THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION
“He who careth not from whence he came, careth little whither he goeth.” Daniel Webster
|VOL. XIX, NO. 2||JUNE, 1971||
WHOLE NO. 74a
|Index||Next Page||Previous Page||Previous Whole No.|
[Note: Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]
William Harrison Sparks & his wife, Mahila (Poor) Sparks
with grandaughter, Belva Ida Sparks
He was born in Estill County, Kentucky, in 1834
and died at Lind, Washington, in 1906.
Photograph taken in Loup City, Nebraska, in 1898.
|THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The
Sparks Family Association.
Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 North Hite
Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky (40206)
The Sparks Family Association was founded in March, 1953, as a nonprofit organization devoted to the assembling and preserving of genealogical and historical materials pertaining to the Sparks family in America. Membership in the Association is open to all persons connected in any way with the Sparks family, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption, and to persons interested in genealogical and historical 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; and Sustaining membership dues are any amount over four dollars which the member wishes to contribute for the support of the Association. All members, whether Active, Contributing, or Sustaining, receive THE SPARKS QUARTERLY as it is published in March, June, September, and December. Libraries, genealogical and historical associations, and individuals may subscribe to the QUARTERLY without joining the Association at the rate of three dollars per year. Back issues are kept in print and are available for seventy-five cents per issue. The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, 1953. Three indexes have been published, the first covering the first five years of the QUARTERLY (1953-1957); the second covering the years from 1958 to 1962; and the third covering the years from 1963 through 1967. Each of these is available for $1.00. A complete file of all issues of the QUARTERLY (1953-1969) with the three indexes may be purchased for $41.00.
The editor of the QUARTERLY from March 1953 to September 1954 was Dr. Paul E. Sparks; since September 1954 the editor has been Dr. Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104). Back issues and applications for membership are available through Dr. Bidlack. The QUARTERLY is printed by off-set at the Edwards Letter Shop, 711 North University Ave., Ann Arbor, Michigan.
THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM HARRISON SPARKS
Born January 21, 1834, in Estill County, Kentucky
Died May 9, 1906, at Lind, Washington
Written by his Grandson, Albert A. Sparks
I salute the founders of The Sparks Family Association and all of its members.
My grandfather, William Harrison Sparks, was born on January 21, 1834, in Estill County, Kentucky. I do not know his age when he left there, but I have some ideas which I shall express later hoping they will lead to a more positive conclusion than is now the case. His marriage license, recorded by R. E. Nieman, Clerk, in Delaware County, Iowa, dated August 29, 1857, is proof that he married Mahila Poor on August 6, 1857, (Her name is recorded on the marriage record as “Hile Poor.”) The Rev. David Winrich officiated, a witness was Hiram Arnold, and consent was given to this union by her father, J. Poor. This “J. Poor” was, without doubt, John Poor who, according to the County Assessor of Delaware County, Iowa, owned
THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM HARRISON SPARKS, 1834-1906, continued:
land in Delhi Township during the years from 1855 to 1861, evidenced by a deed in the recorder ‘s office of Delaware County. Delhi was the county seat of Delaware County at that time. On the 1860 census of Delaware County, Iowa, John Poor is listed as 50 years old, a farmer, and a native of Ohio. His wife’s name was given as Mary, aged 49. a native of Tennessee. Living with them in 1860 were children named Margarie, aged 12; Mary F., aged 9, and Amelia, aged 6. Margarie and Mary F. Poor were listed as having been born in Illinois while Amelia was born in Iowa, so the family must have moved from Illinois to Iowa in the 1850’s. Living next door was Joseph Poor, aged 25, doubtless a son, (Although the 1850 census gives John Poor’s birth place as Ohio, when Mahila gave the places of birth of her parents on the 1880 census, she indicated that her father had been born in Kentucky.) From subsequent marriage records in Delaware County, we know that Mary F. Poor married Joseph A. Boleyn in 1868; Nargary Ann Poor married Josiah Huggens in 1870; and Amelia Poor married Thomas A. Twiss in 1874.
Mahila Poor, daughter of John Poor, was born on August 16, 1842. By her own statement, she was of Welch descent, and according to the census records she was born in the state of Illinois. Three children were born to William H. and Nahila (Poor) Sparks as recorded in their family Bible which I have in my possession: (1) Harriet E, Sparks, a daughter, born May 1, 1858, died August 9, 1864; (2) James Allen Sparks, a son (my father), born May 21, 1860, died January 20, 1902; and (3) William H. Sparks, Jr.,, a son, born August 27, 1872, died October 28, 1876.
Thus we see that James Allen Sparks (my father) was the only child who grew to adult-hood. Four years after my grandfather, William Harrison Sparks, was married he joined the Union Army, He was mustered in at Ottawa, Illinois, with Company G, 4th Regiment of Illinois Cavalry, on September 14, 1861. I have xerox copies of his pension papers from the U.S. Archives in Washington stating that his company was stationed at Pittsburg, Tennessee, on April 30, 1862; in Collierville, Tenn., on August 31, 1863; and in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on September 30, 1863, He served as a wagoner and teamster under Captain Cook, He was present on the rolls on August 31, 1864, and was honorably discharged with his company at Springfield, Illinois, on November 3, 1864. When he made application for a pension in 1880, he described himself as 5 feet and 10½ inches tall, with a light complexion, sandy hair, and blue eyes. In 1888, when he was asked by the Bureau of Pensions to give a history of his disability resulting from his service in the Civil War, he recalled that in 1862 at Montera, Mississippi, he had caught a bad cold “while on picket in a heavy rain storm which lasted all night, it being so dark the picket could not be relayed till morning, and also about the Summer of 1863 at Pleasant Hill I contracted hernia of right side, my horse falling on me in crossing a culbert while Scouting.” He also stated that he had been hospitalized “for lung fever in 1862 and also in Spring of 1863.”
In answer to a query from the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Pensions in1888, William Harrison Sparks stated that after his discharge from the Army, he had lived near Hudson in McLean County, Illinois, until March 5, 1878, and that he then moved to Buffalo County, Nebraska. On January 4, 1883, he paid his final recording fee for his land and the U.S. patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur on October 1, 1883 (information from Sam Spahr, Register of Deeds, Buffalo County, Nebraska). He sold this land in February, 1892, to Mr. Perry Frame. It has changed hands several times and Is now owned by a Mr. William Carman.
It was in Buffalo County, Nebraska, that my father, James Allen Sparks,, met and married Levina Jane Bowers, who was born April 14, 1856, a daughter of Amos and Elizabeth Jane (Spry) Bowers of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. My father was the only living child of Grandpa William Harrison Sparks and Mahila (Poor) Sparks. He and my
THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM HARRISON SPARKS. 1834-1906, continued:
mother were married on April 10, 1880, in Nebrasca. Father and Mother obtained land in Buffalo County, Nebraska, only a few miles from where Grandpa and Grandrria farmed, and the two families were in close contact for the rest of their lives.
After Grandpa and Grandma sold their farm as stated above, they moved to Litch~ field, Nebraska, In Sherman County, where they kept a hotel. From there they moved to another farm about three miles west of Litchfield, which they had purchased and a few years later sold. They then bought a home in Mason City where they lived until they moved in July 9, 1902 to Lind, Washington, to be close to their son's family. James Allen Sparks had passed away on January 20, 1902, and had been laid to rest in a pioneer graveyard of sage brush and bunch grass about nine miles north and a little west of Kahiotus, Washington, called by some the Sandhill and other the Delight Cemetery. Delight being a post office a few miles northeast. A stone Is placed at the head of his grave.
