January 23, 2018

Pages 4358-4364
Whole Number 167

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, we have been publishing abstracts of pension application files for Union soldiers who served in the Civil War. (Confederate soldiers could not qualify for federal pensions.) A great many Union veterans, or their widows (sometimes their parents and their children), received pensions from the U.S. government based on their military service. Congress was increasingly generous in providing pensions for Civil War veterans and their widows as the years went by, and as their numbers became smaller. The organization known as the GAR was a powerful lobby in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in obtaining benefits for its members.

[The papers comprising each applicant's file, including rejected applications, are preserved at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and many of them con- tain fascinating information, not only about the nature of the individual's military service, but about his family as well.

[We have an index of all of the pension files for persons named Sparks which was compiled for us many years ago. Using a special form provided by the Archives, and for a fee of $10.00, one can request copies of what are called the "selected papers" from a given file. These are the papers in the file, usually no more than ten sheets, which have been selected because they are the papers thought to be most significant from a genealogical point of view. It is also possible to obtain xerox copies of the papers in an individual's "non-selected file" as well, but this separate file can cost from $10.00 to $50.00, depending upon its size. In most instances, the papers in the "non-selected files" are of a rather routine nature, but sometimes they can be quite helpful, especially where the veteran had difficulty proving what his service had been.

[Dr. Paul E. Sparks, President of our Association, has obtained many of the "selected files" and has abstracted them for publication in the Quarterly, beginning with the September 1967 issue. Whole No. 59. We shall continue to use these as space permits, adding in editorial notes any genealogical information that we may have regarding the soldier and his family.

[It should be remembered when reading these abstracts, that Dr. Sparks has usually been limited to the items contained in the "selected papers" for the soldier under consideration. Anyone wishing us to obtain copies of all the papers in a given file, both "selected" and "non-selected," may request the editor to do this for the cost involved. It usually requires at least three months to obtain the copies, and, as noted, the cost can vary.]

FRANCIS MARION SPARKS, son of Warden Pope Sparks and his first wife, name not discovered, was born in Jackson County, Indiana. He married (first) Elizabeth Holcomb about 1852 and (second) to Easter E. Troutman on October 28, 1859. He served in Companies B & K, 3rd Regiment Missouri Cavalry. File resignations: Inv. Cert. No. 589,854; Wid. Cert. No. 706,152.

Francis Marion Sparks apparently had applied for an invalid pension prior to June 24, 1884, for on that date the Bureau of Pensions requested a record of his military service from the War Department. On October 13, 1884, the War Department complied with this request, reporting that Sparks had been enrolled on August 8, 1862, in Company K, 3rd Regiment Missouri Cavalry at Rolla, Mis- souri, to serve for three years. He had been present for duty (except for Detached Service) until November and December 1864 when he had been hospita- lized in the General Hospital at Little Rock, Arkansas. He had been transferred to Company B of the same regiment in the spring of 1865 and had been mustered out with that company on June 14, 1865, at Little Rock, Arkansas.

The application for an invalid pension by Francis Sparks is not among the "selected papers" from his file, but it was apparently rejected for on May 19, 1891, he reapplied. He was then 61 years of age and a resident of Blandsville, Missouri. He stated that he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall and had been described at the time of his service as of light complexion, with brown hair and grey eyes; and he had been a farmer. While stationed at Rolla, Missouri, he had contracted rheumatism from exposure and was now unable to obtain his subsistence by manual labor. He appointed George E. Lemon, a pension attorney in Washington, D.C., as his attorney to assist him in getting a pension. Joseph M. Johnson and E. Jenkins witnessed him make his mark.

Invalid Certificate No. 589,854 was issued to Francis Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll. On August 4, 1898, he replied to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. He said that he had been married to Easter Elizabeth Troutman on October 28, 1859, by William Craws, a justice of the peace of Howell County, Missouri. Prior to that marriage, he had been married to Elizabeth Hoi- comb who had died in 1855 in Fulton County, Arkansas. He had no living child- ren in 1898 when he responded to this questionnaire.

Sparks applied for increased pension benefits on February 27, 1907, under a 1907 Act of Congress. He was now 75 years of age and a resident of Joplin, Missouri. He stated that he had been born on or about August 5, 1831, in Jack- son County, Indiana. Alexander Webb and M. S. Bridges witnessed him make his mark on this application, and Invalid Certificate No. 589,854 was re-issued to him, increasing his pension from $14.00 to $20.00 per month, commencing March 2, 1907.

Francis M. Sparks died on February 28, 1910, and on March 5, 1910, his widow, Easter E. Sparks, aged 84, and a resident of Newton County, Missouri, applied for a widow's pension. Her application was witnessed by J. R. Strother and P. H. McVay. Widow Certificate No. 706,152 was issued to her and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died on March 22, 1914, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.

[Editor's Note: The reader is referred to page 4342 of this issue of the Quarterly for further information regarding Francis Marion Sparks and an indication of where he fits in the branch of the Sparks family featured in this issue.]

JACOB SPARKS, son of Uriah and Sparks, was born October 15, 1837, in Jackson County, Indiana. On September 24, 1859, he married Matilda Fitzsimmons in Edgar County, Illinois. He served in Company I, llth Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 813,065; Wid. Cert. No. 695,197.

On October 27, 1891, Jacob Sparks, aged 54, a resident of Red Fork, Creek Nation Indian Territory, applied for an Invalid Pension. He said that he had been enrolled on September 25, 1864, in Company I, llth Regiment Illinois Infantry and had served until he had been discharged at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in June 1865. He was now partially unable to earn his support because of rheumatism of the shoulders and arms. He appointed J. W. Morris, Washington, D.C., as his attorney. Thomas Flynn and James M. Templin witnessed him make his mark.

The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on December 14, 1891. He had been enrolled on September 28, 1864, in Company I, llth Regiment Illinois Infantry and had served until July 14, 1865, when he had been mustered out with his company at Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Apparently the first application of Jacob Sparks for a pension was not approved for on January 2, 1892, he reapplied. He said in this application that he had contracted rheumatism near Memphis, Tennessee, during the winter of 1864-65 while on a 20-day march to Wolf River in pursuit of General Hood's Army. Dur- ing this time, it had rained and snowed nearly all of the time, and he seldom had any dry clothing. He had been treated in the hospital at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 2, 1865, prior to leaving the service. He said that he was 5 feet, 6 inches tall; he had a fair complexion, grey hair and blue eyes; and he was a farmer. John W. Elswick and Thomas Flynn witnessed him make his mark.

Invalid Certificate No. 813,165 was issued to Jacob Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll.

On May 10, 1898, Sparks responded to a questionnaire sent out by the Bureau of Pensions to all pensioners. He stated in response to this that he had been married to Matilda Fitzsimmons on September 24, 1859, in Edgar County, Illinois, by the Rev. Wm. Kidwell. It had been his first marriage. He had five children:

Ellen Sparks, born September 20, 1860 Benjamin Franklin Sparks, born July 5, 1866 John Sparks, born February 18, 1867 William Sparks, born September 2, 1868 Jacob W. Sparks, born in July 1873.

On July 14, 1908, Jacob Sparks, now a resident of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, applied for increased pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He said that he was now over 70 years of age, having been born October 15, 1837, in Jackson County, Indiana, as shown in the family Bible in the possession of his older sister. Frank Sparks and J. S. Wick witnessed the application.

When Jacob Sparks died on March 31, 1909, he was receiving a pension of $15.00 per month.

On June 18, 1909, Matilda Sparks, aged 65, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, ap- plied for a widow's pension. She said that she was the widow of Jacob Sparks who had enlisted on September 26, 1864, at Danville, Illinois, in Company I, llth Regiment Illinois Infantry to serve for one year. He had been discharged on July 14, 1865. He had died on March 31, 1909. She and Sparks had been married on September 24, 1859. It had been her first marriage. She appointed J. W. Morris, Washington, D.C., as her attorney. J. H. N. Cobb and J. E. Hall witnessed her make her mark on her application.

Widow Certificate No. 695,197 was issued to Matilda Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $12.00 per month, commencing June 21, 1909. She died on April 30, 1913.

On May 27, 1913, Frank Sparks, son of Matilda Sparks, and a resident of Ford, Idaho, applied for reimbursement for expenses incurred during his mother's final illness and death. He said that Dr. Amos A very, his mother's physician at Sapulpa, Oklahoma, had prescribed a change of climate for her, and she had been taken by train from Sapulpa to Rockford, Washington. It had also been necessary to take her from Rockford to Portland, Oregon, and back during her illness. Her final itemized expenses were as follows:

Physician None
Medicine Motteris Pharmacy
$10.00
Nursing Care Sarah Sparks
$30.00
Undertaker None
Livery  
$ 4.50
Casket for Burial  
$24.00
Cemetery Bob Lofton
$ 2.50
Other Expenses:  
Trainfare from Sapulpa to Rockford  
$43.08
Train fare from Rockford to Portland and return  
$22.90
Total  
$137.98

Nothing is included among the "selected papers" from this pension file to indicate what, if any, action was taken on this request for reimbursement.

