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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 Sparks.
   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 well.

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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