April 4, 2018

Pages 2978-2984
Whole Number 136

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



(Editor's Note: From time to time over the past several years, we have been publishing abstracts of the pension files of Union soldiers who served in the Civil War. For an explanation of these records, see the Quarterly of March 1986, Whole No. 133, page 2858.)

MAHLON SPARKS  was born November 10, 1818, in Bedford Co., Pennsylvania. He married Mary Catherine Clingerman on December 8, 1839. He served in Company A, 64th Regiment Ohio Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 44,333; Wid. Cert. No. 453,268.

Mahlon Sparks applied for an invalid pension on April 8, 1865. He was then 43 years of age and a resident of Hastings, Richland County, Ohio. He said that while he was a soldier in Company A, 64th Regiment Ohio Infantry, on or about April 10, 1864, he contracted typhoid pneumonia and was placed in the Field Hospital at Chattanooga, Tennessee. He remained under treatment there until about May 15, 1864, when he was transferred to the hospital at Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he stayed under treatment until August 11, 1864. He was then sent to Camp Dennison, Ohio, for further treatment. He remained there until he was given a disability discharge on March 21, 1865. Jacob Lutz and William Thurley witnessed his signature, and the application was sworn to before M. W. Worden, Probate Judge of Richland County.

On April 10, 1865, Capt. Michael Keiser, Late Commanding Officer of Company A, 64th Regiment Ohio Infantry, made a statement to support Sparks's claim. He said that Sparks had been his First Sergeant and was a rugged, healthy man until he contracted the typhoid pneumonia and that afterwards he became emaciated and greatly broken down in health and constitution.

The War Department also confirmed Sparks's statements. He had enlisted as a private on October 2, 1861, in Company A, 64th Regiment Ohio Infantry for a period of three years. He was promoted to Sergeant and then to First Sergeant. He re-enlisted on January 1, 1864, and was present for duty until April 10, 1865, when he was hospitalized at Chattanooga, Tennessee, because of inflamation of the lungs which turned into chronic pneumonia. His illness was also diagnosed as tuberculosis. He was sent to Camp Dennison, Ohio, on August 12, 1864, where he was a convalescent until he was given a disability discharge on March 21, 1865.

Mahlon Sparks was issued Invalid Certificate No. 44,333, and he was placed on the pension rolls. He died on August 26, 1892, in Livingston County, Missouri, and his widow, Mary Catherine Sparks, made application for a widow's pension. She sent a copy of her marriage record to the Bureau of Pensions which showed that she and Sparks were married at Bloody Run, Pennsylvania, on December 8, 1839, by Henry M. Wilt, a justice of the peace for Providence Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. On the record, Wilt had written that both Mahlon Sparks and Mary Catherine Clingerman were residents of the township and county and that both were of full age. Witnesses to the marriage were: John C. Foor, Simon Peter Foor, and Jacob C. Foor.

On July 23, 1895, J. C. Crowder and H. D. Mullins, residents of Trenton, Grundy County, Missouri, testified that they had lived as close neighbors to Mahlon and Mary C. Sparks since 1868 and knew them to be man and wife. They said that since Sparks's death, his widow had not remarried.

On August 3, 1895, Henry Secrist, age 77, a resident of Bellville, Richland County, Ohio, made an affidavit that he had known Mahlon and Mary C. Sparks since 1845 when they moved to Richland County and settled as close neighbors. He said that they lived together as man and wife, and they had a family of children whom they reared to maturity. The Sparks family moved to Missouri in 1868. Hugh C. Smith and D. P. McHargue witnessed him make his mark.

In March 1896, Mahala Calvin, age 65, a resident of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, made a supporting affidavit to the application of Mary C. Sparks. She said she well remembered when Mary C. Sparks married and lived close to her. She stated: "My grandparents raised her, she being an orphan child. I well remember her being married in Bedford Co. Pa., although I was only nine years of age. I also remember living with them and being their nurse girl after their first child was born. ... Neither of them had been previously married."

Mary C. Sparks made a re-application for a widow's pension on October 15, 1896. She was now 77 years old and a resident of Chillicothe, Missouri. She stated that her husband had received a pension under certificate No. 44,333 until his death on August 26, 1892. She appointed Travis & Brown of Crawfordsville, Indiana, as her attorney. Hannah J. Chambers and Alfred M. Sparks witnessed her make her mark, and the application was sworn to before R. R. Kitt, a notary public.

Mary C. Sparks was issued Widow's Certificate No., 453,286, and she was placed on the pension rolls. When she died on or about May 4, 1900, she was receiving $12.00 per month.

(Editor's Note: A summary of the military service of Mahlon Sparks was published in the September 1962 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 39. A biographical sketch of Mahlon Sparks appears in the present issue of the Quarterly, beginning on page 2975.)