[Editor's Note: The reader is referred to page 4340 of this issue of the Quarterly for further information regarding Jacob Sparks and an indication of where he fits in the branch of the Sparks family featured in this issue.]

STEPHEN SPARKS, son of Hiram D. and Elizabeth (Albert [or Alvord]) Sparks, was born January 2, 1834, at Sparksville, Indiana. He married (first) Nancy Jones on March 15, 1856, and (second) to Mary Emily Hoover on September 12, 1865. He served in Company F, 67th Regiment Indiana Volunteers. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 439,959; Wid. Cert. No. 641,541.

On May 31, 1888, Stephen Sparks, age 54, a resident of Xenia, Illinois, made application for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted on August 14, 1862, in Company I, 24th Regiment Indiana Infantry, commanded by Capt. William C. Aiken, and that he had served until he had been discharged at Galveston, Texas, on July 19, 1865. At the time of his enlistment, he had been 28 years of age; he was 5 feet, 7 inches tall; he had blue eyes, a fair complexion, and auburn hair; and he was a farmer. While stationed at Youngs Point, Louisiana, on or about January 20, 1863, he had been attacked by lung fever which finally put him in the Hospital Boat, anchored at that point, until about April 1st when he had been transferred to the 4th Street Hospital in St. Louis. He had remained in the hospital there until July 20th when he had been placed in Jefferson Barracks as a convalescent. He had been able to rejoin his regiment in September 1863 at Carrolton, Louisiana. He appointed Thomas W. Kegley of Xenia as his attorney. Garret Sutherland and Isaac Scott witnessed his signature, and the application was sworn to before W. E. Whitman, Clerk of Clay County Circuit Court.

The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on December 11, 1888;

however, military records indicated that Sparks had been enrolled on August 14, 1862, at Medora, Indiana, in Company _F, 67th Regiment Indiana Volunteers for three years. He had been reported as captured at Carencro, Lousiana, on November 3, 1863, but had been paroled on December 25, 1863. He had been transferred to Company I, 24th Indiana Volunteers in November 1864 and had been present for duty until he had been mustered out with his company at Galveston, Texas, on July 19, 1865. Prisoner of War records showed him as having been paroled at Munfordville, Kentucky, on September 17, 1862.

The Bureau of Pensions issued Invalid Certificate No. 439,959, and Sparks was placed on the pension roll, effective June 12, 1888, at the rate of $10.00 per month. Two years later, on May 30, 1890, he applied for an increase in his pension, giving as his reason the increased severity of the lung disease; he had also developed a chronic diarrhea which rendered him almost totally incapable of performing any manual labor. G. N. Greenwood and John Croghan, both resi- dents of Xenia, witnessed the application, which was sworn to before James W. Dean, a notary public.

On July 3, 1898, Stephen Sparks responded to the questionnaire sent to all pensioners by the Bureau of Pensions that year. He stated that he had been married to Emily Hoover on September 7, 1865, at Brownstown, Indiana, by Squire Ewing. He had been previously married to Nancy Jones who had died on June 12, 1862, in Indiana. His living children, all of whom had been born in Wayne County, Illinois, were:

James M. Sparks, born June 21, 1868 William S. Sparks, born January 26,1871 Eliza Jane Sparks, born July 25, 1872 Uriah A. Sparks, born March 13, 1874 John E. Sparks, born October 13, 1875

Stephen Sparks asked for a pension increase under the 1907 Act of Congress on February 14, 1907, stating that he had been born January 2, 1834, at Sparksville, Indiana, thus he was 73 years of age. He said that he had lived in Indiana from 1865 until 1868; in Illinois from 1868 to 1872; in Arkansas and Mis- souri during 1873; and since that year, he had lived in Illinois. John E. Sparks and Amanda Holman witnessed the application, which was sworn to before Arthur H. Burroughs, a notary public.

Stephen Sparks died on February 27, 1907, just thirteen days after making this request for the pension increase, and on April 19th his widow, Emily Sparks, age 67, requested a widow's pension based on her husband's Civil War service. She stated that she and Sparks had been married on September 12, 1865, at Brownstown, Indiana. She had not been married previously, but her husband had been married, and his first wife had died at Medora, Indiana, about June 1, 1862. Margaret E. Burroughs and John E. Sparks witnessed her make her mark on this application, which was sworn to before Arthur H. Burroughs, a notary public.

Emily (Hoover) Sparks was issued Widow's Certificate No. 641,541, and she was placed on the pension rolls. When she died on June 7, 1916, at Xenia, Illinois, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.

