“To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
An old Chinese proverb.

VOL. XXVI, NO. 1 MARCH, 1978

Index Next Page Previous Page Previous Whole No.

[Note:  Here appear three photographs containing the following captions:]

Paul E. Sparks                                        William P. Johnson

Russell E. Bidlack

(View photographs)


THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.

Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 North Hite Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky (40206)
William P. Johnson, Historian-Genealogist, Box 1770, Raleigh, North Carolina (27602)
Russell E. Bidlack, Secretary-Treasurer & Editor, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104)

The Sparks Family Association was founded in March, 1953, as a nonprofit organi- zation devoted to the assembling and preserving of genealogical and historical materials pertaining to the Sparks family in America.  Membership in the Asso- ciation is open to all persons connected with the Sparks family, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption, and to persons interested in genealogical research. Membership falls into three classes: Active, Contributing, and Sustaining.  Active membership dues are three dollars per year;  Contributing membership dues are four dollars per year; and Sustaining membership dues are any amount over four dollars which the member wishes to contribute for the support of the Association. All members receive THE SPARKS QUARTERLY as it is published in March, June, September, and December.  Back issues are kept in print and are available for $1.00 per issue. The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, 1953. Four indexes have been published for the years 1953 -1957, 1958 -1962, 1963 -1967 and 1968 -72.  Each is available for $2.00. A complete file of all issues of the QUARTERLY (1953 -1977) with the four indexes may be purchased for $65.00. (These 25 years of the QUARTERLY comprise 1960 pages of Sparks Family history.)

The editor of the QUARTERLY is Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104). Back issues and applications for membership are available from Dr. Bidlack. The QUARTERLY is printed by off-set.



By Russell E. Bidlack

With the publication of the December 1977 issue of THE SPARKS QUARTERLY (Vol. XXV, No. 4, Whole No. 100), THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION closed the 25th year of its history. As we enter our second quarter-century, perhaps your editor may be forgiven if he uses some space to reminisce (a sure sign of maturity if not old age). Perhaps he may also be forgiven for the abandonment of the editorial second person on this occasion.

My own interest in genealogy had its beginning while I was a junior in college in1940. A favorite English professor, Dr. Harold Francis Watson, in explaining the historical events portrayed in a play by Shakespeare or a novel by Hawthorne, would frequently refer to the whereabouts of one of his ancestors during that episode in English or American history. Thinking how much more interesting the study of the past would be if one could relate his own family to historical events, I asked Dr. Watson after class one day how a person might go about tracing his ancestry. After a long pause, Dr. Watson responded: "I hesitate to tell you because the genealogical bug may bite you, in which case you will be lost forever." He did tell me, however, and I began the search - - the genealogical bug did bite and, indeed, I have been a victim of this fascinating hobby ever since.

While serving in the U.S. Army in 1942, I was married to my college sweetheart, Melva Helen Sparks. Having searched my own family lines quite extensively by this time, it was natural that I should pursue my wife's ancestry also, which, incidentally, helped to establish a close friendship with my father-in-law, Oral A. Sparks; he entered enthusiastically into the search with me. We soon traced the Sparks line from Iowa, to Missouri, then to the Wilkes-Surry County area of North Carolina.



In 1944, I found a reference in a genealogical handbook to a William Perry Johnson who was also interested in the Sparks family of Wilkes and Surry Counties in North Carolina. A correspondence was begun that has continued ever since. At that time (1944), Mr. Johnson was living in Los Angeles after having served a brief time in the U.S. Army. In his reply to my query, he revealed that he had become interested in family history when he was only 16 years old. After a decade of research, he was then considering whether he might make a professional career of genealogy. This he subsequently did, and William Perry Johnson is recognized today as one of the leading professional genealogists in the country.

It was in December 1951 that the third member of the "triumvirate" that would found THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION was added. I had written to a Rev. Bailey F. Davis in Franklin, Kentucky, who had published a query in a magazine called Genealogy and History regarding his wife's Sparks line. In his reply, dated December 19, 1951, the Rev. Mr. Davis noted: "I was in the Filson Club (in Louisville) recently and a man came in and took a chair at my table. Soon I heard him discoursing with the librarian on the Sparks family so I 'nosed in'." He went on to say that this man was interested primarily in the Sparkses of Lawrence County, Kentucky. "He had his line sketched on brown paper and I glanced at it. ... His name and address is Paul Sparks, 155 North Hite, Louisville 6, Ky."

As it turned out, Paul Sparks had recently contacted Mr. Johnson, and it was soon discovered that Paul's ancestors had come to Kentucky from the same part of North Carolina where my wife's family and that of William had lived. Paul's interest in genealogy had grown out of his close personal relationship with his grandfather, Colby Sparks, with whom he had lived following the death of his mother in 1922. Colby Sparks, who died on June 3, 1951, at the age of 93, loved to reminisce about his forefathers and pioneer times and, with his passing, Paul had begun genealogical research to add to the store of family lore that his grandfather has passed on to him.

The three of us, William, Paul, and I, began exchanging the Sparks data we had collected, sharing our records and our speculations regarding family relationships. It usually happens that, when serious genealogical researchers pursue a family, the search extends much beyond their own direct ancestors, and the three of us gradually realized that we were building up an extensive data base on the Sparks family throughout America. We found ourselves in a position to assist other researchers concerned with branches of the Sparks family in no way connected with our own.

The genesis of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION is found in a letter that William P. Johnson wrote to Paul Sparks and me on February 21, 1953: "In view of the fact that our Sparks research is no longer a matter of local interest or magnitude, but has grown to national proportion (or, as the old lady said, 'my family tree has now become a forest'), I suggest that we organize a Sparks Family Association, or some such title, and publish a small quarterly sheet devoted to family history and genealogy. Call the publication THE SPARKS BULLETIN, for example. Have a membership roll, and charge a fee of $1.00 per year, which entitles the member to receive also the publication."

My own response to William's plan was that, while I found the idea of an association and a family publication intriguing, I simply could not give time to such a project until I had completed my doctoral studies then in progress at the University of Michigan - - I was determined to finish my dissertation by the spring of 1954. The founding of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION was, therefore, primarily the project of William Perry Johnson and Paul E. Sparks, although I did agree to take the post of Secretary -Treasurer.  Paul became President of the Association and William accepted the title Historian-Genealogist. Paul assumed responsibility also for editing, publishing, and mailing what we finally agreed should be called THE SPARKS QUARTERLY. The first issue was dated March 1953.



Members who own the complete file of the QUARTERLY may finding it interesting to read in the first issue the statement regarding what we were attempting to do, including a sketch of how each of us had become interested in the history of the Sparks family. A sentence from that statement may be worth quoting here: "Since the three officers and founders of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION were born between 1910 and 1920, they look forward to at least half a century of activity in the Association." Well - - thus far we have kept half of that promise, haven't we?

At least three hundred family associations such as that of the Sparks family have been founded in the United States through the years, but very few have survived for a quarter of a century and rarely has such an organization enjoyed the generous degree of financial support from its membership as has THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION. The primary reason for our financial stability has been the provision for different kinds of memberships and different dues structures. Initially there were two memberships, with "active" at $1.00 per year and "sustaining" at any amount which the individual member wished to contribute. Later, active membership was increased to $2.00 and then to the present $3.00, and a contributing membership was added ($4.00). As the 1977 financial report of the Secretary-Treasurer clearly indicates, it is the sustaining membership that has provided the extra margin of support which has proven to be so vital. In 1977, out of our total of 544 paid memberships, 243 paid sustaining membership dues ranging from $5.00 to $200.00.

As we invited persons with Sparks ancestry to join the new Association, there were many who laughed at our plan, especially our goal of a membership of 300. One rather well-to-do Sparks expressed his skepticism by saying, "If you can ever persuade as many as 300 people to join, I'll give you $100." He never expected to have to pay up, but he did, in 1955.  As the membership grew, the QUARTERLY increased from its original six pages to ten and then to a minimum of 20. In September 1954, I succeeded Paul as editor; my doctoral studies at the University of Michigan had been completed while his at Indiana University were beginning at that point.

As is repeated in each issue of the QUARTERLY, the ASSOCIATION was founded "as a non-profit organization devoted to the assembling and preserving of genealogical and historical materials pertaining to the Sparks Family in America." As the annual financial report of the Secretary -Treasurer to the membership indicates, all monies received are used to conduct research and to publish THE SPARKS QUARTERLY. The countless hours that have been devoted to this project by the three officers represent for each of us a "labor of love." Only with this kind of personal commitment can a family magazine survive.

The Sparks "family" encompassed in our project includes dozens of individual Sparks families that are in no way related - - there is no common ancestor for all persons named Sparks in America. THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION is not a social organization, and THE SPARKS QUARTERLY is concerned only with Sparks history and genealogy, not the personal activities of its members. We have not held, nor do we contemplate holding, any kind of family reunion. Our communication with our members is through correspondence and the QUARTERLY, in which we are always happy to include genealogical queries. Some individual branches of the Sparks family do hold reunions and other social events, of course.

