Whole Number 75
(Editor’s note: In the QUARTERLY for September 1967 we began publishing abstracts of the pension. papers of persons named Sparks who had served on the Union side of the Civil War. The records given here have been abstracted from xerox copies of papers obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. For one dollar, the National Archives provides xerox copies of those papers in a pensioner’s file which appear to the clerk making the search to have genealogical value. It should be remembered that our data from these files are, therefore, limited to those documents which the clerk at the National Archives chose to copy for the dollar provided. A complete search of all the papers in the file of a pensioner would often provide additional, data of significance.)
|ALEXANDER R. SPARKS,||born April 16, 1839, died August 2, 1912; married Malancie J. Hanimon in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1858 or 1860; served in Co. G, l22d Regiment of Ohio Volunteers. File Designation: Wid, 750,370.|
The file of papers for Alexander R. Sparks as supplied by the National Archives is quite incomplete. We do not have a copy of his original application for a pension, although there is a document dated July 26, 1886, prepared in the Adjutant General’s Office for the Commissioner of Pensions, which must have been prompted by his application. According to this report, Alexander R. Sparks was a private in Company G of the 122d Regiment of Ohio Volunteers; he was drafted on June 10, 1864, at Cincinnati for 3 years. He was listed on the rolls of his company in July 1864 until July 22, 1864, when he was captured at Snickers Gap, Virginia; he was held in confinement as a prisoner of war until February 12, 1865, at Danville, Virginia, when he was transferred to Richmond, Virginia, and was paroled at James River, Virginia, on February 22, 1865; he was reported at College Green Be’ks, Maryland, on February 22, 1865, and was sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, on February 26 where he reported on March 4. He was given a 30-day furlough and returned on April 5, 1865, and on April 9 was returned to his regiment. There was no record of his being disabled, according to this report.
On June 3, 1898, Alexander R. Sparks filled out a form for the Pension Office in which he stated that he had been married to Malaney Jane Hammon on Oct 10, 1860, at Cincinnati, Ohio, by Nathan Marchant, J.P.; he stated that this was his first and only marriage and that he had two living children:
(1) George Henry Sparks, born Oct 10, 1861
(2) John Smith Sparks, born July 13, 1863
In 1909, the Pension Office apparently requested Alexander R, Sparks to provide evidence of his date of birth. He signed the following affidavit on 1 May 1909:
State of Ohio )
Clermont County) SS
Alexander R. Sparks first being first duly sworn by me a notary public for the said County of Clermont, deposes and says that he has a copy of his age taken from his mother's family Bible records of births by his sister several years ago. Where the Bible is now he cannot state. The following is the record as he has it: Alexander R. Sparks born April 16th 1839. The address of said sister is not now known to him.
This statement was sworn to and subscribed in my presence; he also exhibited said record to me on said date.
[signed] D. L. Bishop
This 1st day of May 1909. Notary Public
Alexander R, Sparks died on August 2, 1912. On August 24, 1912, his widow, Malancie J. Sparks, made application for a widow’s pension from Clermont County, Ohio. She stated that she had been married to Alexander R, Sparks on Oct 10, 1858, in Cincinnati and that she had not been previously married. (Note that earlier her husband had given the date of marriage as Oct 10, 1860.) Her witnesses in making her application were her brother, George Hammon, and John H. Yakey. She signed by mark.
George Hammon signed an affidavit on Oct 31, 1912, stating that he was a brother of Malancie Sparks and that she and Alexander R. Sparks had been married “over 50 years ago and that they lived together until the time of his death which ocurred August 2nd 1912." There is a statement dated December 31, 1912, signed by F. A. Warfield of the Bureau of Pensions that "The Marriage of Randall Sparks to Melansa J. Hammon as shown by the records of the Probate Court of Hamilton Co., Ohio.” From this, it would appear that the initial "R" must have stood for “Randall,” and that Alexander R. Sparks must have sometimes been called Randall Sparks.