James Allen Sparks left his wife, Levina Jane (Bowers) Sparks and nine children to mourn their loss and mourn we did. He had developed a nice diversified farm of cattle, horses (draft and race), and grain in Buffalo County, Nebraska. It was there that he established a good veterinary business which was badly needed in almost all states. In his veterinary practice, he invented an instrument which saved many a horse from suffering, even death. This instrument, improved, is still being used according to my grandson who studied animal husbandry in college at San Louis Obispo, California. My father was a member of the school board, a justice of the peace, road commissioner, and he had developed a way to get the farmers milk to the processing plant at Pieasanton which he mostly took care of. Somewhere in his young lIfe, he had learned the candy making trade. As different organizations found this out, he was called upon many times to make candy for them to sell. Because of this, he became known throughout the country very quickly, whIch worked to his advantage. I was only a small boy, but I well remember the sweat pouring off his face as he worked swiftly with those long ropes of candy. When he moved to Washington, he sold all of his farm equIpment and the cattle, about sixty head, but he kept enough horses to fill two box cars. Another box car was filled with household goods. He arrived at Washtucna a day after Thanksgiving in 1901. Three months later he died, but he left his famIly in good financial condition. The nine children of James Allen and Levina Jane (Bowers) Sparks were all born in Nebraska, They were:
1. Elta May Sparks, born
Sept. 23, 1881, died Feb. 12, 1941
2. Leroy Arthur Sparks, born Nov. 18, 1882, died Oct. 10, 1904
3. Belva Ida Sparks (called Bell), born Sept. 18, 1884, still living
4. Ethel Ora Sparks, born Feb. 18, 1886, died July 19, 1963
5. William Amos Sparks, born Aug. 31, 1887, died May 3, 1961
6. Walter Ross Sparks, born Jan. 3, 1890, died April 29, 1955
7. Albert Alfonso Sparks, born March 14, 1892, still living
8. Ray Evert Sparks, born Feb. 18, 1895, died Nov. 5, 1969
9. Vernie James Sparks, born Dec 21, 1898, died June 7, 1970
Of the above family of nine, only two of us are still living, by sister Belva (called Bell) who married John H. Eubanks; they live at 621 South 8th Street, Sunnyside, Washington; and myself (Albert Alfonso Sparks). We still hope to enjoy a few more happy years with our mates, who are still living, and to accomplish a few more things we had hoped to get done long since. (My wife is the former Jessie H. Heaton.)
Right now, our major effort., and one of the reasons we joined the Sparks Family Association, is to find our paternal grandparents family, their ancestors, and from whence they came. After the two families, as mentioned above, came in close
THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM HARRISON SPARKS, 1834-1906, continued
contact with each other, the movements of each are well known and appreciated by the other. The relationship was such that as each one of us children came into being, and aged enough, each learned to love and appreciate their generosity, kindliness, and mature advice when asked for, The older we grew, the closer the tie. Just a little over two years after Grandpa William Harrison Sparks and Grandma came to the state of Washington to live the rest of their days close to their son's family, their oldest grandson, who had taken the place of his father as head of the family, passed away, leaving the responsibility of operating the farm which he had purchased and gotten into good working condition to the younger boys of the family. It was then that the family needed mature judgment and someone to lean on and to offer encouragement, with kind words of praise. Grandpa never failed us. Even though he was then 70 years old, and his hands and legs were drawn out of shape by arthritis, he built (with my help) a much needed building. And he took time, and had the patience, to teach me the fundamentals of the carpenter trade as we went along. Little did I think that someday the knowledge gained from him would mean a livelihood for my family and, more than that, in later years would mean very much to me in my business of contracting. In May, 1906, Grandpa took pneumonia, and Grandma a day after.
Grandpa lived but four days after becoming ill; he died on May 9, 1906, at Lind, Washington. Word of his sickness had been brought to us (we lived 17 miles southeast from them) and we had rushed Belva (Bell), his granddaughter who had stayed with them for some time while the two families lived in Nebraska, to take care of them until one of us boys could get there. It was I who was chosen to go. Grandpa was laid to rest in the old pioneer cemetery at Delight, beside his son and his oldest grandson.
It was the wish of Grandpa and Grandma that they would pass away together - - neither wanted to live after the other was gone. I mention this because it sheds some light on what their lives together meant to them. Grandma was unable to tend her beloved husband's funeral and just 56 days later, on July 4, 1906, she also passed away. We mourned the loss, but were glad they had had their wish, She was laid to rest beside her husband. Her passing was very unusual and touching. She had been unable to see or speak for nearly two weeks. Between l2:00 and l:00 A.M, my two sisters and I, and some close friends, were sitting by her bed, when suddenly she raised up and looked all around the room until her eyes focused on Bell, the granddaughter who had stayed with them for a time in. Nebraska. Not moving her eyes any further, she started to talk. Bell put her arms around her and kissed her, and at once she scanned the room again until her eyes focused on her other granddaughter, Ethel, who also put her arms around her and kissed her. She had spent all of her energy trying to say something. Her head fell back on the pillow and she was gone. Her voice still rings in our ears, and many times we have wished we could have understood what she was trying to tell us.
I have tried to paint a picture of a family in as few words as possible and still make it clear enough so that if anyone reads this who is connected with the family he may recognize it. Anyone who can help, through this description of William Harrison Sparks's movements, to trace his ancestors, and will contact me, will help to fulfill a desire that is two-fold. First is my own desire to know more about my ancestry, and second, because of my love for my grandparents, I feel that I have a long-time debt to repay for their kindness, patience, and mature advice. He never ceased trying to connect up with his family as long as he lived. After the Civil War was over, he went back to the state of Kentucky expecting to find his family. Instead, he found that the old house was gone, and although he was from a large family, he was never able to be certain that any of the Sparkeses who came into the territory where he lived was related in any way to him or his family. He
THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM HARRISON SPARKS, 1834-1906, continued:
never failed to contant them and he worked with them trying, ever trying, to piece together in some way the family relationship. They always ran into the same ending which I have - - uncertainty.
Bell and I have some recollection of Grandpa saying that he stayed with an aunt for some time before he was married. I reason that, since it was not unusual for the parents to assign a son for a period of years to some man who would give him food, lodging, and teach him a trade, especially on a large family such as Grandpa's. He always said there were more boys than girls in the family, all told, eleven or twelve Possibly his uncle was a carpenter and taught him the trade. In my life-time I have seen many a carpenter wrestling with the square, but I have seen very few who used the square to do their figuring as he dtd. He used it as readily as most college students use the slide-rule. He was a very unusual man. When he joined the army at the age of 27, he could neither read nor write. After having one of his army friends do his writing to his wife and read her letters to him, he was so humiliated that he decided to do his own writing. Grandma always laughed a little when she told us of getting his first letter. She said it took her almost a day to decipher it; nevertheless, she always showed a spark of pride. From then on, he did his own reading and writing of her letters. When he died, he was credited by his neighbors as being one of the best read men around. He read, he pondered, he reasoned with every different subject he could get hold of. Grandma had some formal education and did a lot of reading. but her power of analyzing did not equal his. Her ability and pride were reflected in her housekeeping and her preparation of meals. Such were my grandparents: ideals, morals, and perspectives.
I remember ore 4th of July when there was a great gathering of Civil War veterans in Litchfield, Nebraska. When it came time for their part of the program, they marched in, two abreast, about forty or fifty of them, up the street with Grandpa and Grandma in the lead being escorted to the speaker’s stand by an officer on either side, She carried a flag. Grandpa delivered the speech of the day. It impressed me so much that now, after 72 years. it seems only yesterday. They belonged to the Methodist Church, but they dtdn't buy everything they handed out. For the human race, their did not believe on the law of the survival of the fittest They believed the strong should help the weak, both body and mind. Grandpa could never stand by and allow a bully to harm anyone in any manner. In evidence of this fact, each day as Grandpa walked over to the store he always dropped in at his son-in-law's blacksmith shop to pass the time of day and for a little chat. One day while I was there, he came in white and shaking. Tom Muir, his grandson-in-law, recognizing at once that there was something wrong with him, took him by the arm and inquired about his health. He reluctantly said that, as he had come across the lot he had seen the Chinaman who ran a very respectable cafe (and who was liked by everyone. including Grandpa) with a twelve-year-old boy out back. of his cafe. The boy was screaming and scared beause the Chinaman was tantalizing him as he waved his butcher knife, making believe he was going to cut off his ears. Grandpa had used his cane on him and was still mad. He was 71, and Tom and I had many good laughs about that.
