February 6, 2019

Pages 2263-2265
Whole Number 112


(Editor's Note: From time to time we have been publishing abstracts of the pension files of Union soldiers who served in the Civil War. Readers are referred to page 2110 of the June 1979 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 106, for an explanation of these abstracts. It should be noted that these abstracts are not based on the entire file of papers in the National Archives, but only on the documents selected from each file considered by a searcher at the Archives to have genealogical significance.)

CORNELIUS WILLIAM SPARKS, was born May 5, 1838, in New York City. He married (first) Agnes Neal and married (second) Ann Eliza (McKigney) Fleming.(This is a more complete abstract than appeared on page 2913). He served in Company E,14th Regiment Illinois Cavalry and in Company K, 12th Regiment Illinois Cavalry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 143,466.

On September 10, 1874, Cornelius W. Sparks, a resident of Hennepin, Illinois,applied for an invalid pension. He said he had served as a sergeant in Company E, commandd by Capt. W. D. Wardlow, of the 14th Regiment Illinois Cavalry, commanded by Col. T Lyle Dickey, and was discharged at Natchez, Mississippi, on February 16, 1864. While in action at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, on February 16,1864 his horse fell on him and caused orchitis. Since leaving the service, he had lived at Hennepin where he clerked and taught school. He appointed J. M.Naewm, Washington, D.C., as his attorney. William H. Casson witnessed his signature and the declaration was sworn to before Amos T. Purviance, Clerk of Putnam County, Illinois.

The War Department confirmed the military service of Sparks on October 21, 1874. He had enrolled on September 6, 1861, at Ottowa, Illinois, in Company E, 4th Regiment Illinois Cavalry to serve for three years, and had served until February 17, 1864, when he was mustered out with his company. He had reenlisted and was transferred to Company K, 12th Regiment Illinois Cavalry and had served until February 26, 1866, when his services were no longer needed.

On October 16, 1876, H. C. Luce, late Surgeon of the 14th Regiment Illinois Cavalry, completed an Officer's Certificate of Disability for Cornelius W. Sparks. Luce certified that Sparks was injured by his horse falling on him at Ft. Donelson on February 14, 1862, which had resulted in Orchitis. Luce had treated Sparks for several weeks during which time Sparks was unable to perform active duty. The injury had resulted in permanent vericocele with an enlarged and painful testicle. Prior to this incident, Sparks had been a sound and hearty man.

Cornelius W. Sparks was issued Invalid Certificate No. 143,466 and he was placed upon the pension roll.

Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on July 3, 1898. He stated that he had been married twice. His first marriage was to Agnes Neal who had died at Hennepin, Illinois, on August 4, 1879. His second marriage had been to Ann Eliza (McKigney) Fleming, widow of Thomas Fleming, on November 16,1880, in Putnam County, Illinois. They were married by Peter Feltes, a justice of the peace. He had ten children, five by his first wife and five by his second. They were:

1. Little Boy Sparks, born May 24, 1871; died May 25, 1871.
2. Josephine Sparks, born May 6, 1872.
3. Robert Sparks, born January 24, 1874.
4. Adah Belle Sparks, born February 28, 1877.
5. Chester Sparks, born December 25, 1878; died September 1879.
6. Margaret Sparks, born May 29, 1881; died August 1881.
7. Charles Weldon Sparks, born October 1, 1884.
8. Cleveland Sparks, born March 15, 1886.
9. William Sparks, born October 6, 1887.
10. Laura Ellen Sparks, born January 15, 1890.

On March 27, 1909, Cornelius William Sparks, aged 70, a resident of The Soldiers's Home, Los Angeles, California, applied for an increase in his pension. He stated that he was suffering from heart disease. He presented a copy of his birth certificate showing that he was born May 5, 1838, and was baptised as Cornelius William Sparks on July 17, 1838, in St. Mary's Church, New York City. His parents were Robert and Ellen Sparks.

On May 24, 1912, Sparks, now a resident of Seattle, Washington, applied again for increased pension benefits. He stated that at the time of his enlistment, he was 5 feet, 6 inches in height; he had a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair;and he was a farmer. Since leaving the service, he had lived at Hennepin, Illinois from 1866 to 1881; at Kearney, Nebraska, from 1881 to 1890; at Hennepin from1890 to 1897; in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1898; in The Soldier's Home, LosAngeles, California, and at Seattle.

When Cornelius W. Sparks died on March 2, 1926, at The Soldier's Home,Los Angeles, California, he was receiving a pension of $72.00 per month.

[Editor's Note: As was noted above, Cornelius William Sparks was, according to his baptismal record, a son of Robert and Ellen Sparks. This was probably the Robert Sparks who was listed on the 1840 census of Ward 7, New York City. Robert Sparks was listed then as between 30 and 40 years of age. Living in his household were two males, aged 20 to 30; one male aged under 5 years; one female aged 20 to 30; and one female aged 15 to 20.] EPHRAIM EUGENE SPARKS, son of Robert D. and Armina Sparks, was born August 6,1849, at Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He married Lillian Jane Perry on July 23, 1871, at Plainfield, Wisconsin. He served in the 1st Regiment Wisconsin Heavy Artillery. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 247,742.

