Whole Number 195
[Editor's Note: From time to time, we have been publishing abstracts of pension 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 poor health and/or financial need resulting from 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 Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a powerful lobby in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in obtaining benefits for its members and their families.
[The papers comprising each applicant's file, including rejected applications, are preserved at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and many of them contain 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 that was compiled for us many years ago. Using a special form provided by the National Archives, and for a fee of $14.00, one can request copies of what are called the "selected papers" from a given file. These are the papers in the file, usually not more than ten sheets, that 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 photocopies of the papers in an individual's "non-selected file" as well, but the fee for this separate collection is $37.00. 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 or his widow had difficulty proving his service, identity, or relationship, and when neighbors, former army comrades, or relatives, were called upon for depositions.
[In the Quarterly of September 1967, Whole No. 59, we began publishing abstracts of the "selected files" of Union soldiers named Sparks. We will continue to use these as space permits, adding editorial notes of any genealogical information that we may have regarding the soldier and his family. We now continue this series on the following page.]
|LOTT SPARKS (18.104.22.168),
||son of 27.2.6 Stephen and Asenith [or Asenath] Sparks, was born July 4, 1836, in Rush County, Indiana. He died on December 6 [or 7], 1906, at McLouth, Kansas. He married Rachel M. Townsend. He served in Company D, llth Regiment Kansas Cavalry. File Designation: Inv.Cert.No. 551,340.|
A copy of the original pension application of Lot G. Sparks was not included in the "selected papers" received from his pension file, but apparently he made his first declaration for a pension about December 1883. On December 30, 1883, the War Department sent information about his military service to the Bureau of Pensions. Sparks had been enrolled on October 22, 1863, in Company D, llth Regiment Kansas Cavalry for three years. He was mustered out of service with his company at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on September 13, 1865. The company records showed him as sick on several occasions of short duration, but the nature of his illnesses was not stated.
Apparently Lot G. Sparks was not placed on the pension rolls after his original application was made, for on December 28, 1889, J. W. Shrader, age 47, and L. D. Casebier, age 54, residents of Oskaloosa, Jefferson County, Kansas, made a joint affidavit that after Sparks had returned from the service "he claimed to be suffering from chronic diarrhea, and he looked pale and sickly and complained of feeling badly." Sometime after that date. Sparks was placed on the pension rolls under Invalid Certificate No. 551,340, but we have not learned the date of issuance nor the amount of his pension.
On September 16, 1891, Sparks applied for an increase in his pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. He stated that he was still suffering from chronic diarrhea which was of a permanent nature and which was not a result of any "vicious habits." He stated that he was now 55 years of age; he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall; and when he had entered service his hair had been black and his eyes blue. He appointed George E. Lemon of Washington, D.C., as his attorney to aid him in getting the increase. S. D. Reynolds and Wm. Stout witnessed his mark. G. J. Minney, age 79, and R. W. Reynolds, age 50, residents of McLouth, Kansas, testified that Sparks had "no vicious habits."
On May 4, 1898, Sparks responded to the questionnaire that was sent to all Civil War pensioners by the Bureau of Pensions. He stated that he had been married to Rachel M. Townsend at Perry, Kansas, by Washington Buffington. It had been his first marriage and they had had no children. He did not give the date of the marriage.
When Lot G. Sparks died December 6, 1906, he was living at McLouth, Kansas. He was then receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: For further details on the branch of the Sparks family to which Lot G. Sparks belonged, see pages 1457-65 of the March 1972 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 77. A photograph of Stephen Sparks (1808-1899), father of Lott G. Sparks, with Lot's brother, 22.214.171.124 Francis Marion Sparks, appears on page 1459.]
||was born March 14, 1844, in Marion County, Ohio. He was a son of Samuel and Lucinda [or Malinda, or Clarinda] (Comstock) Sparks. He married Elizabeth Dufield on February 13, 1866, in Peoria County, Illinois. He died September 20, 1877, in Harrison County, Missouri. He served in Company E, 112th Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designations: Inv.Cert.No. 69,488; Wid.Cert.No. 179,928; Minor Cert.No. 185,796.|
On June, 26, 1865, Joseph Sparks, claiming to be 24 years old, a resident of Stark County, Illinois, completed a "Claim for Invalid Pension." He stated that he had been enrolled on August 12, 1862, at Wyoming, Stark County, Illinois, in Company E (commanded by Capt. Otman) of the 112th Regiment Illinois Infantry (commanded by Col. Henderson), and that he had served until he had been discharged at Quincy, Illinois, on June 22, 1865. On August 6, 1864, at the Battle of Atlanta, Georgia, he had received a gunshot wound in the small of his back, and the shot had come out through his right hip. As a result of this injury, he was now unable to perform manual labor. He appointed Austin N. McGrindley of Quincy, Illinois, as his attorney to aid him in obtaining a pension. Marchus A. Campbell and George W. Griffin, residents of Adams County, Illinois, witnessed his signature, and his statement was sworn to before Ebenezer B. Barker, Judge of Adams County, Illinois.
On December 6, 1865, Cranmer W. Brown completed an "Officer's Certificate to Disability of Soldier." He certified that on August 6, 1864, at which time he had been a first lieutenant in command of Company E, 112th Regiment Illinois Infantry, of which Joseph Sparks was a member. At the Battle of Utoy Creek near Atlanta, Sparks had received a gunshot wound in his back and right hip. Prior to this injury, Sparks had been in good health and physical condition.
Invalid Certificate No. 69,488 was issued to Joseph Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll at $8.00 per month. On February 13, 1866, he married Elizabeth Dufield in Peoria County, Illinois. Within a year or two, they had moved to Harrison County, Missouri.
On October 13, 1875, when a surgeon named Jackson Walker examined him in Harrison County, Missouri, as required by the Pension Office for continuing his pension, he was pronounced to be totally disabled. Dr. Walker also stated that he was 5 feet, 6 inches tall, that he weighed 128 pounds, that he had a dark complexion, and that he was 32 years old.
Joseph Sparks applied for an increase in his pension on August 16, 1877, stating that "on account of his wound through his back and the pain arising therefrom, he is and has been for about six weeks, confined to his bed and entirely incapacitated for manual labor and is entirely dependant upon the personal aid and attendance of others." His witnesses for this document were Dr. Jackson Walker and John William Wright.
Joseph Sparks died September 20, 1877, in Harrison County, Missouri. Dr. Jackson Walker and Dr. R. H. Vanderwert made affidavits following his death, stating that the cause of his death had been the gunshot wound that he had received in the Civil War. His pension was $16.00 per month at the time of his death.
On October 3, 1877, Elizabeth Sparks, age 29 years, a resident of Harrison County, Missouri, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she was the widow of Joseph Sparks who had died September 20, 1877. They had been married on February 13, 1866, in Peoria County, Illinois, by John C. Yates, Judge of Peoria County, and that she had been married under her maiden name of Elizabeth Dufield. Neither she nor Sparks had been previously married. The surviving children born to this marriage, and who were under the age of sixteen years at the time of her husband's death, were:
Dora S. C. Sparks, born April 14, 1868.
Samuel H. Sparks, born on July 5, 1870.
John E. Sparks, born December 26, 1873.
Elizabeth Sparks, widow of Joseph Sparks, appointed Alvord & Fawcett of Bethany, Missouri, as her attorneys to assist her in obtaining a widow's pension. E. L. Hubbard and Robert H. Dunn witnessed her signature on her application, and her declaration was sworn to before Hazelton J. Skinner, clerk of the Harrison County Court.'
