Whole Number 199
Editor's Note: From time to time we have been publishing abstracts of pension application files of Union soldiers (or their heirs) who had served In the CIvil War. (Confederate veterans could not qualify for federal pensions.) A great many Union veterans, or theIr widows (sometimes their parents and their children), applied for pensions because of health and/or financial need resulting from theIr military service. Congress was Increasingly generous in providing pensions for Union Army veterans and/or 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 the payment of a fee, one can obtain either a copy of "selected papers" or of the entire file for a given applicant . The " selected papers, " usually not more than ten sheets, have been selected because they are the papers considered to be most significant from a genealogical point of view. 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 . The following abstracts are from "selected papers. "
It was In the Quarterly of September 1967, Whole No.59, that we began publishing these abstracts . We have continued to use them as space permitted, adding editorial notes of any genealogical information that we may have regarding the veteran and his family . Below we continue this series of abstracts.
|WILLIAM I. SPARKS,
||was born ca. 1842 and died February 18, 1867. He was a son of Virgil and Harriet (Terwilliger) Sparks who were living in Ulster County, New York, in 1850. He served in Company E, 80th Regiment New York Volunteers (20th New York Militia). File Designations: Inv. Appl. No. 119,363; Mother's Cert. No. 232,595; Father's Cert. No. 468,453.
William I . Sparks made a Declaration for an Invalid Pension on or about November 23, 1866; however, no copy of the declaration is among the "selected papers" from his pension file at the National Archives . He died a few months later .
On June 14, 1884, Harriet Sparks, age 56, a resident of Hamorrack, Ulster County, New York, made a Declaration for a Mother's Pension. She stated that she was the mother of William I. Sparks who had enlisted on September 25, 1861, in Company E, 20th Regiment New York Volunteers to serve in the CIvil War. While on duty, her son had contracted a chronic diarrhea that had continued until his death on February 18, 1867, at Hamorrack, Ulster County, New York. She stated that she had been married to Virgil Sparks, father of her son, on November 18, 1843, at Shawangunk, New York, by the Rev . John T. Demarest. Her maiden name had been Harriet Terwilliger. She had been partially dependent upon her son for support. Her husband, Virgil Sparks, was still living, and they had three children who were still under the age of sixteen years when their brother, William I . Sparks, had died in 1867. They were:
Emma F. Sparks, born September 17, 1854.
Jessie D. Sparks, born October 4, 1860.
Eddie B. Sparks, born September 30, 1863.
Harriet Sparks appointed B . T . Wolf of Middleton, New York, as her attorney to assist her in obtaining a pension; her application was witnessed by Solomon Krom and Jesse C. Hansee.
On May 1, 1885, the War Department sent the Commissioner of Pensions a record of the military service of William I . Sparks. He had been enrolled as a private in Company E, 80th Regiment, New York Volunteers on September 25, 1861, at Wawarsing, New York. At that time, he was 18 years of age. He had served until he was mustered out of this company on September 24, 1864, near Petersburg, Virginia, by reason of the expiration of his service time.
A Mother's Pension Certificate No. 232,595 was issued to Harriet Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died February 2, 1898, she was receiving a pension of $12.00 per month.
On February 15, 1898, Virgil Sparks, age 77, a resident of Spring Glen, New York, made a declaration for a Father's Pension. He stated that he was the father of William l. Sparks who had been enrolled on September 25, 1861, in Company E, 20th Regiment New York Militia [sic] and had served until he had been discharged on September 24, 1864, at City Point, Virginia. After his son's death on February 18, 1867, his mother, Harriet Sparks, had been granted a pension for her son's military service. Since she had died February 2, 1898, Virgil Sparks now requested that he receive a continuation of this pension. He appointed George G . Keeler of Ellenville, New York, as his attorney to assist him in obtaining this continuation. William A. Tice and Isaac A. Coon witnessed his signature.
Sparks made an affidavit on May 17, 1898, to support his application. He stated that he owned no property except a small amount of household furniture worth about 30 or 35 dollars. There was no one who was legally bound to furnish his support, and he had no means of support except by his own labor. His age prohibited him from earning more that 50 to 75 cents per day.
Horace H . Terwilligar, age 60, a resident of Ellenville, New York, and Sanford Cudney, age 49, a resident of Spring Glen, New York, supported Sparks' s affidavit. They stated that neither Sparks nor his wife had any property.
On May 25, 1898, the Rev. E. O. Moffett, age 40, a resident of Shawwangunk, New York, and the pastor of the Reformed Church of New Prospect, New York, stated that the church's marriage record book contained the entry that on November 18, 1841, Virgil Sparks and Harriet Terwilliger had been married by the Rev . John T . Demerest . Witnesses to the marriage had been C. Upright and C. Schoonmaker .
On May 31, 1898, Newton Rockwell, age 50, a resident of Ellenville, New York, and an assessor for the town of Wawarsing, New York, swore that neither Harriet Sparks nor Virgil Sparks had been on the assessment rolls for the past eight years.
On June 3, 1898, John Van Horn, 55, clerk of the town of Wawarsing, stated that the town's Register of Vital Statistics contained a record of the death of Harriet Sparks. She had died at Spring Glen, New York, on February 3, 1898, at the age of 71 years, 6 months, and 23 days. Her birthplace had been New Prospect, New York; her father's name was Sweyn Terwililger, and her mother's name was Julia A. Terwilliger. Harriet had been buried in the "Old Cemetery. "
Father's CertIficate No. 468,453 was Issued to Virgil Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll. When he died January 14, 1906, he was receiving a pension of $12 per month.
