Note H2633 Index
SQ 393: Melinda Ann Sparks, birn June 16, 1847. She married Will iam
Henry Earhart and died in 1923.
See SQ p. 408:
"Melinda Ann Sparks, sister of William H. and Emerson B. Sparks, was born June 16, 1847, in Indiana and died in 1923. She was married in Indiana to William Henry Earhart, who died on October 6, 1937, in Markle, Indiana. Although they accom- panied William H. Sparks to Missouri, Melinda Ann and her husband soon returned to Indiana, where all eight of their children were born. A photograph of Melinda Ann with her husband appears on page 409. Their children were:
(1) Lester Earhart; married Emma Wilcoxson.
(2) Theodore Earhart, married Almeda Woods.
(3) Philip Earhart; unmarried.
(4) Clarence Earhart; married Ossie Cross.
(5) Elza Earhart; born Oat. 10, ----, married Martha Roberts.
(6) Charles Earhart; married Vernie Wilcoxson.
(7) Henry Milton Earhart, born Sept. 12, 1881; died Nov. 1, 1950, married
Sept. 14, 1904, Louisa Ann Parks.
(8) Milo Earhart, born July 24, 1883, unmarried.
Note H2634 Index
The following article appeared in the SPARKS QUARTERLY for June 1993, Whole No. 162, p. 4135:
DEATH TAKES MELVA (SPARKS) BIDLACK
Your editor has the painful task of recording here the death of his beloved wife, Melva Helen Sparks. She died at our home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on April 19, 1993. Melva had been diagnosed in late November 1992 as being terminally ill with colon cancer.
Although not a "paying-member" of The Sparks Family Association, Melva had contributed to the QUARTERLY in countless anonymous ways over the past forty years, from her proofreading and correcting to helping in the stuffing and mailing. Furthermore, it was only because her maiden name was Sparks that your editor developed an interest in the Sparks family's history.
Melva Helen Sparks was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on May 17, 1918, the only daughter of Oral A. and Alice E. (Mace) Sparks. She was a 4th great-grand daughter of the William Sparks (born ca. 1725 in Queen Annes County, Maryland, died in 1801-02 in Surry County, North Carolina) whose life story was featured in the QUARTERLY of June 1991, Whole No. 154.
Melva was reared on the family farm near Clio, Iowa. She and your editor met as students at Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, in 1939, and we were married in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1942, while I was stationed nearby at Camp Robinson, in World War II. We have four children: Stanley (wife, Nancy), Martha (husband, John Russell), Christopher (wife, Linda), and Harold (wife, Martha). They, and our five grandchildren, Lisa, Matthew, Christopher, Sarah, and Amanda, helped us celebrate our golden wedding anniversary last June, none of us apprehending that it would be our last anniversary. Melva's two brothers survive, J. Gerald Sparks and the Rev. A. Harold Sparks.
I should like to express my gratitude to the many members of the Association who have expressed their sympathy to me, and I thank each of you for your patience in accepting my delay in publishing the 1993 issues of the QUARTERLY.
Note H2635 Index
SQ p. 4651:
"Meredith Benton Sparks, son of Nelson and Sarrilda (Holbrook) Sparks, was born on November 24, 1866. He should not be confused with a cousin who was also named Meredith Benton Sparks (see Item C, 2, a, above). Meredith Sparks, son of Nelson, was married to Cynthia Alice BAiley on September 22, 1887, in Johnson County, Kentucky. She had been born on March 21, 1869, and was a daughter of William Wallace and Sarah Agnes (Stinson) Bailey. Meredith Sparks was quite popular in his community and was elected as Lawrence County Judge. (See the photograph reproduced above" (on page 4651) "that he used in electioneering.) He died on November 29, 1921, and Cynthia went to Ashland, Kentucky, to be near her son, Dr. Proctor Sparks. She died there on February 25, 1952. She and Meredith had three children: Proctor Sparks, Carrie Sparks, and Pleury Sparks. (Proctor Sparks was one of the Association's most enthusiastic charter members. See page 192 of the March 1957 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 17, for his obituary. He is on the cover of this issue of the QUARTERLY.)
Note H2636 Index
See The Sparks Quarterly, June 1998, Whole No. 182, pg 5002, for a brief reference to Merritt Sparks and see pps. 5015-7 for an abstract of his Civil War pension application papers as follows:
"MERIT SPARKS, son of Hardy and Martha (Motley) Sparks, was born 1843/44 in Greene County, Indiana. He was married to Ellender Martindale on February 9, 1862, in Greene County. He died in 1873. He served in Company C, 97th Regiment Indiana Infantry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 101,112; Wid. Cert No. 217,921.
"On June 9, 1865, Merit (also spelled Merritt) Sparks received a Certificate of Discharge from Company C, 97th Regiment Indiana Infantry at Washington, D.C. He had enlisted on August 11, 1862, to serve for three years, or during the war, and he was discharged by reason of the expiration of his term of service. According to his commanding officer, Capt. Wiley E. Dittemore, he was nineteen year of age when he had enlisted; he was 5 feet, 10 inches tall; he had a fair complexion, dark eyes and light colored hair; and he was a farmer.
