April 4, 2018

Pages 3163-3172
Whole Number 140

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.)

WILLIAM R. SPARKS, son of William and Rachel Ann Sparks, was born ca. 1829 in Scott County, Indiana. He married Elizabeth Williams on March 3, 1853, in Jefferson County, Indiana. He served in Company K, 66th Regiment Indiana Infantry and died while in the service on October 9, 1863. File Designations: Wid. Cert. No. 22,452; Minor Cert. No. 108,892.

On January 14, 1864, Elizabeth Sparks, aged 29, a resident of Jennings Township, Scott County, Indiana, applied for a Widow's Pension. She stated that her late husband, William R. Sparks, had enlisted on August 1, 1862, in Company K, commanded by Capt. Abraham H. Campbell, of the 66th Regiment Indiana Infantry and had died in the Regimental Hospital on October 9, 1863, at Colliersville, Tennessee. She had been married to Sparks on March 3, 1853, under her maiden name of Elizabeth Williams. They had five children under the age of sixteen at the time of her application:

Melvina Sparks, born December 27, 1853
Henry Sparks, born October 23, 1855
William H. Sparks, born November 7, 1857
James M. Sparks, born April 24, 1860
Lizabell Sparks, born December 24, 1861

Mrs. Sparks appointed the firm of Jewett & Clark, Lexington, Indiana, as her attorneys, and her application was sworn to before Jessamine G. W. Traylor, Clerk of the Scott County, Indiana, Court. Witnesses were Matthew Henning and John T. Mitchell.

According to a record prepared on December 28, 1863, by the Jefferson County, Indiana, Clerk, David G. Phillips, William R. Sparks and Elizabeth Williams had been married on March 3, 1853, by James R. Swincher.

On January 30, 1864, the Adjutant General's Office confirmed the military service of William R. Sparks. He had been enrolled on August 11, 1862, at Austin, Indiana, as a private in Company K, 66th Regiment Indiana Volunteers to serve for three years. He was mustered into service on August 19, 1862, at New Albany, Indiana, and was present for duty until October 1863 when he was reproted as having "Died October 9, 1863, of lung fever in the Regimental Hospital at Colliersville, Tennessee."

Widow Certificate No. 22, 452 was issued to Elizabeth Sparks on May 30, 1864; however, her attorneys, Jewett & Clark, claimed that they never received it. In the meantime, Mrs. Sparks had married Jonathan Snow on April 10, 1864, in Scott County, Indiana. He apparently died (or they were divorced) shortly thereafter for on July 30, 1866, she married Jonathan Cole. These marriages made her ineligible to receive a military pension based on the service of William R. Sparks.

On October 5, 1866, Elizabeth Cole (she signed her affidavit as Elizabeth Sparks) appointed Walter S. Roberts as her attorney to replace the firm of Jewett & Clark. Shortly thereafter, Wallace Farris was appointed the guardian of the five Sparks children, and on April 29, 1867, he applied for pension benefits for his wards. Accompanying his application were affidavits from Dr. Dexter McClure and Dr. William D. Hutchings that they had been present when the Sparks children had been born.

On February 18, 1868, T. C. Clark, Examiner for the Pension Office, certified that a Minor's Pension Certificate, No. 108,892, should be issued to the five Sparks children increasing their individual pensions from $8.00 to $10.00 per month and should be paid until each child had reached his or her 16th birthday.

(Editor's Note: William R. Sparks was, we believe, a son of William and Rachel Ann Sparks and a grandson of Walter and Phoebe Sparks, subjects of the main article in the present issue of the Quarterly. See page 3242.)

HENRY M. SPARKS, son of Zachariah and Mary Rebecca (Daugherty) Sparks, was born ca. 1844 in Clark County, Indiana. He served in Company F, 4th Regiment Iowa Cavalry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 335,974.