[Editor's Note: When the 1850 census was taken in New York, the household of Virgil Sparks was recorded in Wawarsing Township. (See pages 2396+ of the March 1982 issue of the Quarterly, No. 118, for a record of Sparkses appearing on the 1850 census of New York.) Virgil Sparks's family was given as follows:
|Surname||Given Name||Age||Born in:||Occupation||"Canal"|
|Sparks||Virgil||35||New York||Real Estate||$200|
[William I. Sparks, subject of this pension file, was, of course, the 9-year-old son (apparently the oldest child) of Virgil and Harriet Sparks on the 1850 census. No earlier record of Virgil has been found, nor have we been able to identify his parents.
[In her application for a Mother's Pension, Harriet stated her marriage to Virgil Sparks had been on November 18, 1843. In the affidavit of the the Rev. E. 0. Moffett dated May 25, 1898, the date had been November 18, 1841. Her maiden name had been Harriet Terwilliger, and from the record made by the clerk of the town of Wawarsing, Ulster County, when she died in 1898, she had been born in New Prospect, New York, the daughter of Sweyn and Julia A. Terwilliger. Among the Sparks marriages taken from the "New York Marriages from 1830 to 1871" given on page 5720 of the present issue of the Quarterly, there are records of two other Sparks/Terwilliger unions:
Theodore W. Sparks to Emily Ann Terwilliger on May 28, 1856, both of Wawarsing; and Joseph 0. Sparks to Emily Ann Terwelliger, both of Gardiner. (It appears that, in deed, the two Emily Ann Terwilligers were different women with the same name.)
[Theodore W. Sparks, who married Emily A. Terwilliger in 1856, also served in the Civil war; he died in service on April 14, 1863. He had been shown on the 1850 census, age 22, as born In Sullivan County, New York, which adjoins Ulster County. He was then living in the household of Green M. Masters in Shawangunk Township, Ulster County. Theodore's widow was granted a widow's pension, and the "selected papers" from her file were abstracted for the September 1992 Issue of the Quarterly, pp.4010-11.
[Also in the same issue of the Quarterly (September, 1992, No. 159, 4015-16) we published an abstract of the Civil War pension application of the widow of Calvin Sparks (1822-1862) whose name was Helen (Misner) Sparks. She was living in Ellenville, Ulster County, New York, when she made application on November 10, 1862. Calvin Sparks had been listed on the 1850 census of Wawarsing Township, Ulster County, as a member of the Joseph W. Edwards household. His age was given as 24, a laborer. Virgil Sparks had appeared In this same township in 1850.
[It would seem probable that these men named Sparks were somehow related to each other. We hope that a descendant of one of them will write to us.]
was born in June 1844 in Estill County, Kentucky, and was a son of Barnett and Polly (Muck) Sparks. He married Nancy Isaacs in 1863 in Jackson County, Kentucky. He served in Company E, 47th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry Volunteers. Files designations: Inv.Cert. No. 820,844; Wid. Cert. No. 818,483; Wid.Cert.No. 820,844.
Thomas Sparks applied for in Invalid Pension on July 23, 1886, but no copy of his application form is among the "selected papers" from his file at the National Archives. On December 4, 1886, the Commission of Pensions requested that the Adjutant-General furnish Sparks's military records to the Pension Office; the Adjutant-General's office complied on March 1, 1887. Thomas Sparks had been enrolled as a private in Company E, 47th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Infantry Volunteers on June 24; 1863, at Irvine, Kentucky, to serve for one year. He was mustered out with his company on December 26, 1864, at Lexington, Kentucky. There is no record of any disability suffered by him in the company's muster-roll.
Sparks's application for a pension was denied by the Bureau of Pensions; however, he applied again on November 27, 1891, under the June 1890 Act of Congress. He was now 46 years of age and a resident of Pauls Valley, Indian Territory [the future state of Oklahoma]. He testified that he had been enrolled on June 24, 1865, in Capt H. J. Clark's Company E of the 47th Regiment of Kentucky Infantry, and he had served until he was mustered out with his company on December 26, 1864, at Lexington, Kentucky. He was now unable to earn his support because of rheumatism, weak lungs, and weak eyes caused by too much exposure during his service. He appointed Clement W. Bennett of Washington, D.C., as his attorney to assist him in obtaining a pension. J. S. Imboden, Jr. attested the application, and R. S . McKinney witnessed Sparks make his mark .
Thomas Sparks was given a physical examination on 3 February 1892, by Doctors WIlliam J. Brown and S. S. Carr. He was now 47 years old; he was 5 feet and 11 inches in height; and he weighed 149 pounds. His examiners found that he weighed 149 pounds. They stated also that he suffered a 12/18 pension rating, and that he had little vision in his right eye. They recommended a 12/18 pension for him.
Sparks was given another physical examination on September 7, 1892, by Doctors V. C Wood, Robt. E. Innis, and S. T. Burch. They now recommended an 8/18 pension rating because of a disease of the eyes, a disease of the throat and general debility. None of these conditions, they stated, had been caused by vicious habits .
Thomas Sparks was issued Invalid CertIficate No. 820,844, and he was placed on the pensIon roll. He applied for increased pension benefits on December 17, 1895, claiming a greatly impaired physical condition. He was now 53 years old and a resident of McGee, Pontotoc County, Indian Territory. He appointed Charles and William King of Washington, D. C., as his attorneys to help him obtain an Increase. J. A. Carleton and T. C. Moad attested to this declaration .
Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on July 8, 1899. He stated that he had been married to Nancy Isaacs on December 31, 1868, in Jackson County, Kentucky, by the Rev. Abel Bryant. It had been his first marriage. They had had nine children, but he could remember the birth dates of only two of them. Their names were:
Samuel Sparks, born November 10, 1869
Dovie Sparks, born August 31, 1872
Jefferson H. Sparks
Mary Eliza Sparks
Thomas Sparks applied for an Increase in his pension benefits on June 8, 1912, under provision of the May 1912 Act of Congress. He was now 69 years old and a resident of Konawa, Seminole County, Oklahoma. Oklahoma had entered the Union as the 46th state in 1907. Thomas stated in his 1912 application that he had lived in several places since leaving the military service. Among these were Pauls Valley, Calvin, Maxwell, and Konawa--all in what was now Oklahoma.
On March 8, 1915, Thomas Sparks responded to another questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions. In completing this, he stated that he had been born in June 1844 In Estill County, Kentucky. He had been married to Nancy Isaacs on December 31, 1868, in Jackson County, Kentucky. They were still living together; they had nine children, as reported In 1899, but he was now able to provide the year of birth for all nine. He Identified the same nine as in 1912, but he called some by their nicknames:
Samuel Sparks, Born November 10, 1869
Dovie Sparks, born August 31, 1872
DollIe Sparks, born in 1874
Barnie [Barnett] Sparks, born July 29, 1878
Joe [Josiah] Sparks, born July 24, 1881
Jim [James] Sparks, born in 1884
Amanda Sparks, born in 1888
Jeff [Jefferson H.] Sparks, born in 1891
Mary [Mary Eliza] Sparks, born in 1894
Thomas Sparks died January 18, 1916, at Konawa, Oklahoma. He was receiving a pension then of $21.50 per month. On April 18, 1916, his wife, Nancy Sparks, age 69 years, and a resident of Konawa, Oklahoma, applIed for a Widow's Pension under the provisions of the April 1908 Act of Congress. She stated that she was the widow of Thomas Sparks who had been receiving a pension under Invalid Certificate No. 820,844. He had died January 18, 1916. She appointed R. F. Selton, Washington, D.C., as her attorney to help secure a Widow's Pension for her. M. A. Kennamer and Thomas Sparks [relationship not known] witnessed her make her mark on her application.
Eliza Isaac, age 87, and J. S. Isaac, age 56, both residents of Maxwell, Oklahoma, made a joint affidavit to support the application of Nancy Sparks. [It appears that they had shortened their surname from Isaacs to Isaac.] They stated that they had known Thomas and Nancy Sparks ever since their marriage on December 31, 1868, and that they had always been recognized as husband and wife. Susie Isaacs and Laura Isaacs witnessed Eliza and J. S . Isaac sign this affidavit by making their marks.
E. M. Ward, Clerk of Jackson County, Kentucky, Court, sent to the Bureau of pensions a copy of the marriage record of Thomas Sparks to Nancy Isaacs. They had been married on December 31, 1868, at Samuel Isaacs's house by Abel Bryant. M.G. George Sparks and John Isaacs had been witnesses.
On November 6, 1916, Nancy Sparks made an affidavit to support her pension claim. She swore that she and Thomas Sparks had been married on December 31, 1868. She had been born June 11, 1847, at Proctor, in Lee County, Kentucky. M. A. Kennamer witnessed her make her mark.
Widow's Pension Certificate No. 818,483 was issued to Nancy Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $12.00 per month. When she died February 4, 1924, she was receiving a pensIon of $30.00 per month.
[Editor's Note: Thomas Sparks (1844-1916) was a son of Barnett and Polly (Muck) Sparks; he was the third among their eleven children, all born in that part of Estill County, Kentucky, that was cut off to help form Jackson County In 1858. It was in Jackson County that he married Nancy Isaacs on December 29, 1868, with Samuel Isaacs as his bondsman. We do not know Samuel Isaacs' relationship to Nancy (Isaacs) Sparks.
[Barnett Sparks, father of Thomas Sparks (1844-1916), was born in or about 1815. He was a son of Isaac Sparks, Jr. and his first wife, Annis McGuire. Barnett had been married to Mary ["Polly"] Muck in Estill County, Kentucky, on January 17, 1839. She had been born ca. 1817. He paid taxes in Estill County from 1841 until Jackson County was formed In 1858. Barnett and Polly lived on War Fork of Station Creek.
[Isaac Sparks, Jr., grandfather of Thomas Sparks (1844-1916), was born ca. 1783. This probable year for his birth is based on the fact that Isaac, Jr. began paying taxes in Clark County, Kentucky, in 1804. His first marriage was on March 8, 1809, in Estill County, Kentucky, to Annis McGuire, a daughter of William McGuire. She and Isaac Sparks, Jr. were the parents of four children (Barnett was the 4th) before Annis died between 1816 and 1820. Isaac, Jr. was married, second, about 1822, to Frances Crawford, who bore eleven children. Isaac, Jr., died about 1846. For a record of all of the fifteen children of Isaac Sparks, Jr. see the Quarterly of June 1974, No. 86.
[The great-grandfather of Thomas Sparks (1844-1916) was Isaac Sparks, Sr. An article by the late Paul E . Sparks devoted to Isaac, Sr . and his descendants was begun In the Quarterly of March 1974, No.85, page 1620, and continued in that of June 1974, No. 86. He had been born prior to 1765 according to the 1810 census of Estill County, Kentucky. He was probably nearly seventy years of age when that census was taken, however, because at the May term of the Estill County Court that year (1810) it was ordered that he "be exempt from paying the County levy in the future on account of old age and Infirmity." He had probably been born between 1740 and 1745. No record has been found suggesting where he might have been born. We know that he paid taxes in Fayette County, Kentucky, between 1787 and 1792, at which time he began paying his taxes in the newly created county of Clark. He had probably not moved with the formation of Clark County, nor in 1808 when Estill County was created from Clark and Madison Counties and he became a taxpayer in that new county. In 1810, however, as noted above, he was exempted from paying taxes because of "old age and infirmity."