The last record in this pension file states that a check dated December 4, 1921, to Malancie J. Sparks had been returned to the Pension Office by the postmaster because she had died. Her name was dropped from the pension rolls, She had received a pension of $30.00 per month.
(Editor’s Note: We have found no additional records of this family. If Alexander Sparks ‘s middle name was indeed Randall, it would seem probable that he was a descendant of Alexander Randall Sparks, born ca. 1778, in Gloucester County, New Jersey; see the QUARTERLY of September 1957, Whole No. 19, page 243, and that of June 1962, Whole No. 38, page 650.)
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|ALPHEUS SPARKS,||born ca. 1837 in Oswego, New York; married in Swanton, Ohio, on March 4, 1871; died Oct. 6, 1908. Served in Co. B, 81st New York Infantry Regiment. File designation: Inv. Certif. 605,114,|
Of the documents pertaining to the pension application of Alpheus Sparks, the earliest supplied by the National Archives is a record provided by the War Department to the Bureau of Pensions regarding his “military and medical history.” Apparently Alpheus Sparks had made application for a pension and there was some confusion regarding his first name - - on some occasions it had been written as Adolphus while he was in the army. According to this record, Alpheus Sparks had been in Company B of the 81st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was enrolled on Sept, 23, 1862, and was discharged on June 10, 1865. He was born in Oswego, New York, and was 25 years old at the time he entered service - - he was 5 feet, 8½ inches tall, with a light complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair, and he was a sailor by occupation. On one occasion his height was given as 5 feet, 7 inches. He held the rank of private, corporal, and sergeant. At various times during his service, he was sick, as for example in Nov and December 1863 when he was hospitalized at Ft. Monroe, Virginia. He was wounded on Sept. 28, 1864, at Ft. Harrison, Virginia. The description of his wound is given as:
“Wounded in the right leg slightly, Minnie Ball at Battle of Chapins Farm Sept. 28, ‘64.” It appears that he was wounded again on September 29.
On April 7, 1897, Alpheus Sparks submitted a declaration to the Pension Office that he was 60 years old and a resident of Palermo, Oswego County, New York, and that he had enrolled in the army on September 27, 1862, in Company B, 81st Regiment of New York Volunteers. He stated that he had been honorably discharged at Wllliamsburgh, Virginia, on June 10, 1865, and that he was partly unable to earn support by manual labor by reason of “disease of the respetary organs and an injury of his left ancle and rheumatism affecting his whole body.” He stated that he was a pensioner under certificate No. 605,114.
On May 20, 1898, Alpheus Sparks supplied the following information to the Bureau of Pensions: that he had been married on March 4, 1871, in Swanton, Ohio, by John G. Wales, J.P. He did not give his wife’s name and stated that he was “seperated from my wife.” He listed his children as follows:
Frank Sparks, born January 1872
Henry Sparks, born August 1873
Sarah Sparks, born April 1875
Adell Sparks, born Feby. 1877
Milley Sparks, born April 1879
Albertus Sparks, born April 1881
Ernest Sparks, born April 1886
The last document in this file is a record of Alpheus Sparks’s pension of $15.00 being paid in Oct 1908 and a statement that he died on Oct 6, 1908.
