Whole Number 146
[Editor's Note: Readers are referred to the Editor's Note appearing on page 3388 of the March 1989 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 145, for an explanation of these abstracts of pension records.]
|184.108.40.206.2.1.7 NELSON SPARKS,||son of 220.127.116.11.2.1 Levi and Sarah (Lyon) Sparks, was born ca. 1819 in North Carolina. He died on October 11, 1874, in Carter County, Kentucky. He married Margaret Mauk on March 16, 1843. He served in Company H, 22nd Regiment Kentucky Infantry. File Designation: Wid. Cert. No. 292,410.|
On August 8, 1890, Margaret Sparks, 70 years of age, and a resident of Gimlet, Elliott County, Kentucky, made an application for a Widow's Pension. She stated that her husband, Nelson Sparks, had enlisted as a private in Company H, 22nd Regiment Kentucky Infantry Volunteers on October 22, 1861, at Grayson, Kentucky, and was discharged in 1864. He died on October 11, 1874.She said she married Sparks under her maiden name of Margaret Mauk on March 16, 1843, in Carter County, Kentucky, by Daniel Carroll. She had not remarried since the death of her husband, nor did she have any children under the age of sixteen years. She appointed H. D. Phillips of Washington, D.C., as her attorney. Elizabeth Sparks and Ida E. Sparks witnessed her make her mark.
Margaret Sparks supported her claim by sending the Bureau of Pensions her husband's Certificate of Discharge which had been given to him on May 18, 1864, by Col. George W. Monroe. Sparks had enrolled in Company H, 22nd Regiment Kentucky Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Capt. Stephen Nethercutt, on Octo
ber 16, 1861, to serve for three years, and he was discharged at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by reason of disability. At the'time the certificate was issued, he was 45 years of age. He had been born in North Carolina; he was 5 feet, 11 inches tall; he had a fair complexion, black eyes, and dark hair; and he was a farmer by occupation. His mustering-out pay had been $228.05. Margaret Sparks also had the Clerk of Carter County, J. W. Thornton, send a copy of her marriage record to the Bureau of Pensions.
On January 15, 1891, William Rose, age 45, and James McFarland, age 31, both residents of Gimlet, Kentucky, made an affidavit that, being close neighbors of Nelson Sparks, they knew that when he died, he left two children under the age of sixteen, namely, Martha F. Sparks and George W. Sparks. F. M. Mauk and Jacob McDowell witnessed their signatures, and the affidavit was sworn to before J. E. Sparks, a notary public of Elliott County.
On January 21, 1891, Dr. J. H. Steele of Olive Hill, Carter County, Kentucky, made a physician's affidavit. He said that he had practiced medicine for 35 years and had been well acquainted with Nelson Sparks since 1856, and he knew that he was shot and killed on October 11, 1874, for he was present at his death. The affidavit was sworn to before C. M. Erwin, a notary public of Carter County.
The War Department confirmed the military service of Nelson Sparks on February 16, 1891, and the Bureau of Pensions issued Widow's Certificate No. 292,410 on May 21, 1891, to Margaret Sparks entitling her to a pension of $8.00 per month retroactive to August 28, 1890. She continued to receive the pension until her death on January 14, 1897.
(Editor's Note: Nelson Sparks was a grandson of John Sparks (1753-ca.1840) of Wilkes County, North Carolina. For data on Nelson Sparks and his family see the present issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 146, beginning on page 3396. See pp. 3433-34 for the pension papers of his son, Peter P. Sparks.)
|WILLIAM SPARKS,||son of Hugh and Rebecca (Purvis) Sparks, was born December 8, 1831, in Fayette County, Indiana. He married Sarah A. Knotts about 1850. He served in the 32nd Regiment Indiana Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 700,434.|
On October 1, 1890, William Sparks, aged 58, a resident of New Salem, Indiana, made a declaration for an Invalid Pension. He said he was drafted and enrolled on September 22, 1864, in an unassigned company of the 32nd Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry and was discharged on May 24, 1865, at Indianapolis, Indiana. At that time, he was 33 years of age; he was 5 feet, 11½ inches tall; and he had a dark complexion, black hair, and black eyes. While stationed at Indianapolis in March 1865, he contracted rheumatism from exposure to camp life which had resulted in damage to his heart and lungs. These disabilities now prevented him from obtaining his subsistence as a shoemaker and a farmer. He appointed David Morgan of Clarksburg, Indiana, as his attorney. H. D. Clark and Elmer E. Bohannon attested the declaration.
A joint affidavit was made on December 8, 1890, by Michael A. McDonald, aged 45, and Daniel Mitchell, aged 48, both residents of New Salem, Indiana, to support the claim of William Sparks. They stated that Sparks suffered from rheumatism and diseases of the heart and lungs to such an extent that he was unable to do any heavy manual labor.
The War Department confirmed the military service of William Sparks on February 20, 1891. He had been drafted on September 22, 1864, to serve in an unassigned company of the 32nd Regiment Indiana Volunteers and held the rank of private from that date until May 24, 1865. During that period, he was present for duty except as follows: "Provost-Marshal General records show him received at draft rendezvous, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 17, 1864, and deserted therefrom, November 7, 1864. He reported May 5, 1865, to the Provost Marshal of the 4th District, Indiana, under the President's Proclamation of March 11, 1865, and was returned to draft rendezvous at Indianapolis, Indiana, May 10, 1865. Other records furnish nothing additional bearing upon this case."
On March 18, 1891, Dr. Wm. S. Hargrove, a resident of New Salem, Indiana, made an affidavit to support the claim of William Sparks. He said that Sparks was a sober, frugal, and prudent man who had suffered for many years from a muscular rheumatism which affected the left side of his body and caused him constant pain. Hargrove wrote: "I have known him to go half-bent for weeks not being able to stand erect; that he suffering heart failure as a sequel. He is also afflicted with sore eyes, one eye being almost entirely blind which renders him unfit to follow his trade that of a shoemaker. I do not regard him as being a man who is able to do manual labor at all. "
The Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 700,434 to William Sparks on January 14, 1892, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $12.00 per month under the provisions of the 1890 Act of Congress.
William Sparks applied for an increase in his pension on May 3, 1907, under the 1907 Act of Congress. He was now 75 years of age and a resident of Rushville, Indiana. He said that he had been born on December 8, 1831, near Waterloo, in Fayette County, Indiana. Wallace Morgan and Hollie Mock witnessed his signature, and the declaration was sworn to before John M. Stevens, a notary public of Rush County, Indiana.
The application of William Sparks received a legal review on January 15, 1908, by B. H. Chapin, legal reviewer of the Bureau of Pensions. He recommended that Sparks be dropped from the pension rolls under the provisions of the 1890 Act of Congress. Acting upon this advice, on January 30, 1908, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Pensions wrote the following letter to Sparks:
You are informed that it is shown in a report from the records of the War Department on file in this bureau that you were drafted into the military service September 22, 1864; were received at Draft Rendezvous, Indianapolis, Ind. October 17, 1864, and deserted therefrom November 7, 1864. You reported May 5, 1865 to Provost Marshal, 4th District Indiana, under the President's Proclamation of March 11, 1865, and were returned to Draft Rendezvous at Indianapolis May 10, 1865. You were discharged May 24, 1865.
It thus appears that you did not render an actual service of ninety days, and as the Act of June 27, 1890, required an actual United States military or naval service of ninety days during the war of the rebellion, the further payment to you of pension thereunder would be contrary to law and the same will terminate.
Under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved December 21, 1893, you will be given thirty days from the receipt thereof in which to file any evidence that you may be able to obtain bearing upon the matter stated above. At the expiration of that time, unless the facts are shown not to be as herein set forth, you name will be dropped from the list of pensioners.
Apparently Sparks made no immediate attempt to furnish evidence or ask for a hearing on his case, and on February 29, 1908, B. H. Chapin, the legal reviewer, recommended the following:
Rejection on the ground of no title, soldier not having rendezvoused 90 days actual military service during the Civil War as required to give title under the 1907 Act of Congress. He having been in desertion from November 7, 1864 to May 5, 1865, as shown by reports from the records of the War Department.
On March 4, 1908, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Pensions recommended to the Department of Interior that the name of William Sparks be dropped from the pension rolls, and on March 7, 1908, the U.S. Pension Agent at Indianapolis, Indiana, dropped Sparks's name from that roll.
On April 10, 1908, William Sparks asked for a restoration of his pension. He said he had been unable to furnish the evidence asked for by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Pensions on January 30, 1908; however, he now had found one witness who could establish his service and disprove the claim that he had deserted. John Plough and James M. Gwinn attested to his declaration.
The next document (in chronological order) in the "selected papers" sent to us by the National Archives from the pension file of William Sparks is a letter, dated January 30, 1913, from Ben Sparks to the Military Secretary, Washington, D. C. The letter was written on a sheet of paper on which was printed the words, "United States Post Office," and was headed, Rushville, Indiana. Here is the text of the letter.
If you can, I would like to have the history of the case of the pension of Wm. Sparks, who was a member of the 32nd Inf. and drew a pension for disability for nearly seventeen years and all at once it was stopped.
His certificate was #700434 and he drew the last nearly five years ago. The old man would never allow any one to push the case saying that "it will come all right."
While Hon. James E. Watson was in Congress, he sent several papers by him to the Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions and has receipt for same dated April 27, 1908, but he never heard of these again. Anything you can find out for me will be greatly appreciated.
Trusting you can give this your attention, I am,Very Truly yours [signed] Ben Sparks
On February 28, 1913, J. L. Davenport, Commissioner of the Bureau of Pensions, responded to the letter from Ben Sparks, addressing it to William Sparks, as follows:
In response to the communication of Ben Sparks of the 30th ultimo, received the 3rd, instant, you are advised that your name was dropped from the rolls under the Act of June 27, 1890, and your claim under the Act of February 7, 1906, rejected on the ground of no title as you did not render ninety days' actual military service during the Civil War, as you were in desertion from November 7, 1864, to May 5, 1865, as shown by the report from the records of the War Department.
You have no title to pension under the Act of May 11, 1912, for the same reason.
(Editor's Note: For further details about the family of William Sparks, see the following issues of The Sparks Quarterly: December 1956, Whole No. 16; June 1960, Whole No. 30; June 1972, Whole No. 78; and March 1977, Whole No. 97.)
|EUROTUS F. SPARKS||was born ca. 1833, probably in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and was a son of Humphrey and Elsie (MNU) Sparks, natives of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, respectively. He married Martha J. Rogers on September 21, 1854, in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. He served in Company D, 106th Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 1,072,397; Wid. Appl. No. 471,405.|
On September 30, 1863, Eurotus F. Sparks, aged 30, a resident of Tioga County, Pennsylvania, applied for an Invalid Pension. He stated that he had enlisted at Canton, Pennsylvania, on August 26, 1861, as a private in Company D (commanded by Capt. S. H. Newman) 106th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and had served until January 1, 1862, when he was discharged because of a disability. His disability was caused by his accidentally cutting his right foot while chopping wood at Camp Poolesville near Rockville, Maryland, and had resulted in a permanent disability. He was now unable to earn his support as a farmer. He appointed Harvey, Collins, & Brace, Washington, D. C., as his attorneys. The declaration was sworn to before Theodore Hill, Clerk of the Orphans Court of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.
The military service of Eurotus Sparks was confirmed by the Adjutant General's Office on June 27, 1864. Sparks had enrolled on August 27, 1861, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Company D, 106th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry to serve for three years. On the Muster Roll of Jan-February 1862, he was reported as "Discharged January 1, 1862, Disability."
The application for a pension made by Eurotus Sparks in 1863 was apparently not approved, for on June 7, 1869, he made another declaration for an Invalid Army Pension. He was now 37 years of age, and a resident of Albia, Monroe County, Iowa. He re-affirmed his enrollment in Company D, 106th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry at Canton, Pennsylvania, on August 26, 1861, and his subsequent disability discharge on January 1, 1863. He described the accident leading to his discharge as follows: "While engaged in preparing firewood for the use of his company, he accidentally cut his foot with an ax badly injuring the same. He had never recovered from the said injury, but by reason of the same, he is lame and his foot pains him the greater part of the time. He is greatly disqualified for performing manual labor. Said injury was purely accidental on his part and not intentional, and was not done through carelessness." Sparks said he had resided in Monroe County, Iowa, for the past five years where he made his living as a laborer, when able. He appointed Hamlin & Wright, Indianapolis, Indiana, as his attorneys, and signed the declaration in the presence of Josiah T. Young, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Monroe County.
On August 24, 1870, Sparks made an affidavit that he did not know the address of the surgeon of the 106th Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry, nor did he have any knowledge of his whereabouts.
Invalid Pension Certificate No. 1,072,397 was issued to Eurotus F. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll. He died near Knoxville, Iowa, on October 14, 1876, of inflamatory rheumatism and heart disease.
On November 14, 1890, Martha J. Bougher, aged 55 years, and a resident of Haddam, Kansas, made a declaration for a Widow's Pension. She said she was the widow of Eurotus F. Sparks who had served in Company B, 106th Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry. She had been married to Sparks on September 21, 1854, in Tioga County, Pennsylvania. He had died on October 14, 1876, leaving her with four children under the age of sixteen.
She named these four children as follows:
Frank E. Sparks, born April 10, 1862
David M. Sparks, born November 30, 1866
Charlie G. Sparks, born June 24, 1870
Jessie May Sparks, born December 27, 1875
G. W. and Annie M. Kelley witnessed Mrs. Bougher sign her name to this declaration.
A series of affidavits supporting the claim of Martha J. Bougher, widow of Eurotus Sparks, were made during the next few years.
1. On April 28, 1891, John W. H. Griffin, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Monroe County, Iowa, certified that a record on Marriage Book 6, page 272, kept in his office, showed that Martha J. Sparks and George Bougher were married on September 18, 1884, by Wm. Whitlock, minister.
2. James S. Runyan, aged 65, made an affidavit on March 26, 1892, that he was a near neighbor of Eurotus Sparks for three years before his death and was present when he died on October 14, 1876. Prior to his death, Sparks had complained of lung trouble which he said he had contracted while in the army.
3. On April 4, 1892, Joseph Neeley, aged 52, and a resident of Marion County, Iowa, testified that he was present when Eurotus Sparks died on October 14, 1875, in Marion County, Iowa.
4. On June 27, 1892, Susan Wilbur, aged 48, and Elizabeth Staley, aged 44, made an affidavit that they were present when Martha J. Bougher, widow of Eurotus F. Sparks but then his wife, gave birth to a daughter on Decem ber 27, 1875, in Marion County, Iowa.
5. On June 28, 1892, C. M. Rodgers, aged 55, and a resident of Macon County, Missouri, swore that he had been present when Eurotus F. Sparks married Martha J. Rogers on September 24, 1854, and that he knew it was the first marriage for both of them.
6. On July 30, 1892, G. W. Kelly, aged 41, and a resident of Washington County, Kansas, said that he knew Frank E. Sparks, M. D. Sparks, Charlie Sparks, and Jessie May Sparks and that they were all living and all of them were over the age of sixteen years.
7. Martha J. Bougher made a Claimant's Affidavit on September 29, 1903. She was now 68 years of age, and a resident of Jewell County, Kansas. She swore that she (1) could not furnish a record of her late husband's death because death records were not required at the time of his death; (2) could not furnish an affidavit of the attending physician for he had since died; and (3) could not furnish affidavits of anyone who was present during her late husband's last sickness for their whereabouts were not known.
8. The last affidavit to support the claim of Martha J. Bougher was made on November 28, 1903, by Charles M. Rogers, aged 66, and Adaline H. Rogers, aged 59, both residents of Macon County, Missouri. They stated that they were well acquainted with Eurotus F. Sparks and Martha J. Rogers and knew they were married in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in 1854 and were never divorced. After the death of Eurotus F. Sparks, his widow, Martha J. Sparks, had married George Bougher, thus Martha J. Sparks was the same person as Martha J. Bougher.
In spite of the supporting affidavits, the claim of Martha J. Bougher for a Widow's Pension was apparently not acted upon. Perhaps she died before her request was completed.
(Editor's Note: The parents of Eurotus F. Sparks were Humphrey and Elsie (MNU) Sparks who were listed on the 1850 census of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Humphrey was then 45 years old and his birthplace was Connecticut. Elsie was 42 years old and her birthplace was Pennsylvania. Living in their household in 1850 were: David Sparks, 20; Eurotus Sparks, 18; Adaline Sparks, 15; Virgil Sparks, 10; George Sparks, 7; and Elizabeth Sparks, 5. We believe, but have no proof, that the father of Humphrey Sparks was David Sparks who was listed on the 1820, 1830, and 1840 censuses of Susquehanna County. He may have come from Hartford, Connecticut.)
|LYMAN J. SPARKS||was born ca. 1846 at Butler, Branch County, Michigan. On August 2, 1868, he married Winnie Roberson in Harrison County, Missouri. He served in Company C, 28th Regiment Michigan Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Application No. 615,693.|
On June 28, 1887, Lyman J. Sparks, aged 40, a resident of Bethany, Harrison County, Missouri, applied for an Invalid Pension. He stated that he had enrolled on May 10, 1864, in Company C, commanded by Capt. D. B. Purington, of the 28th Regiment Michigan Infantry. On or about August 1865, while stationed at Dallas, North Carolina, he was attacked by bone erysipalas due to the exposure to severe army life. He was hospitalized at Goldsborough, North Carolina. Since leaving the service, he had resided in Harrison County where he was a farmer. He appointed J. W. Flenner & Co., Washington, D. C., as his attorneys. William C. Heaston and George W. Heaston witnessed him make his mark.
The Bureau of Pensions asked Sparks to take a physical examination on August 31, 1887. His examining physicians, R. D. King, Jackson Walker, and J. N. Lewis, concurred that sometime in the past he had suffered from abcesses of an erysipalas character, and, in their opinion, he rated a one-half rating for this disability.
On October 6, 1887, the Adjutant General's Office sent a report to the Bureau of Pensions about Lyman J. Sparks. Sparks had enrolled on August 30, 1864, at Clearwater, Michigan, in Company C, 28th Regiment Michigan Infantry to serve for three years. He was present for duty until March 1865 when he was reported as "absent-deserted March 8, 1865." He returned to duty on June 21, 1865, and was present for duty until December 31, 1865. On that date he was reported as "absent, in arrest and awaiting court martial." On the muster-out roll of his company, dated June 5, 1866, he was borne with the remarks, "In arrest awaiting sentence of court martial." He was tried before a General Court Martial on the charge of violation of the 46th Article of War, desertion, and was found guilty. He was sentenced to forfeit all pay and allowances and to be dishonorably discharged from the service, under General Court Martial Order No. 71, Headquarters, Department of North Carolina, May 23, 1866. No record of any disability was found.
The claim of Lyman J. Sparks for a pension was rejected on February 24, 1888. On May 26, 1892, he appointed another attorney, N. Ward Fitzgerald, Washington, D. C., and directed him to re-apply for an Invalid Pension.
On February 21, 1893, Corydon Beach, aged 49, a resident of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, late a Lieutenant of Company C, 28th Regiment Michigan Infantry, testified that he remembered Lyman J. Sparks quite well as a member of his military unit, primarily because Sparks was frequently sick and required hospitalization; however, he did not remember the cause of Sparks's sickness. At the time the company was guarding the Atlanta railroad, Sparks was so ill that he could not keep up with the command.
On March 8, 1900, the War Department sent a report about Sparks to the Bureau of Pensions. According to this, Sparks had been born at Butler, Michigan, and was 17 years of age when he entered the service. He was a farmer. He had black hair, black eyes, and a dark complexion. He was 5 feet, 4½ inches in height.
On April 23, 1900, a letter was sent to Mrs. M. L. Cooper at the last known post office address of the claimant, Lyman J. Sparks. The letter stated that Lyman's claim was marked both "Rejected" and "Abandoned."
|PETER P. SPARKS,||son of Nelson and Margaret (Mauk) Sparks, was born ca. 1843 in Carter County, Kentucky. He died on August 20, 1882. He married Julia Cox on December 19, 1865. He served in Company H, 22nd Regiment Kentucky Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 315,490; Wid. Cert. No. 219,176.|
On July 12, 1877, Peter P. Sparks, age 34, a resident of Elliott County, Kentucky, made application for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted in Company H, 22nd Regiment Kentucky Infantry, commanded by Capt. Stephen Nethercutt, on October 22, 1861, and had been discharged on January 20, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky. At the time of his enlistment, he was 18 years of age; he was 5 feet, 7 inches tall; he had a dark complexion, black eyes, and dark hair; and he was a farmer by occupation. Sparks said that on or about January 1, 1862, while stationed at Pikeville, Kentucky, he took the mumps, and because of the severity of the attack, his nervous system became impaired so badly that he never fully recovered, and he was now unable to do any manual labor. He appointed Samuel V. Niles, Washington, D. C., as his attorney; his signature was witnessed by J. W. Hannah and J. H. Flanery; and the application was sworn to before S. D. Adkins, Clerk of Elliott County Court.
Almost two years later, on May 3, 1879, Dr. Thomas J. Campbell of Elliott County, made an affidavit to support the application of Peter P. Sparks. Dr. Campbell said that he was well acquainted with Sparks and that prior to entering the military service, he (Sparks) had been a sound, able-bodied man, but that when he returned home from the service, he was suffering from disease of the heart which affected his whole nervous system so that he was unable to do any manual labor. Dr. Campbell stated further that during the time Sparks belonged to the military service and was home on a sick furlough, he (Campbell) treated Sparks medically and reported his condition to the military command. He said that he believed Sparks's case was incurable. B. A. Oakley notarized the affidavit and T. T. Mobley, Clerk of the Elliott County Court, certified that Oakley was a justice of the peace.
No action was taken, apparently, on the first application of Peter P. Sparks, so on April 7, 1881, he made another declaration for a pension. He reaffirmed his military service and said that he had been hospitalized by illness at Lexington, Kentucky, and at Louisville, Kentucky, during his term of service. James Henderson and James A. Taber witnessed his signature. Again on February 24, 1882, Sparks, now aged 39 and a resident of Gimlet, Kentucky, made an affidavit to support his application. He said that he could not furnish an affidavit from Lieutenant Thomas A. Harper since Harper had "gone west." Neither had he been able to get a supporting affidavit from the Regimental Surgeon, Dr. B. F. Stevenson, since he (Stevenson) could not remember treating him. The affidavit was sworn to before A. W. Kozee, a justice of the peace.
While no document was supplied by the National Archives (as part of the "selected papers" from Peter P. Sparks's pension file) reporting the approval of his 1881 application for a pension, it is apparent that it was approved, and he was issued Invalid Certificate No. 315,490.
Peter P. Sparks died on August 20, 1882, and his widow, Julia Sparks, then made application for a widow's pension. She stated that she had been married to Sparks on December 21, 1865, and that they had six children under the age of sixteen years at the time of his death. They were: Lucretia J. Sparks, born October 13, 1866; Sarah L. M. Sparks, born November 9, 1873; Mary E. Sparks, born May 24, 1869; William H. Sparks, born March 2, 1877; James Benton Sparks, born July 22, 1871; and Amanda E. Sparks, born September 22, 1879.
J. E. Sparks and F. J. Campbell attested to her application, and Jacob McDowell and John Harper witnessed her make her mark. The application was sworn to before T. T. Mobley, clerk, and B. A. Oakley, deputy clerk, Elliott County Court.
Frank Prater, clerk of the Carter County (Kentucky) Court, sent a copy of the marriage record of Peter P. Sparks and Miss Julia Cox. They had been married on December 21, 1865, by Joseph Mauk, a justice of the peace, in the presence of Sylvester Gray and Samuel Leedy.
Julia Sparks was issued a widow's pension on November 3, 1882, under Widow's Certificate No. 219,176. On December 23, 1882, her seventh child, Melvin P. Sparks, was born posthumously. When Julia Sparks died on April 21, 1926, she was receiving a pension of $30.00 per month.
