James B. Sparks, deceased, father of W. J., John N. and A. W. Sparks and also the father of four daughters, came into Texas in the year 1851. He remained one year in the state and returned to his old home in the state of Alabama, and moved his family to the state of Texas in the fall of 1852. He settled on the county line separating Hopkins from Titus County, on the headwaters of Big Cypress Bayou. Mr. James Sparks’ brothers had moved into the state of Texas as early as the year 1836, and settled on Cypress Bayou near Cypress Church, where they had engaged in farming and raising stock.
They built the first gin house that was anywhere to be seen in all the country for miles around..
A. W. Sparks was only nine years old when his father came with his family to his Texas home. His business was to look after the stock and to work on the plantation. As the country began to increase in numbers, the people commenced to erect church buildings and schoolhouses. When schools could be had the Sparks children had the benefit of them, as their father was an ardent advocate of learning, and sought every opportunity possible to give his children a common sense, practical education. W. J. Sparks, the oldest son, was a printer and worked at Henderson, Texas, on a newspaper called the “Flag of the Union.” On the death of the editor of the “Flag” Mr. Sparks had full control of the management of the paper. This was during the year 1854, before he had attained his majority. He subsequently established a newspaper in the town of Quitman, in Wood County. He finally read law, and became a prominent attorney, and practiced his profession in the courts of Hopkins County for a long while, and then moved west and died.
John N. Sparks has been a citizen of Hopkins County almost continuously since childhood, and is living in the county at this time. He is well known as a stock man and as a sheep raiser. He has raised a large family of healthy, intelligent children. His daughters have married Hopkins County boys, all of whom are of splendid blood and ancestry, and are doing well. Dr. Buck Sparks is his son; a young physician of more than ordinary ability, possessed of great energy and ambition. John N. Sparks is a heavy taxpayer in the county. The entire Sparks family espoused the Southern cause and were Confederate soldiers, and served as such throughout the war. Many of them had seen service in the Indian war.
When A. W. Sparks returned from the Civil war he met Miss Fannie Turner, whom he soon married, obtaining his license to wed from Zeph Matthews, at old Tarrant. This marriage has proven to be a physiological one. Three children having been born to them, all of whom are possessed of gentle manners and a kindly disposition. They are all married now, and have homes of their own. Mr. Sparks has been engaged in school teaching, in agricultural pursuits and in stock raising. He has, ideality large, and is fond of the lovely and beautiful. Accompanying these traits of character he has literary taste and attainment, and is the author of an interesting history of the war between the states. He has written many articles of interest to the public. He is now carrying the weight of sixty-one years ; is active, supple and strong, and bids fair to live to a great age. He is well-informed upon the general topics, such as church, politics, social and business matters. He en-joys the confidence of the people, and is an honest, reliable and trustworthy citizen of the county. He is abreast of the times. His writings are sought after by the reading public. Being of an analytical mind, he condenses without padding, writes from a human stand-point, and places his soul in what he writes. He has been a member of the Baptist church for a number of years. Also an enthusiastic member of the Ma-sonic Fraternity.