Our total paid membership reached its highest figure, appropriately, in our 25th year, with a total of 544. Likewise, the Association's income reached an all-time high in 1977 of $4,714.02. Because the study of family history has always had greater appeal to people of retirement age than to youth, few of our charter members are still living (for example, only 18 of our first 100 members remain with us). Furthermore, the interest in genealogy of many who join the Association is shortlived, so it is essential that we try constantly to attract new members. New members frequently provide new data, of course, on some branch of the family. Paul Sparks has made a special effort, at his own expense, to acquaint potentially



interested people in our project. Each year he mails invitations to scores of persons named Sparks whose addresses he has found in telephone books or that have been supplied by our members. Over the past 25 years, a total of 1,691 individuals have been members of the Association at one time or another.

We are sometimes asked, having published nearly 2,000 pages of Sparks history and genealogy in the QUARTERLY, how much longer we will have new material to publish. The answer is that we cannot imagine a time when we will have nothing more to add. We have on hand enough to fill several thousand pages, and more is added nearly every day. Our chief problem is to find time to organize these data for publication.

Photographs of the three founders and officers of the ASSOCIATION appeared in early issues of the QUARTERLY: that of Paul Sparks appeared on the cover of the issue for September 1956; William P. Johnson, with pictures in the background of 24 of his ancestors, was featured on the cover of the March 1957 issue; while my picture appeared in March 1959. It will be noted that we all appear on the cover of the present issue and that the years have taken their toll. We promise to appear again, properly aged, when we celebrate the close of the ASSOCIATION'S 50th year - - in 2002!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


By Russell E. Bidlack

In the March 1964 issue of the QUARTERLY (Vol. XII, No. 1, Whole No. 45, pp. 790-807), we published an article on Jonas Sparks who was a resident of Rowan County, North Carolina, from about 1760 until his death in 1805, except for three or four years that he spent in Kentucky. He lived in that portion of Rowan County that be came Davie County in 1836, often referred to in early records as "the Forks of the Yadkin," about ten miles from Salisbury. We believe, but cannot prove at this time, that Jonas Sparks was closely related to (perhaps a son of) Joseph Sparks who died in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1749.

According to family tradition, the first wife of Jonas Sparks was named Elizabeth; she was the mother of all of his children. In September 1773, Jonas Sparks, with his family, accompanied the family of the famous Daniel Boone and that of Morgan Bryan from North Carolina in search of a new home in what was then the wilderness of Kentucky. Jonas Sparks did not remain in Kentucky with the Boones, however; sometime prior to 1778 he returned to his old home on the Yadkin River in North Carolina.

The first wife of Jonas Sparks died sometime before 1786, for on September 5, 1786, Jonas obtained a bond in Rowan County, North Carolina, to marry Mary Eakle, widow of Jacob Eakle who had died in 1783. Jonas Sparks was Mary's third husband; prior to her marriage to Jacob Eakle in 1779 she had been the widow of Captain Daniel Little. (Daniel Little, born in 1731, died on December 10, 1775, in Salisbury; it is believed that he came to North Carolina from York County, Pennsylvania, and that he had been born in Germany with the original name of Daniel Klein which was Anglicized to Daniel Little. A descendant, Lawrence L. Little, who has done extensive research on Daniel Little, is convinced that he was a son of Ludwig Klein who came with his family from Rotterdam to Philadelphia on the ship Loyal Judith which landed on September 3, 1742. Ludwig Klein settled in York County, Pennsylvania, then migrated to North Carolina in the 1740's, settling in the area that is now Rowan County. It was there that Daniel Little married a neighbor girl named Anna Mary ---- prior to 1753.)  In 1779, three years after the death of Daniel Little, his widow married Jacob Eakle. The marriage bond in Rowan County was dated January 5, 1779, and her name appeared as Anne Mary Little. Jacob Eakle died in 1783, and on August 5, 1783, his widow, Anne Mary, was named by the court to administer his estate jointly with Henry Eakle, but in this document she was called simply Mary Eakle as she was also on the marriage bond when she married her third husband, Jonas Sparks.


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

Jonas Sparks seems to have been a prosperous farmer at the time of his death in 1805. He made his will on May 11, 1805, and died later that year. From his will, it would appear that he had six children; we are not certain of the order of their birth. They were:

1. William Sparks, born during the early 1760's, died in 1822 or 1823. He married Mourning -----; they had nine children. (See pp. 799-801 of the March 1964 QUARTERLY cited above.)

2. Elizabeth Sparks, born February 5, 1765, died June 25, 1863. She married Henry Bryan in 1786; they had 10 children. (See p. 796 of the March 1964 QUARTERLY.)

3. David Sparks, born about 1768. He married Mary Little. (A sketch of his life follows.)

4. Esther Sparks, born March 20, 1770. She married Jesse Caton (or Katon) in 1787. They had 9 children. (See p. 796 of the March 1964 QUARTERLY.)

5. Jonas Sparks, Jr., probably born in the early 1770's, and died between 1802 and 1805 (he was identified as deceased in his father's will). He was married to Anna Caton (or Katon) in 1796. (See p. 795 of the March 1964 QUARTERLY.)

6. Rachel Sparks. She was called Rachel Griggs in her father's will.

According to family tradition, Jonas Sparks's son, David Sparks, objected to his father's marrying the widow, Mary Little Eakel. Descendants recall that she was called a "Dutch woman" and that grandchildren who remembered her said that she had a German accent. Like her first husband, Daniel Little, she was probably "Pennsylvania Dutch," and we can speculate that she was the daughter or granddaughter of another immigrant to Pennsylvania from Germany who, like Daniel Little's father, moved on to North Carolina. David Sparks was about eighteen years old when his father married the "Dutch woman." Despite his objection, not many years passed before David Sparks married his step-mother's only daughter, Mary Little. (A brother of Mary Little, Lewis Little, married Tolitha Sparks and moved with his family to Lincoln County, North Carolina, about 1808. We have not been able to identify this Tolitha Sparks. It may prove significant, however, that on August 17, 1804, a year before his death, Jonas Sparks sold to Lewis Little for 100 pounds a 100-acre tract of land in Rowan County.)

We believe that David Sparks, son of Jonas, was born about 1768 and that he was probably about 21 years old when his and Mary (Little) Sparks's first child, Cornelius Sparks, was born on June 11, 1789. About 1815, David Sparks moved with his wife and children, with the exception of his oldest son, Cornelius, from North Carolina to Tennessee. When the 1820 census was taken, David Sparks was living in Lincoln County, Tennessee; when the census was taken in 1830 he was in Madison County. By 1840 he had moved to Hardeman County, Tennessee, where he was also living in 1850. Mary (Little) Sparks, wife of David Sparks, died between 1840 and 1850, and David Sparks died shortly after 1850.
David and Mary (Little) Sparks were the parents of twelve children:

1. Cornelius Sparks, born June 11, 1789. (See sketch of his life which follows.)

2. Joseph Sparks, born in the 1790's. He was probably the Joseph Sparks who married Febey Hinkle in Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1811 (marriage bond dated January 28, 1811).

3. John Sparks, born in the 1790's. He was probably the John Sparks who married Kitty Harwood, daughter of Henry Harwood, of Rowan County. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1964, p. 804.)

4. Jonas Sparks, born about 1800. He married Rebecca ----- and was living in Tippah County, Mississippi, in 1850 at which time they had six children. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1964, p.,804.)


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued

Children of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, continued:

5. Daniel Sparks, born about 1802. He married Mary Tull in Madison County, Tennessee, in 1827. They are known to have had at least eight children. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1964, p. 805.)

6. William Sparks, born about 1808. He married (first) Emiline Moore and (second) a widow, Mrs. Lucinda Davis. He died in Prairie County, Arkansas, in 1860. He had at least six children by his first wife. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1959, pp. 373-4.)

7. David Sparks, Jr., born about 1808. He married in Madison County, Tennessee, on September 17, 1827, Comfort Moffett. They are known to have had at least ten children and were living in Prairie County, Arkansas in 1860. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1964, p. 805.)

8. Minus Lafayette Sparks (also spelled Miner and Minnie), born about 1811 and died April 23, 1889, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. He married Sarah Cherry and had at least seven children. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1964, pp. 806-07.)

9. Elizabeth Sparks. She married a man named Jarvis.

10. Mary Sparks (called Polly) born February 11, 1797, died November 30, 1877, in McNairy County, Tennessee. She married James D. Hunter and they had ten children. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1964, pp. 806-07, along with her portrait.)

11. Sarah Sparks. No further information.

12. Juliana (or Julie) Sparks, born about 1814. She is believed to have married a man named Birkhead and to have had at least four children. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1964, p. 807.)

Descendants of David Sparks should find interesting a new serial publication called The Little Bit, volume one, number one of which appeared in January 1978. This publication is devoted to tracing the descendants of Captain Daniel Little and is edited by Lawrence L. Little, P.O. Box 607, Portales, New Mexico (88130). The subscription price is $5.00 per year. The first issue contains a biographical sketch of Captain Little which will interest all descendants of Captain Little's grandson, Cornelius Sparks. Captain Little was a prominent citizen of Salisbury, North Carolina, for many years prior to his death in 1775; he operated a tavern and was an extensive land owner. He held a number of political posts, including Constable, Public Gaoler, Town Commissioner, High Sheriff, and Justice of the Peace. He was able to read and write both German and English.