"Two years later (following his discharge), on April 25, 1867, Sparks applied for an Invalid Army Pension. He was 24 years of age and a resident of Hobbieville, Indiana. He stated that he had enlisted on August 13, 1862, as a private in Company C, 97th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, under the command of Capt. John W. Carmichael, and he had served until he was mustered out on June 9, 1865. While on duty in Atlanta, Georgia, and engaged with the enemy on July 28, 1864, he had been wounded in the left hand by a musket ball that passed through the knuckle of the little finger in such a way as to cause it to be permanently impaired. In addition, while stationed at Holly Springs, Mississippi, his left eye became infected, causing inflamation and permanent damgage to his vision. He appointed Moses F. Dunn of Bedford, Indiana, as his attorney in obtaining a pension. His application was witnessed by John D. Alexander and Jas. R. Eash.
"On February 28, 1868, the War Department confirmed the military service of Merit Sparks to be just as he had stated it to be. He had been carried on the muster roll as "Absent -- wounded" from July 28, 1864, through August, 1864, and he had been "Absent -- sick" in New Albany, Indiana, in November, 1864.
"Invalid Certificate No. 101,112 was issued to Merit Sparks, and he was placed upon the pension roll on November 26, 1869, at the rate of $6.00 per month.
"Dr. dudley A. Murphy of Sullivan County, Indiana, made an affidavit to support Merit Sparks in 1871. He stated that he had been the Assistant Surgeon of the 97th Regiment on January 8, 1863. Merit's infected eye had gradually gotten smaller, and his sight had faded until he was almost blind in that eye when he had been mustered out of the service.
"Merit Sparks applied for increased pension benefits on October 4, 1871, claiming that he was now totally blind in his left eye. He appointed John D. Alexander, Bloomfield, Indiana, as his attorney. Jesse Rainbolt and Daniel B. Hatfield witnessed his signature, and the application was sworn to before David S. Whitaker, clerk of Greene County Circuit Court.
"Merit Sparks died on June 17, 1873, and on September 26, 1873, his widow, Ellender Sparks, made application for a Widow's Pension; however, no copy of her application is included among the papers in this "selected file." She had sent the Pension Bureau a copy of the marriage record showing that she and Marit had been married in Greene County, Indiana, on February 9, 1862, by Augustine Carmichael, a minister of the Gospel.
"Apparently, no action was taken on Ellender Sparks's application for a Widow's Pension for on June 6, 1883, she again filed a "Widow's Claim for Pension," with the Bureau of Pensions. She was now 40 years of age and lived in Stanford, Indiana. She stated that her husband had died of a disease of the head which had been caused by his military service. He had left her with three living children who had been under the age of sixteen years at his death. They were:
James H. Sparks, born August 28, 1866.
Amanda Alice Sparks, born September 11, 1868.
John C. Sparks,born February 23, 1871.
"Another child, Betsey J. Sparks, had been born on January 9, 1873, but had died on April 5, 1875. Mrs. Sparks appointed Jas. H. Hunter, Washington, D.C., as her attorney, and Arthur Young and R. R. Breeden witnessed her make her mark.
"On July 20, 1885, Elizabeth Martindale, aged 83, and J. R. Martindale, both residents of Stanford, Indiana, made affidavits to support the claim of Ellender Sparks. They stated that Merit Sparks had complained of pain in his head while home on furlough and that after his discharge from the service, the pain had become so severe that he would "go out of his head" because of its intensity, and he would have to be restrained by his relatives and friends who attended him. Mrs. Martindale also stated that she had been present when all four of the children of Merit and Ellender Sparks had been born. She set their dates of birth down just as Mrs. Sparks had presented them. The affidavits of both Mr. and Mrs. Martindale were notarized by Thomas W. Sparks, a notary public.
"On August 4, 1885, Capt. A. F. Phillips, Cincinnati, Ohio, swore that Merit Sparks had been a member of his company during the late war and had developed a disease of the left eye while in the service, and from which he never recovered. Phillips had visited Sparks while he had been ill, and he said that Sparks was suffering such great pain that he was "out of his mind."
"Widow's Certificate No. 217,921 was issued to Ellender Sparks, and she was placed upon the pension roll. When she died on April 6, 1920, she was receiveing $25.00 per month.
"On July 24, 1890, James H. Sparks, aged 23 years, a resident of Stanford, Indiana, applied for a pension on the basis of his being a disabled child of a Civil War veteran. He stated that he had been born on August 28, 1866, to Merit and Ellender Sparks, and was now so badly crippled that he was unable to earn his living. He appointed C. R. Worrall of Bloomington, Indiana, as his attorney. Nothing is included in the "selected papers" from Merit Sparks's pension to indicate what action, if any, was taken upon James H. Sparks's application."