Henry St. Clair Sparks

Henry St. Clair Sparks

My Great Great-Grandfather. A Canadian immigrant who built a fortune in real estate in Minnesota, founded Northwestern National Life Insurance company, and took his entrepreneurial spirit to Los Angeles. During his lifetime, Henry would marry three different times and sire eight sons and four daughters. He lived through the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888 and saw Los Angeles grow from a city of 50,000 people to over 300,00 by the time of his death.

From Canada to America

Henry St. Clair Sparks was born on August 4th, 1844 in Saint George, New Brunswick, Canada. Saint George was, and remains to this day, a small town with a population of just 733 people in 1901 and 1,517 people by 2016. His father was Robert Sparks who was originally from Machias, Maine in the United States, which is just 68 miles southwest of Saint George. His mother was Elizabeth Shaw who was originally from Ireland. Henry would be the second to last out of eleven children (seven daughters, four sons). Robert was 40 years old at the time with Elizabeth being 35. Around the age of 26, Henry immigrated to the United States with his wife Jennie McLeod and first-born son, John Perley Sparks, both of whom also originally from Saint George. The couple settled in Anoka, Minnesota north of Minneapolis. 

Both Robert and Elizabeth Sparks would eventually join their son in Anoka, Minnesota. Robert first appeared as living in Anoka in the 1875 Territorial Census at the age of 70. Robert and Elizabeth would also appear to be living with their daughter, Sophia Sparks, and her husband in Beverly, Massachusetts in the 1880 Federal Census. Both would be buried together in Anoka. Robert passed away on November 30, 1880 with his wife Elizabeth passing away on July 18, 1887.

While no diary or writings appear to exist about Henry's decision to move to Minnesota, the state's population would triple in the twenty years after the American Civil War. Considering that Saint George remains less than 2,000 people even to modern day, it is possible that Henry wished to take advantage of the economic booms and growth that was taking place. Advertisements about cheap land available for settling and development of the transcontinental railroad could have been factors in his decision. Further evidence for this reason could also be seen in the real estate speculation that Henry made a fortune off of while in Minnesota.

Jennie McLeod, First Love

Jennie McLeod was born in New Brunswick sometime in 1843. There does not appear to be any information about her parents or family origins. The 1880 Federal Census states that Jennie listed both her mother and father as being from Scotland. Her occupation is listed as "keeping house" or housewife as more commonly called today. There does not appear to be much information about Jennie McLeod beyond her residency and children born. While multiple local papers in the Minneapolis area detail real estate transactions, masonic meetings, and charitable donations by Henry S. Sparks, there is no mention of a Mrs. Henry S. Sparks or Jennie McLeod. Unlike Henry's later wife, if Jennie was active in local Minneapolis society, it was not reported on within local papers.

Jennie gave birth to six children with her husband Henry. All but one of these children would grow into adulthood and go raise families of their own. Both John Perley Sparks and Hazel Kirk Sparks have living descendants to this day. Unfortunately, the children of Robert Stewart Sparks and Ernestine S. Sparks did not have any children.

Name Born Death Age Married Children
John Perley Sparks 1868 1955 86 Carrie Belle Morton 2
Robert Stewart Sparks 1871 1932 60 Edith Ruth McGinty 1
Bessie Beatrice Sparks 1872 1963 90 Joel Mark Dickey 0
Ernestine S. Sparks 1875 1963 88 Arthur Phillips Crosby 1
Harry Smith Sparks Jr. 1878 1879 1 N/A N/A
Hazel Kirk Sparks 1880 1960 80 George Stephen Baxter 4

According to Jennie McLeod's grave, she died on June 25, 1887 in Anoka, Minnesota. She would have been 44 years old at the time of her death. The exact cause of death is not known as there does not appear to have been any form of obituary published. Local papers in 1887 do mention the passing of a "Miss Jennie McLeod" but this individual was 28 years old, unmarried, and living with her parents.

