CANA SCHOOL PHOTO
1894 or 1895
Bottom Row from left to right- Everett McPherson, Cal
McPherson, Lester Bridges, Knox Wilson, Nellie Erb, Grace Donnalds, Frankie
Bridges, Nellie Wilson, Pressie Morrison, Argus Sparks, Burl
2nd Row - Mertie Sparks, Dora Warner, Josie Derringer,
Lula Bridges, Luie Sparks, Hattie Sparks, Alma Sparks, Dottie Derringer, Leva
Sparks, Neppie Wilson
3rd Row - Lafe Bridges, Jessie
Simmons, Clarence Wilson, Daisy Warner, Leona Rogers (Teacher), Mina Coryell,
Freeman Bridges, Clyde Warner,Thomas Mayfield.
I want to Thank Bob Sparks
for sending in this picture sent to him by a cousin, who got it from their Aunt
years ago (she passed in 1992).
Bob writes. I know that this is from one of the 3 Cana schools that
operated in Jennings County, but not sure of exactly which one. Perhaps
the name of the teacher, Leona Rogers, will help. It seems many were affiliated
with Cana Methodist Church, so that may be a clue as to which school it was.
I believe Leona was the daughter of John H. Rogers, who was likely the "J.H. Rogers"
who was the Jennings County School Trustee on more than one occasion (gleaned from Bertha
Robinson Barnes's history of Marion Township) and the 1880 census. The
Rogers family was living very close to the Sparkses in 1880.
The date is
either 1894 or 1895. My grandfather, Burl Sparks, is at the far right of
the first row. He was born in 1886 in Marion Township and looks to be 8 or
9. It cannot be any older because Lester Bridges, 3rd from left on front
row, died in 1896 at the age of 10 and buried in Cana Methodist Church
Cemetery. As you can see from the other attachment, there were several
Bridges, Sparkses, Warners and Wilsons. Hopefully, site visitors can enjoy
seeing a distant relative in their childhood.
Those in their 70s or 80s
and of the Nazarene faith may remember Burl Sparks. He was a traveling
song evangelist in the 1920s and 1930s, before he opened the Sparks Barber Shop
at 3rd Street and O'Brien in Seymour in the 1940s. He was the son of
Milford Sparks (1861-19350 and Sarah Jane Sage Sparks (1860-1929) (Sarah
Jane was the daughter of Asa Sage and Martha Davis Sage -- thus a second
cousin of the infamous George Washington Sage). Burl (William Burl) was
also the grandson of Leander Sparks (1829-1864) and Martha Fear Sparks
Warner (1825-1905) and great grandson of John Fear and Isabel Hamilton
Fear (I wish someone would tell me whatever happened to
Isabel as I cannot find anything after 1851 when she left Coffee Creek Baptist
Church for good).
Burl's uncles, Phillip and Sherman, each married
one of Griffin Moseley's daughters. Griffin was known to be an educator as
To identify my family, the boy next to Burl (1886-1967) is his
brother, Argus (1883-1930 from cancer). His sister, Hattie (1880-1952) is
in the middle row. Mertie Sparks, in row 2, is Myrtle Pansy Sparks,
daughter of Phillip and Rosella Mosely Sparks. Mertie married Thomas
Lloyd Bridges (brother of Lola Bell Bridges, also in row 2). Luie Sparks
is Nellie Luie Sparks, daughter of John and Sallie Wilson Sparks. Also in
row 2 is Alma Sparks, sister of Mertie, and Leva Gertrude Sparks, sister of
Luie. (Leva married Harry Gordon Tobias).
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