In the QUARTERlY of June, 1970, Whole No. 70, (Vol. XVIII, No, 2 p. 1324) appears the 1830 census of Estill County, Kentucky. Note that this is a correction of what had appeared on page 1420 of the September 1959 issue. In 1830, Thomas Sparks's family was listed as follows"
1 male, aged 20 to 30 (himself)
1 female, aged 20 to 30 (his wife)
2 males under 5 years
2 females under 5 years
THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM HARRISON SPARKS, 1834-19O6, continued
There can be little doubt, based on subsequent census records, that
this is the
Thomas Sparks who was married to Patsy Powell in Estill County, Kentucky, in
1825 (marriage bond dated April 20, 1825). (See the QUARTERLY for June 1963,
Whole No. 42, Vol. XI, No. 2, page 746.)
On the 1840 census of Estill County, Kentucky, the family of Thomas
Sparks appears as follows (See the QUARTERLY of December 1966, Whole No.
56, Vol. XIV, No. 4, p. 1027.)
1 male aged 30 to 40 (himself)
1 female, aged 30 to 40 (his wife)
2 males aged 10 to 15
1 male aged 5 to 10
1 male aged under 5
2 females aged 10 to 15
1 female aged 5 to 10
1 female aged under 5
I think that the Thomas Sparks listed in 1830 and in 1840 is the same
man; note that the ages of’ the children listed on the 1830 census match
those listed on the 1840 census who were born before 1830. When the 1850
census was taken, each member of the family was listed by name. Thomas
and Patsy Sparks were listed with their family in Estill County, Kentucky,
as follows: (See the QUARTERLY of June
1957, Whole No. 18, Vol, V, No, 2, p. 219.)
|" Fanny J.||12||"|
|" Thomas C.||10||"|
|" Elisha P(Elihue)||6||"|
|" F.M. (male)||4||"|
The William Sparks listed as 16 years of age in the family of Thomas Sparks in 1850 could very well be my grandfather, William Harrison Sparks. The reason I believe this is, first, having been born in 1834, he would have been 16 years old in 1850. as the above WilIiam Sparks's age was given. My grandfather was born in Estill County and came from a large family in which there were more boys than girls... We remember his making this latter statement when he was trying to find some trace of his family.
In early records such as the above, middle names were seldom used. Of course, most. people did not have middle names. While my grandfather's full name was William Harrison Sparks, there were many William Sparkses in Kentucky. If census takers had given middle names, or even initials, tracing out forefathers would be much easier.
My great desire is this, to establish without doubt, or at least beyond a reasonable doubt., whether or not this Thomas and Patsy (Powefl) Sparks were the parents of my grandfather, William Harrison Sparks. Also, I should like to know when he left his parents. homes, how he learned a trade, when he went on to Illinois and to Iowa, and something about the family of his wife, Mahila Poor, the daughter of John Poor. I would also like to know where Mahila Sparks stayed while Grandpa was in the army.
THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM HARRISON SPARKS, 1834-1906, continued:
It seems at the moment that my hopes lie on the fact, or possible fact, that from this large. family of Thomas Sparks of Estill County, Kentucky, some of the grandchildren or great-grandchildren are still living who can provide records of the family that will prove that William Harrison Sparks was indeed a son of Thomas Sparks. I greatly hope that anyone with such information will get in touch with me. We have ten families of Sparkses listed in our phone book here in Salem, Oregon. As soon as I get a little stronger (I am recovering from major surgery) I expect to get them together for the purpose of exchanging information pertaining to our ancestors. Then, too, I intend to get them to join The Sparks Family Association so that we can draw from them information to publish in the QUARTERLY. Also I notice in the Seattle phone book many Sparkses listed. Some of them are relatives of mine, two sons with families, three nieces with families, three nephews and families, and one grandson with his wife, I shall be glad to search in these two states (Oregon and Washington) for the missing link of any family. I am not a professional genealogist, but as most folks my age have had some experience searching records, I will make an honest effort. Thanks to any of you who makes an effort on my account to find the information in which I am interested. Please write to Albert Alfonso Sparks, 1144 WaIler S.E., Apt. 3, Wallerwood Apts., Salem, Oregon (97302),
(Editor’s notes The editor agrees with Mr. Sparks that there is strong reason to believe that his grandfather, William Harrison Sparks, was a son of Thomas and Patsy (Powell) Sparks. When the 1860 census was taken of Estill County, Thomas Sparks was listed as 55 years of age, His wife s name was given as Martha, aged 53, In all probability, "Martha" was hIs wife a real name while "Patsy" was her nIckname, (George WashIngton always called his wife Patsy rather than Martha.) Living with them in 1860 were their three youngest sons, Lihu, aged 18, Francis, aged 16, and Taylor, aged 14. "Lihu" was a nickname for Elihue. (On the 1850 census his name was given as Elisha, but this seems to have been an error.) The son named Francis had been given as F. N. Sparks in 1850, (Francis Marion was a very popular name. so one wonder’s whether hIs full name might have been Francis Marion Sparks. The ages of these three sons were given as two years older than should have been the case if their ages had been given correctly in 1850, but errors of this nature are frequent. in census records. The sons John and Thomas, who had been listed with the family in 1850, had apparently moved from the county, as had William Harrison Sparks
(When the 1870 census of Estill County was taken, Thomas and Patsy (or Martha) were not listed. However, a Thomas Sparks, aged 65, was listed as a resident of Crooked Creek Township with the town of Irvine as his post office. Thomas Sparks's oocupation was given as "chairmaker," but living with him was Calista Sparks, aged 44. This could have been a daughter or a daughter-in-law, but more probably she was a second wife. If this was the same Thomas Sparks, we can be sure that. his wife Patsy had died between 1860 and 1870. Living with them were two 14 year-old boys named Hinton and John Taylor, Perhaps they were sons of Calista by her first husband. By 1870, the son named Elihu, who was 25 years old when the 1870 census was taken had marrIed Josephine and was living near Irvine; under occupation the census taker wrote "works in coaling." His wife Josephine was also 25 in 1870, and the had two choidren, Patsey, aged 3 (named obviously for Elihue's mother) and William T, Sparks, aged one year.
(On the 1880 census of Estill County, no Thomas Sparks was listed - - it is probable that he had died between 1870 and 1880, The son named Elihu, aged 36 in 1880, was lIsted as a blacksmith. He and his wife still had only two children, Patsy and a ten year old boy named Thomas. Perhaps he was the same child who had been called William T. Sparks in 1870 - - if the "T" was the initial for Thomas. Also
THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM HARRISON SPARKS, 1834-1906, continued
listed in 1880; was a Taylor Sparks, aged 29, who may have been the youngest son of Thomas and Patsy, although he had not appeared on the 1870 census. His wife’s name was given as Angeline, aged 45, On the 1880 census, the relationship of each member of a household with the head of that household was given. Two sons and one daughter are lIsted for Taylor Sparks, but none of these are named Sparks so perhaps they were really step-chIldren. They were Dillar Neal aged 19; James Neal aged 15; and Mattie Blackwell aged 14. All were born in Kentucky,
(Since we are reasonably sure that Thomas Sparks was the father of William Harrison Sparks, one is then inclined to speculate on the parentage of Thomas Sparks, We know from census records that he was born about 1805 in Kentucky. He was in Estill County. Kentucky, in 1825 when he married Patsy Powell (bond dated April 20, 1825), When the 1810 census of Estill County was taken, five Sparks families were listed, those of Elijah, George, Isaac Sr., Isaac Jr., John, and William. Of these, Elijah and Isaac Sr. were over 45 years of age. George, John, and William were between 26 and 45, while Isaac Jr. was between 16 and 26. All except Isaac Sr. were listed with male children under 5 years, so any one of them could have been the father of Thomas, born about 1805. (For these census records, see the QUARTLY of December 1954, Whole No. 8, Vol. II, No, 14, p. 65). When the 1820 census of Estill County was taken, the families of the following Sparkses were listed: Isaac, William, George, Ruth, William Jr., and Caty. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1965, Whole No. 49, Vol. XIII, No. 1, p, 891) Dr. Paul Sparks has searched both the probate records and the land records of Estill County, but has found very little to help to identify the early Sparkses of the county. It is his belief, however, that they came to the area as part of the migration following Daniel Boone. This would mean that they probably came from North Carolina.