On October 21, 1885, Henry M. Sparks, aged 42, a resident of Eddyville, Iowa, applied for an Invalid Pension. He stated that he had enlisted on September 4, 1862, as a private in Company F, commanded by Capt. E. F. Winslow, of the 4th Regiment Iowa Cavalry, and that he had served until he was discharged at Davenport, Iowa, on August 8, 1865. He had been 5 feet, 9 inches tall at the time of his enlistment, with a light complexion, brown hair, and gray eyes; and he was a farmer. During the summer of 1863, while stationed at Vicksburg, Mississippi, he had contracted chronic asthma because of exposure to the weather. He had re-enlisted as a veteran in February 1864. He appointed George E. Lemon, Washington, D. C., as his attorney. J. F. Oliver and P. J. Franzen witnessed his signature.

On January 27, 1886, John Ryan testified that he had served with Henry Sparks near Clear Creek, Mississippi, in the fall of 1863 when Sparks had been taken sick with phthisis.

The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on May 17, 1886. He had been enrolled in Company F, 4th Regiment Iowa Cavalry on September 4, 1862, in Wapello County, Iowa, to serve for three years. He was present for duty until he had been mustered out with his company on August 8, 1865, at Atlanta, Georgia.

In July 1886, W. A. Edwards, aged 42, a resident of Eddyville, Iowa, wrote the following letter to the Commissioner of Pensions:

Mr. Black in reply will say I new Mr. Henry Sparks sinse 1865. He did complane the winter of sixty five and most of the sumer, so he was not able to work and the years of 67 and 68, I did run a haypress for W. N. Stirgus and Sparks did work with me. He was complaning all the time and coffing and would haft to quit some days and lay off or change off with some of the boys and get a light job that he could stand. I do not think he could or did make more than half time while he worked for me. He has gotten worse as he has grown older.


                                                                              [signed] W. A. Edwards

On July 19, 1886, J. B. Mummert, aged 45, a resident of Eddyville, Iowa, gave the same kind of testimony to support the claim of Henry M. Sparks. Invalid Certificate No. 335,974 was issued to him and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month.

On July 18, 1888, Sparks applied for an increase in his pension because of increasing disability. He was now 44 years of age and weighed only 137 pounds. The examining physicians concurred that he was entitled to a 10/18 rating for his asthmatic problem, and his pension was increased to $10.00 per month.

Sparks's physical condition continued to deteriorate, and on March 23, 1906, his doctor, Dr. F. M. McCrea, stated that he was now completely helpless and required the constant attention of a nurse. When he died the following month, he was receiving $17.00 per month.

(Editor's Note: Henry M. Sparks was a son of Zachariah and Mary Rebecca [Daugherty] Sparks. A sketch of the life of Zachariah Sparks appears on page 3141 of the present issue of the Quarterly. As noted there, we believe that Zachariah was a son of William and Rachel Ann Sparks and thus a grandson of Walter Sparks, the subject of the principal article in the present Quarterly. When the 1860 census was taken of Wapello County, Iowa, Zachariah Sparks was listed with his wife and four children: Henry M. Sparks, age 16; Mary E. Sparks, age 13; Martha A. Sparks, age 11; and Richard Sparks, age 6.)

GEORGE WILLIAM GRIFFEY SPARKS,  son of Ezra and Catherine (Griffey) Sparks, was born ca. 1820 in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He married Sarah Hodges on April 7, 1842, in Vigo County, Indiana. He served in Company C, 11th Regiment Indiana Volunteers. File Designation: Wid. Cert. No. 281,000.

On February 26, 1887, Sarah Sparks, age 60, a resident of Graysville, Indiana, appeared before Merrill F. Smith, Clerk of the Vigo County Circuit Court, to make an application for a widow's pension. She stated that she was the widow of George W. Sparks who had enlisted at Terre Haute, Indiana, on March 8, 1865, in Company C, 11th Regiment Veteran Infantry and had served until he was discharged on July 26, 1865. Her husband died on April 25, 1880, from an injury which he had received while in the service and which had caused a massive congestion in his lungs and heart. She and Sparks had been married on April 7, 1842. Only two children of this marriage were still under sixteen at the time of her husband's death: Martha F. Sparks, born July 14, 1864, and Sarah C. Sparks, born December 1, 1867. She appointed Svale & Grimes of Terre Haute, Indiana, as her attorneys. James Dailey and David E. Svale witnessed her sign her name as "Sallie Sparks."