The eldest child of David and Mary (Little) Sparks was named Cornelius Sparks; he was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, on June 11, 1789, and died in Berrien Springs, Michigan, in August 1862. He was married in December 1812 to Susannah Stevens. The marriage bond is on file in Salisbury, Rowan County, and is dated December 14, 1812. Abraham March was the bondsman while John March, Sr., was the witness. We may assume that the marriage took place within a few days of the date of the bond. Susannah Stevens was born October 28, 1794, and died in 1861. Her father was named Spencer Stevens  while her mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Rupert or Robard Robey.  Spencer Stevens was a son of Sampson Stevens (or Stephens) of the Dutchman's Creek area of Rowan County. The spelling of the name differed among different members of the family, but Spencer Stevens seems to have settled on the spelling Stevens for himself and his children, while his brother, William, used the spelling Stephens.

[Scanner's note:  For corrections and additions to the foregoing paragrath see SQ p. 2421.]

Cornelius Sparks left North Carolina in 1814, a year prior to his parents' departure. He, with his wife and infant son, moved with Susannah's parents, Spencer


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

and Elizabeth Stevens, to Wayne County, Indiana. It is believed that several of Susannah's brothers and sisters accompanied them. According to an account of the Sparks family that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on March 29, 1903, which was based on an interview with Mary (Sparks) Park, eldest daughter of Cornelius and Susannah, the family traveled by ox team, camping in a tent at night and driving their livestock with them. Joseph Sparks, eldest child of Cornelius and Susannah, had been born on January 24, 1814, in North Carolina. According to family tradition, little Joseph was nine months old when the family moved to Indiana, which would mean that they made the journey in the autumn of 1814.

According to the account written in 1903 for the Chicago Tribune mentioned above, the Stevens family, with Cornelius Sparks and his wife and son, stopped in Kentucky on their way to Indiana to visit relatives of the Stevenses:

Along the wayside in Kentucky was the home of the Adams, relatives of the mother's side of the family. Beside the babe [nine-month-old Joseph Sparks] there was his father and mother [Cornelius and Susannah Sparks], his grandfather and grandmother [Spencer and Elizabeth Stevens], his great-grandfather and great-grandmother, and there was also present the father of little Joseph's great-grandmother. The mother of his great-grandmother had been there, but she was absent that night, although she was living in another part of the state. This strange meeting was occasioned by some members of the family waiting on the others to come up, as they were known to be moving to the new country across the Ohio.
One of those making the journey to Indiana in 1814 was Joseph Stephens, son of William and Nancy (March) Stephens and a nephew of Spencer Stevens. An orphan's bond in Rowan County reveals that he had been made a ward of his uncle Spencer. As noted earlier, Spencer and William Stephens (or Stevens) were sons of Sampson Stephens (or Stevens) of the Dutchman's Creek area of Rowan County. Spencer adopted the Stevens spelling of his name while his brother's family used Stephens. An obituary of Joseph Stephens, nephew of Spencer, appearing in the November 28, 1877, issue of the Niles Mirror in Michigan, states that he left his uncle's home in Indiana when he was seventeen and lived for the next five years with his grandfather in Kentucky - - it was at this grandfather's home in Kentucky, it may be assumed, that the family stopped on its way to Indiana. Unfortunately, the obituary does not provide the name of Joseph Stephens' grandfather.

Two accounts have been passed down through Cornelius Sparks's descendants regarding his reasons for leaving North Carolina for the "north." Both pertain to his disapproval of slavery. One of these accounts was recorded by the reporter to wrote the article for the Chicago Tribune in 1903 after interviewing Mary (Sparks) Park, daughter of Cornelius:

Cornelius Sparks was an accidental witness to the act of a member of his uncle's family. A colored woman had reared a family of white children, after their own mother had died. She was cruelly knocked down with the butt of a whip because she was unable to suppress her grief at the sale of her own son. That was the spark that set the abolition spirit of Cornelius Sparks aflame. He had known the service of the negro woman to the unfortunate white children, and he resolved to leave the country that harbored such an institution.
Another account is recalled by a great-granddaughter of Cornelius Sparks, Mary (Park) Vogel of Howell, Michigan. Mrs. Vogel's father, Jasper Park (1850 -1920), who was a son of Mary (Sparks) Park, heard the story directly from his grandfather, Cornelius Sparks. Cornelius, so this account goes, had grown up with a slave boy on his father's farm in North Carolina. Because the two boys were of the same age and had played and worked together during their entire boyhood, they were close personal friends, despite the fact that one was a slave and the other the master's son. When the two boys were sixteen, the slave boy committed some offense


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

for which it was determined he should be severely punished. (One cannot but wonder whether he may have run away.) Whatever his crime, the black boy was tied up by his thumbs and whipped. Although Cornelius Sparks always emphasized that it had not been intended that he be whipped to death, the slave boy died as a result. Cornelius was a witness to this brutal act and, thereafter, could never again condone slavery.

Cornelius Sparks and his family remained in Wayne County, Indiana, until 1828 when he and Susannah, with their eight children, moved to what would later become Berrien County in Michigan Territory. (Michigan did not become a state until 1837.) The eldest daughter recalled in 1903: "There the father and sons broke virgin soil, blazed the way to future civilization, the children growing to manhood and womanhood, finally marrying and raising families of their own."

Although Cornelius Sparks, who lived until 1862, probably told his children and grandchildren on many occasions of his journey from Indiana to Michigan Territory in 1828, no one seems to have recorded those memories before they were lost forever. We do have one clue regarding the decision, however. The obituary of Joseph Stephens cited earlier stated that in August 1828 he, with eight others from Wayne County, Indiana, went on an exploring expedition to the area of Michigan that would become Berrien County. The History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan, printed by the D. W. Ensign Company in 1880, states (page 265) that Cornelius Sparks was a member of this exploring party. The Stephens obituary of 1877 states that the party "visited the Carey Mission here, saw McCoy, his Indian school, went to St. Joseph and there was no building there except a small one stuck in the bank of the river to receive goods for the Carey Mission." The account goes on to state that they "encamped on the bluff where the village of St. Joseph now stands, and there was not a sign of a house there. There was a Frenchman lived about two miles up the river who had a large orchard of bearing fruit trees, apples and peaches."

In October 1828, Cornelius Sparks moved with his family to the area which he had explored, settling in what would become Niles Township, Berrien County, "on the bend of the river near [Stephen] Salee on Section 15."  Whether all nine of the explorers of the previous August also returned as settlers is not known. Joseph Stephens, who had married his cousin, Anna Stevens,sister of Susannah, in 1822 is known to have followed Cornelius with his family in 1829.

When the land on which Cornelius Sparks settled was surveyed in 1831, it was found that he had chosen what was designated as a "school section" which meant that he could not obtain a legal deed. He moved across the line from Niles Township to Buchanan Township where he lived for the rest of his life. His brother-in-law, Joseph Stephens, who brought his family to Michigan Territory the following year (1829) settled on Section 7 of Niles Township, adjoining the land owned by Cornelius Sparks.

On April 19, 1830, Susannah (Stevens) Sparks bore her 9th child, Wilson Sparks; he was the second white child born in Berrien County. (Berrien County was not actually created until 1831; when Cornelius Sparks settled there in 1828 it was part of Lenawee County.) In a biographical sketch of Levi Sparks, who was the 6th child of Cornelius and Susannah, it was stated in 1878 that there were only three or four white families in that section of Michigan when the Sparks family arrived in 1828.

Susannah's parents, Spencer and Elizabeth Stevens, remained in Wayne County, Indiana, and it was there that Spencer Stevens died in 1839. His will, dated November 8, 1839, is recorded in Wayne County (Will Book 2, pp. 200-01). In this will, the name is spelled Stevens throughout. One of the provisions made by Spencer Stevens was that three of his sons, Isam, Sampson, and Robert, who were to receive all of his property when their mother, Elizabeth, died, were directed to "pay to Susan Sparks, wife of Cornelius Sparks, one hundred and twenty five dollars" at such time as her mother might die.


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

[Note:  Here appears a photograph (of poor quality) beneath which is the following caption:]



(View photograph)

Mrs. Mary Park Vogel, mentioned earlier as a great-granddaughter of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, owns two articles that originally belonged to her great-grandmother. One is a "bride's kettle" - - a small iron kettle which Susannah's mother gave her when she was married to Cornelius. It was called a "bride's kettle" because it was too small to serve a family. The other article is a large sugar bowl in which Susannah's mother sent her some geranium slips when Cornelius visited her.

He made the journey by horseback and the sugar bowl, the top of which had been broken, was tied to his saddle horn. We do not know when it was the Cornelius made the journey.
Mrs. Vogel also has a chest of drawers which Cornelius had made for his daughter, Mary, when she was married in 1837. She also owns the original daguerrotype from which the photograph of Cornelius Sparks was taken that appears above. She also has one of Susannah, apparently taken at the same time, but it has faded to the point that her features can no longer be seen with any degree of clarity.

Susannah, wife of Cornelius Sparks, died in 1861, month and day not known. Cornelius died on August 17, 1862. An obituary has been found that was published in a religious magazine called the Christian Record in 1862. It reads as follows:

Died at the residence of his son Levi, Aug. 17, 1862, Bro. Cornelius Sparks, age 73 years. When over fifty years of age, under the labors of Eld. John Martindale, Bro. Sparks embrassed the Christian faith, and for twenty years he was a faithful servant of our adorable Redemer. He met death with composure, and closed his eyes upon the scenes of earth with a well grounded hope of a blissful immortality beyond the grave. His body rests in the narrow house appointed for all the living, but his spirit in the bosom of God. Bro. Sparks left nine children and a large circle of friends to mourn his loss. We confidently expect to meet and greet our departed brother in the fair climes of immortal day, where the smart of separation shall be felt and feared no more forever. (signed) William M. Roe, Buchanan, Mich., Aug. 26, 1862.


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

Cornelius Sparks was buried beside his wife in a family cemetery on his home farm in Berrien County, near the town of Buchanan, Michigan. In 1968, Loretta B. Bingham of Battle Creek talked to the present owners of the land, known now as the Chamberlin farm, and visited the "overgrown plot." She found Cornelius' grave stone, but it was lying flat and broken in half. The owners of the land stated that they could recall Susannah's stone that had stood beside that of Cornelius, but Mrs. Bingham could not find it. The name of Cornelius Sparks below the words "Our Father" is clearly visible in a photograph which Mrs. Bingham took.

Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks were the parents of eleven children:

1. Joseph Sparks, born January 24, 1814.
2. Spencer Sparks, born December 9, 1815.
3. David Sparks, born August 14, 1817.
4. Mary Sparks, born July 7, 1819.
5. Elizabeth Sparks, born July 26, 1821.
6. Levi Sparks, born October 3, 1823.
7. Anna Sparks, born September 30, 1825.
8. Ira Sparks, born October 30, 1827.
9. Wilson Sparks, born April 19, 1830.
10. Susannah Sparks (called Susan), born August l, 1832
11. Cynthia Sparks, born August 27, 1834.
1. Joseph Sparks, son of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born on January 24, 1814, in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was nine months old when his parents moved to Wayne County, Indiana, and 14 years old when the family moved

[Note:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

JOSEPH SPARKS, 1814-1905


(View photograph)


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

from Indiana to Michigan Territory. He was married twice, first to Mary Jarvis on June 16, 1839, and, following her death on May 12, 1851, to Caroline Flanegin (or Flanigan) on March 10, 1853. The second wife, Caroline Flanegin, was born July 5, 1826, a daughter of Hugh C. and Mary (Jones) Flanegin.

Joseph Sparks was a life-long resident of Buchanan, Berrien County, Michigan. In a newspaper account dated March 11, 1903, at the time of the golden wedding anniversary of Joseph Sparks and his second wife, Joseph was described as a Republican who had "voted in sixty-five state elections and seventeen national elections." This account continues: "Joseph Sparks is said to be the best authority on the history of the navigation of the St. Joseph River in the lower peninsula. During his time the first boats on the river were placed afloat, the Mary Barney being the first steamer. Mr. Sparks piloted craft over the many riffles of the stream, including that at Mishawaka."

Joseph Sparks died on January 28, 1905.

By his first wife, Mary (Jarvis) Sparks, Joseph Sparks was the father of four children:

(1) Liddy N. Sparks, born about 1841. She apparently died young, sometime after 1850. She was listed as nine years old on the 1850 census.

(2) Helen (or Lucy) Sparks, born about 1845. While descendants of her brothers recall her name as Helen, it was given as Lucy on the 1850 census. A nephew stated a number of years ago that his Aunt Helen had been a teacher and had moved to Chicago soon after 1870. When the 1870 census of Buchanan Township, Berrien County was taken, she was again listed as Lucy Sparks, age 25, with the occupation of "Teacher" and living in the family of Joseph Sparks. She did not marry. A photograph of her has been preserved in the family of her brother, Allen Sparks.

[Note:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]



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(3) Eldon Sparks, born August 10, 1848. Although he seems always to have gone by the name Eldon, he was apparently named Ira Eldon - - the fact that he had an uncle named Ira Sparks perhaps accounts for his use of his middle name. He was married sometime after 1894 to Leona ----- who was a widow with a


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789 -1862, continued:
daughter named Cora. According to an obituary of Leona Sparks published in 1943 "she was a teacher in the Chadron schools in 1894 at the time when she attended the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Hornby. It was at the time of the wedding that she met Mr. Sparks and they were married a year or so later."

Eldon and Leona Sparks had one child, a daughter named Eldene Sparks who married Harold Hawkins; she died on January 16, 1964. Eldon Sparks died on May 20, 1943 at the age of 96, in Seattle, Washington; his wife died a week later on May 27, 1943; she was 78 years old.

As is noted in the sketch of the life of his brother, Allen Sparks (below), Eldon Sparks was associated with Allen Sparks in business in Nebraska and South Dakota and again when they moved to Seattle in 1905.

(4) Allen Sparks, son of Joseph and Mary (Jarvis) Sparks, was born in Berrien County, Michigan, on November 15, 1850, and died in Valentine, Nebraska, on June 11, 1907. His full name was Joseph Allen Sparks, but he always went by the name Allen. He married Margaret Craig, daughter of William Lawrence and Elizabeth (Shoemaker) Craig, on November 19, 1884, in St. Joseph, Missouri. She was born May 6, 1859, in Savannah, Missouri, and died on March 18, 1928, in New York City. They had one child, a son named Leonard Craig Sparks, who was born August 27, 1885, in Valentine, Nebraska, and died in April 1968; he was buried in the Arlington Cemetery. He spent his life in the U.S. military service, retiring as a colonel in 1945. Colonel Sparks was a member of the Sparks Family Association and provided the following sketch of his father's life:

My father [Joseph Allen Sparks left Berrien County, Michigan, in his midtwenties, about 1875, and joined an older sister (Helen) and brother (Eldon)
[Note:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

Son of Joseph & Mary (Jarvis) Sparks

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CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789 -1862, continued:

[Note:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption (the sign is enhanced):]

The Sparks Brothers Store, owned by Allen, Eldon, and Levi C. Sparks, sons of Joseph Sparks and grandsons of Cornelius Sparks. The store was located in Cody, Nebraska, at the back of which was the Cherry County Bank owned by Allen and Eldon Sparks. It is believed that this photograph was taken between 1897 and 1899. Levi Carlton Sparks is standing on the porch, second from the left (on the right of the Indian who is holding his hat). The original of this photograph is owned by Helen Sparks, daughter of Levi Carlton Sparks.

(View photograph)

in Chicago. After a time he and his brother went on farther west. Eldon went to Cheyenne, Wyo., I believe about this time. My father stayed in Omaha, Nebr., where, some months later, he went to work for a new railroad, the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley (now the Northwestern), that was being built from Missouri Valley, on the Missouri River some twenty odd miles north of Omaha, to the Black Hills in southwestern South Dakota. The railroad did not reach Valentine, about three hundred miles northwest of Omaha, until sometime in 1884. After a time my father quit the railroad job and went to Ft. Niobrara where he had acquired the trader-ship. In due time he went on to Valentine and opened a typical frontier general store about the time the railroad reached there. His brother, Eldon, joined him at Valentine and the firm of Sparks Brothers was formed. Later they started the Cherry County Bank. Within the next two or three years, the two younger half-brothers, Levi and Charles, and their sister Mary, arrived in Valentine from Buchanan, Berrien County, Mich. In 1905, two years before my father's death, we, along with his brother Eldon and his family, moved from Valentine to Seattle, Wash. They owned stores in Valentine, Cody, Thatcher, and Norton, Nebr., and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

The town of Sparks, Nebraska, was named for Allen Sparks (full name, Joseph Allen Sparks), it being located on land that he owned. "Initially," according to Colonel Leonard C. Sparks, "this was a station on the Army's overland freight route from old Ft. Randall, S.D. (on the Missouri River just north of the Nebraska state line) to Ft. Niobrara, Nebr.  Ft. Niobrara was established about 1879 -80. It was one of the first Army Posts located along the southern border of the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It was on the Niobrara River a few miles south of the state line and about four miles east of Valentine, Nebr., which later became the county seat of Cherry County. My father was one of the early, if not the first, licensed Post Trader at Ft. Niobrara, in those days a concession to run a store (now called a post exchange) on an Army Post."

Leonard Craig Sparks, only child of Joseph Allen and Margaret (Craig) Sparks, was born in Valentine, Nebraska, on August 27, 1885. He was married to Katherine Speer on June 25, 1924. She was born June 22, 1893, in Washington, D.C., a daughter of James Calvin and Lelia J. (Butterworth) Speer. They had no children. Leonard C. Sparks attended Orchard Military Academy located northwest of Detroit and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery in 1908. For the next 37 years he was stationed at various army posts in the United States, the Philippines, and Hawaii. He served for 18 months in Europe in World War I. He and his wife lived in Washington, D.C., after his retirement in 1945. His wife preceded him in death by two or three years. He died in April 1968.

Joseph Sparks (son of Cornelius Sparks) had four children by his second wife, Caroline Flanegin (or Flanigan):
(5) Levi Carlton Sparks, born March 24, 1854 (see below)
(6) Charles Flanigan Sparks, born about 1856.
(7) Mary E. Sparks, born about 1860.
(8) Netta A. Sparks, born about 1864; died young.