[Editor's Note: The reader is referred to pages 4346-47 of this issue of the Quarterly for further information regarding Stephen Sparks and an indication of where he fits in the branch of the Sparks family featured in this issue. A photograph of Stephen Sparks in his Civil War uniform appears on page 4347.]

1.2.1.2.2.13.5 CALVIN SPARKS, son of 1.2.1.2.2.13 Hardy and Susannah (Brown) Sparks, was born December 3, 1823, in Ashe County, North Carolina. On January 1, 1846, he married Mahala Carmichael in Monroe County, Indiana. He served in Company C, 97th Regiment Indiana Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 74,594; Wid. Cert. No. 586,105.

Calvin Sparks received a Certificate of Disability for Discharge on April 8, 1864 He had enlisted as a private on August 12, 1862, in Company C, 97th Regiment Indiana Infantry, commanded by Capt. Joseph W. Young, to serve for three years. For two months prior to his discharge, he had been a patient in the Madison General Hospital, Madison, Indiana, with a general paralysis of his extremities caused by the kick of a mule in June 1863. Dr. D. A. Morse, Assistant Surgeon, stated that Sparks was totally disabled and unfit for field service or for entering the Invalid Corps. Sparks was then 37 years of age; he had been born in Ashe County, North Carolina; he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall; he had a dark complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair; and he was a farmer. His address was Hoffyville, Indiana.

On November 27, 1866, Calvin Sparks was granted an invalid pension of $6.00 per month under Invalid Certificate No. 74,594. On May 11, 1868, Sparks (now aged 42 and a resident of Stanford, Indiana), applied for an increase in his pension claiming that he was now paralyzed in his left side and in his hip joints, and he was unable to perform any manual labor. Since leaving the service, he had lived in Greene and Monroe Counties, Indiana. He appointed Hennelin & Johnson, Indianapolis, Indiana, as his attorneys. John R. East and R. A. Fulk witnessed his signature on this application.

The War Department sent the Bureau of Pensions a copy of Sparks's military records on February 16, 1877. He had been enrolled in Capt. John W. Carmichael's Company in Greene County, Indiana, on September 20, 1862, to serve for three years. He had been absent without leave during November and December 1862. He had been absent sick at LaGrange, Tennessee, in February 1863. In June 1863, he had been at Wileys Plantation, Mississippi. In January and February 1864, he had been absent sick at Chattanooga, Tennessee. During March and April 1864, he had been absent sick at Madison, Indiana, and he had been discharged there on April 8, 1864.

On May 24, 1898, Sparks responded to the questionnaire which the Bureau of Pensions sent to all pensioners that year. He stated that he had been married to Mahala Carmichael on January 1, 1846, by James Carmichael, a justice of the peace of Monroe County, Indiana. It had been the first marriage for both. Children born to this marriage who were now (1898) living were:

Matilda Jane Sparks, now Collett, born September 5, 1846
1.2.1.2.2.13.5.2 William Riley Sparks, born December 27, 1847
Dianna Sparks, now Carter, born December 23, 1849
Susanna Sparks, now Weaver, born July 23, 1852
Maria Elizabeth Sparks, now Thompson, born March 4, 1857
Joseph Hardy Sparks, born December 24, 1859

Calvin Sparks died on July 3, 1903, in Gage County, Nebraska, and on Septem- ber 21, 1903, his widow, Mahala Sparks, applied for a widow's pension under the 1900 Act of Congress. She was 79 years of age, and a resident of Hoag, Nebraska. J. W. Howard and D. Sparks witnessed her make her mark on this application. A few days later, the Monroe County Clerk, Joseph H. Campbell, sent to the Bureau of Pensions a record of her marriage to Calvin Sparks on January 1, 1846.

The Bureau of Pensions issued Widow Certificate No. 586,105 to Mahala Sparks. When she died in March 1910, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.

[Editor's Note: Calvin Sparks was a son of Hardy and Susannah (Brown) Sparks. A record of this family was published in the March 1969 issue of THE SPARKS Quarterly, Whole No. 65. Pages 1206-08 pertain to Calvin Sparks, and a photograph of him and his wife, Mahala, as an elderly couple, appears on the cover of that issue. At the time that material on Calvin Sparks was published, we did not have an exact record of the names and dates of his and Mahala's children, and our readers are urged to make appropriate changes on pages 1206-08, as follows: Dianna Sparks was obviously the same child as Annie; Maria Elizabeth was the same child as Lizzie; while Theodosha Sparks and Sitha Sparks had died, apparently, prior to March 1898 when Calvin listed his living children.]

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