On April 19, 1890, Sarah Sparks filed an additional deposition. She was then 63 years old and lived about six miles southeast of Terre Haute, Indiana. She stated that she had lived at the same place since her marriage in 1842. Her husband had died from a tumor of a testicle which was caused by an injury while riding a fractious horse. Ultimately the tumor had been removed, but after the operation he went down-hill physically as the result of a severe caugh. Mrs. Sparks said that all of her husband's people had been healthy, and none of them had had consumption. His mother had died from a cancer. Mrs. Sparks said that she and her husband had had ten children, but only seven of them were living when he died. Their daughter, Barbara, wife of Charles Bowlinger, died three weeks after her father's death.

Other affidavits abstracted from the pension file of George W. G. Sparks include the following:

July 6, 1889. Hardin H. Sparks, age 34, Terre Haute. From personal knowledge he knew that Martha F. and Sarah C., children of George W. and Sarah Sparks, are still living and attained the age of sixteen years.

January 15, 1889. Caroline Shelf, 56, Glenn, Indiana. Sister of Mrs. Sarah Sparks. She was present when Martha F. Sparks was born July 14, 1864.

January 18, 1889. Amanda McMurtrie, 56, Terre Haute. She was present when Sarah C. Sparks was born December 1, 1867.

January 11, 1889. Samuel Baker, Kansas, Illinois. He had been a comrade of George W. Sparks and well remembered when Sparks was riding a horse at Parkersburg, West Virginia, in July 1865, and the horse reared and threw Sparks to the ground. Sparks was helpless and complained of severe pain in his testicles caused by bruising them on the horn of the saddle.

June 5, 1889. David E. Swalls, 60, Terre Haute. He had been a comrade of Sparks and had been present when Sparks was ordered by Col. Darnell to mount his horse and give it exercise. Sparks obeyed and as a result was thrown and received a painful injury.

April 26, 1890. John J. Ferrel, 68, Terre Haute. A neighbor of the Sparks family, he also testified regarding the injury.

Others who testified were: Daniel Chapman, 50, Terre Haute; Benjamin Beddow, 55, Terre Haute; Moody C. Ripley, 40, Terre Haute; and William Ripley, Havana, Kansas.

Widow's Certificate No. 281,000 was issued to Sarah Sparks and a pension of $8.00 per month was authorized retroactive to April 25, 1880. An increase in her pension to $12.00 per month was approved commencing March 19, 1886.

(Editor's Note: George William Griffey Sparks was a son of Ezra and Catherine (Griffey) Sparks; he was a grandson of Walter Sparks whose life and family constitute the principal article in the present issue of the Quarterly. See page 3149 for further information regarding George W. G. Sparks.)

JOHN EZRA SPARKS, son of George and Sarah (Hodges) Sparks, was born March 19, 1844, in Louisville, Kentucky. He married (first) Malissa Soule on March 31, 1868, in Vigo County, Indiana. He married (second) Kelly Cox. He served in Company B, 6th Regiment Indiana Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 861,235; Wid. Cert. No. 815,154.

On September 19, 1892, John E. Sparks, aged 48, a resident of Delaware, Kentucky, applied for an invalid pension. He made his application while at Terre Haute, Indiana. He stated that he had been enrolled on August 1, 1862, as a drummer in Company B, 6th Regiment Indiana Cavalry and had served until he was mustered out with his company on June 17, 1865, at Pulaski, Tennessee. He was now unable to earn his support because of chronic diarrhea and piles contracted while in the service. He had also broken his leg on July 29, 1890, in three places while cutting timber. He appointed Soale & Grimes, Terre Haute, Indiana, as his attorneys. He gave his post office as Delaware, Daviess County, Kentucky. Ezra Davy and Charles Lewis, both of Terre Haute, witnessed his signature.

The War Department confirmed S.parks's military service on July 20, 1893. He had been enrolled as a musician on August 1, 1862, in Company B, 6th Regiment Indiana Cavalry (also known as the 71st Regiment Indiana Infantry) and had served until he was mustered out with his company on June 17, 1865. He was hospitalized at Cartersville, Georgia, in June 1864. He was given a sick furlough in October 1864. He was captured at Richmond, Kentucky, on August 30, 1862, but was paroled on September 1, 1862.