On March 31, 1881, Ephraim Eugene Sparks, aged 32, a resident of Plainfield, Wisconsin, applied for an invalid pension. He said he had enrolled on October 15, 1864, in Company I, 1st Regiment Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, commanded by Capt. D. N. Saxton, and was discharged on June 26, 1865, at Alexandria, Virginia. He was 5 feet, 8 1/2 inches tall; he had a light complexion, light hair and blue eyes; and he was a farmer. On or about January 1, 1865, at Fort Lyon, Virginia, he was exposed to wet and cold weather so that he was disabled by rheumatism of the shoulder and chest and was treated in the Regimental Hospital. He was now unable to earn more than one-half of his living because of this disability. He appointed Kookagey & Co., Washington, D.C., as his attorneys. A. L. Anderson and byron Pickering witnessed his signature.

Dr. D. E. Serles made an affidavit on May 14, 1882, to support Sparks's application. He said he had known Sparks since early childhood because he was the doctor for the family of R. D. Sparks. Before entering the service, Sparks was astout, robust young man, but after returning from the service, he suffered severely from rheumatism. Dr. Serles said he had treated him for the disease for several years but had failed to effect a cure. Sparks was now so disabled that he could not do more than one-half a day's work.

The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on 5 February 1883. He was enrolled in Company I, 1st Regiment Wisconsin Heavy Artillery on October 1,1864, to serve for one year. He was mustered out with his company on June 26, 1865. Records showed that Sparks was hospitalized on 5 February 1865,and returned to duty. The Regimental Hospital records were not on file.

The Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 247,742 to Sparks and he was placed upon the pension roll.

On July 4, 1898, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said he had been married to Lillian J. Perry on July 23, 1871, at Plainfield, Wisconsin, by Wes Job Baringer, a justice of the peace. It was the first marriage for both. To this union twelve children were born:

1. Estella lone Sparks, born April 25, 1872.
2. Lula Armina Sparks, born April 3, 1874.
3. Minnie Ethlyn Sparks, born November 12, 1875.
4. Sarah Elizabeth Sparks, born July 18, 1878.
5. Wendell Potter Sparks, born March 9, 1881.
6. Vernon Eugene Sparks, born June 30, 1883.
7. Maggie Lillian Sparks, born September 25, 1885.
8. Harrison Morton Sparks, born February 14, 1889.
9. Grace Evelyn Sparks, born January 21, 1891.
10. Cora Blanche Sparks, born June 15, 1893.
11. Orrin J. Sparks, born April 13, 1895.
12. Gladys Adele Sparks, born April 7, 1896.

On August 25, 1900, Sparks, aged 51, a resident of Fox Lake, Ramsey County, North Dakota, applied for increased pension benefits under the 1890 Act of Congress.He stated that he was now suffering from heart disease, general debility, as wellas rheumatism. He appointed Travis & Brown, Crawfordsville, Indiana, as hisattorneys. J. H. Smith and F. S. Chamberlin witnessed his signature.

Again, on August 7, 1911, Ephraim Sparks, aged 62, a resident of Brocket, North Dakota, applied for increased pension benefits. He stated that he was bornJune 6, 18149, at Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. His declaration was witnessed byGus Furstenau and R. V. Bice, both residents of Devils Lake, North Dakota.

On November 30, 1915, Sparks made an affidavit. He stated that he had moved from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, to Plainfield, Wisconsin, ca. 18514. His parents were Robert D. and Arrninta Sparks. In 1860, he had one brother, Charles Freeman Sparks. He stated that he could not furnish a copy of his family record because it was destroyed by fire in 1882. His affidavit was witnessed by D. O. Duell and sworn to before A. E. Parshall, a notary public.

When Ephraim E. Sparks died on September 10, 1930, he was receiving a pension of $75.00 per month.

[Editor's Note: Ephraim Eugene Sparks was the eldest child of Robert Davenport Sparks and his first wife, Armina (Pickering) Sparks, and he was a grandson of 42.1.1 Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks. A record of this family was prepared by M. Ward Wilson and appeared in the Quarterly of March 1970 (Vol. XVIII, No. 1, Whole No. 69). A photograph of Robert Davenport Sparks appeared on the cover of that issue. A short sketch of the life of Ephraim Eugene Sparks (called there EugeneE. Sparks) appeared on page 1302. His wife's name was given as Lillian lone Perry--perhaps in his questionnarie dated July 14, 1898, it was his intent that her middle initial be "I" rather than "J" as we copied it. The names of their 12 children differ somewhat on page 1302 from what we have copied above from his answer to the questionnaire on July 14, 1898. We rather believe that the list given in the questionnaire was correct since he probably copied it then from a family record.]