Biography of George W. Sparkes

George W. Sparkes, living two and a half miles southeast of San Bernardino, came to California in June, 1857.

He was born April 19, 1819, in Monroe County, Mississippi, a son of Aaron and Mary (Stipson) Sparkes. His father, a native of South Carolina, moved to Mississippi in an early day, and died there when George was sixteen years of age. His mother was a native of Virginia.

He was married in that State, August 26, 1842, to Miss Lorena Roberds, a native of Alabama, who was principally reared in Mississippi. Her parents were Thomas and Annie (Nix) Roberds, of Alabama. Four years after his marriage Mr. Sparkes started to California with teams across the plains, wintered at Fort Pueblo, and in the spring of 1847 started for Salt Lake City. Remaining there until 1850, he came on with others, comprising his wife and three children, Joan Roberds, wife and seven children, and Mr. Jackson, wife and three children, and completed their journey at Diamond Spring, building the first house at that point and naming the place. There they spent the winter of 1851, while Mr. Sparkes kept a boarding house. He next went to Suisun valley, where he remained about a year and a half; then he went to Russian river, and from that point came to San Bernardino, arriving here June 26, 1857, and has ever since been a resident of this county. The first land he purchased was 168 acres, in partnership with James M. West, and he has since added forty acres. Besides, he owns eight sections (5,120 acres) in San Diego County, used as a stock ranch and superintended by his sons, who raise horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, barley, wheat, etc. Mr. Sparkes has borne the burdens and endured the hardships of pioneer life, and his wife has been faithful as a sharer in his failures and sorrows, and has also enjoyed with him his successes.

They have reared seven children, viz.: William, who is on the San Diego ranch; George Frank is the next; Harriet, now Mrs. Thomas Carter; Eli; Bethsaida, now the wife of Hiram Kellar; Cyrus and Robert. Mr. and Mrs. Sparkes are both members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints in San Bernardino, active and zealous.

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The Lewis Publishing Company. An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890.

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