Invalid Certificate No. 861,235 was issued to John E. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll. On February 27, 1907, he applied for additional pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He was now 62 years of age, and a resident of Henderson, Kentucky. He said he had been 5 feet, 6 inches tall when he entered the Union Army, that he had a fair complexion, light hair, and grey eyes; and he was a farmer. He had been born March 19, 1844, at Louisville, Kentucky. Since leaving the service, he had lived at Terre Haute, Indiana, for two years, but the balance of the time he had lived in and around Henderson County, Kentucky.

On August 18, 1914, the pension of John E. Sparks was increased to $24 per month, and it was scheduled to increase to $30 per month on March 19, 1919.

On September 10, 1915, M. H. Peters, Governor of the Danville [Illinois] Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions that John E. Sparks had been admitted to that home from Henderson, Kentucky, on February 4, 1906. He was then a widower and had four children. He named his brother, Hardin Sparks, Terre Haute, Indiana, as his next of kin. He was discharged at his own request on May 12, 1914, but was re-admitted on June 24, 1914. He was given a discharge again on June 17, 1915. Governor Peters went on to state that the name of John Davis did not appear on the records of the Danville Home.

The War Department responded to a request from the Bureau of Pensions on February 18, 1916. Records of John E. Sparks indicated that he had been 18 years of age when he enlisted in Company B, 6th Regiment Indiana Cavalry. He was 5 feet, 7½ inches tall; he had a light complexion, light hair, and grey eyes; and he was a farmer. He did not appear on any records as John Davis.

Two letters, written in the early part of 1916 by Miss Sudie P. Tuell of Henderson County, Kentucky, who was attorney for Mrs. Kelly C. Davis, widow of John E. Sparks, alias John Davis, give some insight into the private life of John E. Sparks.

These letters were written by Miss Tuell to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington, D. C. The first was written on February 28, 1916, and reads as follows.

In response to your letter of the 16th, inst., we enclosed the original certificate of discharge for the above described soldier, John E. Sparks, and a certified copy of the decree of divorce of his first wife, Malissa Sparks, sent by the Vigo County, Indiana Clerk. ... The fact that the Indiana Court ordered John Sparks not to marry until two years after his divorce does not affect the legality of his marriage before that time in another state.

The second letter, also written by Miss Tuell, probably sometime in April 1916, sheds additional light upon the first letter. It reads as follows.

Enclosed is the affidavit of Mrs. Kelly Cox Davis in her claim entitled Widow Original No. 1,051,748, as widow of John Davis, alias John E. Sparks, Co. B, 6th Regt. Ind. Cavalry, Certificate No. 861,135. This is sent in response to your letter of the 25th, ult., postmarked three days later. Mrs. Davis could not come to sign it until last night. She has not the money to spare to send anyone to Terre Haute, Ind. to obtain further evidence in her case, and as the remaining members of the Sparks family there flatly refuse to give further information, it remains for you to devise some way to provide what more is needed. Several weeks ago, one of the Sparks boys in Terre Haute wrote to one of the Davis boys in Henderson, "Don't write over here for any more information because you are not going to get it. So there is no use to write." There's quite a bunch of persons there who could testify relative to John E. Sparks - his two sisters, Mrs. Allie Ripley and Mrs. Frank Burk; one or two of his brothers; his first wife, now a Mrs. Miller; and at least one brother of the latter, a Mr. Soule. I suppose the court records in Terre Haute would show what criminal charge is against John E. Sparks. It is said that his father made good the amount he forged, but did not know for years where his son had gone. Please inform me as soon as possible what further steps are to be taken in this case.

                                                                               Respectfully,
                                                                               [signed] Miss Sudie P. Tuell
                                                                               Attorney for the Claimant.

Widow Certificate No. 815,154 was issued to Kelly Cox Davis, and she was place upon the pension roll.

