May 23, 2019
Whole Number 124
Mrs. Harold R. Small, Billings, Montana (59106) would like to correspond with anyone having knowledge of the following family. According to family tradition, there were three brothers who were born in Indiana in the 1820's whose father died when they were small. Their mother remarried, and the three boys were reared by relatives. It is believed that they were born in the section of Indiana that includes Clay and Putnam Counties, perhaps near Bowling Green in Clay County. These three brothers were:
M.1 David T. Sparks, born ca. 1822; he married Susan E. Walker.
M.2 James Sparks, born ca. 1824; he married Elizabeth Ann Walker.
M.3 William Sparks, born ca. 1827; he married Lucinda MNU
We know that David T. Sparks and Susan E. Walker were married on October 4, 1846; whether this marriage took place in Indiana or Iowa, we do not know, but by December 20, 1847, they were living in Iowa; on that date their eldest child, M.1.1 Albert T. Sparks, was born. They were listed on the 1850 census as living in Rochester Township, Cedar County, Iowa. Their son, Albert T. Sparks, age 2, was listed as having been born in Iowa as also a second son named M.1.2 Aquilla J. Sparks, aged one month. (The census was taken on September 4, 1850.)
Albert T. Sparks, the eldest son of David T. and Susan E. (Walker) Sparks, served in the Union Army in the Civil War and died on March 31, 1871. His mother applied for a pension based on his service, and from those pension papers we know that the father, David T. Sparks, had died on September 3, 1852. Susan E. (Walker) Sparks, widow of David T. Sparks, had subsequently married Shelawan Thomas and, apparently, moved back to Indiana. It was in Putnam County, Indiana, that Albert T. Sparks enlisted in the Union Army on January 16, 1864. When he died in 1871, he was living in Boonsboro, Iowa. He did not marry.
James Sparks, brother of David T. Sparks and William Sparks, was born ca. 1824 near, it is believed, Bowling Green in Clay County, Indiana. He married Elizabeth Ann Walker, daughter of William and Sibla Walker in Clay County, Indiana, on September 25, 1845. It is probable that she was a relative (perhaps a sister) of the Susan E. Walker who married David T. Sparks. Although family records indicate that James Sparks was living with his family in Cedar County, Iowa, in 1850, we have not found him on the census for that year. James Sparks is believed to have died between 1860 and 1870 in Iowa. His widow, Elizabeth, subsequently married a second and a third time. Her second husband's name was Bender; her third husband was Will Hornaday.
It is known that James and Elizabeth Ann (Walker) Sparks had five children:
M.2.1 Mahaley Sparks, born ca. 1848 in Cedar County, Iowa; she married Minos Miller.
M.2.2 Amanda Ellen Sparks, born ca. 1850 in Cedar County, Iowa; she married John Q. A. Miller who died in 1934.
M.2.3 Margaret Sparks, born ca. 1853 in Iowa.
M.2.4 James Sparks, born ca. 1855 in Iowa; he married Eva Bruce.
M.2.5 John Sparks, born ca. 1858 in Iowa; he married Dolly Smith.
There were two other children born to Elizabeth, but it is not known whether James Sparks was their father or one of her later husbands, since we do not have the date that James Sparks died. One was a daughter named Edna who was born in 1860 in Marion County, Iowa; she married Emlen Van Syoc who died in 1949. The other was named Jeptha, born in 1863; he married Emma Groom. There were also two children who died as infants named Joe and Jany.
M.3 William Sparks, brother of David T. Sparks and James Sparks, was born in Indiana (probably Clay County) ca. 1827. He, like his brother, David T. Sparks, was living in Cedar County, Iowa, in 1850. His wife's name was Lucinda--her age on the 1850 census appeared as 17, so she must have been born ca. 1833. We have no further record.
Anyone having knowledge of this family is urged to write to the editor, Russell E. Bidlack, as well as to Mrs. Smail.