(We very much hope that Albert A. Sparks’s article on his grandfather will come to the attention of someone wIth an interest in the Estill County branch of the family. Please write either to the editor or to Mr. Sparks at 1144 Wailer S.E., Apt, 3, Wallerwood Apts., Salem, Oregon (97302).)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
In connection with the above article, it may be appropriate to quote from a letter received by your editor in 1951 from the Rev. Bailey F. Davis, at that time pastor of the First. Baptist Church of Franklin, Kentucky. Mr. Davis never joined the Association and we have not heard from him since 1951. At that time he wrote: "My wife's Sparks line can be traced back to Estill County, Kentucky. ...I can trace definitely to William Sparks of Estill County who married Hanna Skinner. I found the original bond and her father's consent has the signature of Couthen Skinner, but it was probably Courtland, for I find that name also in the records. This marriage took place on August 11, 1829. They had the following children (this from various letters to aged aunts and cousins): Levi Sparks, Jerry Sparks, Isaac Sparks, Riley Sparks, Eli Sparks, and daughters named Annis and Polly Ann. Annie was my wife's great-grandmother and she married John Blanton. William Sparks lost his first wife and later married, but I don't know her name. He moved to Arkansas, but I have never found out where. He just fades out of the picture. ... The generation back of William Sparks is an assumed one for I've no wills or deeds to establish it. On Sept. 18, 1810, in Estill County, Isaac Sparks married Annis Meguire. Since William named one son Isaac and a daughter Annis, I feel that I'm probably on the right track in assuming that Isaac was his father. Annis Sparks, my wife's great-grandmother, married John Blanton on Jan. 26, 1854, at the home of Levi Sparks." Another descendant of this famiy, Helen Quinn of Danville, Ind., has reported that Levi Sparks, son of William above, was born in 1832 and married Dynthia Flynn; he died in Estill County in November 1919.
SPARKS MARRIAGE BONDS RECORDED IN HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO, TO 1846
(The following Sparks marriages have been copied by Carrie Grant Heppen from typewritten compilations in five volumes in the D. A. R. Library in Washington, D.C.)
Nancy SPARKS and Tunis Cox,
December 2, 1820 (by W. Thompson, minister)
Samuel SPARKS and Miss Richardson, November 8, 1825 (by R. E. Bliss, J.P.)
Isaac SPARKS and Sarah Leggett, April 18, 1826 (by A, Burdsall, minister)
Eliza SPARKS and Ebenezer W. Low, November 16, 1833 (by N Skillman,J.P.)
Eliza SPARKS and Samuel Tomlinson, August 1, 1835
Jesse W. SPARKS and Harriet Pierson, November 10, 1836 (by J. B. Cook)
Nary SPARKS and August W. Feltz, March 2, 18143 (by L. White)
Martha SPARKS and Nathan Gathard, March 23, 1844 (by W. Huffman)
Ephraim SPARKS and Rebecca B. Tulley, July 31, 1845
William B. SPARKS and Ann Podesta, November 1, 1845
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
TWO SPARKS BURIALS IN TIPPECANOE COUNTY, INDIANA
Two tombstones for persons named Sparks are known to exist in the Fink Cemetery, Wea Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Mrs. Heppen has copied these for us from a compilation made by Mrs. Eliza Philip Warren, typewritten and preserved in the D.A.R, Library in Washington, D.C.
Robert Sparks, son of William and Catherine Sparks, died Sept. 2, 1854, age 23 years and 25 days.
Nary J. Sparks, wife of Francis Sparks, born May 1, 1840, died March 7, 1880.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
SPARKS RECORDS IN A CALIFORNIA NEWSPAPER
Various chapters of the D. A. R. in California have helped to abstract
vital statistics appearing in the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin
from 1857 to 1873. These indexes have been placed in the D. A. R. Library
in Washington, D.C., and Carrie Grant Heppen has copied the Sparks records
for us as follows:
At Stockton on February 22, 1859, Oliver H. Perry was married to SARAH E. SPARKS (Date of the paper, Feb. 28, 1859)
In Marysville on February 2, 1860, E. F, Wilson was married to ELLEN SPARKS (Date of the papers Feb. 6, 1860)
In San Francisco on August 31, 1864, at the residence of the bride’s father, ZADOCK W. SPARKS Was married to Lizzie, daughter of William E. Dennis, by the Rev. Dr. Wadsworth; both of San Francisco. New York papers please copy." (Date of the papers Sept. 1, 1864)
At Pleasant Valley, El Dorado County, on July 18, 1865, Henry W. Brown was married to MARY A. SPARKS. (Date of the paper: July 22, 1865)
In Genessee Valley, Plumas County, on November 30, 1865, John G. Chapman was married to SARAH J. SPARKS. (Date of the papers Dec. 9, 1865)
SPARKS RECORDS IN A CALIFORNIA NEWSPAPER, continued:
In Oroville on September 29, 1866, LOUIS EDWARD SPARKS died, aged 5 years; son of E. M. and MARY L. SPARKS (Date of paper: Oct. 9, 1866)
At Santa Barbara on June 16, 1867, J. J. SPARKS died, a native of Maine and the father-in-law of Marcus Harlow; aged 67. (Date of papers June 19, 22, 1867)
In San Francisco on June 27, 1867, EMIL ADLOPH SPARK died, a native of Germany, aged 23 years, 14 months and 1 day. Funeral from the Turnhall, (Date of paper: June 27, 1867,)
Near Rock Creek, Butte County, on April 5, 1868, JOSEPH SPARKS was married to Melissa Eahns. (Date of paper: April 15, 1868)
In Santa Barbara, Arza Porter was married to ROSA SPARKS, No date of marriage given but the date of the paper in which it was announced was May 12, 1870.
In Sacramento on January 21, 1872, SAMUAL S. SPARKS died; a native of Pennsylvania, aged 8 years. (Date of paper: Jan, 23, 1812)
In San Jose on February 12, 1872, Charles E. Stewart was married to LIZZIE SPARKS, (Date of paper: Feb. 16, 1872)
At Selby, Nevada County, on April 16, 1872, GEORGE P. SPARKS was married to Mary F. Blackwood. (Date of paper: April 9, 1872)
In Virgina, Nevada County, on June 12, 1872, the wife of JOSEPH E. SPARKS gave birth to a son, (Date of paper: June 17, 1872)
In Meredith Village, Belknap County, New Hampshire, on March 7, 1873, JARED J. SPARKS died; brother of Mrs. John H. Johnson of Sacramento, aged 40 years, 5 months. (Date of paper: May 1, 1873)
In Colusa on March 25, 1873, N. P. Ferguson was married to MARIA L, SPARKS. (Date of paper: April 1, 1873)
In Mayfield on November 25, 1873, a daughter was born to the wife of J, T. SPARKS. (Date of paper: Nov. 27, 1873)
FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA, MARRIAGE RECORDS, 1854-1869
According to a typewritten transcript in the D.A.R. Library in Washington,
D.C., there are four Sparks marriages recorded in Book A on file in the
Fulton County Court House, Atlanta, Georgia.
(page 149) DRURY S. SPARKS and Nanoy J. Coggin, Dec. 23, 1860, by M. D. Garr, M.G.
(page 28) JOHN SPARKS and Susan P. Wood, Sept. 28, 1858, by T. L. Thomas, M.G.
(page 145) Joel C, Armstead and SARAH E. SPARKS, August 23, 1860, by T0 L. Thomas, M. G.
(page 147) A. N. Abbott and MARY A. SPARKS, Nov. 20, 1860, by J. M. Wood, M.G.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The following Sparks marriage is recorded in Franklin M, Garrett’s "DeKalb
Marriages - 1846" published in the April 1938 issue of the Atlanta Historical
DRURY SPARKS to Sarah Richardson, Feb. 19, 1846, by William New., J. P.