[Isaac Sparks, Sr. died early in 1815. He left no will, and his personal property was inventoried for sale on May 24, 1815. His widow was Identified as Catherine Sparks in connection with the sale. She was also shown as head of her household in Estill County when the 1820 census was taken. She was not shown, however, on the 1830 census. She had doubtless died by then.
[Isaac Sparks, Sr . and his wife, Catherine, were pioneer settlers In eastern Kentucky. They were the parents of at least nine children, and there are doubtless thousands of their descendants living today.]
WILLIAM SPARKS, son of John and Elizabeth Sparks, was born January 30, 1820, in Licking County, Ohio; he died March 8, 1873, in Union County, Ohio. He married Mary Ann Wolford on August 5, 1841, In Fairfield County, Ohio. He served in Company A, 121st Regiment Ohio Infantry. File Designation: Wid. Appl. No. 295,837.
On February 26, 1882, Mary A. Sparks, widow of William Sparks, applIed for a Widow's Pension based on her late husband's service in Company A, 121st Regiment Ohio Infantry. He had died March 8, 1873, at Richwood, Union County, Ohio.
William Sparks had received a Certificate of DisabilIty for Discharge from his regiment at Camp Dennison, Ohio, on September 24, 1863. He had been enrolled on August 13, 1862, by Capt. H. C. Lawrence of Company A, 121st Regiment Ohio In fantry in Union County, Ohio, to serve for three years in the Union Army. He was then 43 years of age; he had been born in Licking County, Ohio. He had been 5 feet, 10 inches tall; he had a light complexion, blue eyes, and fair hair; and he was a farmer. John T. Carpenter, Surgeon, stated that he had received a disability discharge because he had been incapable of performing his duties as a soldier because of "Endocarditis and Hypertrophy of the heart."
A document in the pensIon file of Mary A. Sparks indicates that William had been present for duty from the date of his enlistment until November 13, 1862, when he was hospitalized at Lebanon, Kentucky. He had remained in the hospital, except for a furlough to his home, until February 1863 when he rejoined his company, and he had been present for duty until June 1, 1863, when he was sent to the hospital in Nashville, Tennessee; from there he was transferred to the hospital at Louisville, Kentucky, where he remained until his discharge in September 1863.
In her application, Mary Ann Sparks stated that she was 53 years old, and that she and Sparks had been married on August 5, 1841, in Fairfield County, Ohio, by E. Spurgeon, a justice of the peace. She stated that none of their children were then (1882) under the age of sixteen. She appointed James B. Cole, Marysville, Ohio, as her attorney to aid her in obtaining a pension.
On August 8, 1882, Mary Ann Sparks testified in an affidavit that her husband had come out of the service suffering from chronic diarrhea and general debility which continued to affect him so severely that, when he took "cerebro-spinal meningitis" in the spring of 1873, he was so debilitated that he died.
On January 10, 1883, J. B. Cole, her attorney, sent a summary of his client's case to the Commissioner of Pensions. It included a statement from Dr. P. H. Bauer and Dr. Elmore Y. King that Sparks had died from ""cerebro-spinal meningitis," prior to his death, that he had been in only fair physical condition, but that he had been able to perform manual labor as a carpenter.
Two weeks later, on January 22, 1883, W. P. Weichman, J. W. Phillips, J. J. Woodruff, and O. Curry made a joint affidavit to support Mrs. Sparks's application. They stated that they were well acquainted with Mrs. Sparks, knew she had no means of support, and that she owned no property. She was dependent upon one son who had no means, himself, except that from his daily labor. They added that they had been well acquainted with William Sparks who, before his enlistment, had been a sound and healthy man, but who came out of the service in feeble health. They also called attention to the fact that Mrs. Sparks had lost a son in the U. S. military service; his name had been John Sparks, also of Company A, 121st Regiment Ohio Infantry, who had been killed at Bentonville, North Carolina.
From the "selected papers" provided by the National Archives from her pension file, we cannot determine whether a pension was approved for Mary Ann Sparks.
[Editor's Note: When the 1850 census of Licking County, Ohio, was taken, William and Mary A. Sparks were listed there with their first five children. It Is of particular interest that they were living in the same dwelling as William's parents, John and Elizabeth Sparks. William's younger brother, George Sparks, was still living at home. The two families were shown as follows:
Licking County, Union Township, 1850 Census, page 307.
Dwelling 2101; Family 2235:
Same Dwelling; Family 2236
[by the time the 1860 Census was taken, WIlliam and Mary Ann Sparks had moved with their family to Claibourne Township in UnIon County, Ohio. Their sixth child, George Sparks, had also been added to their family, as shown below:
Union County, Claibourne Township, 1860 Census, page 44:
[Proof that William Sparks was a son of John and Elizabeth Sparks, with whom he and his family were living in 1850, is found in the death certIficate of William on file in Union County, Ohio. It provides the following information: William Sparks died May 8, 1873, he was a carpenter; his father was John Sparks, his mother was Elizabeth Sparks; his residence at his death was RIchwood, Claibourne Township, UnIon County, Ohio.
[There Is a marriage record preserved In Licking County, Ohio, for John Sparks and Elizabeth Smith dated December 10, 1819; the marriage ceremony was performed by George Callahan, J.P.
[John Sparks was shown as head of his household in Union Township, Licking County, Ohio, when the 1820 census was taken. His household then comprised two males between 16 and 26 years of age (thus born between 1794 and 1804)., and one female, also between 16 and 26. One of the males was, of course, John Sparks, himself; the female was surely his wife, Elizabeth (Smith) Sparks.
[Marriage records dated between 1813 and 1840 are preserved in Licking County, Ohio, for seven other persons named Sparks. It is probable that some of these were related to John Sparks. These seven Sparks marriages were:
Patty Sparks married John Wells, December 9, 1813, by George Callahan, J. P.