In support of Elizabeth Sparks's pension application, Rhuhanna King of Harrison County, Missouri, signed an affidavit (by mark) before Hazelton J. Skinner, stating that she had "attended on Elizabeth Sparks during her confinement when Dora S. L. Sparks, child of Joseph and Elizabeth Sparks, was born...April 14, 1868, in Harrison County, Missouri."
On December 13, 1877, Elizabeth Tucker signed an affidavit, also before Hazelton J. Skinner, stating that she had been "in attendance as midwife on said Elizabeth Sparks at the birth of the children hereafter named, to wit, Samuel H. Sparks who was born July 5, 1870, and John E. Sparks who was born December 26, 1873." She added that she had known Elizabeth and Joseph Sparks since 1869, and that they had lived as husband and wife. Also on December 13, 1877, Malinda Bowman swore in an affidavit that she had known Elizabeth and Joseph Sparks since 1869, and that she, also, had been "present in attendance on said Elizabeth when her sons, Samuel H. Sparks and John E. Sparks, were born."
A copy of the marriage record of Joseph Sparks and Elizabeth Dufield was sent to the Bureau of Pensions, showing that they had been married in Peoria County, Illinois, on February 13, 1866.
Elizabeth Sparks's application was approved, and Widow's Certificate No. 179,928 was issued to her, placing her upon the pension roll at the rate of $8.00 per month. In addition, she was to receive $2.00 per month for each of her three children, until each arrived at the age of sixteen years.
On December 19, 1878, just a year after making her application for a widow's pension, Elizabeth Sparks was married (second) in Harrison County, Missouri, to Monteville Fisk by Elder Evan Wilson. With her remarriage, Elizabeth was dropped from the pension roll, and the $2.00 monthly provision that she had been receiving for the support of each of her children was suspended.
With Elizabeth Sparks's marriage to Fisk, the Probate Court of Harrison County determined in February 1879, that the three minor heirs of Joseph Sparks "have an estate and that they have no Curator to see after the same." Furthermore, it was recognized that each could qualify for a child's pension allowance if a guardian were appointed who could serve as their "Curator."
On February 13, 1879, Edward Smith of Harrison County, Missouri, was appointed by the County Probate Court's Judge, Joseph F. Bryant, to be the guardian and "Curator of the estate of Dora S. C. Sparks, Samuel H. Sparks & John W. Sparks, minor heirs of Joseph Sparks, deceased." Smith posted a bond in the amount of $4,000 in order to assume this responsibility; it was co-signed by John W. Smith, S. A. Clayton, and M. L. Green.
On May 4, 1879, Edward Smith signed an affidavit before Hazelton J. Skinner by which he applied, on behalf of the three Sparks children, for the restoration of their pensions, to be paid to him as their guardian. He asked that Alvondo Fawcett be the children's attorney to prosecute their claim. The witnesses for this document were Solomon Smith and Robert D. Rogers.
On May 31, 1879, Francis N. Howell and Robert C. Stockwell, both 21 years of age, signed an affidavit (Stockwell signed by mark) that, as neighbors of Joseph Sparks in his lifetime, they knew that he was the father of these three children, and no others. Shortly thereafter, the children's pensions were restored, payable to Edward Smith.
The marriage between Elizabeth (Dufield) Sparks and Monteville Fisk ended in divorce on April 10, 1882, and she was authorized by the Harrison County Circuit Court to take back her former name, Elizabeth Sparks. The reason for the separation was explained by Elizabeth in her application to regain her pension as a widow of Joseph Sparks. She stated in her renewed application that she had "continued to live with him [Monteville Fisk] until the 10th of October 1880, when she left him upon learning that said Fisk had another wife living." Besides a copy of the Court order granting her a divorce, Elizabeth sent to the Commissioner of Pensions copies of a number of the documents that she had used as evidence in her trial.
Elizabeth had learned of Fisk's other wife from 34-year-old Lorean Pittman of Martinville in Harrison County, Missouri, who had then signed an affidavit on July 25, 1882, stating that "on or about the 1st day of October 1880, Monteville Fisk, a resident of Harrison County, Missouri, told her that he had a wife by the name of Nellie then living in Kansas from whome [sic] he had never been divorced." Lorean Pittman added that when she had told Elizabeth what Fisk had told her, "she was very much enraged," saying that she "would not live with Monteville Fisk any more."
Another affidavit used in the divorce proceedings had been signed by George C. Smith of Harrison County on June 20, 1882, stating that he had known Monteville Fisk in Page County, Iowa, in 1876, and that he had been then living with Nellie Fisk as his wife and that in 1878, Fisk "told me several times that the said Nellie Fisk was still living and that he had never had a divorce from her."
Elizabeth had also obtained an affidavit, dated August 25, 1882, from H. T. Rice, "a practicing physician located at the town of Coin, Page Co., Iowa." He had stated that he had known Monteville Fisk for ten years, and that he had been married in Page County to Nellie Weaver "before 1876 and they had lived as man and wife until about 1878, early in the year, I think, when there was from some cause a separation and the said Monteville Fisk afterwards went to Missouri, and I have heard married another woman." Dr. Rice added that "the said Nellie Fisk, wife of the said Monteville Fisk, is still alive and resides some place in the State of Nebraka." He also noted that "I visited professionally in the family of said Fisk after his marriage to the said Nellie Weaver and there was one or two children born to them during the time of their residence in Page Co., Iowa."
Similar affidavits had been provided from Page County, Iowa, by M. Thompson, who had lived on a farm adjoining Fisk, and by William McMichael, a justice of the peace there. Joseph E. Hill, Clerk of the Page County District Court, even provided a copy of the license for "Monteville Fisk, age 21, and Miss Nellie Weaver, age 20 years" to be married, but Hill failed to copy the date of the license. He stated that he had also made a thorough search of the Page County Court records and had found no evidence that there had been a divorce between Fisk and Nellie Weaver.
To regain her pension, Elizabeth also arranged for a copy of the proceedings of the Harrison County Circuit Court, dated April 10, 1882, to be sent to the Commissioner of Pensions. This record proved that Monteville Fisk had not even appeared during the Court proceedings, and that Elizabeth had, thereupon, been granted the divorce she sought, including the restoration of her name, Elizabeth Sparks.
When Elizabeth Sparks applied on October 10, 1882, for the restoration of her pension, she also requested that the pensions that had been allowed her children be sent to her rather than to the children's guardian, Edward Smith. The Pension Office agreed to her appeal, and on May 9, 1883, both her own and her children's pensions were restored to her. It was noted, however, that the pension for each child would cease upon his/her reaching age 16: Dora's on April 13, 1884; Samuel's on July 4, 1886; and John's on December 25, 1889.
On February 14, 1889, Elizabeth was married a third time to Samuel Kiess in Buchanan County, Missouri. She was then a resident of St. Joseph, Missouri, while he was from Gage County, Nebraska. With this marriage, Elizabeth's pension was again discontinued. Her third child by Joseph Sparks, John E. Sparks, would not reach the age of 16 until the following December and was thus entitled to his pension for ten additional months. So it was that on July 13, 1889, Edward Smith, now 60 years of age and a resident of Bethany, Missouri, who had been the guardian of the three Sparks children from shortly after Elizabeth's marriage to Monteville Hicks until her divorce from him in 1882, was reappointed by the Harrison County Circuit Court as guardian for John E. Sparks. Smith then made application for a "Minor Pension" for his ward, but nothing found in either his father's or mother's pension papers reveals whether or not Smith was successful in obtaining the $20.00 to which John was entitled (i.e., his pension for the last 10 months before age 16).