Real Estate and Life Insurance

There is little information on exactly how Henry's early career got to a start in Minnesota. It is safe to assume that an immigrant from a small Canadian town did not come to the United States with a large fortune already in hand. Real estate transactions and other mentions in local newspapers of Minneapolis clearly show someone who was living the American Dream in building their fortune. When Henry and his family first moved to Anoka, they resided with his sister Clarissa and her husband, both of whom had also immigrated from New Brunswick. No occupation is listed for Henry on his listing in the 1870 Federal Census. However, the 1880 Federal Census listed Henry, Jennie, and their children living in their own home. Henry's occupation is listed as a grocer.

In the 1880s, Henry S. Sparks began to appear multiple times in the local Minneapolis area newspapers. Two early articles in 1881 and 1883 reference Henry attending Masonic Grand Lodge meetings and representing Anoka Masonic Lodge #30. Between 1886 to 1888, the Saint Paul Globe newspapers lists multiple real estate transactions to or from Henry S. Sparks. The first transaction is from the Minnesota National Land and Investment Company to Henry S. Sparks for multiple lots of land for the price of $17,600. Over the subsequent two years, several of these lots would be sold by Henry to other individuals for prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to as much as $5,000.

Founding Northwestern Aid Association
St. Paul Globe: Sep 16, 1885

In 1885, Henry founded the Northwestern Aid Association. The company operated as a life insurance company for local residents. Multiple articles in Minnesota newspapers lists ads for representatives coming to small towns to offer life insurance contracts to residents. The company would later change its name to Northwestern Life Insurance in 1888. The company would go through another name change to the Northwestern National Life Insurance company in 1901. Over the subsequent decades, the company would become one of the largest financial services company in the United States. In 1924, the company would build a new home office that has since become registered in the National Register of Historic Places. This home office was known as the Northwestern National Life Insurance Company Home Office, also known as the Loring Park Office Building. The company would also be involved in the United States Supreme Court case of 1906, Northwestern National Life Insurance Co. v. Riggs. Eventually, Northwestern National Life Insurance Company would change its name one final time to ReliaStar before being purchased by Voya Financial.

While Henry Sparks' company would go on to find national success, he did not remain President of the company for long. Two years after its founding, Henry Sparks stepped down as President of Northwestern Aid Association. While there is no mention in local papers as to the cause of this transition, the situation with other members of his family may shed light on his reasons. In June 1887, Henry's wife Jennie McLeod died at age 44. Henry and Jennie would have been married for 20 years by this time. A month later, Henry's mother, Elizabeth Sparks, also passed away. Henry's oldest son, John Perley Sparks, was 18 years old at the time of his mother's death. The remaining children, Robert, Bessie, Ernestine, and Hazel, were each 16, 14, 12, and 7. Left without a mother to care for his children at home, Henry likely resigned his position to more easily take care of them during this time.

Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888

An interesting historic event that likely directly affected Henry Sparks and his children was the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888. The Schoolhouse Blizzard was a sudden snowstorm that hit the northern Midwest on January 12, 1888. The storm was significant because the day began as a relatively warm day with the storm blowing in quickly with little warning. A little after noon, the temperature dropped rapidly as the storm rolled in. This caught local residents unaware and leaving many children trapped in schoolhouses, which is how the blizzard got its name. The storm dropped six inches of additional snow on the covered area and impeded travel for days after the event. At least 235 deaths were reported from the storm.

It is not known exactly how Henry Sparks educated his children. However, it is likely safe to assume that Henry had his children attending classes at a local schoolhouse in the Anoka area. The children would have likely been in school at the time that the storm hit the Anoka area. At the time, Henry was living in a large home located at the corner of Benton Street and Ferris Street in Anoka. The house had a barn and an elegant carriage house that have all since been destroyed. It is interesting to wonder how he handled this sudden turn in the weather. His wife and mother had both passed away just barely six months prior to the storm. Was he working in town or at his home? Did he run out into the storm lantern in hand to find and guide his children home? Or did he lash horses to his carriage and rush down the snow-filled streets towards the schoolhouse? The facts of what Henry Sparks and his children actually did on that day are lost to history but it is not hard to imagine the fear and concern that a single parent still fresh from the loss of their spouse would feel in such circumstances.