William Sparks married Rachel Holmes, August 29, 1822, by Noah Callahan, J.P.
Thomas Sparks married Mary Garey, April 10, 1823, by Wm. Beechland, J.P.
WIlliam Sparks married Barbara Holler, June 15, 1826, by John Spencer.
John Sparks married Eliza Weekly, June 14, 1840, by John Fry, M.G.
Eliza Sparks married David Anthony, July 5, 1840, by George Gardner, J.P.
Sarah Sparks married Madison Bevard, August 1, 1840, by B. C. McLane, J.P.
[The George Sparks shown as living in the household of John and Elizabeth Sparks on the 1850 census of Licking County, age 20, had the middle initial "M" according to later records. Like his brother, William Sparks, George M. Sparks served in the Civil War, Company B, 32nd Regiment OhIo Infantry. Later his widow received a pension based on his service. An abstract of Lydia (Cochran) Sparks's pension file at the National Archives was published in the Quarterly of September 1998, No. 183, pp.5054-55.
[It was after he returned home from service that George M. Sparks married Lydia Cochran on October 25, 1865, at Marysville, Union County, Ohio. According to statements made by Lydia In her pension application in 1887, George had contracted measles while serving in the UnIon Army which "settled In his lungs, " resulting later in his becoming a victim of consumption. He had died May 29, 1880.
[Lydia (Cochran) Sparks stated in 1887 that she and George M. Sparks had had one child named Mamie Sparks born on March 13, 1869. "Mamie" may have been a nick name for Mary. Two dollars were added to Lydia's monthly pensIon for Mamie's support, bringing the total to $10.00. When Lydia applied for an increase In her pension, she stated that she had been born in Union County, Ohio, in July 1837. She died February 9, 1918, Her daughter, Mamie, now Mamie Petty, applied to the Bureau of Pensions for reimbursement for expenses she had incurred with her mother's last illness and death. Mamie gave her address then as 230 Grove Street, Richwood, Ohio. (See the abstract of Lydia's pension papers for further details, in the Quarterly of September 1998, No. 183.)
[In the Editor's Note following the abstract of the pension papers of Lydia (Cochran) Sparks, we speculated that her husband, George M. Sparks, had been a son of John and Elizabeth. As indicated above, we now know that this relationship was, indeed, true. When the 1870 census of Union County, Ohio, was taken, George was living in Claibourne Township with his wife, Lydia, and their one-year-old daughter, Mamie. His age was given as 38, a native of Ohio, and he was a painter by occupation. Also living with George M. Sparks in 1870 was his father, John Sparks, age 73, a farmer, and a native of Kentucky. We assume that John's wife, Elizabeth, mother of George, had died prior to 1870. We have found no clue to reveal the parentage of John Sparks, born ca. 1796/97 in Kentucky.
[As noted in the abstract of the pension file for Mary Ann (Wolford) Sparks, widow of William Sparks, the four men who signed a joint affidavit In support of her application on January 22, 1883, stated that Lydia had "lost a son in the U. S. military service. "The military record of this son of William and Lydia Sparks reveals that he had been their eldest son, named John, probably for his grandfather. He was shown on the 1850 census as age 8, and on the 1860 census as age 18. From the 12-volume Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, published between 1886 and 1893 by the Werner Company in Akron, Ohio, we know that John, at age 19, had enlisted as a private in Company A, 121st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, for three years. His enlistment was in the same company and regiment as that of his father, and on the same day, August 13, 1862. We may wonder whether William Sparks's decision to enlist, at age 43, was In order to look after his son, age 19. It was at the Battle at Bentonville In North Carolina, on March 19, 1865, that John Sparks was killed. His father had been discharged because of his ill health a year and one half earlier.
[Although John Sparks, son of William and Mary Ann (Wolford) Sparks, was only 19 when he enlisted, he owned $250 in property when he died In 1865. His father was appointed administrator of his son's estate by the UnIon County, Ohio, Probate Court. In a document in this probate file dated December 12, 1866, John's siblings and heirs were listed as follows: Ezekiel C. Sparks, "of age;" Nancy E. Sparks; Susan J. Sparks; James C. Sparks; and George Sparks, "minors. "
[We have found no record of Ezekiel C. Sparks after 1866. Nancy E. Sparks, whose age was given as 15 on the 1860 census, did not marry; she died February 14, 1885, according to her death certIficate in Union County, Ohio; her age was given as 41, her place of birth as Licking County, and her place of death as Jackson Township, Union County.
[There is a record In Union County of the marriage of Susan J. Sparks, daughter of William and Mary Ann Sparks, to John Lake dated April 2, 1868.
[As has been noted, one of the six children of William and Mary Ann Sparks was a son named James. His age was given on the 1850 census as 3 years, and on the 1860 census as 12, thus born ca. 1847/48. In the administration of the estate of his brother, John Sparks, he was called James C. Sparks. Like his father and two of his brothers (John and George), James C. Sparks served in the Union Army in the Civil War.
[Most of our information regarding James C. Sparks is found in his application for a pension In 1885 and, following his death on July 2, 1896, the application of his wife for a Widow's Pension. The maiden name of his wife was Sarah A. Smith who had been born in Delaware County, Ohio, and was 57 years old when James died. She had been married previously to Henry Russell in Delaware County; he had died March 1, 1861, according to her own statement in her pension application. To support her application in 1896, the Probate Judge of Delaware County reported to the Bureau of Pensions that the marriage license for James C. Sparks and Sarah A. (Smith) Russell had been issued there on July 16, 1867, but in her pension application, Sarah Ann stated. that the actual marriage ceremony had beem conducted by the Rev. Josiah Knight, also on July 16, 1867, at the post office town of Raymond in Union County, Ohio. (Delaware County and Union County adjoin, Delaware being on the east side of Union County.)
[Here we must include a correction to an unfortunate error made in the Quarterly of March 1991, No. 153, p.2724 and pp.3736-7. In an article there, beginning on page 3722, the late Paul E. Sparks, President of our Association, provided Information he had compiled on a Delaware County family headed by Charles Sparks (1808-1862). He noted that Charles Sparks had been married to Sarah Carpenter on December 25, 1834; Charles died May 7, 1862, and Sarah died June 16, 1884. A record of the births of four children of Charles and Sarah (Carpenter) Sparks had been copied for Paul from the family Bible of Charles Sparks by his and Sarah's great-granddaughter, Beatrice M. Sparks. At that time, Beatrice lived in Columbus, Ohio; she Is now a resident of Mount Vernon, OhIo.
[The four children of Charles and Sarah (Carpenter) Sparks whose births Miss Sparks copied from the family Bible were:
(1) Charles Sparks, Jr., born October 9, 1835;
(2) Sarah Jane Sparks, born May 11, 1841;
(3) Ely J. Sparks, born April 6, 1844; and
(4) John Sparks, born July 11, 1852.
[The household of Charles and Sarah (Carpenter) Sparks on the 1850 census of Delaware County, Ohio, included these four children as they appeared in the family Bible, but there was also a James Sparks, age 3, included. Beatrice then made a further search of Charles Sparks's family Bible, but could find no record of a James Sparks. With the application of James C. Sparks in hand, with the fact that his wife had been a resident of Delaware County, it was quite logical for us to assume that he was the 3-year-old James Sparks shown in Charles Sparks's household on the 1850 census. While we do not know what became of the James Sparks who was shown with Charles and Sarah Sparks in 1850, from the information found in the pension application of William Sparks in Union County, particularly that of his widow, Mary Ann (Wolford) Sparks (page 5727 ), this writer (Russell E. Bidlack) Is now convinced that James C. Sparks, who died July 2, 1896 in Union County, Ohio, was the James C. Sparks, known to have been a son of William and Mary Ann.
[Although an abstract of the pension applications of James C. Sparks and his widow, Sarah Ann, appeared in the Quarterly of March 1991, we repeat it below with, we believe, corrected identification.]
|JAMES C. SPARKS,||doubtless a son of William and Mary Ann (Wolford) Sparks, was born in 1846/47 In Licking County, Ohio. by 1860 he had moved with his parents and siblings to Union County, Ohio. He married Sarah Ann (Smith) Russell, widow of Henry Russell, on July 16, 1867. He served in Company B, 187th Regiment Ohio Infantry... he died in Union County, Ohio, on July 2, 1896... File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 373,015; Wid. Cert. No. 430,900.|
On August 29, 1885, James C. Sparks, a resident of Richwood, Claibourne Township, Union County, Ohio, appeared before John Q. Burguer, clerk of the Union County Common Pleas Court, to make application for an Invalid pension. He stated that he had been enrolled on February 1, 1865, in Company B, 187th Regiment Ohio Volunteers commanded by Capt. John C. bybee, and had served until he was discharged at Macon, Georgia, on January 20, 1866. At the time of his enlistment he had been 5 feet, 7 inches tall; he had a light complexion, blue eyes and light hair; he was 18 years old, and he was a farmer.
Sparks went on to state that while stationed at Barnesville, Georgia, he had contracted severe diarrhea and stomach trouble from eating too much pork and drinking strong coffee while his unit was marching through Georgia. He was not treated by his Regimental Surgeon but by a Rebel Surgeon who lived at Barnesville, and whose name he did not learn. Since leaving. the service, he had continued to suffer from these disabilities and has been unable to earn his support. His statement was witnessed by Eli Sloop and William Burgner.
The War Department confirmed Sparks's military service on May 29, 1886, as James had stated, adding that he had agreed to serve one year when he enlisted at Rich wood, Ohio. He had been reported as present until June 30, 1865, when he had been placed on detached service In the Freedman's Bureau and served with that organization until November 1865 when he rejoined his company. He was mustered out with his company on January 20, 1866, at Macon, Georgia. Regimental Hospital records provided no Information regarding his disabilities.
James C. Sparks was issued Invalid CertIficate No. 373,015, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $6.00 per month. This was increased to $12.00 per month on November 18, 1889. On May 29, 1896, J. N. Rodgers, age 51, a resident of Richwood, Ohio, testified on his behalf, providing a pension increase for James.
Rodgers stated that he was well acquainted with James C. Sparks having served with him during the late war. Prior to going into the service, Sparks had been a stout, able-bodied man, but he had returned from the service with a disease of the of the lungs and head. Rodgers said that Sparks looked like a skeleton and was bedfast most of the time.
James C. Sparks died July 2, 1896, and on July 9, 1896, his widow, Sarah A. Sparks, age 57, applied for a Widow's Pension. She stated that she and Sparks had been married on July 16, 1867, at Raymond, UnIon County,. Ohio, by Josiah Knight, M.G. Prior to her marriage to Sparks, she had been married to Henry Russell who had died March 1, 1861. She and Sparks had no children under the age of sixteen In 1896. (This was a question on the application of any CIvil War widow applying for a pension.) She appointed R. G. Cook, Richwood, Ohio, as her attorney to aid her in obtaining a pension.
On July 13, 1896, the probate judge of Delaware County, Ohio, sent to the Bureau of Pensions a copy of the marriage license of James C. Sparks and Sarah A. Russell dated July 16, 1867. He also sent a copy of the marriage record of W. Henry Russell and Sarah Ann Smith, dated September 1, 1860.
On August 12, 1896, George W. Drum, age 70, and M.. Evans, age 62, both residents of RIchwood, Ohio, made affidavits to support the claim of Sarah A. Sparks. They stated that they were close neighbors of James .and Sarah A. Sparks and knew they had lived together as man and wife until Sparks's death on July 2, 1896.
WIdow's CertIficate No. 430,900 was Issued to Sarah Ann Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. On September 23, 1916, she applied for an increase in her pensIon because of her age. She stated that she had been born in Fairfield County, Ohio, on January 12, 1839. When she died July 9, 1928, she was receiving a monthly pension of $50.00.
[Editor's Note: As discussed on pp.5730-31, this abstract of the pension file of James C. and Sarah A. Sparks was published In the Quarterly 1991, followed by an Editor's Note mistakenly identifying James C. as a son of Charles and Sarah (Carpenter) Sparks of Delaware County, Ohio. We Have Published the abstract here a second time, preceded by a discussion of our conviction that James C. Sparks was actually a son of William and Mary Ann (Wolford) Sparks of Union County, Ohio. We have found no record of children of this couple.]
|P.2.3 THOMAS SAUNDERS SPARKS,||son of P.2 Samuel and Julia Ann (Anderson) Sparks, was born January 22, 1848, In Henderson County, Kentucky; he died September 26, 1934, in Alameda, California. He married Frances Marian Hammonds on May 2, 1883, In McCracken County, Kentucky. He served In Company A, 17th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry. File Identification: Inv. Cert. No. 822,908.|
On February 9, 1876, Thomas S. Sparks, age 27, a resident of Nokomis, Illinois, made an application for an Invalid Army Pension. He stated that he had enlisted on September 1, 1864, at Madisonville, Kentucky, to serve In Company A, commanded by Capt. James C. Bacon, of the 17th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry. He stated that he had served until he was discharged on October 3, 1865, at Russellville, Kentucky, adding that on or about December 20, 1864, he had contracted measles which settled in his lungs causing permanent damage and which now prevented him from performing manual labor as a farmer. He had been treated In the hospitals at Russellville and Bowling Green.
He appointed P. H. Fitzgerald of Indianapolis, Indiana, as his attorney to assist him in obtaining a pension. William McGraw and Samuel Sparks, Thomas' brother, witnessed his signature, and his application was sworn to before R. M. Van Dorn, Clerk of the Montgomery County, Illinois, Circuit Court.
James C. Bacon, late Captain of Company A, 17th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry, made an affidavit on March 23, 1876, that he knew from personal knowledge that Sparks had had the measles in December 1864 near Russellville, Kentucky.
Apparently the application for an invalid pension by Thomas S. Sparks was not acted upon, because there is nothing in his pension file until about twelve years later when his brother, Samuel Sparks, made an affidavit on November 25, 1889, to support his claim. Samuel Sparks, age 41, was then a resident of Posey County, Indiana. He testified that prior to Thomas' enlistment in the U.S. Army he had been a young man of good, sound physical health and had remained in that condition until he contracted measles at Russellville, Kentucky, in the fall of 1864. He added: "I was a comrade of the same company and regiment and I contracted measles and was sent to the hospital, and my brother nursed me until I became convalescent, then he contracted measles, and I nursed him until he was better; and on account of the Rebel General attacking Hopkinsville, KY, and our regiment was ordered to Bowling Green, KY. There I left him at the Bowling Green Hospital when the regiment was ordered back to Russellville, and from that time to the present, he has been a severe sufferer with lung disease and unable to perform hard labor. "
Thomas S. Sparks continued to furnish evidence to support his claim for several years. On October 6, 1891, at Paducah, Kentucky, he swore that he had been discharged from the Army on September 20, 1865, and had not served in any military capacity since then. On July 11, 1892, he testified that he had contracted rheumatism in 1865 while still In the Army. On July 26, 1900, he made a statement at Enid, Oklahoma, that he had had a relapse of the measles during the winter of 1864 while making a forced trip from Russellville to Bowling Green, Kentucky. On August 4, 1900, Sarah Schiller, age 46, a resident of El Reno, Oklahoma, testified that Sparks was a sober man of good moral habits. On August 27, 1900, Nancy A. McGraw, age 55, a resident of Paducah, Kentucky, swore that when Sparks had come out of the Army, he had been suffering from "smothering spells" and pains in his chest.
Invalid Certificate No. 822,908 was finally issued to Thomas S. Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll at the rate of $6.00 per month.
Thomas S. Sparks applied for increased pension benefits on May 17, 1919, under an Act of Congress in 1907. Now 64 years old, he was a resident of Alameda, California. He stated that he had been 5 feet, 9 Inches tall when he enlisted, with a dark complexion, dark hair and grey eyes; and he was a painter. Since leaving the service, he had lived in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, and California. This application was witnessed by T. B. Marshall and Harry H. Harm, both being residents of Alameda, California.
Sparks responded to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions on February 14, 1917. He stated that he had been born January 22, 1848, in Henderson County, Kentucky, and that he had enlisted In the 17th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry at Dickson, Kentucky. He had been married to Frances Marian Hammonds at Paducah, Kentucky, on May 2, 1883, by the Rev. James A. Scott, a Methodist minister. It had been the first marriage for both, and they had had five children:
P.2.3.1 Thomas Francis Sparks, born October 5, 1884.
P.2.3.2 Mary Adilade Sparks, born November 8, 1866 (deceased).
P.2.3.3 WIlliam Powell Sparks, born 1 Jun1889.
P.2.3.4 Charles Albert Sparks, born December 7, 1893.
P.2.3.5 Frances Marian Sparks, born July 15, 1896.