With her marriage to Samuel Kiess, Elizabeth Sparks appears to have moved to Gage County, Nebraska. This marriage ended in divorce on March 11, 1892. On November 16, 1897, Elizabeth Kiess, formerly Sparks, again made application for the restoration of her widow's pension. She stated that she was now 49 years old, and a resident of Wymore in Gage County, Nebraska. She stated that she had been married to Samuel Kiess on February 14, 1889, but that on June 4, 1891, she had left him, and that in the following year they had been divorced by the Gage County District Court. The response of the Commissioner of Pensions was that her divorce would "not entitle her to restoration of her pension as a widow of a soldier, unless she can furnish a certified copy of the decree of court.. .showing her marriage to Kiess [to be] null and void abinito [i.e., from the beginning]."
On February 10, a man signing his name "J. Sutherlin" appeared before a notary public named J. W. German in Gage County, Nebraska, to swear that he was 39 years of age, that he had been acquainted with Elizabeth Kiess since March 1, 1892, and that "claimant has not been married since that time and further that if claimant had been married in that time, affiant would have known it." Then, on February 19, 1898, Dora Sutherlin, describing herself as "aged 39 years [and] a resident of Gage County, Nebr. whose post office address is Wymore," swore that she had known Elizabeth Keiss "since before March 1st 1892 and said applicant has not been remarried since that time and that, had applicant been married since that time, the affiant would have known it." Although she stated that she had no personal interest in the matter, there can be little doubt that Dora Sutherlin was the wife of J. Sutherlin, and that she was the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Sparks who had been born on April 14, 1868.
On August 17, 1898, H. J. Olmsted, deputy clerk of the Gage County, Nebraska, District Court, prepared a certified transcript of the verdict in the divorce case entitled "Samuel Kiess vs. Elizabeth Kiess," dated March 11, 1892. According to the verdict, the Court, after considering "the petition, the Voluntary appearance of the Defendant, the stipulation for alimony, and the evidence.. .finds generally for the plaintiff.. .and that the defendant was guilty of extreme cruelty towards the plaintiff without any cause or provocation on his part..." It was decreed that "the marriage relations hereunto existing between said parties be and the same hereby is set aside and wholly annulled and the parties released from the obligation of the same." [Journal K, page 300.]
On March 31, 1899, Elizabeth Kiess's application for the restoration of her pension was rejected because the transcript of her divorce "does not show that her marriage to Kiess was declared null and void abinito [i;e., from the beginning."
On June 3, 1901, Elizabeth Kiess, now 53 years old and a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska (1945 2nd Street), appeared before a notary public named Lew Marshall in Lincoln, again to make application for the restoration of her pension. A new law had been passed by Congress on March 3, 1901, under which she hoped that her pension as a widow of Joseph Sparks might be restored. Her witnesses were Henry H. Grimes and Wesley Green, both of whom stated that they had known her for less than one year. Elizabeth must not have realized that the new pension law pertained only to the Civil War widow who had been married to a Union soldier prior to the period of his service. On November 26, 1901, A. Ralph Jefferson, a "legal reviewer" in the Pension Office, determined that Elizabeth's 1901 application could not be approved because "Claimant's marriage to soldier [had been] after his discharge." He added that it had been her last husband who had procured the divorce. This is the final record found in the combined pension files of Joseph and Elizabeth Sparks noted at the beginning of this abstract.
For the above abstract, we have had access to all the papers in this combined file, both the "selected papers" and the "non-selected."
[Editor's Note: According to a descendant of Joseph Sparks (Jim H. Frost, 401 Melody Lane, Wagoner, Oklahoma, 74467), family records indicate that Joseph was born March 14, 1844, in Marion County, Ohio. This means that he was 21 years old when he applied for his pension on June 26, 1865, rather than 24, as he had stated. He was a great-great-grandson of an early New England settler named 43. Henery [i.e.. Henry] Sparks who married Martha Barrett on July 10, 1676, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. (See the article entitled "The Sparkses of New England" by Thomas F. and Virginia N. Howard in the March 1987 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 137, pp.3000-3033.)
[Joseph Sparks was a son of Samuel Sparks, who was a son of John and Bethia (Burrows/Barrows) Sparks. Samuel had been born on August 9, 1780, in Killingly, Connecticut. Beginning on page 3015 of the above cited article there appears a short biographical sketch of Samuel Sparks, with a record of his first marriage to Mary Colegrove and of their five children: Lucelia, George W., Sarah, Mary, and Asaph W. That biographical sketch ends, however, with Samuel's appearance on the 1830 census of Chautauqua County, New York, followed by the statement that his sister, Elizabeth "Betsy" (Sparks) Irons, who, with her husband, Ira Irons, then operated an inn in Orleans County, New York, recalled that Samuel and his family had passed the inn going west "in a covered wagon pulled by a pair of Oxen," after which nothing was ever heard from them again.
[Since the publication of this article in 1987, however, we have learned that Samuel's first wife, Mary (Colegrove) Sparks, had died in 1820, and that about 1821, he had been married, second, to Clarinda (or Malinda, or Lucinda) Comstock, who had been born ca.1807 in Vermont, and that, based on census records, they became the parents of ten children, born between about 1822 and 1850. Of these ten, however, we have learned the names of only five:
(1) John Sparks, born May 30, 1829, who was married, first, to Ellen Ross and, second, to Elizabeth Houghton in 1851;
(2) Lucy Sparks, born ca.1833 in New York;
(3) Mary Sparks, born ca.1836 in Ohio, who married James Baker (or Benedict ?) ca.1853;
(4) Joseph Sparks, subject of this editor's note; and
(5) Lyman J. Sparks, born in June 1850 in Michigan, who married Winnie Roberson in Harrison County, Missouri, in 1868.
[When the 1840 census was taken, Samuel Sparks and his family were living in Marion County, Ohio. When the 1850 census was taken, they were in Butler Township, Branch County, Michigan. Samuel was shown in 1850 as a farmer, but he was not a land owner. The census taker recorded his age as 93, but this was obviously a slip of the pen—his age then was mope nearly 73. His place of birth was given as Rhode Island. Samuel's second wife's name was given as Malinda on the 1850 census, age 43, and a native of Vermont. Living with them were four of their children: John, age 21, born in New York; Lucy, age 16, also born in New York; Mary, age 14, born in Ohio; Joseph, age 10, also born in Ohio; and Lyman, age 2 months, thus born in April 1850. (Census takers in 1850 were instructed to calculate ages as of June 1, 1850.) If Joseph was 10 years old in 1850, as shown on the census, his year of birth would have been ca.1840, giving credence to his claim in 1865 that he was then 24. (See page 4619 of the March 1996 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 173; this census record was missed when the Sparkses appearing on the 1850 census of Michigan were reported in the Quarterly of September 1983, Whole No. 123, pp.2543-48.)
