William R. Sparks was born in Owen county, Indiana, May 20, 1839, and received part of his education in the county of his birth, living there till he was twelve years of age. His parents then moved to Boone county, Iowa, and there William grew up and finished his education. He began farming in Iowa, continuing .there until 1870, when he moved to this State and county, locating in Lincoln township. He owns a farm of 140 acres of well improved land, which he has fenced with hedge fencing.

Mr. Sparks was married, in Boone county, Iowa, September 14, 1862, to Miss Deborah Williams. Nine children have been born of this union,. eight of whom are still living. Their names are; John C., Florence A., Nathan O., William E., Grace F., Douglas B., Melvin E., and Nancy A., surviving, and Thomas, deceased. Mr. Sparks is a good practical farmer, whose honesty and fair dealing has won him many friends.