(5) Levi Carlton Sparks, son of Joseph and Caroline (Flanegin) Sparks, was born in Berrien County, Michigan, on March 24, 1854, and died in Valentine, Nebraska, on April 29, 1915. He was married in Cherry County, Nebr., on August 13, 1889, to Bertha Crum Ludwig. She was born September 26, 1865, at Carey, Ohio, and was a daughter of Jacob and Amanda Malvina (Crum) Ludwig. A daughter of Levi Carlton Sparks (Margaret Sparks Smith) wrote the following biographical sketch of her father for the Cherry County, Nebr., Historical Society in 1968:

I do not know just what year he [Levi Carlton Sparks] in to Valentine but believe it was 1884. He worked for his brothers in their stores on the Pine Ridge Reservation and at Cody, Nebraska. While at the Pine Ridge store he learned the Sioux language and it was our understanding that only one man in Valentine, Gary Shaw, was more proficient in it. While at the Pine Ridge store he had a negro cook who often said that he and Mr. Sparks were the only white men on the reservation. The Indians trusted my father and were very friendly with him. One of my earliest recollections is of many Indians coming to our house on Sunday mornings, either to get Father to interpret for them or, in fancy dress, to allow my Mother to photograph them. Mother's collection of Indian photographs was an extremely good one, second only to that of John Anderson at the Rosebud Reservation. Unfortunately, it was burned when our house burned in the 1920's.

Levi C. Sparks was County Superintendent of Schools for Cherry County in 1888-89, perhaps longer. He was married on August 13, 1889, to Bertha


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1785-1862, continued:

[Note:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]



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Crum Ludwig, the Rev. John Bates officiating. The wedding date was set up so Father would have a place to entertain the county teachers during the County Teachers Institute, held just prior to the opening of the county schools.

He retained his interest in all educational matters for many years after his terms as County Superintendent and became friends with many of the instructors who came to Valentine to teach at the County Teachers Institutes and with the teachers in the county and Valentine schools. He worked hard to get the State Teachers College which is now at Chadron located instead in Valentine. He trained a number of young people in public speaking and many of them were successful contestants in statewide declamatory and debating contests.

When his term of office as County Superintendent was over, he worked for Al Thatcher in his store and in the Davenport store. Then he joined Sparks Brothers as a partner in their store at Cody and moved to Cody to take charge of that store. About 1500, Mrs. Sparks inherited the Ludwig Lumber Yard in Valentine from her half-brother, Daniel Ludwig, and the family moved from Cody to Valentine. Mr. Sparks became manager of the Lumber Yard, continuing there until he became paralyzed and no longer able to work.

He was active in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Masonic Lodge, and the Order of the Eastern Star. He was an active (and very vocal) member of the Democratic Party. He was an active member and very great supporter of St. John's Episcopal Church.

     Levi Carlton and Bertha C. (Ludwig) Sparks were the parents of five children:
(a) Walter Ludwig Sparks, died in infancy.

(b) Helen Sparks, born March 24, 1893, in Valentine, Nebraska. She was educated at the University of Nebraska, Colorado State Teachers College, Greeley Teachers College in Colorado, and Columbia Univer sity in New York City. She taught for many years, in Cherry County,


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

in the Valentine City Schools, in Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, and in Winnetka, Illinois. During World War I she worked at Camp Cody in New Mexico in the YWCA Canteen and in New York City with the Salvation Army, on the docks meeting returning service men and serving the famous Salvation Army doughnuts to welcome the men home. After her mother's death, she moved to Los Angeles and worked for the Los Angeles Board of Education until her retirement. Then she worked for the Los Angeles County Court for about two years. In 1967 she moved to La Jolla, Calif., a suburb of San Diego. Since her retirement, she has done a great deal of volunteer work.

Miss Sparks has been most generous not only in her continued support of the SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION, but she has supplied much. of the data for this article and a number of the photographs.

(c) Carleton Joseph Sparks, son of Levi Carlton and Bertha C. (Ludwig) Sparks, was born in Valentine, Nebraska, on November 30, 1898, and died in El Cajon, California, on September 12, 1970. He married Valentine Queen Shaw of Valentine, Nebr., by whom he had one daughter, Patricia Ann Sparks. They were divorced and he married (2d) Dorothy Harms of Valentine on June 18, 1934--one adopted daughter, Doris Margaret Sparks. He and his second wife were also divorced. He was educated at a military academy and at the University of Nebraska. He became a metal lather and worked in various sections of the U.S., returning to Valentine in 1933 to help run the Ludwig Lumber Yard.

While living in Valentine, Charleton Joseph Sparks was very active in local politics, serving several times as mayor and several terms on the City Council. He was also active in St. John's Episcopal Church, in the American Legion, and the Firemen's organization. While Joe and his brother Dan were both partners in the Ludwig Lumber Yard, the term Sparks Brothers again came into common use in Valentine, this time referring to these two nephews of the original Sparks Brothers.

(d) Margaret Sparks, daughter of Levi Carlton and Bertha C. (Ludwig) Sparks, was born in Valentine, Nebr., on May 10, 1901, and died on October 27, 1975, in San Diego, Calif. She was married first to Robert B. Simpson who was killed in 1936. She married second Fred C. Smith on February 19, 1943. She attended the University of Nebraska and the Boyles Business College in Omaha. She worked as a secretary in New York City and Chicago, returning to Valentine in 1930 to work as bookkeeper at her mother's business, the Ludwig Lumber Yard. During her married life, she did considerable volunteer work in libraries and schools. She had no children.

(e) Daniel Ludwig Sparks, son of Levi Carlton Sparks and Bertha C. (Ludwig) Sparks, was born in Valentine, Nebraska; he died in 1969. He was married in 1935 to Mary Jane Morris and they had two children: James Morris Sparks and Helen Margaret Sparks. The latter married Bruce Kabella in 1968 and they had a son named David Wayne Kabella.

(6) Charles Flanigan Sparks, son of Joseph and Caroline (Flanegin) Sparks, was born about 1856, in Berrien County, Michigan. He died in Valentine, Nebr. During the early 1900's he started the Valentine State Bank, became its president, and kept that position until his death. His wife was Minna Ray, one of the children of another early pioneer family in Valentine. They had two children, LaVerne Sparks, who died when a child, and Dorothy Grace Sparks. The latter married Harold Gearin and was living in Los Angeles in 1969. She and her husband had seven children.


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

(7) Mary E. Sparks, daughter of Joseph and Caroline (Flanegin) Sparks, was born about 1860 in Berrien County, Michigan. She died in Valentine, Nebr., on September 4, 1896. She moved to Valentine about 1884 where she taught in the schools until her marriage to Milton Valentine Nicholson. They had one child, Estelle, who died in Long Beach, Calif. Estelle married a man named Thompson and they had three children. Mr. Nicholson married, after Mary's death, Mae O'Sullivan.

(8) Netta A. Sparks, daughter of Joseph and Caroline (Flanegin) Sparks, died young.

[Note:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]



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2. Spencer Sparks, son of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born in Wayne County, Indiana, on December 9, 1815, and died in Berrien County, Michigan, on March 9, 1872. He married Sarah G. Hunter in 1834. She was born in Darke County, Ohio, on October 22, 1815, and died on February 3, 1894. From family and census records, it would appear that they had the following children:

(1) Louise (or Louisa) Sparks, born about 1842. She was listed on the 1850 census as 8 years old; she not listed with the family on the 1860 census.

(2) Susan Sparks, born about 18L2. Her age was given as 18 on the 1860 census. (There is a possibility that she and Louise were the same person.)

(3) John Hunter Sparks, born 1844, died 1912. He was a lumberman of Berrien Springs, Michigan. He married Lurinda Roberts in 1873; she was born in 1843 and died in 1916 and was a daughter of Jacob and Hester Roberts. They had two children:

(a) Claude R. Sparks, born January 27, 1875. He married Arda Skinner on Sept. 20. 1899; she was born Nov. 14, 1877, daughter of James Franklin and Adah (Slonecker) Skinner of Berrien Springs, Mich.

(b) Nina C. Sparks, born June 2, 1876, died in 1928.

(4) William D. Sparks, born about 1845-!.6. His middle name is believed to have been Darius.

(5) Spencer Franklin Sparks, born about 1850. He was listed as Franklin Sparks on the 1860 census but as Spencer F. Sparks in 1870. He married Clara ----- in 1880.


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

Children of Spencer and Sarah G. (Hunter) Sparks, continued:

 (6) Burt Sparks, born about 1854.

 (7) Hulda Sparks, born about 1857.

 (8) Mary Sparks, born about 1858.

3. David Sparks, son of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born in Wayne l County, Indiana, on August 14, 1817, and died in Berrien County, Michigan, in February 1861. He was married (first) to Evaline Hunter; she died on February 1842. He then married (second) Harriet Webster on November 23, 1843. She was born in Virginia about 1825 according to census records.