[Family records pertaining to Joseph Sparks, son of Samuel, agree with the record of births of his and Elizabeth's children as reported in Elizabeth's pension papers, with the exception of the birth and death of another child. Elizabeth bore a son named George W. Sparks on February 6, 1876; he died September 29, 1877, just nine days after the death of Joseph Sparks, on September 20, 1877.]
|LEVI S. SPARKS,
||was born December 18, 1844, in Madison County, Illinois; he died September 9, 1906, in Virden, Macoupin County, Illinois. He was a son of Hardy and Elizabeth Alien (Randle) Sparks. He married (first) Amelia Caroline Grinke in 1868, and (second) to Maria Isabelle Martin in 1879. Both marriages were in Macoupin County, Illinois. He served in Company I, 122nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 621,724; Wid. Cert. No. 706,647.|
On July 15, 1890, Levi S. Sparks, age 47, a resident of Virden, Illinois, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that on August 12, 1862, he had enlisted in Company I, 122nd Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry commanded by Andrew P. Duncan, and that he had been discharged at Mobile, Alabama, on July 15, 1865. At the time of his enlistment, he had been 18 years of age; he was 5 feet, 5 inches tall, and he had a dark complexion, dark hair, and black eyes. He was now suffering from rheumatism and spinal trouble brought on by his military service. He appointed George E. Lemon, Washington, D.C., as his attorney to aid him in obtaining a pension. John F. McClure and George H. Hill witnessed his signature, and the application was sworn to before George T. Pattison, a notary public.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on March 28, 1891, and he was placed upon the pension roll under Invalid Certificate No. 621,724.
On July 4, 1898, Levi Sparks reported to the Bureau of Pensions that he had been married twice. His first marriage had been to Amelia Caroline Grinke on July 28, 1868, in Macoupin County, Illinois. They later separated, and she was now dead. His second marriage was to Maria Isabelle Martin on December 11, 1879, also in Macoupin County. He had no children by either wife.
Levi S. Sparks died September 9, 1906. His funeral notice, dated September 11, 1906, stated that he had died at his home in Virden, Illinois, on Sunday morning. His age was 61 years, 9 months, and 29 days. A funeral service for him was held in the First Baptist Church of Virden.
On December 11, 1906, Levi Sparks's widow, Maria I. Sparks, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that her husband had been married previously to Amelia C. Grinke, but they had separated after a few weeks of marriage, and she (Amelia) had left the community of Virden, Illinois, and had been reported dead by her relations and friends. Coincidental to the death of her husband, Levi Sparks, however, she (Maria) had learned that his first wife was still living and was in Peoria, Illinois, with a husband named John Swartz. C. H. Cogswell and C. B. Beeler witnessed the signature of Maria I. Sparks on her application.
On August 12, 1908, Henry Sparks, age 58, a resident of Virden, Illinois, made an affidavit to support the application of Maria I. Sparks. He stated that he was a brother of Levi S. Sparks, and from personal knowledge he knew that Maria I. Sparks had never been divorced from Levi S. Sparks, but that she had lived with him as a faithful and devoted wife for 27 years. J. H. Shrive and T. H. Shrive witnessed his signature on the affidavit.
The unusual circumstances surrounding the second marriage of Levi S. Sparks apparently created some problems for his widow, Maria, in securing a pension based on Levi's service, for on June 16, 1910, it was legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress that placed Maria I. Sparks on the pension roll at the rate of $12.00 per month. She died May 28, 1915.
[Editor's Note: As stated above, Levi S. Sparks had been born on December 18, 1844; this is based on his age (61 years, 9 months, and 29 days) at his death, which occurred on September 9, 1906. He was a son of Hardy and Elizabeth Alien (Handle) Sparks. It is quite remarkable that on the same day Levi enlisted to serve for three years or the end of the war, Levi's father, who had been born on or about January 1, 1821, had also enlisted to serve in the same company and regiment, Company I, 122nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. Father and son had gone together that day to Staunton, Illinois, to make their enlistment, Levi as a private and his father as a corporal. Whereas Levi was 18, Hardy Sparks was 42. Hardy Sparks's much younger brother, James Sparks, who had been born ca. 1834, the last child born to Thomas B. and Penelope Sparks, had accompanied his brother and nephew to Staunton on August 12, 1862, to enlist as a private in the same company. (Many years later, Hardy Sparks received a U.S. pension for his service, as did his son, Levi; see the Quarterly of September 1990, Whole No. 151, pp. 3658-59 for an abstract of Hardy's pension papers. James Sparks's widow received a pension based on his service; her pension file was also abstracted in the September 1990 Quarterly, pp.3660-61.)
[Still another Sparks served in Company I, 122nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. This was Augustus M. Sparks, born on October 3, 1839, in Massac County, Illinois, who enlisted on September 4, 1862, as a second lieutenant. While it seems probable that he was related in some way to Hardy and James Sparks, we have not been able to identify his parents. Augustus M. Sparks also received a pension based on his Civil War service; an abstract of his pension file may be found in the Quarterly of June 1972, Whole No. 78, pp.1493-94.
[Another son of Hardy Sparks (and uncle of Levi S. Sparks) was Green Sparks, sometimes referred to as W. Green Sparks, who was born May 23, 1830, and died May 14, 1896. He was enrolled in 1864 in Company D of the 42nd Regiment Illinois Infantry. He was badly wounded in the right thigh in November 1864 at Spring Hill in the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee. Through a confusion of records because of his being furloughed from the Joe Holt Hospital, he was charged with desertion on May 9, 1865. This was not known to him until he applied for a pension in 1884. Presenting evidence to the contrary. Green Sparks was found to be innocent and, by an Act of Congress, he was honorably discharged as of May 9, 1865. It is interesting to note that when he applied for a pension in 1884, an affidavit in his support was made by his sister, Mahala (Sparks) Handshy and her husband, Peter Handshy, residents of Carpenter< Illinois. Their photograph appears on the cover of the September 1982 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 119. (An abstract of Green Sparks's pension file was published in the Quarterly of September 1990, Whole No. 151, pp. 3657-58.)
[Hardy Sparks (1821-1900) was a son of Thomas B. Sparks and his second wife, Penelope, as were his brothers. Green and James Sparks, noted above. Our knowledge of Thomas B. Sparks is quite limited. According to census records, he was born ca. 1765 in Maryland. He appeared on the 1810 census of Baltimore County, Maryland, but by 1812 he was in Christian County, Kentucky, and his household was enumerated there on the 1820 census. From this enumeration in 1820, it appears that his first wife, name unknown, had died, and that the female in the 16-26 age category was his second wife, Penelope. A son of Thomas B. Sparks and his first wife, Matthew Sparks, born ca. 1806, married Mary Henrietta McKnight in 1829 in Christian County, Kentucky.
[When the 1830 census was taken, Thomas B. Sparks was shown in Caldwell County, Kentucky. Trigg County, created in 1820, lies between Christian and Caldwell Counties, but Christian and Caldwell thus adjoined until 1820. Two of Thomas's daughters by his first wife were married in Caldwell County: Jane Sparks, who had been born ca. 1811, to Sherwood Savage in 1828, and Mary Ann Sparks, born ca. 1814, to William Ervin in 1833.
[We have not found Thomas B. Sparks on the 1840 census, but his and Penelope's last three children, twins named Green and Mahala, born May 23, 1830, and James, born in 1834, were shown as natives of Illinois when the 1850 census was taken in Madison County, Illinois.
