Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/26/2010 at 12:48:22
Thomas Sparks was one of Boone county’s pioneers, settling permanently in Boonesboro in 1852. Fro that year until his death he continuously resided in this neighborhood, passing away in August 1909, in his ninety-fourth yea. He had taken up his residence in the city of Boone several years before his death, his widow now making her home at No 116 Benton street.
Mr Sparks was born in Pennsylvania, near Brownsville, December 23, 1815, and as a boy of ten years removed with his parents to Tuscarawas county, where his father was engaged in the cultivation of a farm. When about twenty years of age Mr Sparks of this review returned to his mother’s people in Pennsylvania where he completed his education and also taught school. Later he took up the same profession in Iowa, in Pottawattamie county. He made his first trip to Boone county in 1847 or 1848 and entered 80 acres of land but did not remain at that tie. In 1852 he married in Pennsylvania and subsequently located six miles south of Boone in Worth township, this farm remaining his home until the fall of 1903. The original homestead comprised 80 acres, and he also owned 120 acres of timber, and later bought another 80 acres, his total holdings consisting 280 acres. When Mr Sparks arrived here his land was raw prairie, but he set himself to its cultivation and as the years passed developed one of the most valuable farms in his neighborhood. He had give considerable attention to surveying and elected the first county surveyor of Boone county, laying out Boonesboro. From 1903 until his death he resided at No 621 Tenth street, Boone, and there passed away.
On March 15, 1852 Thomas Sparks married, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, Miss Esther Ann Dunn, a native of that state, who was born November 9, 1828. She accompanied her husband on the trip to Iowa the journey being made by was of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and by ox teams fro Keokuk. Their first home in Worth township was a log cabin and later MR Sparks there built one of the first frame houses, the entire building being constructed of native walnut. In their family were the following children: L D of Boone, F C a widower and also a resident of this city, his daughter Gladys making her home at Ames, Asenath D who is the widow of Lewis Fisher Jr and has two children, John C and engineer of the Northwestern Railroad for years and a resident of Bone, who has one son, Mrs Nettie J Hitsman, who lives near Luther, Boone county, and has two children: Robert a railroad employee who makes his headquarters in Kansas City, Playford of Boone who has been twice married and has two children by is first union, Frank who died as a soldier in Manila during the Spanish-American war and left a widow and a child, the former now also deceased, Eugene V who was a ranchman of Colorado, where he passed away, leaving a widow and two who died in infancy.
Mr Sparks was a stanch whig but later voted the democratic ad subsequently the republican ticket. He lived to the ripe old age of ninety-Three years and in him the city of Boone mourned one of the veteran pioneers of this district.
His widow sold one of the farms after his death and bought a house at No 116 Benton street, where she now resides. There her son F C Sparks, also lives. He was born February 11, 1854, and married Miss Ana Likely, who died in 1900 leaving one daughter. Mrs F C Sparks’ parents were among the early settlers near Fort Madison, Iowa. Mrs Thomas Sparks and her son are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, the former having been connected with that organization since she was fifteen years of age. She first attended services at the Brown schoolhouse and later at the Boone schoolhouse near their home. She also was a member of a class at the Gildey school, then attending services at the College Chapel church and later at the Methodist church of Boone. She is now nearing her eight-sixth birthday, yet she is energetic and agile and still participates in many of the activities of life.
1914 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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