The Sparks Sisters

Courtesy of Francis Partch.

This image is said to be of the three Sparks sisters, daughters of James E. and Carrie Burch Sparks.

On the left is Martha Catherine b. Oct 1859 in Indiana, died 1942 August 14 in , Osage, Oklahoma, buried at the Pawhuska Cemetery. She married Philemon Thomas 1878 June 24 in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. The 1880 and 1900 census found them in Belleville, Chautauqua, Kansas, but by 1910 they were in Pawhuska, and then in 1920 and 1930 they were in Strike Axe, living beside the Osage Whitehorn family, Nannie Tripp having married John Whitehorn in 1904.

Children of Philemon Thomas and Martha Catherine were: Clara Gertrude b. 1880 m. William T. Moore 1898 Feb 6 in Chautauqua; Edith b. 1881; Arthur Thomas b. 1881 March 23 married Florence Glen; Carrie B. born 1883 married Joseph Elkins 1902 June 24 in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas and moved out to Colfax, Whitman, Washington; James Alfred b. 1884 married Ida Rae Tripp (step daughter of Mary Elizabeth Sparks) 1907 Oct 7 in Chautauqua; Henry Josephus b. 1887 Nov; Noah b. 1890 Dec 14 in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas.

Philemon Thomas was born 1857 July 14 in , Monroe, Iowa and died 1936 May 21 in , Osage, Oklahoma and was buried at the Pawhuska Cemetery.

The center woman is said to be Mary Elizabeth Sparks, born 1859 June 13 in Indiana. She died 1939 Nov 28 in Pawhuska. Her first husband was Samuel McCormick who she married about 1872 in Kansas and by whom she had 6 children: George b. July 1874, James b. 1876, Katherine “Carrie” b. abt 1879, married Edward McMahan (McMahoney), May b. 1881 Nov m. Antwine Rodman, Weltha and Amanda b. 1884 Dec 13 m. Elmer T. Conner then Sherrill West. After Samuel’s death, she married 2nd James Preston “Jim” Tripp 1899 Dec 6 in Pawhuska.

James Preston Tripp had previously been married to Jennie M. “Susan” McWhirt (sister of Samuel Alvin McWhirt who married Addie McKenney, George W. McKenney’s sister) and had with her Franklin B. b. 1884 March 17 who married Mabel Clair McKenney (daughter of Belle M. Sparks and George Washington McKenney Jr.), Nannie Lee b. 1886 Jan 4 married John Whitehorn, Ida Rae b. 1896 married James Alfred Thomas, son of Philemon and Martha Catherine Sparks, Dessie Mae b. 1887 married Francis Marion Roebuck, and Fred.

James Preston Tripp and Marty Sparks had John Lee “Johnny” Tripp Oct 14 1900.

James and Mary Elizabeth resided in , Osage, Oklahoma.

On the right is Belle M. Sparks. Belle M. Sparks was born 1868 Jan 14 in Shelby Illinois and died 1935 Dec 28 in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. She married George Washington McKenney Jr. Their children are covered elsewhere here.

A number of the more complex relationships in the Sparks, McKenney family revolve around these Sparks sisters.

There has been some confusion that Mary Elizabeth may instead possibly be the woman on the right, but I have a couple of earlier pictures of Belle and the woman on the right would appear to be her. Based on another photo I have of Belle that is circa 1926, I would date this photo as being close to 1935, the year of her death, and likely in the Osage area. As observed by the trees in the background, it would have been taken in fall or winter.

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