[The age of Thomas B. Sparks was given on the 1850 census of Madison County, Illinois, as 85, and his place of birth as Maryland. His second wife, Penelope, was shown as age 56 and a native of North Carolina. Still living in their household in 1850 were their four youngest children: William, Green, Mahala, and James. William Sparks, age 22, had been born in Kentucky, while, as noted earlier, Green, Mahala, and James, were natives of Illinois. Thomas Sparks, age 85, was shown as "Farmer" in Pinoak Township. Two of his sons, also farmers, headed their own households in Pinoak Township: Thomas, Jr., age 27, with wife Doratha, age 19, she a native of Germany, with their 6-months-old son, Sampson, named for his uncle; and Sampson, age 22, with wife Amanda, age 23, a native of Maryland and a sister of Sampson's brother-in-law, Peter Handshy. Hardy Sparks, age 28, was a farmer in Chouteau Township in Madison County when the 1850 census was taken. Hardy was shown with his wife, Elizabeth, age 32, a native of North Carolina. Their first three children, shown as Levi S., age 5; James P., age 4, and Henry C., age 6 months, had all been born in Illinois.
[We placed a query regarding Thomas B. Sparks in the Quarterly of September 1982, Whole No. 119, pp. 2457-59. There we listed by name a number of his children by each of his two wives whom we believed we had identified. Since then, however, we have found an error in that listing. We thought then that the fourth child of Thomas and his first wife was named "Aisly Sparks," born ca. 1802. Thomas did NOT have a daughter with this name. The Aisly Sparks whom we thought then was a daughter of Thomas B. Sparks, was actually a daughter of Jesse Sparks of Greenville County, South Carolina. She married James Bourland in Christian County, Kentucky, in 1819. "Aisly" was a nickname for Elsa, as was also "Alsey." Elsa Sparks was one of four children of Jesse Sparks and his first wife, Isabella Armstrong, who had been taken into Armstrong homes following Isabella's early death prior to 1809. Later, when these Armstrong relatives moved from Greenville County, South Carolina, to Christian County, Kentucky, the Sparks children accompanied them and never again saw their father. In 1824, when Jesse Sparks made his will, he added as an afterthought when it was read to him: "On hearing the above Items read and recollecting that I have children in Kentucky," he bequeathed each of them "one dollar." This very complicated family story was recounted in the Quarterly of March 2001, Whole No. 193, beginning on page 5489.]
|JAMES HARDY SPARKS,
||son of William and Nancy Sparks, was born in 1844/45 in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and died in 1863 while a soldier in the Union Army. He served in Company C, 97th Regiment Indiana Infantry. File Designation: Mother's Cert. No. 307,714.|
On April 13, 1888, Nancy Sparks, age 69, a resident of Stanford, Monroe County, Indiana, applied for a Mother's Pension. She stated that she was the mother of James H. Sparks who had enlisted on August 10, 1862, at Buena Vista, Indiana, in Company C, 97th Regiment Indiana Infantry, He had died September 1, 1863, at Camp Sherman, Mississippi, while in the military service. She stated that she was the widow of William Sparks who had died August 17, 1866, at the age of 47 years. Their son, James H. Sparks, had never married, but he had left two brothers and two sisters under the age of sixteen years at the time of his death. They were:
Nancy H. Sparks, born February 15, 1849
Susan M. Sparks, born January 2, 1854
William M. Sparks, born August 14, 1856
John Manson Sparks, born September 11, 1861
Nancy Sparks appointed Robert H. Smith as her attorney to aid her in obtaining a pension. Solomon E. Carmichael and J. G. McPheeters witnessed her sign (by mark) her application, which was sworn to before Enoch Fuller, Clerk of the Monroe County Court.
The military service of James H. Sparks was confirmed by the War Department from his Regimental records. He had had the measles on November 16, 1862, for which he had been hospitalized at Memphis, Tennessee, for two days. In August 1863, he had been placed in the Regimental Hospital at Camp Segerman, Mississippi, where he had died September 1, 1863, of acute diarrhea.
On August 6, 1889, Calvin Sparks, brother of William Sparks and a resident of Elsie, Nebraska, stated in an affidavit that he was well acquainted with Nancy Sparks of Stanford, Indiana, and also with her son, James Hardy Sparks, who had died while in the military service. Calvin Sparks added that he had known James Hardy Sparks ever since he was born and knew personally that he was a son of Nancy Sparks. The affidavit was notarized by Isaac J. Howe, a notary public of Perkins County, Nebraska.
On December 21, 1889, a copy of a marriage record for Nancy Sparks and Hayden Eastgham was sent to the Bureau of Pensions by Enoch Fuller, Clerk of Monroe County, Indiana. This was Nancy Sparks's second marriage, dated December 13, 1875.
Among the documents sent from the pension file of James H. Sparks's mother is an undated and unsigned affidavit from Richard H. Gentry, age 64, and Richard H. Baker, age 64, both of Bloomington, Indiana. They stated that they had known Nancy Sparks, mother of James H. Sparks, for about 45 years. The father of James H. Sparks had been William Sparks, who had died in 1866. Prior to his death, William Sparks had been in poor health which had prevented him from do- ing any manual work, and his son, James H. Sparks, had contributed to his parents' support while in the service. In 1875, Nancy Sparks, a widow, had been remarried to Hayden Eastgham, who proved to be a worthless and indolent fellow and unable to support his wife, and they only lived together about 18 months.
On April 10, 1889, George Carter, age 75, and James F. Carter, age 49, both residents of Stanford, Indiana, made affidavits stating that James H. Sparks had helped to support his parents prior to his military service and, also, while in the service until his death. Thomas B. Burch, also of Stanford, stated that he had known James H. Sparks from childhood and had served with him in the same military company. He stated that Sparks had always worked to support his family and had sent money to his parents while in the service. A. F. Phillips of Greene County, Indiana, supported Burch's statements about Sparks, adding that he had been Sparks's company commander and had been present at his death.
On June 16, 1890, William H. Burch, age 42, of Buena Vista, Indiana, made an affidavit to support the claim of Nancy Sparks. He stated that she had sold her undivided interest in a farm, amounting to 79 acres, for $850.00 in 1885, and she now owned no property. She had no income and had been assisted by her children and her friends since the death of her son.
On July 8, 1890, Nancy Sparks, now age 71, made her last application for a Mother's Pension under the 1890 Act of Congress further liberalizing the pension application rules. She restated the circumstances of her son's death, and that she was dependent upon her own manual labor and the contributions of others who were not legally bound to help her. She appointed James F. Morgan of Bloomington, Indiana, as her attorney to aid her in obtaining a pension.
Her application in 1890 was successful. When she died August 24, 1902, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: As stated in his mother's pension application, James Hardy Sparks was a son of William and Nancy Sparks. No official record of their marriage has been found. Some have claimed that Nancy's maiden name had been Tate, others believe it to have been Hanks. William Sparks had been born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on September 3, 1819, a son of Hardy Sparks (born ca. 1797) and Susan- nah (Brown) Sparks, who had been married in Wilkes County in 1815 (their marriage bond was dated January 5, 1815). William Sparks had been the third child of Hardy and Susannah (Brown) Sparks. Susannah (Brown) Sparks died in the 1830s, either shortly before or soon after Hardy moved to Monroe County, Indiana. It was also in the 1830s that Hardy Sparks married (second) Martha Motley.
[William Sparks, son of Hardy and Susannah (Brown) Sparks, did not accompany his parents in their move to Indiana. He and Nancy were married in Wilkes County, North Carolina, about 1840. Nancy had been born on March 31, 1819. (The birth and death dates of both William and Nancy Sparks are found on their grave stones in the Burch Cemetery in Monroe County, Indiana.) William Sparks, with Nancy and their first three children (Leonard G., Jehue P., and James H.) followed Hardy Sparks to Indiana in 1846. A daughter named Elizabeth J. Sparks was born to William and Nancy in Monroe County in or about 1847, as were their other four children identified in Nancy's pension applications as having been under the age of 16 when William Sparks died August 17, 1866.