Edith Mayhew, First Soprano

Edith Pate Mayhew
Edith Pate Mayhew

A month after the Schoolhouse Blizzard, Henry St. Clair Sparks married Edith Pate Mayhew on Feb 18, 1888. Edith was the daughter of Jeremiah and Anna Mayhew who settled in St. Paul from England. Jeremiah was likely born in 1823 with his wife Anna being born around 1831. According to the 1880 Federal Census, Edith had four sisters and two brothers with Edith being the fifth child out of seven total. Jeremiah Mayhew worked as a clerk with his wife being a housewife. Edith was born in February 1865 although an exact date is not known. At the time of her marriage, she was 23 years old while Henry Sparks was 43 years old.

Edith would have three children with Henry Sparks. There does appear to be some evidence that a fourth child was stillborn, possibly between the births of Arnold and Ronold. Sadly, Arnold passed away shortly after his marriage and did not sire any children. I should also note that Ronold's name is spelled correctly rather than more traditional Ronald. Both Harold and Ronold still have descendants alive today. Harold St. Clair Sparks was my great-grandfather.

Name Born Death Age Married Children
Harold St. Clair Sparks 1888 1973 84 Mabel V. Quick 4
Arnold Mayhew Sparks 1891 1914 22 Theresa E. Lewis 0
Ronold St. George Sparks 1895 1961 65 Anna C. Sparks 1
Edith Sparks Seriously Ill
Los Angeles Evening Express: Aug 3, 1905

Most of the information about Edith's life comes after she and Henry move to Los Angeles, California. According to family information passed down through generations, the couple moved to Pasadena, California in 1894 for Edith's health. There is no information on what health conditions Edith suffered from to cause the move. In 1895, Edith worked as the Postmaster for the Fairmont Post Office by appointment on May 20, 1895. She appears to have worked in that position for nine months before a new postmaster was appointed on February 27, 1896. 

In 1898, Edith began singing at various recitals through a group known as the Los Angeles Ladies Quartet that are mentioned in multiple Los Angeles papers. In each of these events, Edith Sparks was listed under the position of First Soprano indicating that she could reach a very high vocal range. One song mentioned being sung by Edith was "A Madrigal" by Victor Harris. An article on Oct 21, 1899 in the Los Angeles Evening Express states that Edith sang a duet and later solo at Rebekahs Lodge for a charity event. The paper specifically noted Edith's voice as being "specially clear, sweet voice that has evidently had careful training." Edith would later be elected as financial secretary to the Los Angeles Women's Lyric Club on January 12, 1905.

In the middle of July, 1905, Edith embarked on a trip to Alaska with a female friend from the Women's Lyric Club. While in transit, she became ill with a severe cold that turned into pneumonia. This ended the trip to Alaska with Edith being confined to a hospital in Seattle, Washington. Her illness was reported in the Los Angeles Evening Express on August 3, 1905. While there does not appear to be any follow-up articles about Edith's condition getting better or worse, Edith would pass away on March 2, 1906 due to pneumonia. Her obituary published in the Los Angeles Times on March 4 was extremely short with just mentioning that funeral services would be at her home with later internment at the Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery. Edith was 41 years old at the time.

Los Angeles Entrepreneur & High Society

There is no information on what Henry Sparks' financial situation was like when he moved to Los Angeles, California in 1894. According to family records passed down through the generations, Henry Sparks owned several businesses across Los Angeles. The only one named is a placed called Christopher Candy Store, a large confectionary and ice cream parlor. According to family members, Henry did not work at the store itself. The 1900 Federal Census stated that Henry Sparks was living on 454 Spring Street with an occupation of Confectioner. There was also a Christopher Candy Store on a section of Spring Street that is now Spring Street Park.

Henry also owned a barber shop that claimed to be the largest in the Los Angeles area at the time with seven or eight chairs. The shop was operated by one of his sons but it is not clear exactly which one. Henry owned a catering shop in downtown Los Angeles, a laundry service, and a loan shop on 3rd Street. He also owned two general stores with one located in Fairmont and the second in Fullerton. Finally, Henry Sparks owned a gold mine in Acton, California.

Henry Sparks Entertains Guests
Los Angeles Herald: Dec 5, 1910

During Henry's later years in Los Angeles, he lived in a two story house located in the Pico Union neighborhood. The home was originally built in 1906 and still stands to this day. Public records suggest that it is now a rental property. Family records indicate that Henry employed two servants of Japanese ethnicity during his later years. The home was a six bedroom, three bathroom house. This would allow for a master bedroom and bedrooms for Harold (18), Arnold (15), and Ronald (11). The remaining two bedrooms could have been used for guests and visiting family members, a study, or bedroom for the two servants that Henry employed.

There is at least one story in the Los Angeles Herald's Society pages of Henry Sparks entertaining guests at his home on December 5, 1910. Several people are named to be in attendance include a "Judge King" along with Henry's sons Arnold and Ronold who were 19 and 15 years old at the time. Henry's newest daughter, Theodora Helen Sparks, was likely also present but only two years old at the time. Henry's third wife would also be four months pregnant with Henry's last child, Henry Conklin Sparks. Since this is the only party by Henry Sparks mentioned in the Society pages and with his wife's pregnancy, it is possible that the gathering was intended as a more formal announcement of his wife's pregnancy. Harold St. Clair Sparks, my great-grandfather, was not in attendance as he was living in Great Falls, Montana to become an electrician. He would marry in secret 15 days after this dinner party to the woman he was boarding with in Great Falls, Montana. He had feared that his father would object to the marriage, claiming he was too young. Harold was 22 years old at the time with his wife being 21 years old. Henry Sparks was around 23 years old when he first married Jennie McLeod who was 24 at the time.

Grace Frances Conklin, Aspiring Actress

Grace Frances Conklin
Grace Franklin Conklin and her father

Ten months after the death of his second wife, Henry Sparks married for the third time on January 6, 1907 to a woman named Grace Frances Conklin. Grace was born in Queens, New York on August 28, 1875. Her father was James L. Conklin who worked as a clerk. James along with both of his parents were born in New York. The 1900 Federal Census lists Grace's father as being widowed. At the time of Grace's marriage to Henry, she was 31 years old while Henry was 62 years old. She was the same age as Henry's fourth child, Ernestine S. Sparks.

There is an interesting story passed down by the Sparks family. Aunt Grace, the sister of Harold St. Clair Sparks's wife Mabel Quick, state that Henry Sparks asked her to marry him at an unknown time after the death of Edith Pate Mayhew. Aunt Grace turned Henry down on marriage and mentioned that Henry was a "millionaire" at the time. Whether this was simply a statement of fact or concern that Henry's wealth was an issue is never stated. As the family remembers, Henry would go on to marry "another Grace."

Grace gave birth to two children with Henry Sparks. It should be noted that Henry Conklin Sparks was born six days after the death of his father. Both children would go on to have families of their own with descendants still alive to this day. 

Name Born Death Age Married Children
Theodora Helen Sparks 1908 1966 57 Bryson Green Rogers 2
Henry Conklin Sparks 1911 1998 86 Ruth Marie Hill 2

There is not much information on what exactly drew a girl from Queens, New York to cross the entire country to Los Angeles. According to ancestry records, Grace is shown to be living with her father in Queens, New York in the 1900 Federal Census. Seven years later, she is filing to get married in Los Angeles, California. The modern answer would be a young girl moving to Hollywood with dreams of becoming a movie star. However, the film industry of Los Angeles was just getting off the ground between 1900 to 1907. Sadly, the marriage announcement that is posted in the Los Angeles Herald on January 6, 1907 gives no information about how Grace and Henry met each other. The announcement also lies about Henry St. Clair Spark's age by claiming he is only 49 years old, thirteen years younger than he actually was. Interestingly, there is no information on if this lie was simply to the local newspapers or extended to Grace Conklin herself.

Birth Theodora Helen Sparks
Los Angeles Evening Post-Record: Nov 13, 1908

There is possibly some evidence that Grace Conklin had travelled to Los Angeles to pursue dreams of being an actress or singer. Searches of New York newspapers between 1875 to 1906 reveal multiple articles of a "Miss Grace Conklin" singing and acting in local productions. The earliest reference is a Miss Grace Conklin singing solos and duets at the Old Bushwick Sunday School on October 17, 1890. The latest reference is from January 21, 1905 from Brooklyn Life where a Miss Grace Conklin acted in a presentation of "Our Boys" at the McCaddin Memorial Hall on Berry Street. While the evidence is not as strong as Edith Pate Mayhew's singing career, it does give credence to the idea that Grace may have wanted to try breaking into the newly developing film industry of Los Angeles away from the more overcrowded New York theater industry.

Henry Sparks' living room, 1907
Henry Sparks' living room, 1907

After the death of her husband, Grace would continue to live with her children in the house that Henry owned until at least the 1920 Federal Census. According to information passed down by the family, Grace would teach piano lessons to support herself and children. The piano she taught at can be seen in the above living room photo. Interestingly, this census lists Grace as renting the house rather than owning it. It is unclear if this is a clerical error or the house of her late husband had passed to the hands of other people. Grace does not list any occupation, getting re-married, and has a boarder living at the house, which all give stock to the notion that the "renting" notation is simply an error. By the 1930 Federal Census, Grace has left Henry Sparks' home and was living in a small apartment on Magnolia Ave. She listed her occupation as a clerk for a gas filling station garage.

Grace did appear to briefly return to Queens, New York where she lived with family members as seen on the 1940 Federal Census. On October 17, 1941, Grace Frances Conklin passed away in Los Angeles, California. While a cause of death is not listed, Grace was buried in the Valhalla Memorial Park. Grace was 66 years old at the time of her death. Despite being 35 years old at the time of her husband's death, Grace never re-married and raised her two children as a single parent. There is an open question on how much of Henry St. Clair Sparks' fortune she inherited, which is explained in the next section of this biography.

Death and Betrayal

Henry Sparks Obituary
Los Angeles Times: May 16, 1911

Henry St. Clair Sparks passed away on May 15, 1911 at the age of 66. The obituary states that he died at Clara Barton Hospital of stomach cancer. He was a member of the Central Baptist Church and listed as being a past master of the Anoka Masonic Lodge. At the time of his death, five of his then nine children were living in the Los Angeles area. These included John Perley Sparks, Robert Stewart Sparks (Chief Deputy County Clerk), Arnold Mayhew Sparks, Ronold St. George Sparks, and Theodora Helen Sparks. Arnold and Ronold were both working at the Merchants National Bank during this time. Henry Conklin Sparks would be born six days after his father's death. Bessie Beatrice Sparks was married and living in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ernestine S. Sparks was also living in the Minneapolis area with her husband and daughter, Edith. Hazel Kirk Sparks was living in Ransom, North Dakota with her husband and four children. Harold St. Clair Sparks was living in Great Falls, Montana with his wife. Nine months after the Henry's death, Harold's wife would give birth to their first of four children, Harold St. Clair Sparks Jr.

Henry St. Clair Sparks, 1907
Henry St. Clair Sparks, 1907

The exact value of Henry St. Clair Sparks' estate is not known. Evidence of his wealth being substantial is due to the facts that Henry appears in the Society pages of Los Angeles newspapers, owned multiple businesses and a gold mine, lived in a six bedroom house located in neighborhood catering to middle and upper middle-class residents, and employed two servants. There is also a comment in family records that his three daughters were "well off" financially with two reportedly having their own private railroad cars. There is also the comment from Aunt Grace, Mabel Quick's sister, that Henry was a "millionaire." According to the United States inflation calculations, one million dollars in 1913 would roughly translate to $26,301,818 in 2020. By modern standards, Henry's estate and assets were likely worth several million dollars soon to be split among his surviving wife and ten children.

The second child of Harold St. Clair Sparks, Dorothy "Dodie" Mayhew Sparks, would write letters to my grandparents as a way to preserve our family history. According to Great-Aunt Dodie, the following story is what happened to the estate and split the family apart:

"Rob (Robert Stewart Sparks) and Perlie (John Perley Sparks) came around and had all the heirs sign a paper which they (the heirs) thought was for the settlement of the estate. Instead, it was turning the entire estate over to Rob and Perlie. After that, none of the heirs had anything to do with each other and didn't visit. Only Daddy (Harold St. Clair Sparks) remained friendly with all of them. Anyway, the third wife (Grace Frances Conklin) started giving piano lessons to support herself and her two children (Theodora Helen Sparks and Henry Conklin Sparks). Mama (Mabel V. Quick) said Theodora who was around three or four years old used to have to help with the housework; she used to stand on a stool so she could reach the sink to do the dishes. I met Grace (Conklin) when I was in California visiting Aunt Grace (Mabel Quick's sister). I was about six or seven. She impressed me as being strict and stern. Henry Conklin Sparks married Ruth, a registered nurse, and they had two children."

During my research of Henry St. Clair Sparks and his descendants, I have spoken with multiple family members from different generations. To date, none of these individuals are aware of the story related by Dorothy Mayhew Sparks. However, none of these family members appear to have much information about other family members. This has given credence to the story that Aunt Dodie tells in her letters. Whatever unity existed among the children of Henry Sparks was shattered even among those still living in the Los Angeles area. It also explains why the wife of a wealthy husband was required to teach piano lessons, take in boarders, and eventually work as a gas station clerk to make ends meet.

Legacy

When Henry St. Clair Sparks passed away, he left a legacy of ten children to carry on his family line. There are presently six generations of descendants spread across five of Henry's children. Two children of Henry never had any kids; three other children had a single child who never went on to have any children. While the fortune of Henry Sparks never made it to his entire family, many of the descendants have made their own careers, fortunes, and opportunities in artistry, accounting, medical, legal, information technology, mining, real estate, and multitude of other professions.

The following are some quick summaries of what happened to Henry St. Clair Sparks' children after his death in 1911.

John Perley Sparks

John Perley Sparks continued to reside in Los Angeles through the rest of his life. He would die at age 86 on March 5, 1955. According to Federal Census records between 1910 to 1940, John Perley owned one or more newspapers in the Los Angeles area. Interestingly, the 1900 Federal Census lists his occupation as a clothing salesman. John remained married through most of his life until the death of his wife at age 70. He had a daughter who would marry a dentist and a son who would become a dentist.

Robert "Cupid" Stewart Sparks

Robert Stewart Sparks lived in the Los Angeles area with his wife and son, Richard. He would eventually get the nickname "Cupid" due to his work for nineteen years managing the Los Angeles Marriage Licensing Bureau. Robert would eventually lose this job in a scandal for not publishing the issuance of marriage licenses to famous actors and actresses. There does not appear to be any evidence that money was exchanged or bribes given to keep these famous people out of the press. The growing paparazzi press of Los Angeles wrote multiple articles as if the world was about the end, which lead to Robert being forced out of the position. Famous couples that were affected by this scandal included Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford as well as Charlie Chaplin and Mildred Harris. Robert and his wife also ran an informal matchmaking service in Los Angeles County. Robert would be elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1921 to be the first person to represent the 5th District. He would die on March 29, 1932 at the age of 60. His son, Richard, married but never had a children. Robert also has a Wikipedia page under the name Robert Stewart Sparks.

Bessie Beatrice Sparks

Bessie Beatrice Sparks married Joel Mark Dickey and lived most of her life in St. Paul, Minnesota. Joel Mark Dickey was a respected attorney and later Federal District Court Clerk. The couple did not have any children. Bessie's husband died in 1933 when Bessie was 60 years old. It is unclear if she remained in St. Paul or returned to Los Angeles immediately after this death. Bessie would eventually pass away in North Hollywood on October 29, 1963 at the age of 90.

Ernestine S. Sparks

Ernestine lived in the Minneapolis area with her husband, Arthur Phillips Crosby. Ernestine worked as a bookkeeper at a trap company while her husband worked in heating manufacturing. They had a daughter named Edith Crosby. Edith did not marry and records suggest died in 1921. There is a newspaper article out of Princeton, Minnesota in 1921 about a "Miss Edith Crosby" who accepted a teaching position. It is unclear if this is Ernestine's daughter or someone else. Edith would have been 24 years old in 1921.

Hazel Kirk Sparks

By 1911, Hazel had moved to Ransom, North Dakota with her husband, George Stephen Baxter, and four children. Hazel appears to have been a housewife during her marriage. George first worked as a railroad superintendent and then later as a "dealer" at a local store in Ransom. After the death of her husband in 1932, Hazel returned to the Los Angeles. Hazel would live in the Los Angeles area until her death on April 4, 1960 at the age of 80 years old.

Harold St. Clair Sparks

According to family history, Harold first met Mabel Quick in Los Angeles when she and her sisters were on a boat trip from Vancouver to San Francisco. A friend of Mabel asked to meet with Henry Sparks at his office for reasons never explained. Henry arranged for his son Harold who was about the same age to take the girls and their friends out for the night. While Harold was initially upset with this assignment, he immediately fell in love with Mabel when he saw her. Mabel and her sisters returned to Great Falls, Montana. Harold also left for Great Falls and rented a room in the boarding house that Mabel operated. He took a job as an electrical apprentice at a local smelter.

Harold's secret marriage was discovered in March, 1911 just two months before the death of his father. The couple had been living in Great Falls, Montana. Harold's first two children would be born in Great Falls. His second two children would both be born Los Angeles where he later moved for work. Harold would move his family again to Clarksdale, Arizona to work as an electrician at a smelter. He would finally settled in El Paso, Texas where he would work as the superintendent of the Southwestern Portland Cement Company. Tragically, his youngest son Stephen was killed at 16 years old in an accidental explosion while visiting the plant. His first son would become a successful accountant. His first daughter would move to New Orleans and marry a local football star. His second daughter would become an artist and painter.

While Harold and his wife lived in Great Falls, Montana, they lived next to and were close friends with American painter and sculptor Charles Marion Russell. Charles would often photograph models in order to base his paintings off of. A common model he used was his wife. According to family stories, Harold's wife and other family members were also models for photos that would later become paintings by Charles.

Arnold Mayhew Sparks

Arnold married Theresa E. Lewis a year after the death of his father. According to both marriage certificate and Los Angeles city directory listing, the couple continued to live at Henry Sparks' house with Grace Frances Conklin and her children. He worked as a clerk at Merchants National Bank along with his brother. Unfortunately, Arnold died of pneumonia two years after his marriage to Theresa with no children. Theresa would later re-marry. Interestingly, later records of Theresa L. Lewis indicate that she had come from a wealthy family and disputed language in her mother's will about setting up a charity.

Ronold St. George Sparks

At the time of his father's death, Ronold was working as a clerk at Merchants National Bank with his brother. Arnold would later enlist in the United States Navy and would be stationed in the Philippines. This would have been during the Insular Government period when the United States was attempting to turn the island into an American colony. While it is not known exactly when Ronold enlisted, he is reported to be confined to a medical ship on December 10, 1914, while suffering from dengue fever. At the time, he held the rank of Machinist's Mate 2nd Class. Ronold would return to Los Angeles area where he would work as a machinist in the naval yards, mechanical engineer, and eventually inspection supervisor at the Douglas Aircraft Company. Ronold married and sired a son, Robert Ronald Sparks. Robert would spend his entire career in the United States Navy, reaching rank of Captain, and commanding officer of a United States Naval Station in Iceland. Ronold would die on February 16, 1961 at the age of 65.

Theodora Helen Sparks

Theodora would remain in the Los Angeles area with her mother. She married Bryson Green Rogers and gave birth to two children. Theodora worked as a stenographer at Los Angeles City Hall in the 1930s. Her husband joined the United States Marine Corp, fought in Iwo Jima, and served in the Japanese occupation immediately following World War II. Theodora would pass away on April 2, 1966 at age 57.

Henry Conklin Sparks

Henry was born six days after the death of his father and was the last surviving child of Henry Sparks. Henry would eventually die on March 9, 1998 at age 86. He lived most of his life in Burbank, California. Henry married a registered nurse named Ruth Marie Hill. Henry had two children with Ruth according to family records. Henry began his career as an electrician but would later get into cabinet making.

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