James Comstock Sparks

History of Fulton County, Illinois; together with Sketches of its Cities, Villages and Townships, Educational, Religious, Civil, Military, and Political History; Portraits of Prominent Persons and Biographies of Representative Citizens. Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Peoria, Illinois, 1879, page 462, Astoria Township
  James C. Sparks, farmer and stock-raiser, is a native of Hamilton Co., O., where he was born Nov. 3, 1830. His father, Levi Sparks, was a farmer by occupation and for a number of years dealt in grain; he was married in Ohio to Miss Sophia Comstock. To better their condition in life they concluded to move farther west and accordingly took passage on the Ohio river, going to St. Louis, from there to Beardstown, thence to Rushville and then came to the old town of Washington; moving to Schuyler Co., he established what was known in an early day as Sparks Landing. This was afterwards purchased by Jacob Sharpe. Mr. S. died in 1844, leaving to the care of his wife 3 children. James grew to manhood in Schuyler; on attaining his twenty-first year he moved to Fulton, where he has since been permanently identified with the farming interests. March 12, 1857, he was united in marriage with Miss Ida C. Carter, daughter of the well-known pioneer, James Carter, deceased. Mr. S. is extensively engaged in stock-raising and his short-horn cattle are unsurpassed.
  submitted by Carla Finley

Portrait and Biographical Album of Fulton County, Illinois: containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county: together with portraits and biographies of all the presidents of the United States, and governors of the state; Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, IL; 1890; page 406; Transcribed by Margaret Rose Whitehurst
   James Comstock Sparks, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser of this county, occupies a leading place among the intelligent, progressive agriculturists of Astoria Township. He has here a fine stock farm, and one of the most attractive homes in this locality. He is a native of Ohio, born in Hamilton County, November 3, 1830, to Levi and Sophia (Comstock) Sparks, who were also natives of the Buckeye State.
  The paternal grandfather of our subject was Mathew Sparks. He came originally from France and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He removed from Ohio to Schuyler County, this State, about 1830 or 1833, and was one of its early settlers. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Dr. James Comstock, a physician and an early pioneer of Ohio. The parents of our subject were married and lived in their native State until 1837, when they became pioneers of this State. They made their way by boat to St. Louis, and after arriving here settled in the county before mentioned, where Mr. Sparks had a warehouse and a landing pier on the river. He was a man of considerable prominence in those parts and was a Justice of the Peace. His untimely death in the month of March, 1844, was a blow to the interests of the community. His family continued to reside at Sparks Landing until 1850, when they came to this county and located in Pleasant Township. The mother came to Astoria in 1856 and lived there until her demise in 1861. She was a Christian and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
  The subject of this sketch is one of a family of three children, and the names of the others are Prudence W. and Esther A. He was educated in the common schools, and was reared to the life of a farmer. After his father's death he took charge of the home affairs and resided with his mother until his marriage, which took place March 12, 1857, when he was united to Miss Idress E., a daughter of James and Ala (Lane) Carter.
  In the fall of that year our subject and his bride settled where they now reside on section 11, Astoria Township. He operates one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he has placed under cultivation, and has greatly increased its value by many fine improvements. He has erected a handsome residence and two substantial barns, besides other necessary buildings. He has paid great attention to breeding thoroughbred Short-horn cattle for the past fourteen years, and he was one of the first to establish a herd of that breed in this township. He has been a leading and active Mason since 1852 and is highly thought of both socially and as a man of honorable business traits.

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