[An article entitled "Descendants of Hardy Sparks (born ca.1797) of North Carolina and Indiana" appeared in the Quarterly of March 1969, Whole No. 65, in which information was given regarding the seven children of Hardy and Susannah Sparks and the eight children of Hardy and his second wife, Martha Motley. A photograph of Calvin and Mahala (Carmichael) Sparks appears on the cover of that issue, Calvin having been a brother of William Sparks.]
|HENRY H. SPARKS,
||son of Nimrod and Penelope (Tilly) Sparks, was born in Scott County, Indiana, on April 15, 1835, and died in Illinois, on November 12, 1909. His first marriage was to Flora DeMoss, and his second marriage was to her sister, Lillie M. DeMoss. (See the Editor's Note at the end of this abstract regarding these marriages.) He served in Company E, 84th Regiment Illinois Infantry. File Designation: Inv. Cert. No. 806,340.|
Henry H. Sparks, age 55, a resident of Adams County, Illinois, applied for an Invalid Pension on July 14, 1890. He stated that he had been enrolled on July 27, 1862, in Company E, 84th Regiment Illinois Infantry, and that he had served until he was mustered out at Camp Harker, Tennessee, on June 6, 1865. He was now suffering from rheumatism, disease of the heart, a rupture, and disease of the right eye, all brought on by his military service. He appointed Dr. John W. Slade as his attorney to assist him in obtaining a pension. Louis Sheffer and Ella S. Slade witnessed his signature on his application.
The War Department confirmed the military service of Henry H. Sparks on Jan 24, 1891. He had been enrolled as a private on July 28, 1862, in Company E, 84th Regiment Illinois Infantry. He had been 25 years old at that time, 5 feet 7 5 inches tall, with a fair complexion, hazel eyes, and dark hair; and he had been a farmer. He had been mustered out of service with his company on June 8, 1865. No medical records for him had been found.
On June 4, 1891, Sparks corrected his claim that all of his physical problems had been caused by his military service. He now stated that his rupture had been caused by lifting a heavy log in 1888, and that his eye injury was a result of being dragged by a horse from which he had fallen in 1866. A medical examining board evaluated Sparks's state of health on April 27, 1892, and rated him as about 10- eighteenths disabled. He was issued Invalid Certificate No. 806,340, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $12.00 per month. This was reduced, however, to $6.00 per month on July 4, 1895, by Thomas Featherstonebaugh, a medical referee.
Sparks applied for an increase in his pension on July 6, 1903, claiming that, because of his age, he could no longer perform manual labor. He was now 68 years of age. His post office was Camp Point, Illinois. Fred Mansendike and Henry C. Cecil witnessed his signature. The Bureau of Pensions restored his pension to $12.00 per month in response to this application.
On February 27, 1907, Sparks made a declaration for increased pension benefits under the 1907 Act of Congress. He was now 71 years of age and a resident of Basco, Illinois. He stated that he had been born in Scott County, Indiana, on April 15, 1835. Since leaving the military service, he had lived in Adams County, Illinois, until 1893, when he had moved to Hancock County, Illinois.
Henry H. Sparks's pension was increased to $15.00 per month. He died November 12, 1909.
[Editor's Note: Henry H. Sparks was the oldest child of Nimrod and Penelope (Tilly) Sparks, who had been married on February 10, 1834, in Shelby County, Kentucky. Shortly after their marriage, Nimrod and Penelope had moved to Scott County, Indiana, and it was there that their first child. Henry H. Sparks, was born on April 15, 1835. Nimrod moved with his family to Vigo County, Indiana, before 1840. When the 1850 census of Vigo County was taken, Nimrod and Penelope, both shown as age 40, were enumerated with three children: Henry Sparks, age 13; Mary C. Sparks, age 5; and Margaret C. Sparks, age 3. Another child, Martha Sparks, was born ca. 1852 according to the 1860 census.
[Nimrod C. Sparks was a son of Samuel and Catherine (Carr) Sparks. See the Quarterly of September 1993, Whole No. 163, pp. 4148-70, for a lengthy article about the Sparks ancestry of Henry H. Sparks. According to Past and Present of the City of Quincy and Adams County, by William H. Collins, Chicago: dark, 1905, Henry H. Sparks was married first to Lillie M. DeMoss, daughter of William and Mary Eliza (Horner) DeMoss, and, following her death, to her sister. Flora DeMoss. A compilation of marriages in Adams County, Illinois, however, shows that Henry Sparks was married, first, to Flora E. DeMoss on December 25, 1888, and, second, to Lillie DeMoss on October 10, 1895. According to the above history by Collins, Henry H. Sparks was the father of two children, Orren D. Sparks and Ethel May Sparks.]
|EDWARD F. SPARKS,
||son of William and Cordelia (Donavan) Sparks, was born ca. 1829 in Lewis County, Kentucky, and died February 4, 1898, in Illinois. He married (first) Sarah ["Sally"] Criswell in Lewis County on March 16, 1849, and (second) to Mary ["Polly"] (Meenach) Sparks, widow of his brother, William Sparks, on March 18, 1856, in Platte County, Missouri. He served in Company D, 43rd Regiment Missouri Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 311,813; Wid. Cert. No. 492,345.|
On April 6, 1880, Edward F. Sparks, age 50, a resident of Fillmore, Andrew County, Missouri, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had been enrolled on August 3, 1864, in Company D, commanded by Capt. Henry M. Ogle of the 43rd Regiment Missouri Infantry, and had served until he was discharged at Benton Bar- racks on June 30, 1865. He had been 6 feet, 6 inches tall when he enlisted, with a fair complexion, dark hair, and hazel eyes; and he was a farmer. On or about October 15, 1864, while stationed at Glasgow, Missouri, he contracted typhoid and pneumonia fever which settled in his chest and lungs and from which he had never completely recovered. He had a second attack in January 1865. He had been hospitalized at Jefferson City, Missouri, from October 20 to November 15, 1864; at Kansas City, Missouri, from January 15 to January 30, 1865; and at Independence, Missouri, during the month of March 1865. He appointed J. B. Majors of Savannah, Missouri, as his attorney to assist him in obtaining a pension. W. S. Earls and James C. Hale witnessed him make his mark on his application.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on January 20, 1882, just as Sparks had stated it to be in his application. Records showed him sick at Jefferson City, Missouri, from October 18 to October 31, 1864, and in the hospital at St. Louis, Missouri, on December 5, 1864.
Morgan Hurst, age 53, a resident of Savannah, Missouri, made an affidavit on March 7, 1883, to support Sparks's claim. He stated that he had known Sparks for 25 years and that when he entered the service he had been a stout, healthy man. After he returned from the service. Sparks had had poor health, with a bad cough, weak chest and lungs, and chronic rheumatism. There were times when Sparks was confined to his bed because of swollen joints and a severe cough.
Invalid Certificate No. 311,813 was issued to Edward F. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll. When he died February 4, 1898, he was receiving a pen- sion of $12.00 per month.
On March 14, 1898, Mary Sparks, age 68, a resident of Slusher, Cleveland County, Oklahoma Territory, and widow of Edward F. Sparks, applied for a widow's pension. She stated that she and Edward F. Sparks had been married in Andrew County, Missouri, on March 18, 1856. [Actually, they were married in Platte County.]