By M, Ward Wilson
(Editor's Note: In the QUARTERLY of March 1970 (Vol. XVIII,, No. 1, Whole No. 69) we published Mr. M, Ward Wilson ‘s account of the descendants of Thomas and Mary (Howe) Sparks. One of their children was James Freeman Sparks, born July 23, 1818, at Summit, New York, died June 1, 1902, at Nevins, Wisconsin. He was married to Sylvia Calkins on August 20, 1837. She was born September 5, 1813, and died January 23, 1871. One of the eight children of James Freeman and Sylvia (Calkins) Sparks was a daughter named Hannah Sparks, who was Mr. Wilson's grandmother, We here give Mr. Wilson's account of Hannah Sparks and her family, although we have had to condense it somewhat because of limited space.)
Hannah Sparks, daughter of James Freeman and Sylvia (Calkins) Sparks, was born May 18, 1848, in Sullivan County, New York, and died on January 1, 1917, at Crane, Montana. She was married to Byron Potter Pickering on September 28, 1866, at either Great Bend or South Gibson, Pennsylvania. He was born December 31, 1840, at South Gibson, Penna., and died on January 11, 1920, at Crane, Montana, His parents were Potter and Silona Pickering.
Byron Pickering served in the Civil War with General Johnson's Division. He was wounded at Missionary Ridge and after recovering became Aide-de-Camp to the General. Among several old, interesting family letters given me by Byron’s son, Allen, is one to his mother while he was convalescing in the hospital at Chattanooga, Term. He was in Company A of the 11th Michigan Regiment.
Byron and Hannah, with their first born, Edith (my mother), left Pennsylvania and, following the footsteps of Hannah ~s parents, migrated to Plainfield, Wisconsin, in 1869, In 1874 they moved to Sherwood Township, Clark County, Wisconsin, a distance of about 60 miles. It was new country with forest wilderness, sixteen miles southeast of Neillsville, the county seat. They moved to three different tracts of land in the same vicinity until they finally settled. This last place had been somewhat farmed with some partly cleared land, a log house, and other log farm buildings. About 1894, he built a large two-story house with a cupola on top. There were five large rooms downstairs and seven or eight nice size bedrooms upstairs, a full basement or cellar with a hot air furnace. It was the most modern farm house in the vicinity. It was the "haven" for many traveling horse and buggy salesmen of those days, no one was ever turned away. The teacher in the nearby dIstrict sohool. stayed there, and four of them became daughters-in-law. The ministers who came at stated intervals were welcome, and at times when there were revival meetings they stayed several days with free lodging for themselves and horses
Byron was postmaster of the Nevins Post Office, which served Sherwood Township.. There was a room built on one corner of the house for the Post Office. Mall was transported tri-weekly to and from Neillsville. The “stage," as it was called, consisted in summer of a single-seated light-weight wagon and in winter a similar type sleigh drawn by a very nice team of horses. Joe James for many years was the operator, or driver. The next day, mail that was left for Dewhurst Post Office, a distance of about four miles, would be delivered by his daughter, Silona (Ona for short) by horse and buggy.
This locality was forested mainly with white pine, tamarack, maple, and some hard oak. The pine was mainly cut for general lumber use, the tamarack used for fence posts, the oak for building purposes and railroad ties. As there were sugar maples, the settlers tapped these in the Spring to make maple syrup. To be tillable, this land had to be cleared by the settlers, which was a tough job. A saw rnill was nearby which aided the settlers, They could cut the trees into logs and sell them to the
mill. During the Winter months, these settlers would hire-out to logging companies and thus supplement their cash, while in the Summer they would work on their own land. Some would work in the mill during the Summer, this being easier than clearing land. The trees, after being cut into logs, were brought out of the woods on hugh logging sleds on special roads called logging roads. These roads would be iced with water which would freeze and thus larger loads could be pulled. To do this icing, a large wooden water tank was carried on a heavy sled, and made so that the water coming out would ice only the sleigh runner tracks. To obtain water, the driver would have to find a pond or creek, cut a hole in the Ice and pump the water by hand into the tank, The mill would operate in the summer until all the logs were cut up. The lumber obtained was sold locally to settlers, transported by horses and wagons to nearby towns, or to the rail head about seven miles distant where it was shipped.
As the trees were cut, the stumps remained which had to be dug out before the land was tillable. This was the toughest job. Mechanical devises were invented to do the work, but in the end it was burning or dynamite. There was considerable wild game in these woods which the settlers depended on for their meat. Small tribes of friendly Indians would camp and hunt in these woods. At one time they saved my Grand-dad‘s horse which was mired in a swamp. After it was no longer profitable for the mill to operate, it closed. During those lumbering years, Byron operated a lumber camp. The operator was paid on the basis of board feet cut and delivered to the mill site. He had to keep a close check and fight for every penny as the mill owners would swindle you if they could.
After the closing of the mill, Byron and his two sons, Myron and Dave, seeing there was still a need for a small mill, built a combination lumber, lath and shingle mill, The logs and lath and shingle boldts were obtained from their own land and also purchased from their neighbors. Some of the neighbors were employed, giving them a chance to supplement their meager farm income. In order to help the farmers with their dairying, for a while he operated a milk separator station, but discontinued it as a non-paying adventure.
Until my grandparents moved from Wisconsin, I spent my vacations on their farm. I would work, after the mill shut down for the day, cleaning saw dust from about the saws, and if the shingle mill was operating, I would pack shingles with my Aunt Jessie. One week I operated the mill engine. Thus I would take home some spending money. The mill closed in 1906, when they moved away.
The cupola on Byron’s house consisted of windows on its four sides. His daughter, my Aunt Ona, had a carpet weaving loom there. It was a nice place to watch her weave carpets when the weather was bad for playing outside, I would help her with the carpet rags.
In the Spring of 1903, Ona and her husband migrated to Omemee, North Dakota, to get rich with large wheat crops which never came, so about 1906 they moved to Fairview, Montana, settling on a homestead. Her brothers, Myron, Earl and Allie, followed. In 1906, Byron and Hannah, with their youngest daughter, Jessie, left Nevins, shipping their household goods to Montana. However, Byron took off for Florida where he stayed for two years. In the meantime, Grandma and Jessie stayed with my parents, and also Hannah’s daughter, Helen Stockwell, In Marshfield, Wisconsin. In 1908, Byron returned and they went to Fairview settling on a homestead. Their son David stayed In Wisconsin.
Byron started the first Sherwood Sunday School, using the town hall. He was an active member of the school board and other township boards. He donated the land for the district school.
Byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering were the parents of nine children:
1. Edith Ethel Pickering, daughter of Byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering,
at Great Bend, Penna., on Sept. 11, 1867, and died on Feb. 6, 1965, in Minneapolis. She married Marcus J. Wilson, on March 5, 1890, In her parents' home at Nevina. He was born in Plainfleld, WIsc., on July 20, 1865, and died on Sept. 18, 1918, in Minneapolis. Both are buried in Minneapolis Hillside Cemetery. He was a locomotive enginner for the Wisconsin Central Railroad, which later became the Soo Line. Four children were born to them:
A. Marcus Ward Wilson (the writer of this sketch), born May 14, 1891, at Ashland, Wisc. I attended public schools at Ashland, Chippewa Falls, and Minneapolis, graduating from Minneapolis East High School. I entered the railway service wIth the Chicago & Northwestern Railway at Duluth, Minn., later transferring to the Soo Line, thence to the Rock Island Lines in St. Paul, and was retired on May 31, 1956. I served In France with a U.S. Railway Engineers Unit during World War I. I have been active in the Masonic Lodge and Osman Shrine in St. Paul. I was married to Ruth Kulaas in Minot, North Dakota, on Oct. 27, 1917. She was born in Minot on September 22, 1896, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. T, P. Kulaas, pioneers of Minot. We have two children:(a) Thomas Marcus Wilson, born in Minot, N.D., Sept. 20, 1918. He was graduated from St. Paul High School. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1941 and served through World War II and Korea, thence made it his life occupation. He married Camillia Deluciano of Hartford, Conn., in July 1945. They have one daughter, Cheryl, born Nov. 12, 1946, and at present are living in Hartford, Conn.
