home, she stopped with friends in Kosciusko county, where she grew worse and finally died. The remains were brought to this place last Monday evening, and were interred on Tuesday following. The disease was evidently comsumption, as the wasted form bore evidence of that dreaded disease.
Leon K. Sparks has written as follows:
After Ellen Jane, Jacob's wife, died, he sold his farm. The two daughters, Mary Josephine and Lydia Anelie, moved to Chicago to be with the Peter Nix family, and Jacob, with his two sons, James P. and Francis A., moved to Upper Alton, Madison County, Illinois, to be near his sister and brother-in-law, Albert and Rachel Draper. Apparently Albert Draper, executor of the will of Solomon Sparks, had preceded Jacob in migrating to Upper Alton. James P. Sparks was married in Sadoris, Illinois, on January 5, 1891, and Francis A. Sparks was married in Ouray, Colorado, November 22, 1899. I assume that Jacob stayed in Alton for the remainder of his life. His sister, Rachel (Sparks) Draper, died in Upper Alton, Illinois, on November 17, 1896.
Children of Jacob Esau and Ellen Jane (McCarty) Sparks:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Florence Ester Sparks, born May 29, 1856. We have no further informa tion about her.
JAMES PATRICK SPARKS (1860-1928)
Son of Jacob Esau and Ellen Jane (McCarty) Sparks
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 James Patrick Sparks was born April 20, 1860, in Markle, Huntington County, Indiana; he died on December 25, 1928, in Decatur, Illinois. He was married on January 5, 1891, to Lucinda Craw in Sadorus, Champaign County, Illinois. She was a daughter of Edwin and Julia (Brown) Craw. They were the parents of three children:
MAYBELLE SPARKS (1891-1966)
Daughter of James Patrick and Lucinda (Craw) Sparks
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Maybelle Sparks was born August 18, 1891, in Sadorus, Illinois, and died on November 13, 1966. Her photograph as a child appears on page 5284 of the present issue of the Quarterly, with her sister and brother. A small photo that she sent to her brother in France during World War I, with her Christmas greeting in 1918, is reproduced above.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Birdie Lena Sparks was born October 12, 1892, in Sadorus, Illinois; she died on May 28, 1927, in Decatur, Illinois.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 LaMarch Francis Sparks was born September 9, 1899, in Sadorus, Champaign County, Illinois; he died on February 15, 1942, in Maywood, Illinois, in the Hines Veterans Hospital. His photograph appears on the cover of the present issue of the Quarterly.
As we noted at the beginning of this article, LaMarch Francis Sparks served in U.S. Army in World War I. His son, Leon Keith Sparks, has provided the following record of his service. LaMarch had been 17 when he enlisted on June 1, 1917, at Chicago, Illinois. He was described as having blue eyes, auburn hair, a fair complexion, and he was six feet tall. by occupation he was a machinist. His service was described at the time of his discharge as follows: "Chateau Thierry Sec. 6/18 - 28118; St. Mihiel Off. 9112 - 16/18; Meuse Argonne Off. 10116 - 1116/18. Army of Occ. 12/26118 - 10129119. Served with Co. K, 59th Infantry; 278th Co. Military Police Corps." He was discharged at Camp Dix, New Jersey, on November 12, 1919, and "Paid in Full $116.85, including Bonus Pay of $60.00. "
LaMarch F. Sparks married Grace M. Weller in St. Louis, Missouri, on June 21, 1924, by a justice of the peace named Jos. L. Schuler. Both LaMarch and Grace were described in the license as "of Decatur, State of Illinois."
As noted earlier, LaMarch Sparks never fully regained his health, having been a victim of poison gas during his service. He died on February 15, 1942. He and Grace were the parents of two children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3.1 Leon Keith Sparks, born October 12, 1925, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3.2 LaMarch Junior Sparks, born August 25, 1927.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Mary Josephine Sparks was born in 1863, at Markle, Huntington County, Indiana. We have no further information about her.
FRANCIS ["FRANK"] ALFUS SPARKS (1869-1944)
Son of Jacob Esau and Mary Jane (McCarty) Sparks
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Francis Alfus Sparks was born October 30, 1869, at Markle, Huntington County, Indiana. He died on March 15, 1944, in Denver, Colorado. He was married on November 22, 1899, to Stella Allis Graham in Ouray, Colorado.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Preston Howard Sparks was born August 27, 1900, at Ouray Colorado; he died on September 25, 1903, at Salida, Colorado.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Charles Henry Sparks was born April 14, 1902, at Grand Junction, Colorado; he died on December 12, 1903, at Salida, Colorado.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 Mary Louise Sparks was born January 2, 1904, at Salida, Colorado; she died on August 2, 1955.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 Martha Frances Sparks was born December 2, 1908, at Salida, Colorado; she died on September 22, 1950.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5 Robert Graham Sparks was born December 2, 1910, at Salida, Colorado; he died on March 7, 1989, at Boulder City, Nevada.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6 John Eugene Sparks was born May 15, 1912, at Salida, Colorado; he died on April 8, 1972.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7 Frank Russell Sparks was born January 20, 1915, at Salida, Colorado.
LYDIA ANELIE (SPARKS) HOBSON (1871-1943)
Daughter of Jacob Esau and Ellen Jane (McCarty) Sparks
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5 Lydia Anelie Sparks, daughter of Jacob Esau and Ellen Jane (McCarty) Sparks, was born May 23, 1871, at Markle, Huntington County, Indiana; she died on October 4, 1943, in Berkeley, California. She married Charles Castle Hobson on May 8, 1901, in Ouray, Colorado. He was a son of Thomas and Mary (Dunbaugh) Hobson. They were the parents of three children. A photograph of Lydia appears on the following page.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5.1 Eleanor Francis Hobson was born February 8, 1902, in Arvada, Colorado; she died on January 22, 1997, in Carmichael, California. She married Jesse Ray Gordon on May 21, 1924, in Ouray, Colorado, son of Daniel and Jennie (Wilcox) Gordon. It is their daughter, Kay Eleanor (Gordon) Wolniak, who has provided much of the information and several of the photographs pertaining to the family of Jacob Esau and Ellen Jane (McCarty) Sparks. The children of Jesse Ray and Eleanor (Hobson) Gordon are:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5.1.1 Jess Lee Gordon, born May 30, 1925, at Sparks, Nevada; he died on July 11, 1965. He married Esther Jacques in 1947.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5.1.2 Allene Lydia Gordon, born July 4, 1926, at Sparks Nevada. She married Charles W. Saunders in 1944.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5.1.3 Charles Francis Gordon, born July 11, 1928, at Alameda, California. He married WillaRae M. Cannard in 1946.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5.1.4 Kay Eleanor Gordon, born October 17, 1939, at Oakland, California. She married Frank Michael Wolniak, Jr. in 1959.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5.2 Thomas Francis Hobson was born October 3, 1903, in Ouray, Colorado. He died on January 2, 1960, at Santa Rosa, California. He married Myrtle Hanson, and they had two children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5.2.1 Thomas Francis Hobson, born September 7, 1937; he married Glinice Carter.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5.2.2 Robert Edward Hobson, born July 19, 1940, at Santa Rosa, California. He married Carla Barber in 1960.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5.3 Doan Hobson was born June 20, 1908, at Ouray, Colorado. She died on February 29, 1912, at Ouray, Colorado.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6 Helen Sparks was born ca. 1873 at Markle, Huntington County, Indiana. We have no further information about her.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7 Martha Sparks, born ca. 1875, at Markle, Huntington County, Indiana. We have no further information about her.
184.108.40.206.7.2.11 Andrew Jackson Sparks was the last child born to Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks. We believe that he was born in 1833. His gravestone in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County, Indiana, gives his age as 40 when he died on April 28, 1873. On the 1840 census of Wells County, he was the male enumerated as between 5 and 10 years of age in the household of his father. His age was given as 18 on the 1850 census of Rock Creek Township in Wells County; as 26 in 1860; and as 36 in 1870. His father, in his will dated April 14, 1854, provided for him as follows:
I give and bequeath to my son Andrew Jackson Sparks one hundred (100) acres of land, the same to be taken from the west side of my farm including my farm buildings, in case he will keep and maintain my beloved wife in good, comfortable and respectable way during her natural life. Solomon also bequeathed to Andrew "a certain forty (40) acre lot of land in Huntington County, being the same that Nathan W. Rogers was in possession of at the time of his first wife's death." The first wife of Nathan Rogers had been Solomon's daughter, Jane (see pp.5296-97). In bequeathing this 40-acre lot to Andrew, however, his father directed "that in consideration of the above bequest the said Andrew J. Sparks will pay to the heirs of my daughter Jane Rogers, deceased, the sum of $300." The three Rogers grandchildren living in 1854 were James Culver Rogers, Leroy Rogers, and Philo B. Rogers. It appears that Andrew was farming his father's land at the time of Solomon's death, which occurred on April 28, 1854, only a few days after he had made his will. Solomon's "beloved wife" to whom he left "the whole of my household furniture...and all of my personal property of every kind whatsoever except such articles as are specifically bequeathed to my other heirs," was his second wife, Susannah (Shibeley) Eikenberry, the widow of Joseph Eikenberry. A record of Solomon's marriage to Susannah has not been found, but it had occurred sometime after the death of his first wife, Isabella Swaim, on May 25, 1852. We may assume that with her entry into the Sparks family, where Andrew Jackson Sparks was living and farming for his father, Susannah brought along her unmarried daughter, Mary Eikenberry, then 15 or 16 years old. On June 22, 1854, less than two months following the death of his father, Andrew married Mary Eikenberry (also spelled Eikenbury and Eikenbery). (See Wells County Marriage Book 2, p.165.) Thus, Andrew's step-mother now became his mother-in-law, and we trust that he accepted the condition his father had set for him to inherit his hundred acres and the farm buildings. On June 13, 1857, Andrew and Mary sold to Mary's mother for $800 the 80 acres in Huntington County that his father had left him (Deed Book M, p.84).
We are indebted to the late Denton N. Sparks of Chicago, Illinois, a grandson of Andrew Jackson Sparks, for the Eikenberry family information given above. In a letter to your editor dated November 18, 1960, Denton Sparks referred to "the old German Bible that I have." He also quoted from an account written by his father, Jasper R. Sparks, who had been a son of Andrew Jackson and Mary (Eikenbery) Sparks, as follows: My Mother's people came originally from some place in Germany and settled in Pennsylvania about the time of the American Revolution. My Father's people (the Sparkses] came from England before the Revolution and possibly settled in Maryland and moved later to North Carolina where Grandfather Sparks [Samuel Sparks] was born. He later moved to Kentucky for a short time and then went on to Indiana, finally settling in Wells County in 1836 where he reared his family.
All the children were married and settled near the home place, my Father getting the home place where I was born and lived until I was 22 yars of age. Father died at the age of 39 when I was but 8 years of age. After Mother's widowhood of 12 years, she married Ned Raffe near Hagerstown, Indiana. After his death Mother continued to live in Hagerstown until her death in 1921.
As noted earlier, the age of Andrew Jackson Sparks at the time of his death is given on his gravestone as 40, whereas Jasper R. Sparks remembered as 39. Perhaps he died in his 40th year.
In his account, Jasper R. Sparks, who had been born in 1865, was quite correct in stating that his Sparks ancestors had come from England before the Revolution, settling in Maryland, and then, in later generations, moving to North Carolina. We have found no other source, however, suggesting that Solomon Sparks, father of Andrew Jackson Sparks, had spent any time in Kentucky, although we know that one of his brothers went there from North Carolina.
Denton Sparks further quoted in his 1960 letter from his father's account of the family written on December 21, 1928, identifying the children of Andrew J. and Mary Sparks, but he did not provide dates, nor did he include in his list, the two children who had died as infants who were buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County. In listing Andrew J. and Mary's children below, we have incorporated Jasper R. Sparks's notes with other sources:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Josiah Sparks was born in 1856. His age was given as 4 on the 1860 census and as 14 in 1870. A grandson, David Kinney Sparks of Athens, Alabama, has stated that Josiah died in the late 1920s or early 1930's, in Long Beach, California. He married Amanda L. Priddy, who had been born in 1862, a daughter of John William and Juliann Elizabeth (Siling) Priddy. The marriage had taken place in Indiana on May 12, 1878. Their children were:
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 Julia Sparks, born ca. 1879 in Wells County, Indiana.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2 Jefferson Sparks, born ca. 1881 in Wells County, Indiana; died in December 1938.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.3 A daughter, unnamed, born March 18, 1884, in Huntington County.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.4 Jasper Tilghman Sparks, born June 24, 1887, in Wells County; died June 6, 1938, in Fresno, California.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Lydia Sparks was born ca. 1858. The 1860 census gives her age as 2 and that for 1870 as 12. She was married in Wells County, Indiana, on September 30, 1876, to Abraham W. Mast. Her brother, Jasper R. Sparks, gave her address in 1928 as 923 N. 11th Street, Beatrice, Nebraska.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Andrew J. Sparks, Jr., born 1860, died July 18, 1862. He was buried in the Sparks Cemetery In Wells County, Indiana.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Ephram Sparks, born March 1862, died April 1, 1862, age 20 days. He was buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County, Indiana.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Jasper R. Sparks was born November 19, 1865. He married to Catherine Elmira Hornberger, daughter of J. A. Hornberger of Vermilion, Illinois. They had two children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 Denton H. Sparks, born September 24, 1894, at Dublin, Indiana. He married Evelyn May Clauson on December 23, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois. They had children named
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1.1 Gail Ruth Sparks, born January 28, 1922; and
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1.2 Kenneth W. Sparks, born February 22, 1933.
We have referred earlier to the family records Denton H. Sparks shared with us in 1960.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2 Mary Louise Sparks, born at Havana, Illinois, May 21, 1902. She married FNU Reed.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Ella Nora Sparks (she was called Nora), daughter of Andrew Jackson and Mary (Eikenberry) Sparks, was born ca. 1868. She married FNU Stamm; they lived in Verona, Ohio. She had died before 1928.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Ira C. Sparks. He was living at Long Beach, California, in 1928.
[Editor's Note: Our purpose in this article is to trace the families for two or three generations of the three sons of Solomon, Jr. and Charity Sparks who came from Wilkes County, North Carolina, to Wells and Huntington Counties, Indiana. These were George, Solomon, and Joseph. We now give only brief notice to the three brothers who did not come to Indiana before turmng our attention to Joseph Sparks, the third brother to settle in Indiana.]
220.127.116.11.7.3 William Sparks. According to the order given for their six sons in Solomon, Jr.'s will of 1817, William was the 3rd son. He was born ca. 1790. Surry County, North Carolina, tax lists show him living on a tract of 150 acres of land that his father had purchased in 1808. He was taxed there only between 1814 and 1818, however, nor does his name appear on the 1820 census of either Surry or Wilkes County. We can only conjecture that William died in or after 1818, or, more probably, that he moved out of the area after his father died.
18.104.22.168.7.4 Samuel Sparks, fourth son of Solomon, Jr. and Charity Sparks. We believe that he was born in the early 1790s in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was appointed by the Wilkes County Court to administer his father's estate in 1829 following his mother's death, his father having given Charity full use of much of his estate during her lifetime. She died in 1828. Samuel Sparks had been married, at about the time he came of age, to Mary Alvey, daughter of William Alvey, in 1814. The Wilkes County marriage bond for their marriage was issued on October 22, 1814, and we may assume that the ceremony took place soon thereafter. Wiseman Alvey had served as bondsman. Mary had been born ca. 1793 in Wilkes County; she died there ca. 1851. Samuel Sparks was married, 2nd, to Sarah Ellis in 1852. The marriage bond in this instance is dated October 26, 1852, with William Redding serving as bondsman. Samuel Sparks died in 1858, having made his will on January 29, of that year. It was entered for probate at the meeting of the Wilkes County Court at its May 1858 term. In his will, Samuel mentioned his second wife, Sarah, and his following children:
22.214.171.124.7.4.1 Solomon Sparks,
126.96.36.199.7.4.2 Reuben Sparks;
188.8.131.52.7.4.3 Joseph Sparks;
184.108.40.206.7.4.4 Elias Sparks;
220.127.116.11.7.4.5 Ransom Sparks;
18.104.22.168.7.4.6 Noah Sparks;
22.214.171.124.7.4.7 George Sparks;
126.96.36.199.7.4.8 Matilda Sparks Gray;
188.8.131.52.7.4.9 Mary Sparks Goforth;
184.108.40.206.7.4.10 Malinda Sparks Chambin;
220.127.116.11.7.4.11 Jane Sparks Adams.
18.104.22.168.7.4.12 He also had a son named Samuel Sparks, born ca. 1837, who apparently died before 1858.
22.214.171.124.7.5 Jonathan Sparks, fifth son of Solomon, Jr. and Charity Sparks, was born ca. 1797, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. At about the time that he came Jonathan Sparks, of age, Jonathan was married in Wilkes County to Elizabeth Chappel, a neighbor girl who had been a witness to the nuncupative will of Jonathan's father in 1817.
About 1821, several neighbors, including five Sparks families, moved from their homes in the Wilkes and Surry Counties area in North Carolina to Lawrence County, Kentucky. Among those making the move was Jonathan Sparks. The other four Sparks cousins were named George, Levi, Jesse, and Thomas. Jonathan purchased land on Big Blaine Creek in Lawrence County in August 1822 and again in 1826. In the Quarterly of March 1981, Whole No.113, beginning on p.2269, Paul E. Sparks, late president of our Association, reported that for a number of years he had assumed that Jonathan had been a brother of Paul's 2nd- great-grandfather, George Sparks. The main reason for this confusion, as explained by Paul, was that on August 21, 1826, Jonathan Sparks had appeared before the Lawrence County, Kentucky, Clerk to give a power-of-attorney to his brother George Sparks to represent him in legal matters in North Carolina. Paul had long assumed that the George Sparks to whom Jonathan gave this power was the George Sparks who had gone with him to Kentucky ca. 1821. Paul knew that this George Sparks was his own 2nd-great-grandfather, a son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks. In reality, however, Jonathan's brother, to whom he gave the power-of-attorney, had remained in North Carolina. Paul's 2nd- great-grandfather actually had no brother named Jonathan (which is a correction to the list of children of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks named on page 100 of the December 1955 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 12).
When 126.96.36.199.7 Solomon Sparks, Jr. made his nuncupative will in 1817, he provided that his widow, Charity Sparks, should have use of most of his property until she, herself, died. Charity Sparks died in 1828, so it was not until then that her and Solomon, Jr.'s six sons could divide their father's estate. It may have been in anticipation of Charity's death that Jonathan gave his brother, George, the power to act on his behalf. On August 15, 1828, however, Jonathan sold his Kentucky land and returned to Wilkes County. There, on May 6, 1829, he and his brother, Joseph Sparks, agreed to serve as bondsmen (i.e., security) for their brother, Samuel Sparks, who was appointed by the Wilkes County Court to administer the settlement of their father's estate.
Jonathan and Elizabeth (Chappel) Sparks continued to live in Wilkes County, North Carolina, until Elizabeth's death there in 1836, following the birth of their last child. Shortly thereafter, Jonathan and his five children moved to Tazewell County, Virginia, settling in Thompson Valley. It was there that Jonathan made his will on September 4, 1845, which was probated in 1847. According to the terms of the will, he left his 75-acre farm in Tazewell County to be divided among his three sons, named Jonathan Sparks, Jr., William Sparks, and Joseph Sparks. He left his household goods to his two daughters, Helen and Mary Alice Sparks, with the request that Helen care for her brothers, William and Joseph, until they reached their eighteenth birthdays.
At a later date, we hope to provide a more detailed account of this family. All three of the sons served in the Confederate Army in the Civil War; Jonathan, Jr. and Joseph giving their lives to the Cause of the Confederacy.
188.8.131.52.7.6 Joseph Sparks, the youngest son of Solomon, Jr. and Charity Sparks, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, ca. 1803.
In the nuncupative will of his father dated December 28, 1817, Joseph and his brother, Jonathan, were referred to as Solomon's two youngest sons, and because each of his four oldest sons had received certain gifts either when
they had come of age or had been married, Solomon directed that Jonathan and Joseph each receive the following: "One horse, bridle and saddle, one cow and calf, one sow and pigs, and one feather bed and furniture." ("Furniture" in this sense meant the bedding, etc. to go with a feather bed.) As noted earlier, Solomon died within a few days of his making his will.
On February 4, 1822, Joseph Sparks obtained a bond in Wilkes County, North Carolina, to marry Sabra Demmit; Joseph Brown served as his bondsman. The marriage was probably performed a few days later. Sabra's nickname seems to have been "Sabry."
When the 1830 census was taken in Wilkes County, Joseph Sparks was shown in the age category of 20 to 30, and he then headed a household consisting of a female who was surely his wife, also between 20 and 30, with four children, a male between 5 and 10, another male under 5, and two females also under 5 years.
We have found few references to Joseph Sparks in Wilkes County records. He and his brother, Jonathan, served as bondsmen for their brother, Samuel Sparks, when he was appointed to administer the settlement of their father's estate in 1828 following the death of their mother, who had held the property during her widowhood. We have found no record of Joseph Sparks acquiring land in Wilkes County, although his occupation was that of farmer. We must assume that he rented the land that he tilled.
Sometime after 1830, Joseph followed his brothers, George and Solomon, to Randolph County, Indiana, which was then a huge county, parts of which would later form a dozen other counties. A deed was recorded in Randolph County dated August 19, 1835, by which Joseph and Sabra sold to John Shelinberger for $150 a tract of 80 acres in Section 10, Township 21. (Book E, p.407) Joseph and Sabra (spelled "Sabrey") signed this deed by mark, with William Crouse and John Burroughs as their witnesses. How Joseph Sparks had managed to acqrnre this land, as well as other tracts that he subsequently sold, has not been discovered. He may have bought it from the U.S. Government or, possibly, it came to him through his wife. (A wife's property became that of her husband with marriage in those days.) Two years earlier, on July 25, 1833, Joseph's brother, Solomon Sparks with his wife, Susannah, had also sold land in Randolph County to the same John Shelinberger.
Wells County was created in 1835 from parts of Randolph, Allen, and Delaware Counties. (Delaware had been created from Randolph in 1827, and Allen in part from Randolph in 1824.) Joseph and his brothers probably did not move to Wells County; it is more likely that they simply found themselves in the new county when its boundary lines were established.
Our earliest record of Joseph Sparks found in Wells County Court documents is that of his service as a juror in October 1837. In 1838, he and Sabra again sold land: on February 19, 1838, they sold 40 acres to Joseph's brother-in-law, Albert Draper, for $150 (Book A, p.38) and on October 29, 1838, they sold 80 acres to Thomas T. Smith and his wife Catherine (Book A, p.103). We have no record of Joseph Sparks buying this land.
Joseph Sparks appeared on the 1840 census of Wells County, as did his brothers, Solomon and George, all in what would later be named Rock Creek Township. Another daughter had been added to his and Sabra's family by his time.
When the 1850 census was taken, Joseph and his family were in Adams County, Indiana, in Kirkland Township; three of their children were still living at home, their two sons, Ransom and Hampton, and their youngest daughter, Mary. Their two older daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah, had both been married, Elizabeth to Robert Evans on September 3, 1843, and Sarah to Benoni High on February 21, 1847. Both of the marriages had taken place in Adams County.
Kirkland Township in Adams County is separated from Rock Creek Township in Wells County only by the township of Lancaster in Wells County. Adams County adjoins Wells County on the latter's east side and borders Van Wert and Mercer Counties in Ohio on its east side. Like Wells County, Adams had been created from parts of Randolph and Allen Counties. On December 9, 1846, Joseph and Sabra sold to Joseph's nephew, George Sparks, son of George and Delila Sparks, an 80-acre tract in Kirkland Township for $150. Again, we have found no record of how Joseph had acquired this land.
The 1850 census was the 7th U.S. census taken, the first having been in 1790, and it was the first to list the name, age, and state or country of birth for every household member. Ransom Sparks was now 26 and Hampton was 24; their sister, Mary, was 14. Joseph's age was given as 47 on this 1850 census, while Sabra's was 49. (The census taker mistakenly recorded her name as "Sarah".)
On September 10, 1851, Joseph and Sabra sold to each of their two sons 40-acre lots in the same section, each for $300. (Adams County Deed Book G, p.322 and p.342.) The sale of this land to their sons appears to have been in anticipation of a permanent separation of Joseph and Sabra. There must have been a divorce because, according to a document noted below,184.108.40.206.7.6 Joseph Sparks was married, second, to a widow named Sarah Brady in November 1852 in
Kosciuska Kosciusko County, Indiana. We know that Sabra had not died before Joseph's remarriage because she was listed on the 1860 census of Kirkland Township in Adams County. Her age in 1860 was given as 60; her real estate was valued at $400 and her personal property at $100. Living with her in 1860 was her son, Ransom Sparks, "Farmer," age 36; also her daughter, Mary Sparks, now 24 years old. (Sabra's birthplace was mistakenly recorded as South Carolina rather than North Carolina.)
Our knowledge of Joseph Sparks's second marriage comes from documents preserved among Kosciusko County Court papers, including charges made by the second wife in 1854 when she sought a divorce from Joseph. In this document, she stated that "in November, 1852 she was lawfully married to Joseph Sparks"... and "that she was a widow at the time of her marriage with defendant; that her name was Sarah Brady, that she is about fifty five and said Joseph about fifty years old." She stated that:
they lived together as husband and wife till about the 5th of October 1855 when defendant without any cause whatever left plaintiff & went to the house of his son, and remained there some two weeks, when he returned to the house of the plaintiff and packed up all his clothing & left saying that he was off & never intended to return again. Plaintiffs son (Isaac Brady) went to see defendant shortly after he had left and tried to persuade him to return home again and live with plaintiff, but defendant said it was no use of wasting words, that he was determined on leaving never to return again and on about the 8th of December last said defendant left for the West, to Iowa or Illinois as the plaintiff is informed without Informing her of his intentions. [Document with Kosciusco Circuit Court, March Term, 1855.]
On March 21, 1855, John Rogers, publisher of the Warsaw Republican, a weekly newspaper, testified that the following notice had been published in his paper on three successive weeks (December 24th and 31st of January and February 7th) in 1855:
|IN THE KOSCIUSKO CIRCUIT COURT-MARCH TERM 1855.
STATE OF INDIANA
Kosciusko County, SS
Sarah Sparks vs Petition for Divorce.
The said defendant is therefore hereby notified of the pendancy of said suit and unless he appear and answer said petition at the next term of the Kosciusko Circuit Court, to be held at this Court House in the town of Warsaw, on the 3d Monday in March next the same will be taken as confessed.
Attest S. H. Chipman Clerk.
Apparently the whereabouts of Joseph Sparks was found and an attorney named George W. Frasier represented him in the Kosciusko County Court proceedings. The divorce was granted with the following agreement, signed by Frasier and by A. J. Power who represented Sarah, dated Warsaw, March 21, 1855:
|It is agreed by the parties in this case as follows Said Joseph is not to oppose the granting of a divorce by said Court, said Joseph is to deliver to said Sarah 50 bushels of wheat now growing on the premises heretofore occupied by said parties, said Sarah also agrees not to ask the Court for any alimony.|
Our last record of Joseph Sparks is found on the 1860 census of Rock Creek Township in Huntington County, Indiana. He was then living in the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Rachel and Albert Draper. His age was given as 55, a native of North Carolina. No occupation was given for him, and he owned no property. Sabra (Demmit) Sparks, Joseph's first wife and the mother of his children, appears to have died in Adams County, Indiana, in 1864. Joseph and Sabra (Demmit) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
220.127.116.11.7.6.1 Ransom Sparks was born ca. 1824 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was between 6 and 10 years old when he accompanied his parents in their move to Indiana; he was still living with them when the 1850 census was taken of Kirkland Township in Adams County, Indiana, age 26. On September 10, 1851, he purchased a 40-acre lot there from his parents for $300. When the 1860 census was taken he was living there with his mother and sister, Mary Sparks; he was called "Farmer," age 36. When the 1870 census was taken, he was still living in Kirkland Township--he was now 46, a farmer, with land valued at $600 and personal property at $170. His mother was no longer living, but his sister, Mary, was keeping house for him. Also living with him was Catherine Schunk, age 18, a native of Ohio. We do not know who she may have been.
Our last record of Ransom Sparks is found in a deed dated December 1871 by which he sold to Eli Hummerickhouse for $500 the 40 acres of land that he had purchased from his parents in 1851. He died in Wells County, on December 18, 1876--insolvent and without heirs. (File #960)
18.104.22.168.7.6.2 Hampton Sparks was born August 30, 1825, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was a lad of about 7 years when he accompanied his parents in their move to Indiana. He was living with his parents in Kirkland Township, Adams County, Indiana, when the 1850 census was taken that spring. Like his brother, Ransom, Hampton Sparks purchased 40 acres of land from his parents on September 10, 1851.
The autumn before he had gone to Champaign County, Illinois, to be married on September 30, 1850, to Jemima Ann Blue. The ceremony was conducted by a minister of the Gospel named Jesse Goddard. Jemima, as her name was usually spelled, was probably related in some manner to the 18-year-old Benjamin Blue, a native of Ohio, who was living in the Sparks household when the 1850 census was taken. Perhaps Hampton had known Jemima earlier in Adams County. Hampton obviously brought his bride back to Adams County, but on February 1, 1854, Hampton and "Jemima Ann his wife" sold to Jacob Steele the 40 acres he had bought from his parents three years earlier.
Where Hampton and Jemima Sparks lived after 1854 is not known, but Jemima died ca. 1859 following the birth of her daughter, Nancy E. Sparks, who was born that year. Hampton was in Champaign County, Illinois, on October 12, 1860, when he was married there to his second wife, Nancy C. Allison. We can conjecture that he had known Nancy earlier and that he was anxious to find a suitable stepmother for his children.
by 1865, Hampton Sparks was in Kosciusko County, Indiana. A rather unusual document was drawn up there on January 9, 1865, by which Hampton Sparks was appointed guardian of three of his children who were described as "minor Heirs of Jemima Sparks, Decd." It seems odd that Hampton should be appointed guardian of his own children, but we may conjection that this was related to their inheritance of property of their mother. These three children were identified in this court document as:
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 John D. Sparks, aged 11 years;
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 William J. Sparks, aged 9 years and
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Nancy E. Sparks, aged 6 years.
We believe that there was an older daughter, 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Ella Sparks, who was not named in this document. A bond was set at $200 by which Hampton Sparks was bound by the county court to this appointment; Richard Ferguson signed as his security.
Hampton Sparks, age 52, appeared as head of his family in Prairie Township, Kosciusko County, on the 1880 census. This census provided for the relationship of each family member to the head. Nancy Sparks, age 49, a native of Ohio, was identified as Hampton's wife. Their six children, all of whom had been born in Indiana, were listed as:
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Charles W. Sparks, 18;
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Jennie Sparks, 16;
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Dica Sparks, 14;
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Joseph Sparks, 13
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Isa Sparks, 12;
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Allie Sparks, 10.
None of the children of Hampton by his first wife appears on this census.
Hampton Sparks died on March 3, 1911, at Warsaw, Indiana, according to his death certificate on file there, the county seat of Kosciusko County. His date of birth is given on this record as August 30, 1825, and his age as 85 years, 5 months, and 4 days. He was described as being married to Nancy Sparks and was a "retired farmer." His place of birth was recorded incorrectly as in South Carolina--we know that he was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He was buried in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Prairie Township, Kosciusko County. Nancy Sparks, second wife of Hampton, died on July 2, 1913, at the age of 81 years according to her gravestone in the same cemetery. The children of Hampton Sparks by both wives were:
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Ella Sparks born 1852, died 1915; she married FNU Mulford. We cannot be certain that she was a daughter of Hampton and Jemima, but her grave in the Pleasant View Cemetery, with these dates on her stone, is beside that of Dica Ann Sparks, identified as a daughter of Hampton and Sarah, and Sarah's grave is beside that of Dica Ann.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 John D.Sparks was born ca. 1854. He was 11 years old in 1865 when his father was declared to be his legal guardian.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 William J. Sparks was born ca. 1856. He was 9 years old in 1865 when his father was declared to be his, legal guardian. We have no further record of him.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Nancy E. Sparks was born ca. 1859. Her mother died shortly after her birth. She was 6 years old when her father was declared to be her legal guardian. We have no further record of her.
Hampton Sparks and his second wife, Nancy C. (Allison) Sparks, were the parents of the following six children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Charles W. Sparks, born ca. 1862, was shown as 18 years old when the 1880 census was taken of his parents' family in Kosciusko County, Indiana.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Jennie Sparks was born September 5, 1863, and died on November 7, 1944. She married Albert Todd.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Dica Ann Sparks. Her gravestone in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Prairie Township in Kosciusko County has the inscription: "Dica Ann Sparks, Daughter of Hampton and Nancy Sparks, 1865-1914." She was married, first, to William Allison McCuen in 1887, and, second, to Charles M. Pierce.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Joseph ["Joda"] M. Sparks was born November 7, 1866; he died on May 11, 1943. He married Susie Rentfrow in January 1911. Both have gravestones in the Pleasant View Cemetery
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Ida M. Sparks was born ca. 1868. She married Edward E. Thomas on January 30, 1887. She died in 1949 according to her gravestone in the Pleasant View Cemetery
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Mary Alice ["Allie"] Sparks was born October 14, 1869; she died on May 25, 1942. She married Leonard Hamman in February 1913.
[Editor's Note: The information given above was compiled by our late President, Paul E. Sparks, and Dr. Charles L. Haine of Memphis, Tennessee. The latter is a descendant of Dica Ann (Sparks) McCuen.]
220.127.116.11.7.6.3 Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Joseph and Sabra (Demmit) Sparks, was born ca. 1827. She was married on September 2, 1843, to Robert Evans in Adams County, Indiana. We have no further information about her.
18.104.22.168.7.6.4 Sarah M. Sparks was born on May 5, 1830. She was married on February 21, 1847, in Adams County, Indiana, to Benoni High. The marriage was performed by a justice of the peace named Samuel Adsit. (Book B, p.17) A descendant reported many years ago that ca. 1855 Sarah and Ben, as he was called, moved to Missouri.
22.214.171.124.7.6.5 Mary Sparks was born ca. 1836, after her parents had moved to Indiana. She was living with her mother and brother, Ransom Sparks, when the 1860 census was taken in Adams County. Following her mother's death in 1864, she continued living with her brother, Ransom, for whom she was keeping house when the 1970 census was taken in Adams County. No further record.
[Editor's note: We will welcome additions and corrections to this account of the Indiana descendants of Solomon Sparks, Jr. (died 1817).]