Mary Sparks stated that she had no living children under the age of eighteen. She appointed Drury Holt of Indianapolis, Indiana, as her attorney to assist her in obtaining a pension. Markers [?] C. Hummel and Marvin E. Waldraven witnessed her make her mark on her application.
Mrs. Sparks made an affidavit on September 7, 1899, to supplement her claim. She stated that she had been married, first, to William Sparks who had died in Platte County, Missouri, on September 2, 1854. Mary also stated that her second husband, Edward F. Sparks, had also been married previously to Sarah Sparks, and that Sarah had died May 4, 1852.
Sevillia Roberts, age 63, a resident of Weston, Platte County, Missouri, testified on September 23, 1899, that she was well acquainted with Mary Sparks and her first husband, William Sparks. He had died in the fall of 1854 and had been buried at Weston. Afterwards, Mary Sparks had been married to Edward F. Sparks, and they had moved away.
Mrs. Elizabeth Bolin, age 67, a resident of Atchison County, Kansas, testified on September 7, 1899, that she had known the family of Edward F. Sparks when they were still in Lewis County, Kentucky, where Edward Sparks had been married to Sarah Criswell. She and the Sparks family had come to Missouri on the same boat in the fall of 1852 and had settled in Platte County. She stated that she had been with the Sparks family when Sally Sparks, wife of William Sparks, had died May 4, 1853. [As noted above, Mary Sparks stated that Sarah, or Sally, had died May 4, 1852.]
Widow's Certificate No. 492,345 was issued to Mary Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died March 22, 1912, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: Edward F. Sparks, a son of 90. William and Cordelia (Donavan) Sparks, was born ca. 1829 in Lewis County, Kentucky. William Sparks, Edward's father, had served in the War of 1812 and had received bounty land for that service. (See the Quarterly of September 1965, Whole No. 51, pp. 928-30 for further details regarding his service.) In the same article of 1965, we noted that William had a son named Edward F. Sparks, but at that time, we did not have the information about Edward that is contained in his Civil War pension application.
[In the Quarterly of September 1970, Whole No. 71, pp. 1334-36, we presented additional information on 90. William and Cordelia Sparks and their family. William had been born ca. 1794 in Kentucky and had been married to Cordelia Donavan (also born ca. 1794) on August 8, 1815, in Fleming County, Kentucky. by 1840, they had moved to adjoining Lewis County, Kentucky, where they were still living when the 1850 census was taken.
[Edward F. Sparks was married in Lewis County, Kentucky, to Sarah ["Sally"] Criswell on March 16, 1849, by a minister named John Waddell. Their marriage bond, dated January 8, 1849, indicated that William Sparks, Edward's father, had served as his son's bondsman. When the 1850 census of Lewis County was taken, Edward and Sally, with their 6-months-old baby named Milton Sparks, were shown as living in the same household as William and Cordelia. Edward's age was given as 21 while that of Sally was 25; both were shown as natives of Kentucky. Also living in this household in 1850 was 5-year-old Moses Evans, a son of a deceased daughter of William and Cordelia named Elizabeth. (Elizabeth Sparks had been married in Lewis County to Michael Evans in 1838, marriage bond dated January 8, 1838.)
[Living quite near the household of William and Cordelia Sparks in 1850 was their son, William A. Sparks, age 22, with his wife, Mary, and their two children, Julia A. Sparks, age 3, and Cordelia Sparks, age one year (obviously named for her grandmother). This was the William A. Sparks who had been married in 1847 to Mary Meenach. Their Lewis County marriage bond, dated January 8, 1847, had been signed by Mary's father, Alexander Meenach. On this bond, William was recorded as "William Sparks, Jr.," and Mary was called by her nickname, "Polly."
[According to the testimony of Mrs. Elizabeth Bolin in support of the application of Mary Sparks for a pension, she, Mrs. Bolin, had come to Platte County, Missouri, from Lewis County, Kentucky, in the same boat as the Sparks family, in the fall of 1852, and she had been with them when Sally Sparks, wife of Edward F. Sparks, died May 4, 1853. Although Mary Sparks, in her pension application, stated that Sally Sparks had died May 4, 1852, we believe that the year had been 1853, as stated by Mrs. Bolin, i.e., after, rather than before, their migration to Missouri.
[Sevillia Roberts, still a resident of Weston, Platte County, Missouri, in her affidavit of September 23, 1899, recalled that William A. Sparks had died in the fall of 1854 and had been buried at Weston, in Platte County. She stated that, after the death of William Sparks, his widow, Mary Sparks, had been married to Edward F. Sparks, and that they had then moved away. Mary Sparks stated in her pension application that she and Edward F. Sparks had been married in Andrew County, Missouri, on March 18, 1856. This contradicts Sevillia Roberts' affidavit that Mary and Edward had been married in Platte County and had later moved away.
[It was, indeed, to Andrew County, Missouri, that Edward and Mary, with their children by their earlier marriages, had moved prior to the taking of the 1860 census.
[William and Cordelia Sparks, the parents of Edward F. Sparks and his siblings, had also moved to Andrew County, for it was as a resident of Andrew County, Missouri, that William Sparks had applied on March 7, 1856, for additional bounty land for his service in the War of 1812. He had first applied, as a resident of Lewis County, Kentucky, under the Congressional Act of 1850 granting bounty land in the west to veterans who could prove that they had served in the War of 1812. William had been granted 80 acres of land at that time. A new Congressional Act of 1856 increased the amount of land that a veteran might obtain to 160 acres. William promptly applied for 80 additional acres on March 17, 1856, but he now stated that he resided in Andrew County, Missouri. Whether William and Cordelia had accompanied their sons to Platte County, Missouri, in the autumn of 1852, and then moved on to Andrew County, or whether they had gone there directly, we do not know. by June 1, 1860, however, William Sparks had died, and his widow, Cordelia, was living in the household of her son, Edward, according to the 1860 census. James Harvey Sparks (sometimes called Harvey), also a son of William and Cordelia, had also settled in Andrew County with his wife and family. On the 1860 census of Andrew County, on which he was called "Harvey Sparks," James was shown with his wife, Phebe, and five children. Their second child, William Sparks, age 9, was shown as having been born in Kentucky, while their third child, Marie Sparks, age 6, had been born in Missouri.
[Edward F. Sparks's household was enumerated as follows on the 1860 census, in Jefferson Township, Andrew County, Missouri:
[The two children of Mary (Meenach) Sparks and her first husband, William A. Sparks, Julia A. Sparks, age 13 in 1860, and Cordelia Sparks, age 11, were living in Edward Sparks's household that year, as was Moses Evans, age 15, son of Edward's sister, Elizabeth. (Moses had been living with his grandparents when the 1850 census was taken in Lewis County, Kentucky.) Edward's three children by his first wife, Sally (Criswell) Sparks, were with their father and stepmother. Mary Sparks was also their aunt, of course. They were Milton Sparks, age 10; Elizabeth Sparks, age 9; and Phebe Sparks, age 7. The two youngest girls in Edward's 1860 household, Catherine, age 4, and Minerva, age 2, were doubtless the children of Edward and Mary. Cordelia Sparks, age 65, was Edward's widowed mother.