As has been noted in previously published abstracts of Civil War pension papers, only those papers in each file judged to be of genealogical significance, usually limited to ten such papers, are provided by the National Archives for the $5.00 fee required. It is possible to obtain copies of all of the papers in a given file for an additional fee, but we have not done so in this instance. The last document (in chronological order) sent us from the file of John E. Sparks is an envelope returned to the Treasury Department's Division of Disbursement, on which was scrawled, "Died 11-21-1937." This date is probably the date of the death of Mrs. Davis.

(Editor's Note: John E. Sparks was a son of George W. G. and Sarah (Hodges ) Sparks. A biographical sketch of George W. G. Sparks appears on page 3149 of the present issue of the Quarterly. George W. G. Sparks also served in the Union Army in the Civil War and an abstract of his pension papers appears on pages 3166-7. It is apparent from the information given above that John Ezra Sparks was also known as John Davis.)

ISAAC H. SPARKS son of Ezra and Catherine (Griffey) Sparks, was born June 14, 1844, in Vigo County, Indiana. He served in Company A, 54th Regiment Illinois Infantry. He married (first) Nancy J. Scott on March 28, 1869; (second) Barbara Grisamore; and (third) Elizabeth Dressler. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 802,909.

On January 31, 1889, Isaac Sparks appeared before a clerk of the Cumberland County [Illinois] Court to make application for a pension based on his service in the Civil War. He stated that he was 45 years old and a resident of near Toledo, Cumberland County. He stated: "I was enrolled into the service of the United States on the 4th day of March 1865 as a private, Co. A, 54 Regt. IL. Infty. Vols. commanded by Capt. Russell W. Williams and I was honorably discharged at Little Rock, Arkansas, on or about the 15th day of October 1865. My personal description at enrollment was as follows, age 20 years, hight 5 feet 11 inches, complexion dark, hair brown, eyes grey. That while a member of said organization in the service of the United States in the line of duty at or near Pine Bluff in the State of Arkansas on or about the 1st of July 1865 by reason of the exposure incident to the service and especially a new recruit being hurried South and at once put in the field and compelled to use slough and faul water often warm and covered with a green mass I contracted the chronic diarrhea and with it chills and fever causing at the time a general disability from which I have never recovered. I was not sent to the hospital but excused from doing duty and given medicine by E. A. Lee the Regimental Surgeon and allowed to lay in my tent partly at my own request as I knew the hospital was crowded and many were dying at the hospitals. I received treatment from the Regimental Surgeon all the time from the time I was taken in July 1865 until discharged in October AD 1865 the date I was discharged. Ever since I came out of the service I have been occasionally troubled with chronic diarrhea and lung trouble and weak back and broken down generally and often unable to perform manual labor."

He added that he had been a farmer in Cumberland County, Illinois, ever since he left the service, but that he was now (1889) about half disabled. He appointed D. B. Green of Toledo, Illinois, as his attorney. George Moreland, aged 68, and Martin Shup, aged 50, of Cumberland County signed as witnesses.

Along with Sparks's application, Jasper N. Kilman of Cumberland County, aged 47, supplied a sworn statement that he had also served in Company A of the 54th Regiment Illinois Infantry and had known Isaac Sparks well. He stated that Isaac had suffered from "diareah" during his whole term of service and that he "grew weaker and weaker." He said he had seen Sparks frequently since the war "and the said complaint has been preying on him ever since."

In February 1891, three other sworn statements by neighbors testifying to his poor health were submitted in support of Sparks's application. These were written by William P. Jackson, age 45; Martin Hinshaw, age 63; and John W. Hodge, age 45.

Apparently the Bureau of Pensions was not satisfied with the proof that Isaac's illness had been continuous since the War, and on January 22, 1892, he filled out a questionnaire explaining that the doctors who had treated him were dead and that the Regimental Surgeon, Dr. E. A. Lee "says he treated so many recruits and it has been so long ... that he cant remember about my case." He also stated that he "had a Brother and another Sparks in the same Co. & Regt. and we was all recruits [word illegible] the War was about ended when we was all taken sick down in the sloughs of the state of Arkansas and there were but five officers with us and those five had got us mixed up in their minds as to our sickness and diseases so that I cannot get any affidavit as to my case. All of us were sick." (The brother to whom he referred was Bateman Sparks.)