By his first wife, Evaline (Hunter) Sparks, David Sparks had one son:

(1) Spencer Newton Sparks, born about 1842, died December 22, 1904. He was married on February 11, 1869, in Niles, Michigan, to Phebe Snyder. He was enrolled on Sept. 8, 1862, in Company A, 7th Regiment of' Michigan Cavalry Volunteers and was mustered into service on Oct. 13, 1862. He was discharged on October 13, 1865. In his Civil War pension application it is found that he was living in Sioux City, Iowa, as early as 1893 where he was a carpenter. His eye sight failed and he was no longer able to practice his trade by 1900.
By his second wife, Harriet (Webster) Sparks, David Sparks had the following children:
(2) Catherine Sparks (called Kate) was born about 1845.

(3) Cornelius Sparks, born September 23, 1846, in Niles, Berrien County, Michigan; died on August 16, 1919, in California. He married Melissa Ellen Easton on April 18, 1872 in Niles, Mich.; she died May 4, 1912. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, enlisting at Niles on Feb. 8, 1864, in Company A, 7th Michigan Cavalry, the same unit in which his half-brother, Spencer Newton Sparks, served. On March 10, 1866, he was transferred to Company B of the 1st Regiment, Michigan Veterans Cavalry, at Salt Lake City, Utah. He resided in Marin County, California, for four years after his discharge, then returned to Berrien County, Mich., where he remained until 1902 when he moved to Lodi, California. Cornelius and Melissa Ellen (Easton) Sparks had two children: (a) Lora May Sparks, born Sept. 15, 1873; she married ----- Waddel; and (b) Cora Bell Sparks, born Sept. 3, 1876; she married ----- Linn.

(4) Evelina Sparks, born about 1849. She was married on March 25, 1880, to Joseph Long.

(5) William A. Sparks, born about 1851. He was living with his mother in

(6) Burton J. Sparks, born about 1854-55. He was living with his mother in 1880.

(7) Tillman A. Sparks.

(8) Huldah A. Sparks, born about 1857. Living with her mother in 1880.

(9) Mary Sparks, born about 1858. Living with her mother in 1880.

(10) Violet Sparks.

(11) Frances Sparks, born in 1859-60. She probably died young.


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

[NOTE:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]


Seated (left to right): BETSY (SPARKS) JARVIS and MARY (SPARKS) PARK

Standing (left to right): SUSAN (SPARKS) IRWIN and CYNTHIA SPARKS

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4. Mary Sparks, daughter of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born in Wayne County, Indiana, on July 7, 1819, and died in Buchanan, Michigan, on July 9, 1903. She was married twice, first to Christopher Ribble on September 13, 1837, and, second, following his death on April 2, 1842, to John Wesson Park on July 13, 1847. John W. Park was born December 29, 1808, in Mendon, New Jersey, and died on May 8, 1877. By her first husband, she had one daughter:

(1) Malvina Ribble, born March 17, 1841, died July 19, 1919. She married Robert Walton (born November 11, 1832, died June 25, 1915) on October 4, 1866. They had children named Byron, Jay, Herbert, Roy, Dwight, and Arthur.
By her second husband, Mary (Sparks) Park had three children:
(2) Mary Frances Park, born July 30, 1848, died November 8, 1929. She was married on April 18, 1882, to Howard Miller.

CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

(3) Jasper Park, son of John W. and Mary (Sparks) Park, was born July 20, 1850, in Berrien County, Michigan, and died on April 4, 1920. He was married on July 10, 1883, to Elizabeth Hughes and they had two children:
(a) Mary Park, born May 13, 1884. She was married (first) in Copemish, Michigan, on August 8, 1906, to Stanley Wille. She was married (second) to Abe Vogel in Louisiana, Missouri, on February 22, 1939. Mrs. Vogel presently lives in Howell, Michigan, and enjoys excellent health at the age of 93. She has frequently written for publication, including a novel published in 1970 called And the Stagecoach Tipped Over in which she incorporated many family stories and legends of early Michigan. Mrs. Vogel has provided much of the information and several of the photographs used in this article. By her first husband, she had two daughters: (1) Audrey Emma Wille, born April 18, 1908, in Butte, Montana, married William Bouns on January 2, 1932; and (2) Ardath Elizabeth Wille, born April 21, 1914, in Rupert, Idaho, married Thomas H. Maxon on February 11, 1937

(b) Verna N. Park, born February 19, 1887. She married (first) Robert Howard on June 30, 1909, and (second) Fred G. Upthegrove on October 12, 1943. She also lives in Howell, Michigan.

(4) Nellie Ann Park, daughter of John W. and Mary (Sparks) Park, was born January 13, 1862, died April l, 1950. She married Fred Park on June 1, 1994.
5. Elizabeth Sparks (called Betsy), daughter of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born July 26, 1821, in Wayne County, Indiana, and died on April 25, 1896. She was married to Burton Jarvis on January 2, 1840. He was a son of Zadock and Lucy (Owens) Jarvis and was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, on September 6, 1816. He died on January 2, 1902. When the estate of Burton Jarvis was settled in 1903, it was stated that "Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis died without issue and without a will." Howevar, census records would seem to indicate that they had as many as five children, but all must have died young. These were:
(1) John Jarvis, born about 1845; listed as 15 years old on the 1860 census.

(2) Lucy Jarvis, born about 1843; listed as 17 years old on the 1860 census.

(3) Zadok (or Zed) Jarvis, born about 1848; listed as 12 years old in 1860.

(4) Susy E. Jarvis, born about 1850; listed as 10 years old on the 1860 census.

(5) Joseph A. Jarvis, born about 1851; listed as 9 years old on the 1860 census. When the 1870 census was taken, no children were listed as living with Burton and Elizabeth (Sparks) Jarvis.

6. Levi Sparks, son of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks,-was born in Wayne County, Indiana, on October 3, 1823, and died on September 20, 1900, in Berrien County, Michigan. He was married on January 2, 1845, to Maria Martin, daughter of Thomas R. Martin; she was born in 1826 and died in 1902. They had one son named Edwin E. Sparks; he was born in 1862 and died in 1910. Edwin E. Sparks married Ida Brenner.

The following biographical sketch of Levi Sparks appeared in American Biographical History of Self-Made Men, Michigan Volume, published by the Western Biographical Publishing Company in Cincinnati, in 1878 (p. 59):

The Honorable Levi Sparks, of Buchanan, Michigan, was a native of Wayne County, Ind. to which place his parents removed from North Carolina. In 1828 they settled in what is now Niles Township, Berrien County. At that time only three

CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

[Note:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

LEVI SPARKS, 1823-1900


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or four white families lived in south-west Michigan. Mr. Sparks's boyhood and youth were, consequently, passed amid trials and tribulations of pioneer life and his habits and tastes were formed accordingly. The son of a poor man, resident of a new county, his school education was necessarily limited, but in the broader school of practical experience he was a diligent pupil. His life has been spent on a farm with the exception of five years spent in the mercantile business in Buchanan. This venture was a failure. Mr. Sparks's first official position was that of Paymaster of the 14th Brigade of the Seventh Division of Michigan Militia. His commission was signed by Governor Bingham in May 1857.

He has held various top offices and in 1873-1874 and during the extra session of 1875, he was a member of the State Senate. Here he served on the Committees of State Affairs, immigration, Religious and Benevolent Institutions and Asylums for Deaf, Dumb and Blind. He was distinguished for his opposition to extravagance and particularly he advocated a constitutional amendment granting the women the right of suffrage. He was connected with the Republican party from 1854 to 1874. On account of the subservience of the party to moneyed power of the East and the legislation of Congress in the interests of capitualists and bond-holders against the great laboring and producing classes, he became identified with the Independent Greenback party. In 1876 he gave his hearty support to Peter Cooper and canvassed four Congressional Districts thoroughly. He was also a delegate to the National Convention at Grand Rapids. At the State Convention he was nominated for lieutenant-governor of Michigan. On the withdrawal of the candidate for governor, Mr. Sparks's name was substituted and he received the full vote of the Independent Greenback Party. He has been a member of the Grange since 1874. In his religious views he holds firmly to the truths of revelation, but is unsectarian, and is liberal in his


CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

judgment of those who differ from him in opinion. He has acquired the habit of thinking for himself and acting up to his own convictions. Both in private and public life he has always been a friend of the laboring man. He keeps himself informed of current events and takes an active part in all public matters that he considers for the good of his country. He is one of the oldest pioneers in western Michigan, having resided there fifty years. On the organization of the Berrien County Pioneer Society in 1875, he was made its president. This position he still retains (1878).
 7. Anna Sparks, daughter of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born in  Wayne County, Indiana, on September 30, 1825, and died on October 7, 1845. She was married on December 5, 1844, to Ezra Wilson. He died on July 13, 1883. We  have no record of any children.

8. Ira Sparks, son of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born in Wayne County, Indiana, on October 30, 1827, and died on December 29, 1905. He was married to Elizabeth M. Ford on January 4, 1851, in Berrien County, Michigan. She died on December 24, 1913. From census records it would appear that she was born in Michigan about 1831.

[Note:  Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]


(View photograph)

Ira and Elizabeth M (Ford) Sparks were the parents of the following children, based on census records.