[A descendant of Catherine (or Katherine) Sparks has a family record giving her date of birth as April 24, 1856. Since Edward's first wife. Sally (Criswell) Sparks, had died in either 1852 or 1853, she could not have been Catherine's mother. However, Mary (Meenach) Sparks stated in her pension application that she and Edward had been married on March 18, 1856, which would have been less than a month before Catherine's birth. Mary may have erred in recalling the year of her and Edward's marriage, noting that she appears to have been mistaken regarding the place of their marriage as well as the year Sally (Criswell) Sparks had died.
[From later census records, it appears that the daughter of Edward and Mary called Minerva in 1860 was actually named Lucy Minerva, since she was called Lucy M. Sparks on the 1870 census of Andrew County. Three additional children were born to Edward and Mary Sparks after 1860: Martha J. Sparks born ca. 1861; and twins born ca. 1864, Anna Maria Sparks and Hattie J. Sparks.
[The 1880 census provided for the relationship of each member of a household to the head of his or her household to be recorded. Edward L. Sparks's household in Andrew County that year included his wife, Mary, and their three daughters:
Martha J. Sparks, age 19; Anna M. Sparks, age 16; and Charlotte M. Sparks, also 16. Three grandchildren were also living with Edward and Mary in 1880:
Henrietta Williams, age 8; Virginia Williams, age 6; and Martha E. Williams, age 5. It would appear that a deceased daughter of Edward had been married to FNU Williams and that Edward and Mary Sparks had taken her three children into their home.
[Milton Sparks, Edward's son by his first wife. Sally Criswell, also headed a household in Andrew County, Missouri, in 1880. He was shown on the census as 30 years of age, while his wife, Ann E. Sparks, was 25. They had two children by then: Hattie J. Sparks, age one year, and William A. Sparks, age one month as of June 1.
[Edward and Mary's daughter named Catherine (or Katherine) married David McCollum according to a descendant. She died in Missouri on April 16, 1882, leaving daughters named Mary Ellen and Maude McCollum.
[We shall welcome further information on this family from any descendant who happens to read this account.]
JONAS SPARKS, son of William and Malinda (Mattox) Sparks, was born ca. 1826, probably in Lewis County, Kentucky. He married Martha Patton on August 21, 1845, in Lewis County. He served in Company D, 23rd Regiment Kentucky Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 601,426; Wid. Cert. No. 482,213.
On July 21, 1888, the War Department responded to a request from the Commissioner of Pensions for the military records of Jonas Sparks who had applied for a pension, although his application is not included in the "Selected Papers" from his pension file. The War Department indicated that Jonas Sparks had been enrolled as a private in Company D, 23rd Regiment Kentucky Infantry on November 26, 1861, at Camp King, Kentucky, for a period of three years. He had been present for duty until September 1863, when he was reported as "absent-wagonmaster on Brigade Team." He had remained on detached service until he was mustered out of service on a Detachment Muster-out Roll on January 8, 1865, at Huntsville, Alabama, by reason of the expiration of his term of service. There was no record of disability on file for him.
Apparently Sparks had made an application for an invalid pension, for on October 20, 1888, two affidavits were made on his behalf. Both were by neighbors, James McCoe, age 51, a resident of Peach Grove, Pendleton County, Kentucky, and Hart Moore, age 39, also of Peach Grove. They testified that Sparks was unable to perform normal farm work because of his difficulty in breathing and the fluttering of his heart. In spite of this testimony, however, Jonas Sparks was denied a pension at that time.
On July 28, 1890, Jonas Sparks, age 64 and still a resident of Peach Grove, Kentucky, reapplied for an invalid pension under the provisions of the 1890 Act of Congress. He stated that he continued to be troubled by heart disease, and he also had a bad leg which had been broken while he was in the army by the kick of a horse. John Dawson and William Dawson witnessed his signature. Invalid Certificate No. 601,426 was issued to Sparks, and he was placed on the pension roll at a monthly rate of $12.00.
Jonas Sparks died December 21, 1898, and on December 30, 1898, his widow, Martha Sparks, age 68, a resident of Peach Grove, Kentucky, applied for a widow's pension under the 1890 Act of Congress. She stated that she and Jonas Sparks had been married at Clarksburgh in Lewis County, Kentucky, on August 21, 1845, by John Tomson, Esq. It had been the first marriage for both of them. She appointed W. L. Southgate of Fulmouth, Kentucky, as her attorney to assist her in obtaining a pension. James H. Moore and G. N. Ellis witnessed her make her mark on her application.
On January 30, 1899, Martha Sparks testified that she had no stocks, notes, or bonds, nor any income. She had a one-third interest in a 50-acre tract of rough, hilly land belonging to her husband's estate. She also had three grandchildren to rear. James McCoe and Daniel A. Fossit witnessed her affidavit.
On the same day, five neighbors of Martha Sparks made affidavits to support her application: Eada F. Moore, Daniel A. Fossit, G. S. Daniel, James McCoe, and C. G. Ellis. Each one stated that Jonas and Martha had lived together as man and wife and had never been divorced; also that, following Jonas' death, Martha had no means of support, nor anyone legally bound to support her.
Widow Certificate No. 482,213 was issued to Martha Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died between February 4, 1901, and April 10, 1901, she was receiving a pension of $8.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: Jonas Sparks was a son of William and Malinda (Mattox) Sparks, they having been married in Nicholas County, Kentucky, in 1825. The marriage bond for Jonas Sparks and Martha Patton, issued in Lewis County, Kentucky, was dated January 8, 1845. On this bond, Jonas was identified as a son of Malinda Sparks, his father being deceased. Martha was identified as a daughter of Charles Patton. Martha was still living when the 1900 census was taken, and there the date of her birth was given as June 1830.
[When the 1850 census was taken, Jonas and Martha Sparks were living in Pendleton County, Kentucky; his age was given as 23 and hers as 18. From this and later census records for Pendleton County, it appears that Jonas and Martha were the parents of the following children:
Children of Jonas and Martha (Patton) Sparks, based on census records:
William Sparks, born ca. 1846. Arena Sparks, born in 1850. Alfred P. Sparks, born in July 1853. Alien S. Sparks, born ca. 1855. Sanford Sparks, born in June 1858. Theodore Sparks, born ca. 1865.
[The son of Jonas and Martha (Patton) Sparks named William was shown on the 1880 census of Pendleton County, Kentucky, with wife named Maria A. Sparks, age 29, and children: Charles A. Sparks, age 8; Leo T. Sparks, age 6; Alien H. Sparks, age 4; and Everett C. Sparks, age 2.
[Alfred P. Sparks, son of Jonas and Martha (Patton) Sparks, was shown on the 1900 census of Pendleton County, Kentucky, with his wife Elizabeth, age 37. They had been married for 18 years and had the following children then living in their household: John M. Sparks, born in October 1882; Jessie M. Sparks, born in February 1884; Gracie P. Sparks, born in April 1885; --?-- L. Sparks, daughter, born in July 1888; Ella V. Sparks, born in April, 1890; Harvey R. Sparks, born in June 1893, and Leslie H. Sparks, daughter, born in February 1898.
[When the 1900 census of Pendleton County, Kentucky, was taken, Sanford (or Sandford) Sparks, who was then a widower, was living with his mother, Martha Sparks, age 69. Sanford had been married, according to an obituary of his son, Ed Sparks (1883-1954), to Anna Watkin. Two of Sanford's children were living with him and his mother in 1900: George P. Sparks, born in July 1878, and Freddie E. Sparks, born in December 1886. The son of Sanford named Ed Sparks (1883-1954). had been married to Lillian May Edwards on March 10, 1909.