July 31, 2017

Pages 1823-1827
Whole Number 94

UNION SOLDIERS NAMED SPARKS WHO APPLIED,
OR WHOSE HEIRS APPLIED,
FOR PENSIONS FOR SERVICE IN THE CIVIL WAR
Continued



(Editor's Note: From time to time in past issues of the Quarterly we have published abstracts of the pension files of Union soldiers who served in the Civil War. A great many Union soldiers and their widows (sometimes parents and children) received Federal pensions for their service and the papers comprising their files in the National Archives in Washington contain fascinating records of both historical and genealogical significance. We have an index of all of the pension files for persons named Sparks that was compiled for us a number of years ago by Carrie Grant Heppen. There are over 600 names on this list. For $2.00 it is possible to obtain xerox copies of selected documents from one of these files.

Dr. Paul. E. Sparks, President of our Association, has obtained a number of these files (selected papers therefrom that appear to a clerk doing the search to have genealogical importance) and has abstracted them. We shall publish them in the Quarterly as space permits.)

PLEASANT SPARKS, son of Noah and Lucinda (Newton) Sparks, was born February 11, 1843 in Henderson County, Ky. He died on September 14, 1924. He married (first) Arga C. Grayson in 1865 and (second) Mattie (Mason) Berry in 1906. He served in Company C, 35th Regiment Kentucky Infantry. Files Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 921,798; Minor Cert. No. 959,400. See page 1819 of this issue of the Quarterly for additional data on his family.

 Pleasant Sparks enlisted in Company C, 35th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry on August 12, 1863, at Owensboro, Ky., and was discharged at Louisville, Ky., on December 29, 1864. The military records we received from the National Archives were incomplete, but they do show that he was present for duty during that period of time except when he was taken prisoner on December 14, 1863, near Fort Donelson, Tennessee. The Bureau of Pensions acted favorably on his application for a pension and he was issued Invalid Certificate No. 921,798 on or about August 5, 1890.

On March 11, 1907, Pleasant Sparks made application for increased. pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He stated that he was 64 years of age and lived near Sebree, Kentucky. At the time of his enlistment he was 5 ft. 8 in, tall; he had a fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair; he was a farmer. S. M. Stinnett and O. C. Cates, both residents of Sebree, attested to the application which was notarized by B. M. Sutton. We received nothing to denote the action taken on this request.

On April 12, 1815, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He stated that he was born in Webster County, Ky., (at that time a part of Henderson County) on February 11, 1843. On February 23, 1865, he married Arga C. Grayson in Webster County, Ky., and they had eleven children. They were:

Louisa M. Sparks, born January 11, 1866 J. F. Sparks, born Jun 1, 1875
Edmon C. Sparks, born 3 February 1867 David S. Sparks, born 6 January 1877
Henry O. Sparks, born September 11, 1868 P. L. Sparks, born February 11, 1881
George L. Sparks, born December 18, 1869 C. A. Sparks, born February 7, 1883
L. Ellen Sparks, born December 17, 1871 N. W. Sparks, born July 4, 1887
William R. Sparks, born August 27, 1873.  

 (The sex of the children identified only by initials is not given.)

Pleasant Sparks went on to state on this questionnaire that his wife, Arga, had died in Webster County on February 7, 1900. On September 27, 1906, he had married Mattie (Mason) Berry, widow of M. V. Berry, who had died on February 25, 1902, at Henderson, Ky. To this second marriage one child, Lillian Sparks, was born 25 Jan, 1911.

Pleasant Sparks was 81 years of age when he died on September 14, 1924, at 504 Letcher St., Henderson, Ky., of general debility. W. R. Sparks, probably his son, completed the death certificate. He said that Pleasant Sparks was a son of Noah and Lucinda (Newton) Sparks. Noah Sparks was a native of North Carolina, but the birthplace of Lucinda Newton was given as "unknown". Dr. Peyton Ligon of Henderson was the attending physician; F. L. Tapp & Co. of Dixon, Ky., was the undertaker; and the burial was at the Mt. Lebanon Church.

On Oct 6, 1924, Mattie Sparks, widow of Pleasant, made application for a Minor Pension for her daughter, Lillian Sparks, now thirteen years of age. Henry Powell and J. D. Morehead witnessed the application which was notarized by R. H. Royster. The application was accompanied by an affidavit from Cora Burton, age 35, of Sebree, which stated that she was at the home of Mattie Sparks on the day of the birth of her daughter, Lillian, on 25 Jan, 1911. The reason she remembered the date so well was that her own daughter was born just two months later on March 20, 1911. Minor's Cartificate No. 959,400 was issued on Oct 11, 1924. Lillian Sparks continued to receive a pension until January 24, 1927, when she was dropped from the pension rolls because of legal limitation. At that time she was receiving 30.00 per month.

NOAH WEBSTER SPARKS, son of Samuel and Julia Ann (Anderson) Sparks, was born March 7, 1844. He died on Nov 15, 1919. He married (first) Eunice Harkins in 1869 and (second) Maggie H. Dodge on June 29, 1885. He served in Company H, 26th Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 659,075; Wid. Cert. No. 902,844. See page 1820 of this issue of the Quarterly for further data on the family of Noah Webster Sparks.

Noah W. Sparks filed an application for a invalid pension on Oct 18, 1886, but the original application form was not included in the materials sent from his file at the National Archives. Apparently he claimed that he was suffering from a disease of the lungs. On 1 March 1877, the War Department sent his military records to the Bureau of Pensions. He had enrolled on Oct l, 1862, at Holly Springs, Mississippi, as a private in Company H, 26th Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers for three years and was mustered out with his company on July 20, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky. He was in the Regimental Hospital on January 24, 1863, and he was also in the U.S. General Hospital at Marietta, Georgia, for a period of time in Oct 1864. There was no other evidence of a disability.

On Nov 25, 1889, William A. Wright, age 56, a resident of Mt. Vernon, Indiana, testified that in Jan, 1863, Sparks was "taken with lung fever near LaGrange, Tennessee, and was hospitalized for some time and had a cough which terminated in weak lungs." Wright said he knew this as a fact since he had served in the same military company as Sparks. Joseph Shoptaw, age 47, a resident of Grayville, Ill., also made an affidavit on December 19, 1889, in which he gave substantially the same testimony as did Wright.

On December 27, 1889, Sparks made a general affidavit. He was now 47 years of age and lived at Mt. Vernon, Posey County, Ind. He said he was unable to furnish the evidence of the Regimental Surgeon, since he (the surgeon) had died in Texas in Oct 1889. He said he did not know the whereabouts of the Orderly Sergeant or a Commissioned Officer who could support his claim and he had to rely upon the evidence of his former comrades. He was placed on the pension rolls under Invalid Certificate No. 659,075 at the rate of 8.00 per month.

On Oct 24, 1902, Sparks applied for an increase in his pension under the 1900 Act of Congress, claiming that he continued to suffer from disease of the lungs and a general debility. He lived at 216 Wells Street, Chicago, Ill. He appointed the firm of Oscar B. Barber & Company as his attorneys. Nothing was included from his file to indicate what action was taken on this application.

Again on March 24, 1908, Sparks asked for increased pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He was now 64 years of age and lived at 401 Sedgwich St., Chicago, Ill. He said he was born in Webster County, Ky., on March 7, 1844. At the time of his enlistment he was 5 ft. 8 in. tall; he had a light fair complexion, brown eyes and light brown hair; and.he was a farmer by occupation. Since leaving the service he had lived in Tonica, LaSalle County, Ill., and Paducah, Ky. Charles L. Burkhard and Ed Efert witnessed his signature and the application was sworn to before Ernest Stock, Jr., a notary public of Cook County. The pension was increased to $18.00 per month.

On March 19, 1915, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said he had been born at Sebree, Ky. He had married Eunice Harkins in 1869 and she died at Tonica, Ill., on 4 February 1883. They had one child, Frank Sparks, who was born December 20, 1873, at LaSalle, Ill. Sparks said he was married (second) to Maggie Dodge in 1884 by the Rev. Bunker and to this union five children were born:

 Leora Sparks, born April 14, 1885, at Mt. Vernon, Ind. (This was probably in 1886)
 Julia Sparks, born June 24, 1888, at Mt. Vernon, Ind.
 Fred Sparks, born December 14, 1889, at Mt. Vernon, Ind.
 Earl Sparks, born Oct 6, 1896, at Tonica, I11.
 Hazel Sparks, born July 29, 1897, at Tonica, Ill.

Noah W. Sparks died from lobar pneumonia on Nov 13, 1919, at his residence at 6750 Belmont Ave., Chicago, Ill. At the time of his death, he was receiving a pension of $40.00 per month.

On December 22, 1919, the widow of Noah W. Sparks, Maggie H. (Dodge) Sparks, applied for a pension under the 1916 Act of Congress. She stated that she had been born on March 31, 1862, at Tonica, Ill., and had married Sparks on June 29, 1884, under her maiden name of Maggie Henrietta Dodge. She said her husband had been married previously to Eunice Harkins who had died on February 17, 1883.

The clerk of Bureau County, Ill., James Fletcher, sent a confirming copy of the marriage record of Noah W. Sparks and Maggie H. Dodge to the Bureau of Pensions and she was placed on the pension rolls under Widow Certificate No. 902,844.

WILLIAM C. SPARKS, son of Reuben and Phoebe (Blackburn) Sparks, was born May 1843, in Wilkes County, N.C. He died on May 30, 1930. He married Phoebe McCann on December 19, 1878. He served in Company H, 10th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 347,120 .

On August 31, 1881, William C. Sparks, age 35, a resident of Traphill, N.C., made application for an invalid pension. He said he had enlisted on 1 March 1864, in Company H, 10th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry commanded by John Q. A. Bryant and was discharged at Nashville, Tenn., on 1 Aug 1865. At the time of his enlistment, he was 6 feet tall; he had a fair complexion, blue eyes and black hair; and he was a farmer by occupation. During the spring of 1865, while stationed at Pulaski, Tenn., he contracted asthma and a disease of the heart and lungs for which he was treated at the Washington Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. He was also taken to the Gayoso Hospital where he stayed from February 16, 1865, until June 1865. Since his discharge from the service, he had been treated by Dr. Tyra York. He appointed A. B. McSebb & Co., Washington, D.C., as his attorneys. Wesley Joines and Joseph P. Pruitt attested his application.

The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on August 22, 1883. He had enlisted for a period of three years at Nashville, Tenn., in Company H, 10th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry and had been mustered out with his company at Nashville on 1 Aug 1865. He had been hospitalized from February 17, 1865, to April 30, 1865, at Memphis, Tenn., but the nature of his illness was not stated.

On August 19, 1886, William V. Smoot, age 40, a resident of Traphill, N.C., made an affidavit to support Sparks's claim. He said he was a comrade soldier of Sparks and that in Oct 1864, Sparks was stricken with chronic diarrhea for which he was treated in the regimental hospital. Then, in February 1865, Sparks took what the doctors called asthma and lung disease and was sent to Washington Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. Smoot said that Sparks developed a severe cough and the right side of his breast sunk in with what the doctors said was a collapsing of the right lung.

Sparks was issued Invalid Certificate No. 347,120 and placed on the pension rolls.

On May 4, 1898, William C. Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said his wife, Phoebe F. Sparks, had died on May 30, 1896. They had five living children. They were:

Annie Bell Sparks, born December 7, 1879
Cora E. Sparks, born May 9, 1883
George W. Sparks, born April 14, 1886
Tyra Clifton Sparks, born February 14, 1891
Leftridge Blaine Sparks, born April 6, 1895

Sparks responded to another questionnaire on April 15, 1915. He said he was born at Traphill, N.C., on May 25, 1843. He married Phoebe McCann on December 19, 1878, by J. F. Gentry, a justice of the peace. After the death of his wife in 1896, he had not remarried.

On Oct 20, 1924, William C. Sparks, now 80 years of age, made an application for additional benefits under the 1920 Act of Congress. He said he was suffering from a gall bladder disease, which was probably malignant, and from general debility due to old age. Dr. Ira G. Gambill, Elkin, N.C., and Annie B. Wilson, Traphill, N.C., witnessed his signature and C. G. Arnfield notarized the application.

When William C. Sparks died on May 30, 1930, he was receiving a pension of 90.00 per month.

(Editor's Note: For further details about William C. Sparks and his branch of the Sparks family, see the December 1955 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 12.)

DAVID L. SPARKS, son of James and Elizabeth (Maddox) Sparks, was born July 30, 1844, in Pike County, Missouri. He died on Nov 13, 1864. He served in Company C, 39th Regiment Missouri Infantry Volunteers. File Designation: Father's Cert. No. 248,074.

No copy of the original application of James Sparks, father of David L. Sparks, was sent to us by the National Archives, but apparently he requested a father's pension prior to 19 January 1888, for on that date the Bureau of Pensions requested the military records of David L. Sparks from the War Department. On 4 February 1888, the War Department sent the records which showed that David L. Sparks had enrolled in Company C, 39th Regiment Missouri Infantry Volunteers on August 6, 1864, at Louisiana, Pike County, Missouri, for six months. He died in the hospital at Glasgow, Missouri, on Nov 13, 1864, of typhus fever. According to his personal description records, he was 20 years of age; he was born in Pike County, Missouri; he was 5 ft 9 in. tall; he had a light complexion, gray eyes and light hair; and he was a farmer by occupation.

On April 5, 1888, R. Y. Jones, age 73, a resident of Pike County, Missouri., made a lengthy affidavit to support the claim of James Sparks. Jones said he had lived as a close neighbor to Sparks since 1864 and knew his statements to be facts. James Sparks was about 78 years of age and owned a farm of 157 acres that could be described as very poor land and not worth more than twelve cents per acre. In spite of this, James Sparks and his wife, Elizabeth, raised a family there consisting in 1864 of David L. Sparks, age 18; Susan Sparks, age 16; Elizabeth Sparks, age 14; Nancy Sparks, age 12; and Alley Sparks, age 10. David L. Sparks had assisted his father on the farm to support his mother and sisters and also to support his mother's sisters and her father. After he entered the service, he sent money home to his father to help support the family.

On July 15, 1887 (the affidavit continued) Elizabeth Maddox Sparks, wife of James Sparks and mother of David L. Sparks, died. At about the same time, James Sparks lost the sight of his eyes and was no longer able to earn his support and he was destitute. His land was worthless and he had no personal property. The affidavit was sworn to before J. W. Edwards, Probate Clerk, Pike County, Missouri.

On July 12, 1888, Pike County Clerk, J. W. Edwards, sent sworn testimony about the family records of James Sparks to the Bureau of Pensions. The testimony contained a statement that James Sparks and Elizabeth Maddox were married on August 17, 1837, in Louisville, Kentucky. The family records also showed that David Lambert Sparks was born July 30, 1844, and departed this life on Nov 13, 1864.

James Sparks was issued a pension under Father's Certificate No. 248,074. When he died on or about June 4, 1890, he was receiving a pension of 12.00 per month.

On Nov 19, 1890, Nannie Kramer, age 35, and Maggie Walkley, age 31, both residents of Louisiana, Pike County, Missouri, made a joint declaration. They said they were the only surviving sisters of David L. Sparks who were under the age of 16 years at the time of his death, and since he left no widow or children, they made the declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension rolls under the Act of Congress granting pensions to dependent relatives. They appointed James D. Kincaid, Bowling Green, Missouri, as their attorney. J. S. Barnum and Nancy Lawrence witnessed their signatures and the declaration was sworn to before B. F. Parsons, Clerk of the Louisiana Court of Common Pleas. Nothing was sent from the file to show what action was taken on this declaration.

(Editor's Note: James Sparks, with his wife Elizabeth (Maddox) Sparks, appeared with their family on the 1850 census of Pike County, Missouri. When one compares the list of children of James and Elizabeth given in the R. Y. Jones affidavit, above, with this census record, it is apparent that Jones mentioned only those children still living at home in 1864 and that the three youngest children mentioned by Jones (Elizabeth, Nancy, and Alley) were born after 1850. The census record appears as follows - - the family's post office was Peno, Missouri.

Sparks, James (age) 39 (sex) M born Kentucky
     "      Elizabeth           36          F Virginia
     "      Mary A.           12          F Missouri
     "      Benjamin F.           10          M     "
     "      Martha J.             8          F     "
     "      Margaret             7          F      "
     "      David             6          M     "
     "      James             4          M     "
     "      Susan S.             2          F     "

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