Whole Number 84
Mrs. R. E. Greene, 9201 - 211 Avenue East, Sumner, Washington, is searching for information on James Monroe Sparks, who was born somewhere in Kentucky on June 8, 1833. He died in Pittsburg, Kansas, on March 8, 1906, and was buried in the Mount Olive Cemetery near Pittsburg, Kansas. (Who were his parents?) He married Sara A. McPhearson (or McPherson) on March 6, 1856. She was born on December 13, 1831, somewhere in Kentucky. (Who were her parents?) She died on April 3, 1874, probably in Illinois. James Monroe Sparks married as his second wife, Melissa Jane (Helm) Jones on May 6, 1875. She was a widow with two small daughters. She is believed to have been born near Walpole, Illinois, on February 22, 1852. She is known to have had a brother named Russell Helm. She died in Piggott, Arkansas, on November 14, 1897.
James Monroe Sparks was a carpenter as well as a farmer. When the 1860 census was taken, he was living in Hardin County, Illinois - - at that time he gave his occupation as Farmer and his place of birth as Kentucky. Descendants recall that he used to speak of a place called Sparks Hill. There is a village by that name in Hardin County, Illinois (it had a population of 21 twenty years ago). In all probability, this village was named for James Monroe Sparks. Hardin County is located at the south-eastern tip of Illinois and adjoins Crittenden County, Kentucky. Since James Monroe Sparks was born in Kentucky, he may not have had to travel far to settle in Hardin County, Illinois. At one time he is believed to have lived in Peoria, Illinois. Sometime prior to 1881, he moved with his family to Pittsburg, Kansas, where he died in 1906. James Monroe Sparks and his first wife, Sara A. McPhearson, had the following children:
1. Jenetti Sparks, born May 8, 1857, died October 10, 1857.
2. John William Sparks, born June 25, 1859, died in 1890.
3. Nancy Ellen Sparks, born December 18, 1860.
4. Thomas J. Sparks, born August 14, 1862.
5. Mary J. Sparks, born March 31, 1864.
6. William Sherman Sparks, born January 28, 1867.
7. Ollie Lov Sparks, born June 5, 1871, died January 10, 1944.
by his second wife, Melissa Jane Helm, James Monroe Sparks had the following children:
8. Eliza May Sparks, born April 6, 1876, died March 17, 1897.
9. James A. Sparks, born October 28, 1876.
10. Bessie Lavina Sparks, born August 31, 1881, died August, 1966.
11. Charlie R. Sparks, born March 5, 1685, died March 3, 1950.
12. Lottie R. Sparks, born October 19, 1888, died July 10, 1889.
13. Lucy Pearl Sparks, born July 9, 1890, in Arkansas.
14. Elsie Fay Sparks, born August 13, 1893.
Mrs. Laura Lurene (Neas) Sluder of 2632 Lorna Drive, Melbourne, Florida (32935) is seeking information on her great-grandfather, Steven Andrew Douglas Sparks, who is believed to have been born in Illinois in 1855. He died on August 14, 1951, in Terre Haute, Indiana. His father's name is not known, but his mother's name was Caroline Poor. Steven A. D. Sparks married Nancy Jane Roberts, who was born in 1861; she died in Streeter, North Dakota. It is known that Steven A. D. Sparks had brothers name Isaac Sparks and John Sparks, and a sister named Annie Sparks. Mrs. Sluder descends through Steven A. D. Sparks's son, John Ellis Franklin Sparks, who was born April 14, 1880, in Clark County, Illinois, and died on May 17, 1952, in Tuscola, Illinois. Other children of Steven A. D. and Nancy Jane (Roberts) Sparks were:
1. James Isaac Milbern Sparks.
2. Steven Elmer Clarence Sparks, died March 7, 1964.
3. Julie (Dovie) Sparks, died 1918.
4. John Ellis Franklin Sparks, see above.
5. Ira Ervin Sparks, died June 18, 1960.
6. Anne Sparks, died 1930.
7. Emma (Jerrie) Sparks, died 1950.
8. Florence Sparks, believed to have died young.