On February 9, 1895, Isaac Sparks's application was approved, at the rate of $8.00 per month retroactive to September 1890.

On January 15, 1898, the Bureau of Pensions asked Isaac Sparks to indicate his wife's name. He reported: "Nancy J. Sparks, formerly Scott," and that they had been married in 1869 in Cumberland County, Illinois.

In 1912, Isaac Sparks's pension was increased to $15 per month. As the years passed, the pension laws changed and in 1914 his pension was raised to $19 and in 1919 to $22.50.

On March 8, 1915, Isaac Sparks filled out a questionnaire that was sent to all pensioners then living by the Bureau of Pensions. In response, Isaac Sparks stated that he had been born June 14, 1844, in Vigo County, Illinois. He stated that he had been married to Nancy J. Scott on March 28, 1869, in Toledo, Illinois, and that she had died on February 25, 1909. He then married Barbara Grisamore, widow of John Grisamore, and she died November 10, 1911. He then married Elizabeth Dressler, widow of James Dressler, and she died on January 27, 1915. He listed his children (all borne by Nancy J. [Scott] Sparks) as:

Cora E. Sparks, born March 26, 1870; died April 2, 1908
William Sparks, born September 1872; died about 1873
Hannah Sparks, born October 1874; died about December 1875
Ida Sparks, born October 1876; died about November 1880
Ura Sparks, born September 1878; died about February 1879
Charles Sparks, born December 1880; died in October 1881

Isaac Sparks added that Cora, his only child to survive infancy, "married Richard Richardson and left him surviving and five children all living, viz, Ovie, Effie, Fern, Myra, and Raymond.

On January 5, 1918, the postmaster at Toledo, Illinois, returned to the Bureau of Pensions Isaac Sparks's last check with the note: "Isaac Sparks died October 7, 1917."

(Editor's Note: Isaac H. Sparks was the son of Ezra and Catherine (Griffey) Sparks and a grandson of Walter and Phoebe Sparks. This family constitutes the feature article in the current Quarterly. See page 3154 for a biographical sketch of Isaac H. Sparks and page 3155 for a photograph of him with his wife and daughter, Cora. )


FRANCIS M. SPARKS, son of Leonard and Malinda (Love) Sparks, was born ca. 1841 in Indiana. He served in Company G, 43rd Regiment Indiana Infantry. File Designations: Mother's Cert. No. 230,999; Father's Appl. No. 735,603.

On January 16, 1880, Malinda Sparks, age 57, a resident of Arion, Cloud County, Kansas, made an application for a mother's pension. She stated that she was the wife of Leonard Sparks and the mother of Francis M. Sparks. Francis M. Sparks had enlisted in Company G, 43rd Regiment Indiana Infantry at Terre Haute, In diana, on September 20, 1861, and had died on May 12, 1864, of wounds received at Marks Mill, Arkansas, in the Battle of Citizens House on April 25, 1864. She said her son had not married, and that she was almost wholly dependent upon him, since her husband, who was 59 years of age, was unable to work because of inflamatory rheumatism.

Mrs. Sparks went on to state that her son had left the following brothers and sisters who were under the age of sixteen at the time of his death: Nancy V. Sparks, Lyman C. Sparks, Mary Ellen Sparks, Lucinda I. Sparks, Sarah Elizabeth Sparks, and Israel L. Sparks.

Mrs. Sparks appointed Daniel L. Brown as her attorney. Emory Shafer and Henry Weitzel attested to her application, and William J. Winters and Ayers H. Winters witnessed her make her mark. The application was sworn to before C. F. Hastetter, District Court Clerk.

The application of Mrs. Sparks was accompanied by two affidavits made on January 23, 1880, by William J. Winters and Ayers L. Winters. Both men said they were close neighbors of the Sparks family and knew that Leonard Sparks was in poor and needy circumstances as well as in feeble health. They also said that Malinda Sparks was almost totally blind and in poor health. Both Leonard and Malinda were incapable of earning a living.