Thomas Saunders Sparks died September 26, 1935, at Alameda, California. His son, Charles A. Sparks, the informant for his death certificate, stated that he did not know the names of the parents of his father. Charles A. Sparks of Sacramento, California, also made a claim for burial expenses of his father on November 12, 1935. The expenses, which included transportation to Oakland, California, amounted to $233.00. The only real property owned by his father was a 10-acre tract of land In New Mexico, valued at $150.00.
[Editor's Note: Thomas Saunders Sparks was a son of Samuel and Julia Ann (Anderson) Sparks. The late Paul E. Sparks did research on this family and prepared an article regarding It for the Quarterly of June 1976, No. 94, pp.1120-21. Also in the June 1976 Quarterly, we published an abstract of the Civil War pension papers of Noah Webster Sparks, eldest brother of Thomas, who served In Company H, 26th Regiment Illinois Infantry. Noah died In 1919 in Chicago, Illinois. Samuel Sparks, another brother of Thomas, served with Thomas in Company A, 17th Regiment Kentucky Cavalry, but did not apply for a pension. The other siblings of Thomas S. Sparks were: Nancy A. Sparks, born ca.1846, married Thomas M. McGraw; Sarah Frances Sparks, born September 25, 1852, married Alexander Wall; Albert Sparks, born October 17, 1855; Henry Sparks, born ca.1858; Richard Sparks, born ca.1860; and Powell Sparks, born ca.1863.]
|44.6.15 SOLOMON S. SPARKS,||son of 44.6 Isaac, Jr. and Frances (Crawford) Sparks, was born ca. 1843. He married Rebecca Ann Horn on July 12, 1863. He stated that he had served In Company B, 7th Regiment Kentucky Infantry, but the War Depart ment could not verify his service. File Designation: Invalid Application No. 1,118,854.|
On June 20, 1892, Solomon S. Sparks, age 48, a resident of Wagersville, Estill County, Kentucky, made an application for an Invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted in July 1863 in Company B, 7th Regiment Kentucky Infantry, and was discharged in November 1863 at Crab Orchard, Kentucky. Sometime in August 1863, while stationed at Somerset, Kentucky, he had been kicked In his chest by a mule. In addition, both of his feet were badly crippled because of being struck by an ax. He appointed B. V. Tierney of Washington, D.C., as his attorney to aid him In obtaining a pension. Rhoda Henderson and Nellie Henderson witnessed him make his mark.
On July 23, 18-92, the War Department wrote to the Bureau of Pensions as follows:
"The name of Solomon Sparks has not been found on rolls of Co. B, 7th Kentucky Volunteers. "
On July 28, 1892, the Bureau of Pensions directed Solomon Sparks to report to a Board of Examining Surgeons, headed by Dr. J. S. Turner, at Irvine, Kentucky. Sparks was told that the Board met at 10 a. m. every Wednesday in each month. On August 17, 1892, the Board, consisting of Dr. G. A. Embry, Dr. John S. Turner and Dr. M. P. Scott, examined Sparks. He was 48 years old; 5 feet, 11 inches tall; and he weighed 130 pounds. The Board supported his claim that he suffered from the kick of a mule and was suffering also from chronic bronchitis, and they recommended a four-elghteenths disability rating. They also found Sparks to be suffering from prominent scar tissue on both feet which were quite tender and painful, and which caused him to limp. The Board recommended a twelve-eighteenths disability rating.
The report of the Board of Examining Surgeons is the last document (in chronological order) In this pensIon file. No Invalid Certificate was approved and no pension was issued.
[Editor's note: Solomon S. Sparks, born ca. 1843, was a son of 44.6 Isaac Sparks, Jr. (ca.1784-ca. 1846) and his second wife, Frances Crawford, daughter of Joseph Crawford, in Madison County, Kentucky. The part of Madison County in which Isaac, Jr. lived on Indian Creek, was cut off to form Jackson County in 1858. by his first wife, Annis McGuire, Isaac Sparks, Jr. was the father of four children; by his second wife, Frances Crawford, he fathered eleven children. Solomon S . was the youngest of his children. Solomon S. was married on July 12, 1863, to Rebecca Ann Horn in Estill County, Kentucky; she was a daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (Wells) Horn.
[The late Paul E . Sparks, who dId extensive research on this branch of the Sparks family, determined that Solomon S . and Rebecca were the parents of at least five children:
188.8.131.52 Susan Sparks was born ca. 1865. She is probably the Emmaline Sparks who married Eli Fox in 1885.
184.108.40.206 Mary F. Sparks was born ca. 1867.
220.127.116.11 John W. Sparks was born ca. 1869. He was probably the John W. Sparks who married Milly Murphy in Jackson County on January 10, 1889. (M.B. 1858-96)
18.104.22.168 Daniel G. Sparks, born ca. 1872. On October 24, 1895, he married Leannah Sparks, daughter of Isaac and Angeline (Alcorn) Sparks (see above). They were married at the home of Daniel's father., in Jackson County. Witnesses were John Sparks, Isaac Sparks, and Sidney Sparks. (M.B. 1858-96)
22.214.171.124 Nancy J. Sparks was born ca. 1877. On January 26,1893, she married Isaac Fowler at her father's home in Jackson County. Isaac Fowler was a son of 126.96.36.199 Lewis and Nancy Jane (Sparks) Fowler and a grandson of 44.6.8 Daniel and Lavina (Carter) Sparks.
[See the lengthy article by Paul E . Sparks entitled "Descendants of Isaac Sparks, Sr. (ca.1740-ca.1815) of Estill County, Kentucky," publIshed in the Quarterly of March 1974, No. 85, pp.1620-1637, and the June 1974 issue, No. 86, pp.1640-1670.]