(b) Helen Clarise Wilson, born in Minot on Feb., 2, 1920, She was graduated from the St. Paul public schools and has been working for the St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. since 1941. She is unmarried.
B. Blanche Wilson, born July 14, 1893, in her grandparents' log house at Nevins. She was graduated from Minneapolis public schools, studied and taught piano. She married Robert G. Stebbins June 6, 1917, at Red Wing, Minn. He was born May 23, 1892, at Winona, MInn. Bob served with the famed 151st Field Artillery of the Rainbow Division in World War I. The past several years he has been a representative for a Denver Construction Bulletin. They live in Mesa, Ariz. They had one daughter:(a) Priscilla Stebbins, born Feb. 12, 1921, in Minneapolis. She was married to Oliver Anderson on Nov. 26, 1942, She died Aug. 20, 1957, leaving four children: Susan, born Sept. 7, 1943; Carol, born Aug. 12, 1945; Judy, born Dec. 1, 1947, and Robert, born May 8, 1953.
C. Irene Wilson, born in Ashland, Wisc., Nov. 26, 1895. She graduated from Minneapolis public schools and Winona State Normal School in 1916. She was teaching in the Everett School in Minneapolis, where she started to school, when she died on April 30, 1925. She was unmarried.
D. James Byron Wilson, born in Chippewa Falls, Wise., Nov. 28, 1898. He married Ruth Ofloy in Minneapolis on Dec. 31, 1924, She was born in Oslo, Norway. Byron graduated from the Minneapolis public schools and the University of Minnesota. He was employed by the American Bridge Co. until it closed in 1962 and with others, put on pension. He is a draftsman and now works when he chooses to do so, They are the parents of five children"2. Helen Phoebe Pickering, the second child of Hannah and Byron, was born Aug. 10, 1869, at Plainfield, Wise. She died Feb, 10, 1938, at Eau Claire, Wise. She(a) Eunice Wilson, born Nov. 7, 1925;
(b) Barbara Wilson, born June 20, 1927;
(c) James Wilson, born Sept. 26, 1929;
(d) David, born Oct. 3, 1936;
(e) Ruth, born March 10, 1939.
Cyrus Dewitt Stockwell on June 18, 1892. He was born Oct. 17, 1870, at Onalaska, Wise., and died Jan, 15, 1953, at Eau Clarie. Cyrus as a boy started to work for what is now the Chicago and Northwestern Railway. When they were married, he was station agent at Granton, Wisc. He was moved about from one job to another and when retired was General Superintendent at Eau Claire, Wise. They had two children:
A. Cyrus George Stockwell was born June 29, 1896, at Granton, Wise. He married Gladys M. McIntosh of Superior, Wisc., on Sept, 5, 1921. She died Sept., 1965. There were no children.
B. Mildred Bernice St.ockwell was born Nov. 20, 1898, at Granton. She married Marvin Selvig on March 18, 1920; he was born Dec. 27, 1885, and died Feb. 23, 1969. They had three children:3. Myron Potter Pickering, Jr., son of Byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering, was born Feb. 8, 1873, at Plainfield and died at Crane, Mont., on Sept. 18, 1966. When he was a boy and young man, and until he was married, he lived on the farm with his parents at Nevins. He married Elizabeth Jane Borgers on April 27, 1897, at Neillsville. She had taught school at Nevins. After marrying they lived on my dad's farm at Granton. He did very little farming and lived there more for custodian purposes until It could be sold. The farm was just outside Granton, and he worked in the village. She died June 19, 1899. After her death, he moved back to his folks on their farm, There were no children by this marriage. He married Mary Borgers, the sister of Elizabeth, on July 30, 1902, as his second wife, She was also a teacher in the Nevins district school.. Myron built a home on a farm near that of his parents. He did very little farming, working mainly in the mill which his dad and brother operated. He also kept a few hives of bees as a hobby. He liked to roam through the woods, hunting and looking for wild bee nests in hollow trees and obtaining the honey. He and Mary left Nevins in 1905 for North Dakota, spending the winter with his sister Ona and her husband at Omemee. Thence in the spring of 1906 he moved to a claim near Berthold and that winter obtained work in nearby coal mines. That winter they lived in a cave dug in a hillside, The going was tough. In 1908, they moved to his dad’s claim near Fairview, Montana, where he built a house. He worked mainly as a carpenter in nearby Sidney and Fairview. In 1911, Myron with his family moved to their home at Crane, Mont., where for a while he operated a. small, lumber mill. He soon gave this up and returned to his hobby, "bees," only making this a permanent job the rest of his life. Myron and Mary and family were very active in church work and built the first chapel of logs in Crane. Mary died Oct. 11, 1960. They had five children:(a) Marvin Dewitt Selvig, born Feb. 20, 1921;
(b) George Alan Selvig, born Oct. 1925; and
(c) Cyrus David Selvig, born Jan. 11, 1928.
A, Edith Elizabeth Pickering (Beth for short) was born Dec. 30, 1903, at Nevins, She married Glenn Snyder on Sept. 27, 1927, at Crane. They had the following children:(a) Glen Dale Snyder, born Aug. 26, 1928;
(b) Donald Keith Snyder, born March 23, 1930;
(c) Beatrice Edith Snyder, born May 3, 1931; and
(d) Mary Alma Snyder, born Aug. 15, 1934.
B. Beatrice lone Pickering was born June 13, 1906, at Omemee., N.D. After finishing the public schools she studied to become a missionary. She married Arthur Earl Ritchie on May 9, 1939, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was born Nov. 30, 1909, in Duluth, Minn. They are both missionaries for the Bible Christian Union in Brooklyn. lone spent some time as a missionary in Lithuania. They have one son:(a) Robert Myron Ritchie, born July 28, 1947. in Brooklyn.
Children of Myron Potter Pickering, Jr., continued:
C. Freeman Dewitt Pickering was born August 21, 1908, at Fairview. He married Alice Lillie on July 22, 1934, at Crane, Mont. Like his dad, Freeman is in the apiary business. They have four children:(a) Myron Dewitt Pickering,D. David Myron Pickering was born Oct. 12, 1909, at Fairview. He married Nellie Mae Lillie, a sister to Alice, in September 1932, They have one daughter, Dorothy. He is also in the honey business.
(b) Kathy Irene Pickering,
(c) Timothy Wayne Pickering, and
(d) Darlene Pickering.
E. Dorothea Phyllis Pickering was born July 26, 1924, at Sidney. She married Harry Lawrence Dempson on Mar. 26, 1949. He was born Mar. 21, 1921, at Poplar, Mont. Their children are:4. Sylvia Silona (Ona for short) was born April 14, 1875, at Nevins. She was named after both of her grandmothers. After her dad built their large house with the cupola, Ona obtained a rag carpet loom and used this cupola for her work shop. She wove many carpets for relatives and friends, they furnishing the rags and paying a small amount for her labor and carpet warp. She was my favorite Aunt and I enjoyed being there with her and would wind the rag strips on the shuttles. She married Ernest Watts on Dec. 31, 1902. He was born April 14, 1876, in England and died on April 23, 1939, at Fairview. In 1903, they moved to a farm in Omemee, N.D., hoping to cash in on the "big weat crops" that they had heard so much about, but which never came because of hail and drought. About 1906, they moved to a homestead in the hills near Fairview, Mont. Although prosperity was slow, he kept his head above water, adding to his acreage both in the hills and also in the Yellowstone River Valley nearby where there was irrigation, and he came out on top. He thus diversified his farming by raising live stock for market. After Em died, Ona, who was a hard working partner, with her son Allyn took over. Ona died in early 1966.(a) Joan Lee Dempson
(b) Phillip Lawrence Dempson
(c) Jacqueline Marie Dempson
(d) Pauline Grace Dempson
(e) Mark Stephen Dempson
(f ) Christine lone Dempson
(g) Toni Jean Dempson
(h) Jessie Louise Dempson
A. Marcus Allyn Watts, their son, was born Sept. 25, 1903, at Omemee, N.D. He finished his schooling at Fairview, then stayed with his parents assisting them with the farm work, He married Marjorie Treat on Oct. 7, 1932, at Fairview, Mont. She was born July 12, 1908, in Blooming Prairie, Minn. Their two sons are:5. David Leon Pickering, the fifth child of Byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering, was born July 14, 1878, at Nevins. He attended the nearby district school and then stayed with his parents on the farm, although at intervals he would work in a lumber mill at Granton, Dave never cared for farming, but did like operating the mill which his dad, his brother and he had set up. He married Eda Ketel on July 30, 1902, at Neillsvifle, She had taught at the Nevins District School. After his marriage, he built a home on his dad's farm not too far from the mill. When his parents, sisters and brothers left for the West, Dave stayed with the mill. Although he had gone West as far as the coast with them to look for a better homesite and economic conditions, he decided to stay in Wisconsin. In 1906, he moved his mill and family to a wooded tract near Sheldon, Wisc., settling on the Little Jump River about three miles from town. The town consisted of a lumber mill, a general store, several saloons and a few shacks in a very small clearing in the woods. The Wisconsin Central Railway (now Soo Line) had just built into the town on its way to Duluth. Shortly thereafter, the mill in town closed as they had cut up the cream of the crop of logs and thus found it uneconomical to continue. Since Dave had the only mill in the vicinity, the farmers, when clearing land, would sell him the logs or haul them to be cut into lumber, paying him to do so. Dave expanded his operations and later moved into town where he started(a) James Watts, born Dec. 10, 1933
(b) George Watts, born Jan. 31, 1946
a building supply business. He became very successful. Dave died on Feb. 24, 1968. Eda was born May 13, 1880, and died in 1958. She was of considerable help in the business, The last few years their son Leon took over managing the business, but Dave would have to walk over a few times a day to see how things were and to keep in touch with his friends. The children of Dave and Eda were:
A. Leon Clarence Pickering, born Aug. 11, 1903. He married and had several children and at present is operating the lumber yard.6. Earl Wayne Pickering, son of Byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering, was born Feb. 28, 1881, at Nevins. He constantly lived with his parents and went west with them. After his parents gave up their homestead, he lived on the farm of his brother, Myron, in a small house. For a few years he also operated a lignite coal mine until unable to do so, thence assisted Myron’s sons with their honey processing. He never married. His hobby has been and still is studying the Bible, of which he is a very good student,
B. Darthea Pickering, born Nov. 20, 1904, She is unmarried.
C, Lola Marie Pickering, born Oct. 9, 1909. She married Glenn Eugene
Romig on June 14, 1931. He was born Jan. 7, 1906, at Petersburg,
Nebr, They live in Gilman, Wisc., and are the parents of the following children:(a) Theodore Arthur Romig, born Dec. 14, 1933;D. Evelyn Pickering; she is married and there are children.
(b) Darrell James Romig, born June 22, 1936;
(c) Nancy Elaine Romig, born March 30, 1940;
(d) Marilyn Marie Romig, born July 12, 1946.
7. Pearl Pickering, Earl’s twin sister, died at birth.
8. Chester Allen Pickering, son of Byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering, was born on March 15, 1884, at Nevins, He stayed on the farm with his parents until they all went west. He married Doreas Borgers, sister of Mary, Myron’s wife, who was also a teacher in the Nevins District School. She continued to teach after marriage. They were married on Aug.. 24, 1904, at Neillsville. She was born on March 11, 1878, in Neillsville and died in 1967 at Wesley Gardens Home in Des Moines, Wash.. In 1905, they moved to Berthold, N.D., where the going was tough. Jobs were not plentiful and at times there was hardly enough food on which to live. Although he did photographic work, there was not enough work to make it pay. Later they moved to Sidney, Mont. Here he had a small photograph gallery. Sidney was a new western town, waiting for the railroad. It consisted of one long main street bordered on both sides by shacks, one-story huts, a few small stores and tents, also a few garages and a school. This was in 1909 when I visited there. It was the county seat, located in the Yellowstone River Valley and at that time irrigation was being brought in. It was also the. headquarters for people to file on homestead claims. After the arrival of the railroad, the town began to shape up and today it is a prosperous place with all first class conveniences. Sugar beet, alfalfa and dairying are the main products in the valley, while on the prairie it is grain farming and raising beef cattle. After a few years, the family moved to Oregon, settling at Potlatch, Wash., in the lumbering district. Allie in his spare time was studying to become a minister and here that ambition was obtained in the Methodist Church. He is now retired and is living in a Methodist retirement home at Des Moines, Wash. Allie and Dorcas were parents of the following children:
Children of Chester Allen and Dorcas (Borgers) Pickering:
A. Rex Albert Pickering, born May 16, 1905, at Nevins; he died on April 10, 1928, at Salem, Oregon. He never married,
B. Chester Arthur Pickering, born Jan. 31, 1907, at Berthold, N.D.9. Jessie Eva Pickering, daughter of Byron and Hannah (Sparks) Pickering, was born April 7, 1889, at Nevins. She attended the Nevins District School, then high school at Marshfield, Wisc., where she stayed with her sister, Helen. For a while she and her mother lived with my parents in Minneapolis. She later joined her parents at Fairview and filed on a homestead claim adjoining theirs. In 1915 she married Earl Hull, a farmer in a nearby town and disposed of her claim and lived on his farm. They had one daughter born in 1916 who died in infancy. Later they adopted a daughter, Helen, born Dec. 1, 1922. Earl, was born July 27, 1888, and died in 1926, Jessie carried on for awhile, then came to live with her sister Helen at Eau Claire, hoping to obtain work as a housekeeper. She obtained such for Soph Hanson, a railway conductor at Spooner, Wisc. He was a widower with one daughter. Later Jessie and Soph married and lived happily until their deaths. They died two weeks apart in the fall of 1955.
He married Sybil Smith on Sept. 11, 1927, in Salem, Ore, There were
two children(a) James Arthur, born Oct. 2, 1928, and died April 12, 1951;
(b) Robert Allen, born July 19, 1935.
C. Marian Hannah Pickering, born Dec. 27, 1908, at Fairview. She married Marion Frances Robbins on Nov. 7, 1929, ot Oroville, Wash. He was born June 27, 1905, at Hood River, Ore, They are the parents of three children:(a) Leroy Marion, born Oct. 8, 1930;
(b) Leslie William, born Aug. 24, 1933;
(c) Lois Helen, born Jan. 14, 1935.
D. Eva Joy Pickering, born Sept. 8, 1911, died Oct. 27, 1911, at Sidney.
E. Wayne Harold Pickering, born Oct. 30, 1916, at Crane, Mont, He married Agnes Hansen on Aug. 3, 1936, at Vancouver, Wash. She was born May 22, 1917, at Deepcreek, Wash. They have four children:(a) Jeannette Kay Pickering, born Dec. 13, 1936;
(b) Richard Wayne Pickering, born Oct. 29, 1937;
(c) Phillip Allen, Pickering, born May 27, 1942;
(d) Gerald Peter Pickering, born May 27, 1944.
It was a sad day when the Byron Pickering fami]y left Nevins. He was one of the "main stays" of the community. He was an active member of the local township and school boards, Byron and Hannah were always ready to help their neighbors and relatives, always trying to make things better for them. Some of the families actually depended upon him for much of their livelihood, They lived on unprofitable farms with large families and thus having to have additional income, would work in Byron's mill, They would also obtain a good free noon meal. If these families were short of food, Byron would always help them out. They were always welcome at meal time and it was net unusual to have twelve or more at the table, The food was good and plain, but wholesome. Their vegetable garden was considerably larger than necessary, but the excess was for these neighbors and friends. When Byron went to town for supplies, sixteen miles, it was not unusual for him to re turn with ten one hundred-pound sacks of flour and several of sugar, so if necessary to supply these neighbors if they could pay for it or not.
When the sons and daughters of these families finished the district school and could not afford to continue tn high school in town, and wanting for better things as soon as old enough, would leave home and seek work elsewhere. Thus, after Byron left, several of these families also moved, some to Sidney, Mont,, and others to Oregon. Some of them abandoned farms which have again become woods, with hunting “game lodges."
Many incidents of interest could have been obtained if we of the younger generation had asked our parents and grandparents about their pioneer days.. I remember my dad and mother talking about incidents of long ago, but at the time these meant nothing to me. Too late, however, I learned they could since be valuable information concerning our ancestors. They are now lost. Mother did tell me that one Christmas, all the children received in their stockings was a bunch of raisins, and they were happy.
One winter, Mother cooked in her dad’s logging camp, and in the spring when camp broke up, he gave her a twenty-dollar gold piece which was really something. She was about twenty years old, which was quite a job cooking for a group of loggers.
After Mother finished the district school, she started making dresses for people who could afford It. She was a good seamstress. In those days, yard dress material was purchased and you either did your own sewing or had a dress-maker do it, She sewed for people in Neillsville and would live with them until finished. Later she worked in a dressmaking shop in Chicago. After marrying and having a home and family to look after, although she did not make a practice of it, she did sew for a few friends. Sewing for my two sisters and herself kept her busy. In her spare time, she made beautiful drawn work consisting of table luncheon cloths, doilies and window curtains; she also made hooked rugs.
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TWENTY-SIX AMERICAN CITIES HAVE A SPARKS STREET, AVENUE, OR ROAD
According to the National Zip Code Directory of the United States Post Office Department, some twenty-six different American cities have a street, avenue, or road name Sparks. We would be delighted if members of the Association living in or near these cities would attempt to learn for whom these streets were named. We shall be pleased to report in the QUARTERLY the results of any such research. Following are the cities, arranged by state:
California: Bakersfield, Burbank, Hayward, Modesto, and San Diego.
Georgia: Atlanta and Augusta.
Illinois: East St. Louis.
Iowa: Sioux City.
Massachusetts: Boston and Lowell.
New York: New Rochelle.
Ohio: Dayton and Warren.
Tennessee: Knoxville and Memphis.
Texas: Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Dallas, Houston, and Wichita Falls.
SPARKS FAMILIES LISTED ON THE 1840 CENSUS OF DAVIESS COUNTY, INDIANA
Copied by Carrie Grant Heppen
Washington Township (town of Washington) enumerated June
26, 1860, by T. A. Baker
|408-406||Force, Thos||30||(M)||Indiana||Farmer $2000/||$1000|
|Sparks, Calvin||22||(M)||"||Farm Laborer||$800|
(Same Township; same date)
|411-409||Storms, Daniel||46||(M)||Ohio||Farmer $4500/||$1500|
|" John J.||43||(M)||"||Farmer $4500/||$1500|
|Sparks, - - - - -||28||(M)||"||Farm Laborer|
(Same Township; same date)
|428-426||Sparks, John T.||28||(M)||Indiana||Farmer $800/||$300|
|429-427||McDonald, David B.||27||(M)||Indiana||Farmer $1200/||$600|
(Same Township, enumerated July 6, 1860, by T. A. Baker)
|658-656||Jones, Wilson||36||(M)||Indiana||Druggist $1200/||$200|
(Barr Township; town of Black Oak Ridge; enumerated
June 18, 1860 by James S. Morgan
|298-298||Sparks, James||35||(M)||Indiana||Farmer $1000/||$500|
|" Henary Louisa||8||(F)|
|" Mary Ann||1/12||(F)|
(Note: Sparks families found on the 1850 census of Daviess County were published on Page 404 of the QUARTERLY, June, 1959, Vol. VII, NO. 2, Whole No. 26.)
(Editors note: One of our very generous members, Major Gerald H. Sparks, Box 443, Runge, Texas, has arranged to have the 1840 census of South Carolina searched for Sparks families for publication in the QUARTERLY. We are most grateful to Major Sparks for this contribution.
(In using the following records, it should be kept in mind that in all federal census records prior to 1850, only the name of the head of each household was actually recorded by the census taker. Following his or her name, all members of the household, including the head, were enumerated in columns by sex and age group. The members of the household so enumerated not only included the parents and their children, but also anyone else living with the family at the time, such as relatives, servants, roomers, etc.
(We can be sure that there were persons named Sparks who were living in households headed by persons that were not named Sparks in 1840, but perhaps their number was about offset by those persons enumerated in Sparks households who were not really Sparkses. It should be kept in mind that census takers often made mistakes, not only in spelling and in counting, but on occasion a family was missed altogether.
(The census taker ordinarily recorded whatever data he was told by the person at home the day he stopped. Ages were often guessed at while some members of the household were overlooked. Sometimes parents included sons or daughters who were no longer living at home and who were counted in some other household also. Just because one fails to find his ancestor listed in a given county is by no means positive proof that he was not there.
(Where two Sparks households were listed on the same page by the census
taker, the chances are great they actually lived near each other and were
probably closely related.)
|Alexr. Sparks (p.375)||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||13|
|Martha P. Sparks p.42||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||17|
|Alexr. Sparks (p.42)||.||.||2||.||1||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||78|
|Zachariah Sparks p.20||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||. .||.||1||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||6|
|James Sparks (p. 124)||.||.||1||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||2||.||.||1||.||.||.||1||.||.||6|
|Saml. Sparks (p. 193)||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||1||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||82|
|John Sparks (p. 71)||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||19|
|Zere Sparks (p.97)||2||1||.||2||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.|||||1||.||1||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||7|
|Zach. Sparks (p.97)||3||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||1||.||.||1||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||5|
|Geo Sparks (p. 100)||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||10|
|Josh K. Sparks (p100)||1||1||1||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||3||1||1||1||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||2|
|Thos. Sparks (p.154)||.||.||3||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||5|
|J. L. Sparks (p. 155)||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||1|
|Wm. Sparks (p. 163)||.||.||1||1||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||1||2||1||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||8|
|Thos R Sparks (p 181)||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||1|
|Mrs H Sparks (p. 186)||.||2||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||1||1||2||1||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||16|
|Wm. Sparks (p. 187)||1||.||2||1||1||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.|||||1||1||2||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||17|
|Loyd Sparks (p. 191)||1||3||2||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||8|
|John Sparks (p. 198)||.||.||.||1||. .||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||2||1||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||5|
|Drury Sparks (p 199)||1||.||2||2||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||1||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||9|
|Zach. Sparks (p 199)||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||1||.||1||.||.||.||1||.||.||4|
|Josiah Sparks (p. 213)||.||.||.||.||1||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||1||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||5|
|Shelton Sparks (p224)||1||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||.|||||2||1||1||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||7|
|Josiah Sparks (p. 228)||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.|||||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||7|
|John Sparks (p.193)||.||2||2||1||.||.||.||1||.||.||.||.||.|||||.||.||1||.||1||1||.||.||.||.||.||.||9|
(Editor’s Note: The “Alxn. Sparks” listed in Chesterfield County was
Alexander Sparks who was also listed in Darlington County. He owned slaves
in Chesterfield County and for that reason was listed there as well as
in Darlington County. The Martha P. Sparks listed in Darlington County
was Alexander’s mother; his father,
Daniel Sparks, had died in 1810. (See the QUARTERLY of December 1962, Vol. X, No. 1, Whole No. 40; for a record of this family.)
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NEW MEMBERS OF THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION
It is a pleasure to report the names and addresses of eight new members of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION. These Sparks descendants have joined the Association since March 1971:
Boon, Miss Linda, 1431 Somerset Ave., Webster Groves, Missouri (63119)
Cook, Mrs. Eula Ray Sparks, P.O. Box 4033 N. Station, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (27105)
Miller, Doris L. (Mrs. Cecil L.), 12131 W. Bluemound Rd., Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (53226)
Pierce, Mabel (Mrs. Delbert), Rt. 2, Box 455, Nekoosa, Wisconsin (54457)
Saurman, Mrs. Elizabeth Sparks, 1701 Skees Rd., West Palm Beach, Florida (33406)
Schubert, Vernon B. (Mrs. F.S.), 5 Olentangy St., Columbus, Ohio (43202)
Sparks, Edward C., 106 Dawn Drive, Springfield, Illinois (62702)
Thomas, Mrs. Len, Zurich, Kansas (67676)
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Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks