April 7, 2018

Pages 5774-5777
Whole Number 200

SAMUEL B. SPARKS (Born October 8, 1848)
OF WEST PROVIDENCE, PENNSYLVANIA
(Died September 1, 1914)



We are grateful to N. C. Smith of Bickerington, Ohio, for sharing with us a biographical sketch of Samuel B. Sparks (1848-1914) of West Providence, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Smith reports that he was able to procure this record from a publication called the Biographical Review, Vol. 32, page 321, published in Boston in 1899. Following this sketch, we will add an editor's note giving the ancestry of Samuel B. Sparks, with sources in the QUARTERLY where data pertaining to his branch of the Sparks family have been published. Mr. Smith reports that Samuel was his own great-grandfather on his mother's side.

SAMUEL B. SPARKS is a prominent farmer and an extensive lumber manufacturer and dealer of West Providence, Pa., where he was born October 8, 1848, and where his paternal grandfather, Joseph Sparks, who fought in the Revolutionary War, was a pioneer settler. This township was also the place of birth of his father, the late John S. Sparks, Esq. The Sparks family, it is said, originated in England.

John S. Sparks was influential in business and political circles, and during his entire life was actively identified with the highest interests of the township. For thirty years prior to his death, which occurred in August, 1876, he served as Justice of the Peace, and was familiarly known as Squire Sparks. A leader among the Whigs in his earlier days, he was a staunch supporter of the Republican party from the time of its formation. He married Rebecca Wareham, who was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, eighty three years ago, and is now [1899] in Clearville, Bedford County, being one of the oldest and most respected women of that town. She is a member of the Lutheran church, to which her husband also belonged. Of their children, five are now living, as follows: Joseph, of Clearville, Pa. ; John C., also of Clearville; Samuel B., the subject of this sketch; Abraham W., a resident of the State of Washington; and Mary, wife of Aaron Stayer, of Monroe, Pa.

Samuel B. Sparks in common with the companions of his youth obtained his education in the district schools. Beginning life for himself at an early age, he selected farming as an occupation, and in addition to following the industry, he has also operated a sawmill, as a lumber manufacturer and dealer meeting with excellent success. In the management of his farm of two hundred and twenty-seven acres and in the work of the mill he is kept well employed, as is fully shown by the neat and attractive appearance of his premises. A man of broad and generous spirit, he is a promoter of enterprises that are calculated to advance the prosperity of the town or county. In politics he is a firm Republican, and has served as School Director of the township two terms, and has also been a member of the Board of Elections.

Mr. Sparks married Mary Stayer, daughter of the late Aaron Stayer, of West Providence, Pa. They are the parents of six children, namely: Rebecca, wife of Frank Wicht; John C. ; Russell B. ; Joseph P. ; Abraham W. ; and Charles C .

Editor's Note: Samuel B. Sparks was noted in an article entitled "Joseph Sparks (ca.1730-1809) of Frederick County Maryland, and Bedford County, Pennsylvania," by Paul E. Sparks, in the Quarterly of September 1986, Whole No.135, pp. 2913-2928.)

On page 2923 of this 1986 article, Paul E. Sparks stated that the middle initial ("B.") stood for "Barkley." The 1.2.5.2 Joseph Sparks (1730-1809) featured in this article was the great-grandfather of Samuel B. Sparks. Based on information obtained from descendants, Paul E. Sparks wrote as follows regarding Samuel B. Sparks (page 2923).

1.2.5.2.1.8.5 Samuel Barkley Sparks, son of 1.2.5.2.1.8 John Sparks and Rebecca (Wareham) Sparks, was born October 6, 1848, at the Old Sparks Mill in Black Valley on a part of the land claim settled by his grandfather at the time of the American Revolution. He married Mary Magdalene Stayer on July 4, 1874. She was born in 1856 and was a daughter of Aaron and Mary (Defibaugh) Stayer. Samuel died on September 1, 1914, and Mary died in 1932. They were buried in the Indian Springs Cemetery at Everett. They had 9 children.

1.2.5.2.1.8.5.1 David Sparks, born ca. 1875, died at age 7 years.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5.2 Rebecca Jane Sparks, born December 1, 1876, married Jeremiah Franklin Weicht on July 4, 1892.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5.3 John Sherman Sparks, born April 14, 1878, married Dora Belle Amick on April 10, 1901.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5.4 Samuel Russell Sparks, born February 25, 1880, married Sarah Belle Karns in December 1904.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5.5 Joseph Patterson Sparks, born November 4,1882, married Anna Pearl Beck on April 8, 1908.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5.6 Aaron Sparks, born ca. 1884, died in infancy.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5.7 Abram Wareham Sparks, born September 29,1886, married Edna Virginia (Krouse) Davis on January 1, 1908.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5.8 William Sparks, born ca. 1888, died in infancy.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5.9 Charles Calvin Sparks, born October 30, 1892, never married .

Further information about the children of Samuel B. Sparks who lived to adulthood can be found on pp. 2323-24 of the September 1986 Quarterly.

Samuel B. Sparks was a great-great-great-grandson of the 1.2 William Sparks who migrated in 1662 from Hampshire County, England, to Maryland. William Sparks died in Queen Annes County, Maryland, in 1709. (See the Quarterly of March 1971, Whole No.73, pp. 1381-89, and that of December 1992, Whole No. 160, pp.4025-4034, for biographical data on William Sparks.) We believe, but lack precise documentary proof, that William Sparks (died 1709) was a son of Thomas and Joane (Davis) Sparks who were married in Fareham Parish, Hampshire County, on October 19, 1635. Among their children, according to the Baptismal Record of Fareham Parish, was a son named William who was baptized on August 6, 1646.

William Sparks (died 1709) was the father of four sons, the youngest of whom was 1.2.5 Joseph Sparks, born ca. 1690 in Talbot County, Maryland; Joseph died in Frederick County, Maryland in 1749. (Talbot County had been created from Kent County in 1662, and until 1706, it included what was then cut off to form Queen Annes County.) See the article entitled "Joseph Sparks (Born ca.1690, Died 1749) of Maryland" in the Quarterly of March 1990, Whole No.149, pp. 3554- 3561. Joseph's wife's name was Mary, but we have not discovered her maiden name. Joseph Sparks was the great-great-grandfather of Samuel E. Sparks.

This Joseph Sparks, who died in 1749, also named a son Joseph who was born ca. 1730 and died in 1809. An article about this Joseph, entitled "Joseph Sparks (ca.1730-1809) of Frederick County, Maryland, & Bedford County, Pennsylvania" appeared in the Quarterly of September 1986, Whole No.135, beginning on page 2914; it, also, was compiled by Paul E. Sparks.

At the time Paul E. Sparks wrote the 1986 article, we did not have proof that Joseph Sparks (ca.1730-1809) was a son of the Joseph who died in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1749; later we found that proof.

1.2.5.2 Joseph Sparks (ca.1730-1809) was the great-grandfather of Samuel B. Sparks. He was married in Frederick County, Maryland, ca. 1752 to Mary McDaniel, daughter of James and Rebecca McDaniel. They were the parents of 9 children:

1.2.5.2.1 Joseph Sparks, III, born March 25, 1754.
1.2.5.2.2 James Sparks, born ca. 1755.
1.2.5.2.3 Mary Sparks, born ca. 1757.
1.2.5.2.4 Sarah Sparks, born ca. 1758.
1.2.5.2.5 Solomon Sparks, born June 13, 1760.
1.2.5.2.6 Rebecca Sparks, born ca. 1762.
1.2.5.2.7 Susannah Sparks, born ca. 1764.
1.2.5.2.8 Elizabeth Sparks, born ca. 1766 .
1.2.5.2.9 Chole Sparks, born ca. 1770.

Further information about these children of Joseph and Mary (McDaniel) Sparks is given in the Quarterly of September 1986, cited above, beginning on page 2919, and continued in the issue of December 1988, Whole No.144, pp.4458-50.

As shown above, the eldest son of Joseph and Mary (McDaniel) Sparks, was also named Joseph, born March 25, 1754. Here we will designate him as "Joseph Sparks, III," though in his biographical sketch beginning on page 2919 of the September 1986 issue of the Quarterly, we called him "Joseph Sparks, Jr." He became the grandfather of Samuel B. Sparks.

Although Joseph Sparks, III, spent his youth in Frederick County, Maryland, when he was about 20 years old, he and his two brothers set out across the Appalachian Mountains to seek the cheap and fertile lands that they had heard were available in Pennsylvania. Joseph, III, was about 20 years old, James was about 19, and Solomon about 15. All three settled in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. This was on the eve of the Revolutionary War, and when the conflict commenced, all three joined the American Rangers to defend the frontier against hostile Indians who were allies of England. His gravestone in the Indian Springs Cemetery has an inscription stating that he had been a soldier in the Revolution.

by the year 1800, the brothers' father, Joseph Sparks (ca.1730-1809) followed them to Bedford County, their mother, Mary, having died earlier.

Joseph Sparks, III, was married ca. 1778 to Elizabeth LNU, and they were the parents of eight children. Following the Revolutionary War, he became an extensive land owner on Clear Ridge in Bedford County. His wife, Elizabeth, whose maiden name we have not discovered, died there on March 16,1803, at age 39. She was buried in the Indian Springs Cemetery near the village of Everett. Their children were:

1.2.5.2.1.1 Solomon Sparks, born September 13, 1780; his wife's name was Rachel LNU.
1.2.5.2.1.2 Christianea Sparks, born September 21, 1782.
1.2.5.2.1.3 Mary Sparks, born ca. 1784; she married Elijah Morris.
1.2.5.2.1.4 Joseph Sparks, born ca. 1785, died in 1862. He served in the War of 1812 and later received bounty for that service. In his will, he left his estate to the sons of his brother, John C. Sparks.
1.2.5.2.1.5 Elizabeth Sparks, born June 24, 1787, and died on July 28, 1858. She did not marry.
1.2.5.2.1.6 James Sparks, born ca. 1788, married his cousin, Mary Sparks, daughter of James and Nancy (Rogers) Sparks. He served in the War of 1812 and received bounty land for that service.
1.2.5.2.1.7 Barbara Sparks born ca. 1791. She was apparently physically handicapped and died on May 30, 1838. Her father provided for her welfare in his will.
1.2.5.2.1.8 John S. Sparks was born April 4, 1799, and married Rebecca A. Wareham. See below.

Joseph Sparks, III, died on September 18, 1827, and was buried beside his wife, Elizabeth, in the Indian Springs Cemetery, in Bedford County.

1.2.5.2.1.8 John S. Sparks, youngest son of Joseph, III, and Elizabeth Sparks, was not yet 4 years old when his mother died. Apparently he was reared by his older siblings. He was married ca. 1840 to Rebecca A. Wareham, who had been born May 16,1816. They were the parents of Samuel B. Sparks and were mentioned prominently in Samuel's biographical sketch reprinted on page 5774 of the present issue of the Quarterly.

John S. Sparks lived out his life in Bedford County, dying there on August 30, 1876. His widow, Rebecca, survived John for nearly thirty years, dying on August 15, 1905. They were the parents of nine children:

1.2.5.2.1.8.1 Joseph H. Sparks, born February 9, 1841. He was married twice, first to Mary Bussard and second to Georgia E. Casteel. He applied successfully for a pension for his service in the Civil War. (See the March 1986 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No.133, for an abstract of his pension papers.)

1.2.5.2.1.8.2 Sarah E. Sparks, born September 24, 1842. She married William Davis .
1.2.5.2.1.8.3 John Clay Sparks, born April 25, 1844. He applied successfully for a pension based on his Civil War service. (See the Quarterly of December 1985, Whole No.132, for an abstract of his pension file.) He did not marry .

1.2.5.2.1.8.4 Matthew P. Sparks, born March 11, 1846; he died on March 24, 1858, at the age of 12.
1.2.5.2.1.8.5 Samuel Barkley Sparks, born October 6, 1848.
1.2.5.2.1.8.6 James Sparks, born May 26, 1853; he died at age 5 on November 15, 1858.
1.2.5.2.1.8.7 Abraham W. Sparks, born ca. 1855. He did not marry, and died on April 11, 1916.
1.2.5.2.1.8.8 Phineas Sparks, born February 29, 1856. He died on March 10, 1856.
1.2.5.2.1.8.9 Mary Catherine Sparks, born May 24, 1857. She married Aaron Stayer. She died September 10, 1927.

More detailed information regarding several of these children of John S. and Rebecca A. (Wareham) Sparks may be found on pages 2922-24 of the September 1986 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No.135.

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