GEORGE W. SPARKS, son of Mahlon and Mary Catherine (Clingerman) Sparks, was born November 6, 1845, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. He married (first) Orpha Amelia Scranton on December 27, 1869, and (second) Olive Bender on May 17, 1903. He served in Company C, 163rd Regiment Ohio National Guards. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 777,943.

George W. Sparks, aged 46, a resident of Trenton, Grundy County, Missouri, made application for an invalid pension on October 17, 1891. He stated that he had enrolled on May 2, 1864, in Company C, 163rd Regiment Ohio National Guards and was discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio, on September 10, 1864. He was now unable to earn his support because of the results of a broken right wrist, total deafness in his left ear, constipation, and rheumatism, and a general breaking down of his entire system. He appointed J. W. Conduit, Trenton, Missouri, as his attorney. P. Burkholder and Geo. W. Francis witnessed his signature.

The Bureau of Pensions required further proof of Sparks's disability, and on December 23, 1891, he made a further affidavit in which he said that his deafness had been caused by scarlet fever when he was four years old; his wrist was broken when he was sixteen years old; his constipation was caused by the chills and fever contracted in 1864 on the James River; and his rheumatism was caused by the breaking of his wrist.

On August 19, 1892, Dr. A. B. Barnes made a Physician's Affidavit to support Sparks's claim. He said that he had treated Sparks for acute inflammation of his right knee which was so severe that Sparks was unable to do any manual labor. Dr. Barnes said that he had been a physician for twenty-one years.

George W. Sparks was issued Invalid Certificate No. 777,943, and he was placed upon the pension roll.

On November 30, 1907 , he applied for increased pension benefits under the provisions of the 1907 Act of Congress. He was now 62 years of age and a resident of Hennessey, Kingfisher County, Oklahoma. He repeated his military service and said that at the time of his enlistment, he had been 5 feet, 10 inches tall; he had grey eyes; light hair and a fair complexion; and he was a farmer. He had been born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, on November 6, 1845. He said he had left Mansfield, Ohio, in October 1869 and had gone to Trenton, Missouri, where he lived until March 1901. At that time, he went to Hennessey, Oklahoma, where he had lived ever since. J. H. Elliott and F. S. Cashion witnessed his signature, and the application was sworn to before H. E. Van Trees, a notary public.

Sparks's birthdate was confirmed on March 7, 1908, by H. E. Van Trees, a notary public, who stated that he had examined an old family Bible belonging to Mahlon Sparks, father of George W. Sparks, and had found an entry stating that George W. Sparks had been born November 6, 1845. The writing of the entry was the same as the other entries, and there had been no erasures or changes. The Bible had been printed by the American Bible Society in 1842.

On April 5, 1915, Sparks answered a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said he had been married to Orpha Amelia Scranton on December 29, 1869, at Trenton, Missouri, by the Rev. Lockhart. Two children had been born to that marriage. Minnie Sparks was born April 9, 1871, and Mary Ione Sparks was born December 26, 1873. Orpha Sparks had died on April 3, 1898, and he had married, second, Olive Bender on May 19, 1903. No children had been born to this marriage, and Olive Sparks was now (1915) deceased.

On February 14, 1916, George W. Sparks called attention to the fact that he was now 70 years of age, and was entitled to an increase in his pension. He was now back in Trenton, Missouri. The Commissioner of Pensions responded on March 21, 1916, that Sparks's pension had been increased to $18.00 per month.

On February 24, 1932, Dr. Wm. A. Fuson, of Trenton, Missouri, notified the Bureau of Pensions that George W. Sparks now required the constant services of an attendant to dress, bathe, and further attend him.

George W. Sparks died on November 2, 1933. He was receiving a pension of $90.00 per month at that time.

(Editor's Note: An abstract of the military service of George W. Sparks was published on page 671 of the September 1962 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 39. A record of him in his parents' family as listed on the 1850 census appears on page 1,956 of the December 1977 issue of the Quarterly. See also the present issue of the Quarterly, page 2,976.)

HENRY HARRISON SPARKS, son of Mahlon and Mary Catherine (Clingerman) Sparks, was born February 13, 1841, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. He married Mary E. Miller on February 14, 1861, in Richland County, Ohio. He served in Company A, 64th Regiment Ohio Infantry. File designat- ions: Inv. Cert. No. 240,170; Wid. Cert. No. 757,022.