On April 24, 1880, Permelia J. Winters, a resident of Cloud County, Kansas, made a general affidavit to support Mrs. Sparks's application. She stated that she had been present at the home of her father, Israel Love, in Owen County, Indiana, when Francis M. Sparks came home on a furlough in August 1863. Francis had visited her father and had told him that he had just bought a horse for his parents and that he had sent money home to them and intended to continue to care for them.

On the same day, Nancy V. Fowler, a resident of Cloud County, Kansas, and a daughter of Mrs. Malinda Sparks (and a sister of Francis M. Sparks), made an affidavit in which she stated that when her brother enlisted in the military service, the family lived in Cumberland County, Illinois. Her brother sent money to the family all the time he was in the service, and he re-enlisted solely to get the additional bounty money for his parents.

Nancy J. Seasholts, of Coal City, Indiana, made a similar affidavit on September 15, 1880. She stated that when Francis M. Sparks was home on a furlough, he told her that if it was not for his parents, he would get a discharge, but that he thought he could help them more by staying in the service.

Apparently no pension was issued to Mrs. Sparks on the basis of her first application, for on March 16, 1882, she made another request for a mother's pension. She stated that in 1863 she had resided at Majority Point, Cumberland County, Illinois. She continued to live there until September 1865 when she moved to Point Commerce, Greene County, Indiana, where she stayed until March 1, 1869, and then she moved to Stockton, Owen County, Indiana. She lived at Stockton until the fall of 1877 when she moved to Cameron, Clinton County, Missouri, where she still resided. Mrs. Sparks said that in 1863 her children's names and ages were as follows:

Francis M. Sparks, 22 years old in 1863
Nancy V. Sparks, 18 years old in 1863
Lyman Sparks, 15 years old in 1863
Mary E. Sparks, 12 years old in 1863
Lucinda I. Sparks, 10 years old in 1863
Sarah E. Sparks, 7 years old in 1863
Israel L. Sparks, 3 years old in 1863

Malinda Sparks stated further that her son, Francis M. Sparks, had sent her $200 during 1862 and 1863. She also received his bounty money which amounted to $400. She said that her husband never owned any land after 1863. He was now 63 years of age and unable to work, and she was dependent upon her friends to help her. David E. Cross and J. E. Cunningham attested to the affidavit which was sworn to before Hiram Smith, Jr., a notary public of Cameron, Missouri.

The military service of Francis M. Sparks was confirmed by the War Department on August 23, 1882. He had been enrolled on October 7, 1861, at Ashboro, Indiana, for three years and was present for duty until April 25, 1864, when he was reported as "wounded & Captured near Marks Mill, Arkansas." A subsequent report carried the following entry: "Died May 12, 1864, of severe wounds of the leg received on April 25, 1864."

Malinda Sparks was issued Mother's Certificate No., 230,999 and she was placed on the pension rolls. She died on January 21, 1901, at Cameron, Missouri.

On February 23, 1901, Leonard Sparks, age 80, a resident of Cameron, Missouri, made application for a father's pension. He stated that he had been married to Malinda Love on February 14, 1840, in Bartholomew County, Indiana, and that they had had a son, Francis M. Sparks, who was killed in the Civil War in May 1863. A pension had been issued to his wife, Malinda Sparks, under Mother's Certificate No. 230,999, but the pension had stopped at her death on January 21, 1901. Surviving brothers and sisters of Francis M. Sparks who were under the age of sixteen at Francis M. Sparks's death were:

Mary Ellen Sparks, born August 11, 1850 Lucinda I. Sparks, born April 8, 1853 Sarah Elizabeth Sparks, born January 13, 1855 Israel L. Sparks, born February 14, 1861

Leonard Sparks appointed Edward D. Cornish as his attorney. He apparently died before his application for a pension could be considered.

(Editor's Note: As is made clear in the above abstract, Francis M. Sparks was a son of Leonard and Malinda (Love) Sparks. We are quite certain that Leonard Sparks was a son of Elijah and Nianna (Duncan) Sparks, Elijah being a son of Walter and Phoebe Sparks to whose life and family much of the present issue of the Quarterly is devoted. See page 3140 for a reference to Leonard Sparks.)

top