I was unable to find Columbus M. Sparks in any census earlier than 1900, and I did not find him in 1920.I enjoy research and I wanted to find him earlier, so I did some more looking.I hope you do not mind, but I did find some “interesting” information.
I went to familysearch.com and in the search simply put in the name Sparks, born AL, with a span of 1850-1860.I found a Marion C. Sparks, 1860 and 1870 Marshall Co. AL, in the family of James R. Sparks and his wife Margaret.(I do not pay much attention to the birthplace of parents, since I find that to be the most inconsistent information in census records.)
I put in the name Marion C. Sparks and found Columbus listed as Marion C. in the 1920 census, Kings township, Stephens Co. OK.Living with him was his daughter, Ethel Barefield, his son-in-law and a grandson.Stephens Co. Court Records show that Ethel Sparks m. Walter Barefield, 12/25/1914.(By 1930 they were divorced and Ethel had married a Weeks.They were in 1930 Tillman Co. OK and Annie E. Qualls was living with them.)
Here are the James R. Sparks family members in 1870 Marshall Co. AL:
James R. 38, SC
Margaret 37, NC
Lucyana 13, AL
Marion C. 11, AL
James H. 9, AL
Nancy A. E. 5, AL
Laura, 3, AL
To determine whether or not this is the right person, I try to find if another family member also came to Oklahoma.
James H. Sparks m Mary D. Upchurch, 29 Aug, 1878, in Marshall Co. AL.
James H. and Mary D. Sparkswere living in Cherokee Nation, I. T., in 1900.Also living in the home was Marion Upchuch, b. AL, and his son Arcola, 10, b. TX.Birth records of the children show that some were b. in TX.They apparently arrived in I. T. about 1895, about the same time as Columbus Marion and Annie E. Sparks.
Mary D. Sparks was a widow by 1910, living in Clay Co. TX.(Sound familiar?)She died 1933 in Clay Co. and is buried in the same small cemetery where John A. and Ruthie E. (Brawley) Williams are buried.The informant on her death record had the last name Inman.The first name began with an E, but I could not read the name.John A. and Ruthie E. Williams had a daughter, Ella Williams Inman.So these families must have had a connection.James H. and Mary D. (Upchurch) Sparks had a large family, but I have not tried to trace any of them.
I finally found Marion Sparks in 1880.The family was in Colorado, of all places.
1880 Manassa, Conejos, Co. CO
James R. Spark, 53, SC
Margaret, 48, NC
Marion, 21, AL
Nancy, 15, AL
Laura, 13, AL
Elizabeth (Mother), 74, NC
The Clay Co. TX marriage records include:
Nancy A. Sparks m. A. G. Bagwell, 2 Nov 1884
Laura M. Sparks, m. A. T. Bell, 22 Dec 1887
Nancy and Albert Bagwell were in Cherokee Nation, I.T. in 1900
Laura and Alexander Bell were in Jackson Co. OK in 1910.(I have not found her other records.)
Nancy Bagwell and Laura M. Bell both died in Riverside Co. CA, according to the California Death Index.Nancy’s father’s name is shown as Sparks, mother’s name left blank.Laura M. Bell’s father is shown as Sparks, mother’s maiden name as Brock.Both women born in AL, the year of birth appropriate.
Again, these are just clues, but it does seem as though the James R. Sparks family of Marshall Co. AL could be your Columbus Marion Sparks family.Good luck as you continue your search.
I have not had any luck finding burial records for the Sparks men.But I don’t give up easily.