On June 24, 1872, Henry H. Sparks, aged 31, a resident of Nashville, Michigan, applied for an Invalid Pension. He said he had enlisted at Mansfield, Ohio, on October 1, 1861, in Company A, commanded by Capt. McElwain, of the 6th Regiment Ohio Infantry, commanded by Col. Forsythe, and had served until he was discharged on December 3, 1865, at Columbus, Ohio. On or about October 15, 1864, he was injured in his left eye by cinders from a railroad engine. He had never fully recovered from the injury which was now so critical that he was practically blind in that eye. In addition, his right eye was sympathetically affected so that now he was unable to practice his trade as a blacksmith. He appointed Francis Sutton, Washington, D. C., as his attorney.

The Adjutant General's Office confirmed Sparks's military service on September 3, 1872, just as Sparks had stated it in his application. He had served two enlistments, re-enlisting on January 27, 1864, as a veteran in Capt. Bittinger's Company of the 64th Regiment Ohio Infantry and had served until he was mustered out on December 3, 1865, with the rank of corporal. No record of an eye injury was on his muster roll.

On April 29, 1878, Dr. Charles C. Linsley, Burnips, Michigan, testified that he had treated H. M. Sparks for eleven years for a partial loss of his vision in his left eye. A few months later, the Adjutant General's Office again denied that it could find any evidence of any disability on the military record of Henry Sparks.

On May 26, 1879, Dr. William H. Young, Nashville, Michigan, made an affidavit that he had treated H. H. Sparks for several years for a severe conjunctivitis of the left eye. The eyelid was thickly studded with chronic granulations which caused an acute inflamation of the eye and impaired Sparks's vision so that he could not perform work of any kind.

Invalid Certificate No. 240,270 was issued to Henry H. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll on December 26, 1884.

On June 4, 1898, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said that he had been married to Mary E. Miller on February 14, 1861, at Mansfield, Ohio, by Squire Joseph Hastings. It was the first marriage for both. They had six children

Catherine Matilda Sparks, born August 19, 1862
Philip H. Sheridan Sparks, born November 2, 1864
Bertie B. Sparks, born July 30, 1869
Albert Lorenzo Sparks, born November 29, 1874
Nelly Sparks, born May 28, 1879
Ella Sparks, born May 28, 1879

On February 14, 1911, Henry Sparks, now 70 years of age, made a declaration for increased pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He said he had been born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, on February 13, 1841. At the time of his enlistment, he had been 5 feet, 7 inches tall; he had a light complexion, brown hair and brown eyes, and he was a blacksmith. After leaving the service, he had lived in Ohio for two years, but in May 1867, he had moved to Barry County, Michigan, where he had lived ever since. Lester Webb and William S. Adkins witnessed his signature, and the declaration was sworn to before William N. Devine, a justice of the peace.

When Henry H. Sparks died on 3 February 1913, he was receiving $25.00 per month. The Certificate of Death gave his full name as Henry Harrison Sparks and said that his father was Mahlon Sparks. The name of his mother was not known. He was a postmaster.

On February 18, 1913, Mary E. Sparks, aged 72, applied for a Widow's Pension. She said that she and Henry Sparks had been married on February 14, 1861, in Richland County, Ohio. She appointed Charles M. Mack, Hastings, Michigan, as her attorney, and the declaration was witnessed by Bert Sparks and Ellen Sparks.

Mary E. Sparks was issued Widow Certificate No. 757,022, and she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $12. 00 per month. On July 16, 1917, the Commissioner of Pensions was notified that Mrs. Sparks had been dropped from the pension roll because of "failure to claim payment. "

(Editor's Note: For further information regarding Henry Harrison Sparks and his family, see the present issue of the Quarterly, beginning on page 2976.)

JOHN M. SPARKS, son of Mahlon and Catherine (Clingerman) Sparks, was born ca. 1843 in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. He married Artia Cirena Lindsey on April 27, 1865, in Richland County, Ohio. He served in the 12th Battery Ohio Light Artillery. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 944,710; Wid. Cert. No. 570,251.

On November 13, 1891, John M. Sparks, aged 48, a resident of Avalon, Missouri, applied for an Invalid Pension. He stated that he was enrolled on June 8, 1861, in the 12th Battery Ohio Light Artillery and had served until he had been discharged on June 25, 1864, at Columbus, Ohio. He was now unable to earn his support because of general and nervous debility brought on by his military service. He appointed H. D. McKnight, Avalon, Missouri, as his attorney. James M. Price and W. H. Craig witnessed his signature.

On January 22, 1892, the War Department confirmed Sparks's military service just as he had stated it to be. He was placed upon the pension roll under Invalid Certificate No. 944,710.

Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on May 4, 1898. He said he had been married to Miss A. C. Lindsey on April 27, 1865, by the Rev. J. C. Bright in Richland County, Ohio. They had two children: James E. Sparks, born October 23, 1866, and Zoa O. Sparks, born December 13, 1870.

