On Saturday, May 22, 2010, the Sons of the American Revolution dedicated the grave of William Sparks, a Revolutionary Soldier 1761-1848, at the Old North Church in Nacogdoches. The ceremony was put together by Mike Everheart, Dist. 10 Vice President from Tyler, and Tommy Slay, past president of the Fredonia Chapter of SAR in Nacogdoches. William Sparks was the ancestor of Lester Sparks of the Lt. Nathan Gann Chaper in Lufkin. Lester is currently the Chaplain of the Lt. Nathan Gann Chapter.
William Sparks served in the North Carolina Militia under Capt. John Cleveland and later under Colonel Benjamin Cleveland. Fighting Cherokee Indians and Tories when he was just 17 years old. Sparks was born in Rowan County, North Carolina and at the close of the Revolutionary War his father moved to Franklin County, then Jackson and later Clark County in the state of Georgia. It was in Georgia where Sparks married Mary Polly Fielder. They had five children born in Georgia, Richard, John, James, Sarah and Edith. In 1811 The Sparks moved to Lawrence County, Mississippi and then to Holmes County Mississippi where he lived until March 1834. They had three more children in Mississippi, Levi, Nathan and William Matthew. Sometime in the 1834-36 time frame, the Sparks family migrateed to the Old North Church Community in Nacogdoches County, Texas where he obtained 2,200 acres of land. William was a deacon in the church for about four years before asking to be relieved of his duties due to the infirmities of old age. He died in 1848 and is buried in the Old North Church Cemetery.
The ceremony was prsided over by Mike Everheart, Dist. 10 VP. The Nacogdoches Police Department Color Guard under the command of Tom Copeland, posted the colors to start the ceremony. Color guard members included Eric Newell, Logan Finch, Robert Mobley and Jonathan Durham. After this approximately twenty compatriots of the Sons of the American Revolution posted other flags. The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag was led by Drake Peddle, followed by the pledge to the Texas Flag by Harmon Adair, Salute to the SAR Falg by Dan Reed, the Star Spangled Banner was sung by Laurie Rogers, the American Creed was recited by Anne Sullivan and the SAR Mission Statement was given by James Mitchell.
The audience included approximately 30 descendants of William Sparks. There were also some members of both the Lufkin and Fredonia Chapters of SAR. Past President Fred Preston, Lt. Nathan Gann Chapter, was part of the SAR Color Guard. There were also color guard members from Katy, Alexander Hodge Chapter, Sugar Land, Captain William Barron Chapter in Tyler, East Fork Trinity Chapter SAR in Garland, East Texas Chapter in Longview, Plano Chapter, Tejas Chapter and DAR from Houston, and Samuel Paul Dinkins Chapter in Kilgore, also Nacogdoches DAR, Mary Tyler Chapter DAR in Tyler.
Lester Sparks and an unidentified ancestor removing the cover from the marker. Mike Everheart on far left.
Sponsoring Chapters were the Fredonia Chapter of Nacogdoches, Lt. Nathan Gann Chapter of Lufkin and the Piney Woods Chapter of Kingwood.
More pictures, the Nacogdoches Police Color Guard preparing to make entrance.