(Editor's Note: Peter P. Sparks was a son of Nelson Sparks; he was a greatgrandson of John Sparks (1753-ca.1840) of Wilkes County, North Carolina. See the current issue of the Quarterly for additional information about him and his family, beginning on page 3397.
|JOHN M. SPARKS,||son of John and Mary ["Polly"] (Kirkpatrick) Sparks, was born March 11, 1843, in Wisconsin. On March 8, 1866, he married Caroline Hake in Grant County, Wisconsin. He served in Company E, 30th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers. He died on January 8, 1873, in Woodbury County, Iowa. File Designation: Widow Application No. 1,642,128.|
On August 16, 1865, John M. Sparks, a private in Company E, commanded by Capt. D. D. Chappell, of the 30th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers, was given a Certificate of Disability for Discharge at the Post Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Capt. Chappell stated that Sparks had enrolled at Mineral Point, Wisconsin, on August 3, 1862, to serve for three years. Sparks was 19 years of age; he was 5 feet, 8½ inches in height; he had a dark complexion, hazel eyes, and light hair; and he was a farmer. For the past 60 days, he had been unfit for duty because of a valvular disease of the heart, history unknown. Sparks's address was Washburn, Grant County, Wisconsin.
On May 1, 1929, Caroline Sparks, aged 87 years, a resident of Pierre, South Dakota, applied for a widow's pension under the 1920 Act of Congress. She said that she was the widow of John M. Sparks who had served in Company E, 30th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers from August 13, 1862, until August 16, 1865. Sparks had died on January 8, 1873, at Correctionville, Iowa. She and Sparks
JOHN M. SPARKS, CIVIL WAR PENSION APPLICATION, continued:
had been married on March 8, 1866, at Lisbon, Grant County, Wisconsin, by John Williams, a justice of the peace. She was married under her maiden name of Caroline Hake. It was the first marriage for both. Children born to this union were:
Wesley B. Sparks, born January 18, 1867Mrs. Sparks appointed John J. O'Brien, Washington, D. C., as her attorney. Samuel A. McGuffee and James W. Cox witnessed her signature.
William L. Sparks, born April 7, 1868
Nellie E. Sparks, born November 6, 1871
John E. Sparks, born September 28, 1872
On July 2, 1929, Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Sparks, residents of Pierre, South Dakota, wrote a letter to Charles Hannon and asked for his support in obtaining a pension for Caroline Sparks. They wrote:
Grandma married Father Sparks in 1866. They had four children, the youngest one was six months old when Father Sparks was frozen to death in a blizzard 56 years ago. Father Sparks and another man went after wood on a lovely morning. A blizzard started before they got home and they were lost. Grandma raised her children and kept the place on which they lived. After the children were grown up, the youngest one about 13, she married again. This marriage was of short duration, not quite a year, when she left him.
Mr. and Mrs. Sparks went on to inform Mr. Hannon that Caroline Sparks applied for a divorce from her second husband, John Prosser, after he deserted her. Her attorney was a man named Blodgett, and since Prosser did not appear in court, the divorce was granted and she resumed her name of Caroline Sparks. She had never applied for a pension since she thought she was not eligible. Now she was old and feeble and needed help. The Sparkses ended their letter by stating that they hoped to see Hannon soon or hear from him.
Two weeks later, on July 15, 1929, Caroline Sparks made a general affidavit to support her application. She stated that she married John Sparks on March 8, 1866, at Mifflin, Wisconsin, by John Williams, a justice of the peace, in the presence of Mary Williams and Abbie Lyscom. Four children were born to this marriage before the death of John Sparks on January 8, 1873, at the age of 29 years, 9 months, and 27 days. She had married John Prosser on September 10, 1883, at Ida Grove, Iowa, but he deserted her about two years later, and she obtained a divorce from him in 1885, and resumed her former name of Caroline Sparks. She had continued to live at Correctionville, Iowa, until 1899, when she moved to Hughes County, South Dakota, to live with her son, William L. Sparks. She had lived ever since then with William except for such periods of time as she would visit with her son, Wesley Sparks. Her affidavit was witnessed by W. L. Sparks and Elva E. Sparks.
Copies of the county record of Caroline Sparks's marriage to John Sparks at Mifflin, Wisconsin, and of her marriage to John Prosser at Ida Grove, Iowa, were filed with the Bureau of Pensions on July 31, 1929.
Despite the testimony concerning Caroline Sparks's need for a pension, none was ever approved for her. Perhaps she died before one could be granted.
(Editor's Note: For further information regarding John M. Sparks and his ancestry, see the Quarterly of June 1987, Whole No. 138, which contains an article entitled "Two Men Named Abel Sparks, Originally from Surry and Wilkes Counties, North Carolina," pp. 3061-3084. He was a grandson of Abel and Sarah (Cochran) Sparks.