John M. Sparks died on September 11, 1903, and on September 29, 1903, his widow, A. C. Sparks, aged 59, applied for a Widow's Pension. She said that she and Sparks had been married on April 17, 1865, in Richland County, Ohio, by J. C. Bright, M. G. It was the first marriage for both of them. They had no children under the age of sixteen in 1903. C. E. Eastman and J. W. Price witnessed her signature.

Several affidavits were made in November 1903 to support the claim of Mrs. Sparks. On November 10th, her brother, C. W. Lindsey, testified that he had been present at her marriage to John M. Sparks which had taken place on April 27, 1865, at her father's house. On November 16th, R. S. Naynes swore that she helped nurse John M. Sparks during his last illness. On the same day, Dr. R. E. Chaffin stated that he had treated John M. Sparks during his last illness and that he had died on September 11, 1903. J. L. Brooks, Assessor for Livingston County, Missouri, said that John M. Sparks had left only a small amount of property including two lots in Avalon, Missouri, worth about $160, and that Mrs. Sparks would have to work to support herself.

On March 22, 1904, Mrs. Sparks advised the Commissioner of Pensions that her full name was Artia Cirena Sparks.

Widow Certificate No. 570,251 was issued to Artia C. Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died on August 12, 1917, she was receiving a pension of $20.00 per month.

(Editor's note: A record of John M. Sparks's parentage and family appears in the present issue of the Quarterly, beginning on page 2976.)

WESLEY WILLIAM SPARKS, son of Mahlon and Mary Catherine (Clingerman) Sparks, was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, on May 6, 1839, and he died in Clarinda, Iowa, on May 20, 1926. He married Lucina Lindley at Mansfield, Ohio, on April 11, 1861. He served in Company C, 163rd Regiment Ohio Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 1,020,167.

On July 17, 1899, Wesley W. Sparks, aged 60, a resident of Darlington, Gentry County, Missouri, made application for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enrolled as a sergeant in Company C, 163rd Regiment Ohio Volunteers on May 2, 1864, and was discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio, on September 10, 1864. He was now unable to earn his support because of a blow on the side of his head which had caused him to have defective vision and continual headaches. He appointed Joseph H. Hunter of Washington, D. C., as his attorney.

The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on August 8, 1899. He had enrolled as a sergeant on May 2, 1864, in Company C, 163rd Regiment Ohio Infantry and had been mustered out on September 10, 1864. He had been treated medically on July 5-6, July 11-14, and July 17-18, 1864, for diarrhea. His records showed that he had been born in Bedford, Pennsylvania. He had a fair complexion, light hair, and black eyes when he enlisted, and he was then 5 feet, 11½ inches tall; and he was a blacksmith by occupation.

Three affidavaits were made on November 24, 1899, to support Sparks's application. William Stubbins, aged 57; Charles E. Butler, aged 46; and Joseph Wagner, aged 52, all neighbors of Wesley Sparks, swore that they had known Sparks about ten years and knew that he had defective vision caused by a blow to the side of his head in 1896 which had rendered him unfit for manual labor.

In December 1899, Samuel Stinson, aged 65, and O . C. Arnold, aged 68, both residents of Stansberry, Missouri, testified that Sparks was an honest, sober, and peaceful citizen with good habits.

On January 13, 1900, Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said he had been married to Lucina Lindley on April 11, 1861, at Mansfield, Ohio, by the Rev. S. Fenner. They had four children, the first three born in Ohio, while the last had been born in Missouri. They were:

1. Charles E. Sparks, born March 23, 1863
2. William A. Sparks, born September 1, 1865
3. Edgar N. Sparks, born July 9, 1867
4. Roy L. Sparks, born June 26, 1872

On January 22, 1901, Sparks made an affidavit that he had injured his eyes in December 1895, by getting emery dust thrown into them while grinding a piece of steel, and that he had been totally blind for some time, but now had partial vision. He also stated that he had received a permanent disability to his head on April 10, 1896, while working on a steam hammer used with well augers.

The Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 1,102 ,167 , and Wesley W. Sparks was placed on the pension roll at the rate of $6.00 per month.

On October 7, 1914, Sparks applied for an increase in his pension benefits. He said that he was now 75 years of age, having been born May 6, 1839. He was now a resident of Clarinda, Page County, Iowa. He was receiving a pension of $18.00 per month.

On October 27, 1914, the Bureau of Pensions asked him to furnish proof of his date of birth. Sparks responded that he knew of no public or church record and that both of his parents had been dead for many years. He did not know where the old family Bible was which had contained a record of his birth.

When Wesley W. Sparks died on May 20, 1926, he was receiving a pension of $72.00 per month.

(Editor's Note: A summary of the military service of Wesley W. Sparks was published in the September 1962 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 39. A record of Wesley William Sparks's parentage and family appears on page 2976 of the present issue of the Quarterly.)

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