(Editor’s Note: Alpheus Sparks was listed on the 1850 census of the city of Oswego, Oswego County, New York, in the family of Henry and Nancy Sparks. There seems little doubt that he was their son. His age in 1850 was given as 13 (thus born ca. 1837) and his birth place as New York. The entire family was listed on this 1850 census as follows: (census taken August 8, 1850)
|Sparks, Henry||41||New York||Laborer||$600|
|" Nancy||39||New Hampshire|
|" Martha||20||New York|
|" Francis||16||" "|
|" Alpheus||13||" "|
|" Cynthia||15||" "|
|" Franklin||11||" "|
|" Lydia||9||" "|
|" Napoleon||7||" "|
|" Nancy||5||" "|
|" Betsey||3||" "|
(Alpheus Sparks’s name has not been found on either the 1860 or 1870 census of Oswego. Henry Sparks, believed to have been his father, was listed on the 1860 census. living in the town of Scriba in Oswego County. His wife’s name was given as Anna in 1860 and again as Anna in 1870, so perhaps his wife Nancy had died between 1850 and 1860 and he married Anna as his second wife. His daughters Cynthia, Nancy and Betsey were still living with him in 1860, along with two new sons (or grandsons ?), Daniel born ca. 1854, and Herbert born ca. 1859. Living with the family in 1860 was a Francis Sparks, age 44 (thus born ca. 1816). Perhaps he was a brother of Henry. Henry’s son Francis was married by 1860 and he and his wife Ann were living in the city of Oswego with a son Henry (born ca. 1856) and a daughter Ann born ca. 1858, When the 1870 census of Oswego County was taken, Henry Sparks was living with his family in the town of Siriba. The family was listed as follows:
|Sparks, Henry||65||New York||Laborer $1000/||$400|
|" Anna||62||" "||Keeping house|
|" Benj.||27||" "||Farm Laborer|
|" Cynthia||36||" "|
|" Betsey||23||" "||At home|
|" Herbert||16||" "|
|" Frances||11||" "|
|" George||4||" "|
|AMAZIAH SPARKS (126.96.36.199),||son of 27.2.1 Zachariah and Elizabeth (Carter) Sparks, born in Hancock County, Indiana, April 13, 1832; died in Lewis County, Washington, September 6, 1918. He married (first) Elizabeth Ann Rolston in 1850 and (second) Sarah Ann Fowler in 1859. He enlisted in 1863 in Company C, 15th Regt. of Kansas Cavalry. File No. Inv. Certif. 941,262.|
The earliest record sent by the National Archives regarding Amaziah Sparks’s Civil War pension file is a form returned by the War Department to the Commissioner of Pensions dated Nov 7, 1896, regarding his service. According to this record, Amaziah Sparks was a private in Company C, 15th Regiment of Kansas Cavalry. The only record found of illness had been in August 1865 when he had a liver disorder and had been hospitalized at Paola, Kansas.
On May 25, 1912, Amaziah Sparks made application for an increase in the pension he had received earlier. He gave his age as 80 and stated he was a resident of Centralia, Washington; that he had enlisted at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1862 and had been discharged there in 1865. He stated he had been born in Hancock County, Indiana, on April 13, 1832, and had been a farmer. He stated that since the Civil War he had lived in Kansas, California, Oregon, and Washington. He signed this statement by mark; his witnesses were Mae Skinner and Everett L. Clark.
On March 24, 1915, Amaziah Sparks answered a number of questions sent to him by the Bureau of Pensions. Again he gave his birth as April 13, 1832, in Hancock County, Indiana. He said his post office at the time of his enlistment was Springdale, Kansas. He stated that he had been married twice, first to Elizabeth Ann Rolston on February 19, 1850, who had died at Leavenworth, Kansas, on Oct 27, 1857. He had married, second, Sarah Ann Fowler in 1859 in Springdale, Kansas; she died Oct 27, 1913, at Chehalis, Washington.
An undated sheet submitted to the Commissioner of Pensions lists the children of Amaziah Sparks as follows:
Children by first wife:Mary Sparks, born May 4th 1853, Carroll Co., Missouri.
John Sparks, born August 30, 1855, Leavenworth Co., Kan.
Thomas R. Sparks, born Sept. 12, 1858, Leavenworth Co., Kan.
Children of Amaziah Sparks by his second wife:
Sarah Jane Sparks, born June 8th 1861, Leavenworth Co., Kan.
Rebecca E. Sparks, born Nov 4th 1866, " " "
Emma Sparks, born April 4th 1866, " " "
Ida Bell Sparks. born Nov 29, 1868, Yamhill Co., Oregon
Mary Annie Sparks, born Mch. 11, 1871, Modoc Co., Cal.
Effie M. Sparks, born Mch. 28, 1876, Linn Co., Oregon
Loda L. Sparks, born August 7th 1878, Klickitat Co., Wash.
Lela L. Sparks, born December 6th 1880 " " "
Gracie L. Sparks, born April 9, 1884, Lewis Co., Wash.
Martha E. Sparks, born May 17th 1886, " " "
At the bottom of the sheet listing the above children, Amaziah Sparks wrote:
“My wife stayed at home during the war and took care of the three orphan children by first wife and two of the others by her, and they are all living but one, she died and left, 3 children (can you beat that).”
(Editor:s Note: Amaziah Sparks was a son of Zachariah and Elizabeth (Carter) Sparks. A sketch of his life, with a record of his fourteen children appeared in the QUARTERLY of December 1963 (Vol. XI, No. 4, Whole No. 44); his portrait appeared on the cover of that issue of the QUARTERLY.)
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|AMOS HIBIN SPARKS,||born ca. 1842, son of Nathan B. and Harriet (Skaats) Sparks; born in Dearborn Co., Indiana. Enlisted in Co. H, 19th Regt. of Indiana Infantry Volunteers on July 8, 1861; discharged December 31, 1863; he reenlisted in a Veterans Corps and died on June 8, 1864, in Virginia. His mother received a pension. File designation: 134,701.|
The earliest document among the papers sent by the National Archives pertaining to the Civil War service of Amos H. Sparks is an application dated May 9, 1869, submitted by Harriet F, Sparks, mother of Amos Hibin Sparks. She stated that she was 47 years old and was a resident of Elizabethtown in Barthelornew County, Indiana; and that she was the wife of Nathan B. Sparks. She stated that her son, Amos Hibin Sparks, had enlisted in the army at Columbus, Indiana, in Company H, 19th Regiment of Indiana Infantry Volunteers and that he had “died of wounds received in action in the State of Virginia on the 8th day of June A.D. 1864.” She added that her husband “Nathan Sparks has abandoned her since about the - - day of May 1859 and has wholy neglected and refused to support her,” She appointed Allen W. Prather of Columbus, Ind,, as her lawful attorney, She signed the application as “Harriet F. Sparks.”
Accompanying the above application was a statement signed by George S. McCaslin (or McCastlin) and James H. Coats of Bartholomew, Indiana, on May 26, 1869, stating that they had known Harriet E. Sparks for 31 years and that they were well acquainted with her son who had been her sole support “by working out by the day or month and using his means thus earned in paying his mother’s board, cloathing and Dr’s bills,” They stated that while in the army, “He sent her money to the arnt. of $75.00 that we personally know of. She has no property but works out for her support where she is able.” They stated that she could not support herself because of “sickness and general weakness.” They added that “Nathan Sparks has abandoned his wife, the said Harriet E. Sparks and has refused and wholy neglected to support her since the - - day of May 1859.”
Along with her application, Harriet E. Sparks sent her son’s discharge at the end of his three-year enlistment on December 31, 1863, at which time he had re-enlisted in the Veteran Corps. This discharge states that Amos H. Sparks had been born in Dearborn County, Indiana, and was 21 years old in 1863, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a dark complexion, black eyes and black hair, and by occupation, when enrolled, he was a medical student. The discharge was given at Culpeper Court House, Virginia, and was signed by Col, S. G. Williams, 1st Lt. Harry C. Egbert, and 1st Lt. William B. Wilson.
Also included in the file is a record from the Adjutant General’s office stating that Amos H. Sparks, a private in the Veterans Volunteer Corps, had died of disease on May 8, 1864.
In support of the application of Harriet F. Sparks, a friend named Susanah Lasswell (or Tasswell?) aged 49, of Monroe City, Knox County, Indiana, made the following statement: “That she has bin acquainted with Harriet E. Sparks, Mother of Amos H. Sparks and Nathan B. Sparks her Husband for about 18 years, that we have lived in the same town close Neighbers during the whole time, and that she knows that Nathan B. Sparks, Husband of Harriet E. Sparks did but verry little if any thing toward the support of his family, he being a Phician and did not have scarcely any Practice and would work at times in some Shoe Shop, but at no time during her acquantance has he had steady Employment at that business, and Nathan B. Sparks has during near all the time since he has bin here, bin Indebted to her and when called upon for Pay has often times said that he did not make more than fifteen cents per week, and that she says that his Income per year has not amounted to Enough to near pay his Board.” She said that she was not related to the applicant; she signed her name by mark. Linden Lasswell and James Lasswell signed as witnesses. The statement was not dated.
Harriet E. Sparks was granted a pension. There is a note dated December 22, 1902, to the effect that the last payment of her pension was made on February 1, 1902, in the amount of $12 and that her name had “been dropped because of Death, Date unknown.”
(Editor’s Note: Nathan B. Sparks, father of Amos H. Sparks, was born April 2, 1815, in Belmont County, Ohio, a son of Jesse R. and Margaret (Burns) Sparks. He was married on June 3, 1838, in Dearborn County, Indiana, to Harriet F. Skaats, daughter of Jacob and Hannah Skaats. She was born Nov 29, 1822. See the QUARTERLY of September 1969, Vol. XVII, No. 3, Whole No. 67, p. 1250, for a sketch of his life.
(From the information given in this application, it might appear that Amos H. Sparks was an only son - - actually Nathan B. and Harriet (Skaats) Sparks were the parents of five children:
1, Amos H. Sparks, born ca. 1842.
2. Miltiades Sparks (a son), born ca. 1845.
3. Laura V. Sparks, born ca. 1847.
4. James W. Sparks, born ca. 1849.
5. Missouri Rosella Sparks, born ca. 1851 (she married A. C. Falls)
(Other records would seem to indicate that Nathan B. Sparks was a more successful man than his wife’s application for a pension would seem to indicate. A biographical sketch of him appeared in an 1886 History of Knox County, Indiana, published by the Goodspeed Company (p. 513). This sketch reads as follows:
“N. B. Sparks, M.D., of Monroe City, Indiana, was bonn April 2, 1815, in Belmont County, Ohio, and is one of nine children born to Jesse R, & Margaret (Burns) Sparks. The father was Scotch and was born c1785 in Maryland. He was a shoemaker and auctioneer. He lived in his native state until married and moved soon to Belmont Co., Ohio, where he was a leading citizen and was sheriff several years. He came to Dearborn County, Indiana, in 1820 and died there in 1865. The mother was also a native of Maryland and died in 1850. N. B. Sparks married in December 1837, Harriet Skaats, daughter of Jacob & Hannah Skaats, She was born Nov 29, 1822. To this union were born: Mithadese, Laura V., James V., and Rosella, wife of A. C. Falls. N. B. Sparks attended the Eclectic Medical School, Cincinnati, Ohio, and in the year 1848 began practice in Brooksville, Indiana. He then moved to Westport, Indiana, and was there five years, and at Elizabethtown for nine years. In 1861, he was physician and surgeon of the 6th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers. In 1863 he came home and in 1867 came to Knox County and a year later settled at Monroe City. He is a Democrat and Methodist.”
(Note that in this sketch of Nathan B. Sparks, no mention was made of his son Amos Hibin Sparks because the sketch was written in 1886, 22 years after his death,)
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|AMOS J. SPARKS,||enrolled in Co. C, 7th Regiment of Kentucky Cavalry, on July 1, 1862; discharged 1865; he married Malissa Jane Slade on July 20, 1863, in Harrison County, Kentucky; he died December 24, 1870. File Designation: Widow application 460,002.|
On August 4, 1890, Malissa Jane Sparks made application for a pension. She stated that she was a widow of Amos Sparks who had enlisted in Waterloo, Alabama, on 1 Jul 1862, in Company C, 7th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry; that he was discharged at Edgefield, Tennessee, on July 10, 1865. She stated that Amos Sparks had died on December 24, 1870, Malissa Sparks stated that she was 44 years old and was a resident of Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky. She stated that her maiden name had been Malissa Jane Slade and that she and Amos Sparks had been married on July 27, 1862, by the Rev. Lancaster “at home, Harrison Co., Ky.” She stated that she had not remarried. She left blank the space provided to list children under 16 years of age, She appointed J. A. Barber as her lawful attorney. Smith Whalin and Elizabeth Slade signed as witnesses. She signed the application by mark.
Also included in this pension file is the marriage certificate, which shows that Amos Sparks and Mellissa Jane Slade were married on July 20, 1863, a year later than she had indicated in her application. According to the marriage certificate, they were married at the home of Samuel Slade in Harrison County, Kentucky, by Ransom Lancaster in the presence of William J. Holly and J. H. Toadoine.
A search was made by the War Department and a report was issued to the Commissioner of Pensions that Amos J. Sparks had been enrolled in Company C, 7th Regiment of Kentucky Cavalry on 1 Jul 1862, He was reported as missing at the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, on April 30, 1863, and as having deserted on December 20, 1862. On April 30, 1863, he was reported as “absent under sentence of Court Martial.” It was added, however, that “Prisoner of war records show him captured and paroled by Gen. F. Kirby Smith during the month of August ‘62.” The terms of his parole probably meant that Amos J, Sparks could not rejoin his regiment and he was falsely accused of desertion. He was discharged on July 10, 1865.
The pension claim of Malissa Jane Sparks was not allowed, probably because of the false charge that her husband had deserted. In 1896, however, the Commissioner of Pensions apparently wrote to say that her claim could be reconsidered. However, by that time she had died, The following letter closes this file:
“Lexington, Ky., January 24/96
“Hon. Corn, of Pensions:
“In answer to your call of the 16th Inst. in the claim for Pension #460002, that of Melissa J. Sparks, wid, of Amos J. Sparks, am sorry to inform you that the claimant is dead, She has been dead some months.
“Am sorry that Mrs. Sparks didn ‘t get her claim allowed for she was very needy, and the claim a just one.
J. A. Barber,”
|ANDREW SPARKS,||a private in Company F, 77th Regiment (Infantry) of Illinois Volunteers, died a prisoner of war in Mississippi on March 6, 1863; he married Elizabeth Owen in Woodford County, Illinois, on February 17, 1859; sons John W. Sparks and Daniel P. Sparks. His widow married (second) Joseph McKenzie. File Designation: Minor Certif. 247,826.|
Elizabeth Sparks, widow of Andrew Sparks, applied for a pension prior to 1873. A copy of that application was not sent in the file of papers provided by the National Archives. A later record reveals that the pension was approved in 1873 in the amount of $8.00 per month, beginning on September 15, 1873.
The earliest document provided by the National Archives from this pension file is an application made by Elizabeth Sparks on Nov 28, 1887, for a pension for her two sons by Andrew Sparks. In this application, she stated that she was a resident of Jasper County, Missouri, and was 46 years old. She stated that her husband, Andrew Sparks, “was killed or disappeared at Guntown fight, Miss, in 1863 in the War of the Rebellion”; that he was a private in Company F, 77th Regiment of Illinois Infantry. She stated that her maiden name had been Elizabeth Owen and that her marriage certificate was already on file at the Pension Office. (This certificate states that Andrew Sparks and Elizabeth Owen had been married on February 17, 1859, by 0. A. Burgess, a minister of the Gospel, in Woodford County, Illinois.) She gave her two sons’ names as John W. Sparks, born February 17, 1860, and Daniel Sparks, born February 12, 1862, She stated that John W. Sparks was living in Humbolt, Allan County, Kansas, and Daniel Sparks was living in Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri. Both signed this application.
In this application, Elizabeth Sparks stated that she had remarried - - that her name was now McKinsey. (A marriage certificate on file among these documents reveals that Elizabeth (Owen) Sparks, widow of Andrew Sparks, married as her second husband Joseph McKinsey at the residence of John W. Bradshaw, Justice of the Peace, in Jasper County, Missouri, on September 14, 1873.) The witnesses to her application in 1887 were George W. Cunningham of Carthage, Missouri, and J. W. Dryden of Brest, Missouri. She signed the application by mark.
A report by the War Department dated Nov 13, 1886, regarding the records on file for Andrew Sparks indicates that he was a private in Company F of the 77th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers and that the company records indicated that he was mistakenly listed as having deserted “at Mouth of White River, Ark., January 18, 1863.” This report quotes the company record book as follows: “Charges of Desertion of Jany. 18th and 29th 1863, are removed. He was captured on or about January 29th 1863, near Napoleon, Ark., and died at Jackson, Miss., March 6th 1863, while a prisoner of war - - cause of death unknown.”
A pension of $2.00 per month for each of her sons until they reached the age of 16 was granted on September 15, 1873.
On September 11, 1901, Elizabeth McKinsey applied for a renewal of her pension, stating that as the widow of Andrew Sparks she had received a pension until her marriage to Joseph McKinsey, but she stated that her second husband had died on June 24, 1873, and asked to be restored to the pension rolls. She gave her post office address as Elsmore, Kansas. Her two sons signed as witnesses, signing their names as J. W. Sparks and D. P. Sparks, both being residents of Elsmore, Kansas.
Also included in the documents sent by the National Archives from this file is a copy of a mortgage dated September 26, 1899 “between Elizabeth Sparks (widow) of Elsmore in the County of Allen and State of Kansas of the first part, and Nancy F. Fisher of the second part,” by which Elizabeth Sparks mortgaged for $600 six lots in ‘the town of Elsmore, Kansas. This document was probably submitted to prove that Elizabeth Sparks was in need of a pension. It is interesting that she resumed the name “Sparks” after her second husband died.
Her pension was restored at the rate of $30.00 per month. The last record in the file indicates that Elizabeth Sparks, widow of Andrew Sparks, died on May 12, 1922, at which time her last address was given as Erie, Kansas.
|45.6.4 ANDREW J. SPARKS,||born ca. 1837, died in service on April 2, 1865; a native of Potter County, Pennsylvania, son of 45.6 William B. and Rachel (Hines) Sparks; served as 1st Lieutenant, Co. C, 211th Regt. of Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was unmarried; his mother received a pension of the basis of his service. File Designation: 132,435.|
On February 19, 1866, Rachel Sparks made application for a pension under an act of Congress that had become law on July 14, 1862. She stated that she was 55 years old, a resident of Bolivar in Allegany County, New York, and the widow of William B. Sparks. She claimed a pension on the basis of being the mother of Andrew J. Sparks who had been a First Lieutenant of Company C, 211th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War. She stated that her son, Andrew J. Sparks, had been killed in service on April 2, 1865, “at the attack on Fort Hall, Va.” She stated that her son, “upon whom she was whooly or in part dependent for support . . . left no widow or minor child or children surviving." She appointed Dan Baker of Coudersport, Potter County, Pennsylvania, as her attorney. G. W. Sherman and Artemisia Sherman, both residents of Sharon Township, Potter County, Pennsylvania, witnessed her signature (she signed as “Rachel Sparks”).
Accompanying the application of Rachel Sparks was a sworn statement made on March 7, 1868, by Nelson Parmenter and Napoleon Woodcock, both residents of Sharon Township, Potter County, Penna. They swore that she was the widow of William B. Sparks and the mother of Andrew J. Sparks and that they had known her for 12 years.
They stated that Andrew J. Sparks “died leaving no widow, child or children surviving him.” They also stated that her husband, William B. Sparks “was in very feeble health and unable to labor for a livelihood and had been for a long time previous and up to the 26th day of September A.D, 1865 when he died at Sharon, Potter County, Penna.” They added that Andrew J. Sparks had “contributed to the support of his said Parents before and after he enlisted . . . and that they were dependent on him for their support, that they were in indigent circumstances and had no other means of obtaining a livelihood only by the help of their said Son, the father as aforesaid being in very feeble health and unable to labor.” Nelson Parmeter stated that he “kept a Grocery and Provision Store in Sharon, Penna.” and that Andrew J. Sparks had arranged in 1863 with him “to furnish his Parents with Provisions & Groceries &c. and he would pay on his return home again" in September 1863; he added that the son was not living at home at the time and that he had indeed made the payment. In their sworn statement, they quoted from a letter that Andrew J. Sparks wrote to his parents while he was in the service: “I have a good house for you to live in and as long as God gives me health you shall not want.” They also stated that they had seen letters that Andrew J. Sparks wrote while in service in which he had sent money to his mother, “one in which he sent her One Hundred dollars.” Shortly before his death, according to Parmeter and Woodcock, he enclosed five dollars in a letter dated February 16, 1865, in which he wrote: “You have no idea how much anxiety I have in regard to your welfare. We have received no pay yet and cannot tell when we shall get any. I got some money to bear my expenses home but am willing to divide as long as it lasts. I will send you Five Dollars in this; if you can get anything on my account I will pay the money as soon as I get my pay. I do not want to see you live poor as long as I can help it, and were I out of the service, you should not if I had to work day and night.”
Parmenter and Woodcock also stated that Rachel Sparks had the following property: “one note of $300 dollars against John Crofford, one note of $175.00 dollars against Benjamin S. Sparks, one note of $75 dollars against Joseph McKinster. That the property here named came to her by the death of her son Andrew J. Sparks and that she has no other property and no other means of support.”
On April 9, 1868, the Commissioner of Pensions requested the Adjutant General ‘s office to furnish information regarding Andrew J. Sparks. The report states that he had been “called into the service” for one year, beginning Sept. 17, 1864 and that he had been a First Lieutenant in Capt. Warren Cowles’s Company C of the 211th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers; that he had been 27 years old, a lumberman by occupation, with blue eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion, and was 6 feet, 2½ inches tall.
A pension was approved for Rachel Sparks and there is a document which indicates that her last payment of $17.00 was made on September 4, 1881; her name was then dropped “because of [the] Statute [of] limitation[s].”
(Editor’s Note: See the QUARTERLY of December 1957, Vol. V, No. 4, Whole No, 20, pp. 251-260 for information on the grandparents of Andrew J. Sparks, John and Lovina (Brewster) Sparks. William B. Sparks, husband of Rachel Sparks and father of Andrew J. Sparks, was born March 11, 1803; he married Rachel Hines on July 31, 1828. (See p. 260 of the QUARTERLY where the family Bible record giving this information is reproduced.)
(From information contained on the 1850 census of Potter County, Penna., it appears that 45.6 William B. Sparks and Rachel (Hines) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
45.6.1 Benjamin Sparks, born ca. 1832.
45.6.2 Sarah Sparks, born ca. 1835.
45.6.3 Andrew J. Sparks, born ca. 1837, died April 2, 1865.
45.6.4 Nancy Sparks, born ca. 1840.
45.6.5 Abel Sparks, born May 8, 1842, died July 28, 1929.
45.6.6 Rachel Sparks, born ca. 1845.
45.6.7 William Sparks, born ca. 1849.
(Abel Sparks, brother of Andrew J. Sparks, also served in the Civil War and subsequently received a pension for that service. His pension papers were abstracted in the QUARTERLY of September 1967, Vol. XV, No. 3, Whole No. 59, pp. 1095-96.)