(1) Florence Sparks, born about 1852.
(2) Alvin Sparks, born about 1854.
(3) Miles Sparks, born about 1857.
(4) Bazeen Sparks, born in 1860.
(5) Irenus Sparks, born about 1862.
(6) Howard Sparks, born about 1865.
(7) Nelson Sparks, born about 1868.
(8) Minnie Sparks, born after 1870.

CORNELIUS SPARKS, 1789-1862, continued:

9. Wilson Sparks, son of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born in Berrien County, Michigan, on April 19, 1830. He was the second white child born in the county. He died on June 23, 1922. He was married in Berrien County on June 5, 1864, to Mary Gray - - both were identified as residents of Oronoko, Michigan, in the marriage record. She died on June 14, 1920.  In a History of Berrien County written by Judge Orville B. Coolidge published in 1908, Wilson Sparks was described as having "a vivid recollection of Indians who came to his parents' house to trade berries for something to eat. Their papooses were tied to a flat stick. He states that the lot now occupied by the Dean drug store was once offered to his father for fifteen dollars." A clipping containing his obituary has been furnished by Miss Helen Sparks and reads as follows:

Wilson Sparks, 92 years of age, and one of the first, if not the first, white children born in Berrien county, died at his home here Friday night, June 23 [1922]. He had been unusually active for one of his age until last January when he suffered a broken hip in a fall which confined him to his home and caused a gradual decline. Mr. Sparks' parents came to Michigan in 1828, settling near Niles where he was born April 19, 1830. With the exception of two years his entire life was spent in Berrien county. In 1864 he was married to Mary Gray who passed away two years ago, since when he has made his home with his nieces, Mrs. Nellie Park and Mrs. Fanny Miller, in this village, coming here from Benton Harbor where he resided for 30 years. He is also survived by one son, Ralph, in Alaska whose two daughters reside in the state of Washington; also C. R. Sparks and Miss Nina Sparks of this village [Berrien Springs], grandnephew and grandniece of the deceased. Mr. Sparks was the last of eleven children, five of whom lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniversaries. Funeral service was held Sunday afternoon conducted by Rev. J. M. Jenkins. Interment in Rosehill cemetery.
   Census records indicate that Wilson and Mary (Gray) Sparks had the following children:
(1) Inez Sparks, born about 1865.
(2) Ralph Sparks, born about 1867.
(3) Fred Sparks, born after 1870.
10. Susannah Sparks (called Susan), daughter of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born in Berrien County, Michigan, on August l, 1832; she died on October 22, 1917. She was married to John Irwin on July 31, 1851. He was born on June 19,1828, and died on November 3, 1906. From the family records of Mary Vogel, it would appear that they had children named: (1) William Irwin; (2) James Irwin; (3) Frank Irwin; (4) Arthur Irwin; and (5) John Irwin.

11. Cynthia Sparks, daughter of Cornelius and Susannah (Stevens) Sparks, was born in Berrien County, Michigan, on August 27, 1834, and died on September 10, 1898. She never married. Her obituary appeared in the Buchanan (Mich.) Record of Sep. 15, 1898, and indicated that, following the death of her parents, she had lived with her sister, Elizabeth (Sparks) Jarvis.

(Editor's note: In the preparation of this article, the editor received special assistance from Mary Park Vogel of 713 Spring Street, Howell, Michigan (48843) and from Helen Sparks, 7555 Herschel Ave. #5A, La Jolla, California (92037), both of whom are great-granddaughters of Cornelius and Susannah Sparks. While not a descendant of Cornelius Sparks, Loretta B. Bingham of Battle Creek, Michigan, has provided many records to aid in this research.  Assistance was also provided by Jean Ducey of 1517 Hickory St., Niles, Michigan (49120) whose great-grandfather was Levi Sparks, son of Cornelius and Susannah.)



Late in 1977, Nancy Chambers Underwood published a genealogical volume comprising nearly 570 pages under the title Fifty Families: A History. Each of the families featured in this work, representing a decade of research, is connected in some way with the family of Mrs. Underwood. One of these is a branch of the Sparks family to which eight pages of text are devoted along with several pages of photographs. This chapter was contributed by Baxter Abbott Sparks, Jr., long a member of the Sparks Family Association.

The ancestor of this particular Sparks family was William Millington Sparks, a Maryland planter, who was married on May 25, 1797, to Rebecca Brooks. A son was Samuel Wyatt Sparks, born July 7, 1803; he married Sarah Deal in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1829. Samuel Wyatt Sparks lived in Mississippi and Arkansas before finally settling with his family in Lampasas County, Texas, in 1857.

Among the children of Samuel W. and Sarah (Deal) Sparks was John Sparks, born August 30, 1843, who was twice elected governor of Nevada, in 1903 and in 1907. Another son was Martin Van Buren Sparks, born April 3, 1837, whose portrait has been reproduced in this volume. He married Susan Louise Bull. Information is given on the descendants of Martin Van Buren Sparks, including Andrea Jean Sparks, his great-great-granddaughter (born 1951) who married George Milton Underwood III, son of the compiler of this work. Copies of Fifty Families: A History may be ordered directly from Nancy Chambers Underwood, 12700 Park Central Plaza, Suite 1606, Dallas, Texas (75251) for $25.00 plus $1.00 for shipping and handling.


Joseph W. Clark (20111 Church Lake Dr., Bonney Lake, Washington, 98390) is seeking information on the parentage of his paternal great-grandfather, Isaac Rigdon Sparks, who was born March 2, 1860, in Douglas County, Missouri. He died on August 1, 1930, in Los Angeles, Calif.  Isaac Rigdon Sparks was married on September 5, 1895, to Primitney Jan Eakins (or Akins) in Pulaski County, Missouri. She died on August 5, 1902, in Jasper County, Missouri; she was the daughter of Samuel D. Eakins (or Akins) and Elizabeth Cadwell. They are known to have had at least three children, but the names of only two are known: (1) Lillie Frances Sparks, born July 9, 1896, in Pulaski County, Missouri, and died May 16, 1961; she married Wilbur Clark on August 25, 1912; and (2) Rudolph Sparks, born June 15, 1898, died July 25, 1917, in Laclede County, Missouri.


Gaila J. Waugh (Mrs. Frank), Star Rt., Lynch, Nebraska, 68746, is seeking the parentage of Margaret Sparks who was born February 9, 1785. She died on November 14, 1864, in Licking County, Ohio. She was married to John Burge who was born either in Virginia or Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on October 23, 1784; he died in Licking County, Ohio, on December 4, 1829. Their children were: (1) Jacob Burge, born 1804 in Greene County, Pennsylvania; (2) Jesse Sparks Burge, born 1808 in Greene County, Pennsylvania; (3) William Burge (he may have had the middle name Curry); (4) John Burge, born 1816 in Licking County, Ohio; (5) Josiah Burge; and (6) Delilah Burge. They may also have had daughters named Anna, Sarah, Priscilla, and Mariah.




For several years, we have been collecting data about a SPARKS family who lived on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, during the 1700's. This branch of the family was headed by NICHOLAS SPARKS, probably born about 1705, who married MARY RIDLEY in 1728 -29 in the village of Truro. Records of descendants have been found not only in Massachusetts, but in Maine, and by 1830, as far west as California.

An article for the QUARTERLY is being prepared by descendants and will probably be published in 1979. Our president, Paul E. Sparks, has received many records and several photographs of members of this family. We invite any of our readers who have information about this branch of the family to share the information with us. Data should be sent to Dr. Sparks at 155 N. Hite Ave., Louisville, Ky., 40206.


It is with regret that we report the death of Mrs. Marie (Pickering) Romig, of Gilman, Wisconsin, on December 3, 1976. Mrs. Romig was born October 9, 1907, at Sheldon, Wisconsin. She married Glenn Romig and they had four children who survive her. They are: Theodore, Darrell, Nancy, and Marilyn. Also surviving are two sisters, Miss Darthea Pickering and Mrs. Evelyn Sanford.


We regret to report the passing of Lloyd Burnett Sparks, son of Robert L. and Elsie (Burnett) Sparks; born December 14, 1910, died in an industrial accident on April 18, 1977. He is survived by his wife, Iris Ruth (Karraker) Sparks, two daughters, and three grandchildren. He was a descendant of Baxter Sparks (see the QUARTERLY of March 1972, Vol. XX, No. 1, Whole No. 77, pp. 1466-74). Two of Mr. Sparks's sisters, Frances Sparks Jones and M. Lucile Edwards, are members of the Association. Mrs. Jones is making a determined effort to discover the parentage of Baxter Sparks (1777-1840) who was born in Virginia, married Elizabeth Gwin, and moved to Harrison County, Indiana, about 1805-06.


Mrs. Stanley Korenski, 2519 Dexter Street, Terre Haute, Indiana (47805) is seeking information regarding her great-great-grandfather, Isaac Sparks, who was born about 1809 in North Carolina. He married a widow named Elizabeth Lawrence in Hendricks County, Indiana, in 1830. She was born in 1800 in Kentucky and had two children prior to her marriage to Isaac Sparks. Isaac and Elizabeth Sparks had two children: (1) John W. Sparks, and (2) Mary Elizabeth Sparks. Mary Elizabeth Sparks married William Matthew Jones in Hendricks County, Indiana, on June 12, 1856. Mrs. Korenski would welcome correspondence with anyone connected with this branch of the Sparks family.


QUERY - BAILEY SPARKS, born 1760-70

Mrs. Lemuel M. Rathbone, 16413 Fitzhugh Rd., Austin, Texas (78736) is seeking vital statistics and marriage data for Mary H., wife of Michael F. Fields. She was born about 1813 -1815 and is believed to have been a daughter of Bailey Sparks of Carroll County, Tennessee.

Bailey Sparks, born between 1760 and 1770, who is believed to have been the father of Mary H. Sparks, was a son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks who moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to the Surry-Wilkes County area of North Carolina about 1758. (A sketch of the life of Matthew Sparks appeared in the QUARTERLY of June 1961, Vol. IX, No. 2, Whole No. 34, pp. 556-566.) Bailey Sparks accompanied his parents to Georgia following the American Revolution. By 1820 he had married and was living with his family (wife, four females, probably daughters, under 10 years of age and one male also under 10, probably a son) in Humphries County, Tennessee. He was living near his brother, Isaac Sparks. By 1830 he had moved to Carroll County, Tennessee, and on the census of that year was called "Baily Sparks Sr." [See note below in italics] From this census record, it would appear that he had married a second wife by 1830 some 20 years his junior. Five males (probably sons) and six females (probably daughters) were enumerated in his household in 1830. He was probably the Bailey Sparks who obtained a land grant in Carroll County in 1846. A Bailey Sparks, perhaps a grandson, served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, enlisting in Marlin Falls, Texas, in 1862 at the age of 17.

[Scanner's Note:  The following correction appeared in the June 1981 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 114, at pp 2316 -17:


In the QUARTERLY of March 1978 (Whole No. 101) page 1987, we published a query regarding a daughter (Mary H. Sparks) of Bailey Sparks, who was a son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks of the Surry-Wilkes Counties area of North Carolina. It was stated in this query that Bailey Sparks had appeared on the 1830 census of Carroll County, Tennessee, with "Sr." following his name; it was speculated that he had married a second time. Your editor made an error in copying this census record. Bailey Sparks was NOT listed with "Sr." following his name on the 1830 census; rather, it was Isaac Sparks, Bailey’s brother, who was listed as "Sr." Bailey Sparks did, indeed, appear on the 1830 census of Carroll County as shown in a transcription of that census published in the September 1955 issue of the QUARTERLY (Whole No. 11) page 91.

We now believe that Bailey Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born about 1777 (his age was given as between 40 and 50 on the 1830 census, but there is other evidence to suggest that he was slightly older than that). He married Martha Noland, daughter of James Noland, about 1829, and, contrary to our statement on Page 1987, we do NOT believe that he married a second time. We have found no record of Bailey Sparks after 1830, but we believe that a number of his children moved from Tennessee to Mississippi.

End of Correction.

Michael F. and Mary H. (Sparks ?) Fields had the following children: (1) Bailey S. Fields, born ca.1830; (2) Sarah A. Fields, born ca.1832; (3) James A. Fields, born ca.1834; (4) Martha E. Fields, born ca. 1836; (5) Mary Fields, born ca. 1838; (6) Sidney Fields, born ca. 1840 and married William R. Griffin; (7) Susan Isabel Fields, born 11 Oct. 1845 or 1843, married Andrew Jackson Caraway; (8) Malissa D. Fields, born 9 Sept. 1846 and married John Wellington Cleveland; and (9) Daniel R. B. Fields, born ca. 1849.

In 1830 Michael Fields and wife were in Carroll County, Tennessee, but by 1840 the family had moved to Carroll County, Mississippi. In 1850 they were in Yalobusha County, Mississippi, and by the mid-1850's most of their children were in Gonzales County, Texas, but no record of the death of the parents has been found. Michael Field's brother, James Fields, married Matilda Sparks in Carroll County, Mississippi, on June 9, 1838. James Fields was in Carroll County, Mississippi, when the 1840 census was taken, then they lived briefly in Yalobusha County, and by 1850 they were in Choctaw County, Mississippi. The children of James and Matilda (Sparks) Fields listed on the 1850 census were named: (1) William B. Fields; (2) James A. Fields; (3) Daniel G. Fields; (4) Winney A. Fields; (5) Mary E. Fields; and (6) Martha Fields. Was Miltilda Sparks who married James Fields also a daughter of Bailey Sparks?


Judy Houston of 8332 East Arlington Road, Scottsdale, Arizona (85253) is seeking information regarding her Sparks line. Her great-grandfather was Finley Harrison Sparks who was born October 25, 1873; his place of birth is believed to have been on the eastern shore of Maryland. He died in Cherrydale, Virginia, on December 5, 1915. According to his death certificate, his parents were Daniel B. and Julia A. (Chance) Sparks, of Maryland. Finley Harrison Sparks is believed to have had a brother named Thomas Sparks who married Blanche Smith.

Finley Harrison Sparks married Emma May Smith who was born near Churchill, Maryland. It is believed that they were married on Feb. 11, 1881. They had three children, all deceased: (1) Hazel Ida Sparks; (2) Finley Gordon Sparks; & (3) Richard Melvin Sparks.



It is a pleasure to report the names and addresses of thirty new members of the SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION. These Sparks descendants have joined the Association thus far in 1978:

Ruby M. Baker (Mrs.), 11922 Manor Dr., Apt. F, Hawthorne, California (90250)
Betty Cain (Mrs. Albert C.), 10767 Jamacha Blvd. #20, Spring Valley, California (92078) Jessica Sparks Casella, 126 So. 16th St., Las Vegas, Nevada (89101)
Nancy Conners (Mrs. Robert B.), 1303 East Third St., Morgantown, WV (26505)
Junie Sparks Davis, Rt. 1, Box 900, Huntersville, North Carolina (28078)
Rosemary C. Davis (Mrs. Richard L.), P.O. Box 163, San Marcos, Texas (78666)
Patsy R. DeWitt, 11227 Sardis Rd., Mabelvale, Arkansas (72103)
David William Garrott, 164 Fort Wayne St., Universal City, Texas (78148)
Carole A. Gittleman (Mrs. Arthur), 3548 Senasac Ave., Long Beach, California (90808) Leila N. J. Hatcher (Mrs. J.B.), 359 College Dr., Gaffney, South Carolina (29340)
Mildred Haynie (Mrs.), P.O. Box 891, Coronado, California (92118)
Edith Sparks Hubbs (Mrs. Daniel R.), 4251 S. State Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana (46227) Barry Dean Hughes, 3223 Hilock Ct., Columbus, Ohio (43207)
Sallie S. Kendall (Mrs. Robert, Jr.), 1733 Thornwood Rd., Jackson, Michigan (49203)
Linda L. Masewicz (Mrs. Terry), 13111 Cayote Ave., San Diego, California (92129)
Virginia B. Norton (Mrs. Leonard), 901 Boozer Dr., Oxford, Alabama (36203)
Bettye Rathbone (Mrs. Lemuel M.), 16413 Fitzhugh Rd., Austin, Texas (78736)
James Douglas Rogers, Cob Hill, Kentucky (40415)
Delbert Sparks, R. 3, Estill Acres, Irvine, Kentucky (40336)
Doris E. Sparks (Mrs. Richard B.), 1919 Holborn Rd., Baltimore, Maryland (21222)
Ermal Sparks, Rt. 3, Box 240, Blountville, Tennessee (37617)
Joseph R. Sparks, 1534 Reiser Dr., Mansfield, Ohio (44905)
Keith W. Sparks, 2106 N. Colson, Muncie, Indiana (47304)
L. C. Sparks, Jr. (Rev.),.1508 Crescent Dr., Kingsport, Tennessee (37664)
Kate Sparks (Mrs. Louis Agnew), 980 Cornation Dr., Winter Park, Florida (32792)
Virgil Sparks, R. 6, Box 556, Morehead, Kentucky (40351)
Martin Van Vacter, Rt. 1, Box 165, Princeton, Missouri (64673)
Virgil L. Walker, Star Route, Darby, Montana (59829)
Elizabeth Wheeler (Mrs. A. S.), 211 N. Mountain St., Union, South Carolina (29379)
Jack Wilcoxson, R.R. 2, Box 10, Pierceton, Indiana (46562)


For the June 1978 issue of the QUARTERLY we are planning an article on the family of Richard Sparks (born ca. 1780) and his wife, Sarah Peterson (born ca. 1782). Richard Sparks was born in Virginia, probably Pittsylvania County, and spent his youth in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, where he and Sarah were married ca. 1801. By 1810 they were living in Rutherford County, North Carolina, where they remained until early in the 1820's when they moved to Roane County, Tennessee. Between 1850 and 1860, Richard and Sarah Sparks moved to Carroll County, Arkansas, near their son, Peterson Sparks. Sarah was still living in 1870, with her son Joshua Sparks in Newton County, Arkansas, but Richard had died by that date. Richard and Sarah (Peterson) Sparks had children named: Samuel, James, Peterson, William M., Thomas, John, Hiram, Joshua, Rachel, Abigail, amd Nancy Jane.

Descendants of this family are urged to write immediately to the editor (Russell E. Bidlack) so that we can make this article as complete and accurate as possible.

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Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks