|Husband : George SPARLING|
|Male Born :||19 NOV 1819||at :||Ireland|
|Married :||12 JAN 1843||at :|
|Died :||08 JUL 1894||at :|
|Father :||James SPARLING|
|Mother :||Mary ATKINS|
|Spouses :||Adeline MORGAN , Sarah MCCLUNG , Margaret MCELROY|
|Notes :|| |
|Wife : Adeline MORGAN|
|Female Born :||12 JAN 1823||at :||Connecticut|
|Died :||13 APR 1857||at :|
|Father :||Alanson MORGAN|
|Mother :||Melinda PETERS|
|Spouses :||George SPARLING|
|Name :||George Edward SPARLING |
|Male Born :||01 NOV 1843||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Married :||01 NOV 1866||at :|
|Died :||20 MAR 1914||at :|
|Spouses :||Carrie T BAGLEY|
|Name :||James Alanson SPARLING |
|Male Born :||26 MAY 1846||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Died :||10 MAY 1863||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Name :||Mary Melinda SPARLING|
|Female Born :||22 FEB 1848||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Married :||12 MAR 1869||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Died :||23 DEC 1929||at :||Peoria, Illinois|
|Spouses :||Vurlina Hardin WHEELER|
|Name :||Helen Elizabeth SPARLING|
|Female Born :||27 JAN 1850||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Married :||27 FEB 1872||at :|
|Died :||07 MAR 1887||at :|
|Spouses :||Frederick WOOD|
|Name :||William Henry SPARLING|
|Male Born :||16 JAN 1852||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Married :||11 DEC 1883||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Died :||27 AUG 1936||at :|
|Spouses :||Alice H OVERHOLT|
|Name :||John Stanley SPARLING |
|Male Born :||10 DEC 1853||at :||Putnam, Illinois|
|Married :||1875||at :|
|Died :||26 MAY 1909||at :|
|Spouses :||Charlotte SPARLING|
|Name :||Adelina SPARLING|
|Female Born :||15 AUG 1856||at :|
|Married :||SEP 1874||at :|
|Died :||01 MAR 1921||at :|
|Spouses :||David STEPHENS , John MCKENZIE|
|Name :||Albert SPARLING|
|Male Born :||15 AUG 1856||at :|
|Died :||25 AUG 1857||at :|
 Married by Rev Samuel C Bacon
Sketch of the Life of George Sparling of Senachwine Lake
I was born in county Limerick, Ireland, November 29, 1819, son of James and Mary Atkins Sparling. Our forefathers in Ireland were called Palatines, being Germans from the Palatinate on the Rhine. One hundred and ten families of them who had started to seek homes in the new world were shipwrecked on the coast of Ireland, in the reign of Queen Anne, who gave them homes at Pallas, Court Mattress, and adjacent hamlets in County Limerick. The Sparling family being carpenters, were awarded the job of making spinning wheels for the government, who had them distributed to the poor people every fall, who were unable to buy their own wheels to spin flax, with. Hundreds of these wheels were made each year, and I worked in the same shop where my father and grandfather and their fathers had worked for years. When I left Ireland, Uncle William Sparling was still carrying on the business. But the most notable fact, respecting this German colony is that they furnished the first Methodist preacher to these United States, Philip Embery, who was first cousin to Betty Long, a grandmother of mine. For particulars of these people see History of Methodism, page 332. Father died when I was two years old, and one sister six months old. He died from exposure while serving his country as a soldier in the rebellion in Ireland of 1822-3. My mother had three brothers in America, one living in upper Canada, 40 miles north of Toronto, Robert Atkins; another living near Montreal, Lower Canada, Philip Atkins; the other living in Clark County, Indiana, James Atkins.
Uncle Robert wrote several times requesting mother to come to America. Finally in 1832, when I was twelve years old, we left Ireland in the Harey of Newcastle, a ship of 700 tons burden, on the 4th day of April, with some 400 passengers. We reached our destination, it being Quebec. Nothing worthy of note transpired during the passage, with the exception of being detained some two or three days passing through large fields of floating ice. Saw three icebergs which seemed to be 100 feet above the water, and some miles in length. Arrived in Quebec about the middle of May. Found 24 ships with their passengers yet on board at quarantine, having the cholera on board, and were not allowed to land. Our vessel not having any sickness on board was allowed to pass up to the city and land her passengers. The first night after landing I was taken down with ship fever and became delirious, in which state I remained for over a month, supposing I was still on board the ship. I had to be taken to the hospital the next morning and remained there nearly three months. During our passage we fared better than most of the passengers, the captain being first cousin to mother, and he supplied us with everything that we needed to make us comfortable during the trip. Mother was allowed to visit me two days in the week. Owing to my sickness she could not continue her journey, and that fearful scourge, the cholera, increasing as the warm season advanced, she fell a victim to its ravages. I knew nothing of the death when it happened. The officials gave the nurses strict orders to say nothing about it until I got well. A short time after I became conscious, I overheard the nurse conversing in Irish, they not thinking that I understood the language, saying, "that the mother of the boy yonder-naming my number -died some three weeks ago." At this announcement I made a great effort and jumped out of bed, and the stairs being close by I started to go down, but not being able to walk, fell to the foot of the stairs, which mishap caused me several days of severe suffering, caused in a great degree by the terrible news of the death of my mother. After I got over my shocks and was able to comprehend my situation, though only a boy, a stranger in a strange land, with none to care for me, it seemed as if I never could be reconciled, but mourning continually for my mother. She had rented a room in the city, and when she died her effects were stolen, so my sister says, with the exception of a few articles of clothing and five or six English sovereigns, about $30.00. The beds and bedding were burned for sanitary purposes, and the Church of England Bishop had my sister sent to Uncle Philip, near Montreal. At the hospital where I was, no one was able to tell me what had become of my sister. When I was able to walk, I was permitted to go through the building and hospital yards, and the sights I saw there that summer were terrible. The hospital was crowded with cholera patients, and some days a corpse was taken to the dead house every ten minutes. On the Plains of Abraham, near the city, were miles of tents erected to accommodate the sick, and report says that some 35,000 were sick with the disease in Quebec that season. We chose a fatal season for our trip, after contemplating coming several years before. When able to get about Dr. Marsden, the hospital physician took me home with him, and I worked in his dispensary, when able, for about two months. I requested the doctor several times to try and find out what had become of my sister, but, he seemed to make no effort to discover her whereabouts, and said I had better conclude to stay with him, and he would give me all the opportunity necessary to make a good physician, but nothing short of finding my sister and going to my people, would satisfy me.
I told my troubles to the stewardess of the hospital, who was interested in my lonely condition during my stay in that institution and she told me I had better see the Bishop of Quebec, as he had the care of all Protestant orphan children entrusted to him. I did so and learned that he had sent my sister to her uncle's near Montreal, and if I wished to go to my friends he would furnish me money and means to get there. I thanked him kindly for his generous offer, and the next day I was on my way to Montreal with a letter of introduction to the Bishop there, who kindly received me and had me sent to my Uncle Philip. My sister, on seeing me coming into the house fainted, thinking I was a spirit raised from the dead; they all thought I had died three months before. After staying there a short time -my uncle having a large family of his own could not keep us very well, he not being the brother my mother had started to go to, he living in upper Canada and having only two children -we were found homes, my sister with a family named Odell, and I with Captain Williams. We had excellent homes and were well treated. We lived with these people about two years when my uncle from Upper Canada came after us. When he made his business known to the captain, he said he could not take me away under any consideration; that he could do as well by me as he could; that he liked me and could not get along very well without me now, as he was an old man and his family had all set up for themselves, and if my uncle had thought very much of us he would not have left us two years without coming after us. My uncle told him that his sister had started his place, and misfortune had overtaken her, and now he had come after us and was going to take us home with him, and if he did not give me up peaceably he should try the law for it. The captain told him to go ahead, as that would be his only chance of getting me. The next morning I was sent to the mill in Naperville, two or three miles from where we lived. On the road I came up with both my uncles, and they got in and rode with me to town. They said they were going to get counsel in regard to what course to pursue to get me from Captain Williams. I told them that I was well treated and had no desire to leave them. I drove to the mill and left the grist and boy, and fed the horses under the shed. My uncles wanted I should go with them to the attorney's office, and on the road there they urged and finally persuaded me to save trouble by starting for Upper Canada then and there. I did so, but always regretted leaving such good people in that way. My uncle had made satisfactory arrangements with the people my sister was living with to give her up. We went and got her, and made tracks in a hurry, hiring a guide to take us a short cut through the woods to a distant relative of my uncle's, where we stopped all night. By doing this all track of us was lost for we were sure that search would be made for us, which we afterward learned from uncle was the case. The next morning we started on foot and traveled 24 miles, and in the afternoon we hired a team to take us 24 miles more to a stage station. Got there about ten o'clock that night, and the stage started at 12 and took us 20 miles before daylight. We had to walk six miles more before seven o'clock that morning to reach the steamboat landing on the St. Lawrence River, as the boat left at that hour and would not leave again for three days, and so we did some fast walking, but the boat left the landing as we came in sight. Some men on the wharf seeing us running supposed we wanted to get on board, and hailing her she came back, and we jumped aboard. We felt very thankful, for we were almost exhausted, having traveled in the past 24 hours: 24 miles on foot, 24 in a wagon without springs, 20 miles by stage, and 6 more on foot, making the first day 74 miles. Once on the steam boat, Blackhawk, we felt all right and safe from further pursuit. We stopped at several landings on our way up the river, and had a lively race part of the time with the steamer, Red Jacket. In the evening reached Kingston, got on board the United Kingdom, and immediately started for Toronto, where we arrived the next evening, making the trip of 500 miles in three days and three nights, feeling that with the same facilities for traveling few could beat it. Stayed in Toronto all night, and the next morning we started for Bradford, 40 miles north of Toronto, where my uncle lived. We went in company with a loaded team, the owner letting my sister ride part of the way, he being paid for it. I had to foot it all the way, and I think it was the hardest day's work I ever did. Arrived at uncle's and rested one day, and the next day had to go to work. This was the beginning of the first hard work that we ever had to do. At first it went rather hard and tough with us. My sister as well as myself had to work out-of-doors all of the time, at such work as threshing grain with horses, hauling wood, clearing land, planting and plowing. The first three weeks I was there I helped the hired men thresh with the flail. One morning uncle says "Boys, you have done well; now I am going to give you a rest, get your axes." And he showed us ten acres of heavy timber he wanted chopped and cleared. That "rest" will never be forgotten by me while I live. We had to chop in the cold all winter, and in the spring cleared it up ready for seeding, and I had to work hard all summer. That fall I told my uncle I thought I had worked enough to pay him for what trouble and expense he had been to in bringing me from Lower Canada, and wanted him to some place where I could learn the carpenter trade. He objected to my leaving at first, but seeing I was determined, he finally consented.
We made a contract with Joshua Harrison for me to work four years for him. $40.00 a year for the first two years, and $80.00 a year for the last two. I was 16 years old when I commenced with him. He was very kind, and we got along nicely while I lived with him. Was with him two years, when the rebellion of '37 broke out in Canada, and he took part in it. Being defeated he had to leave the country or suffer the penalty, which was death to some and transportation to others. I stayed home that winter and cared for his stock and worked at repairing and making sleds. In the spring he wrote me from Niagara Falls to fetch the tools and come over there, as he had taken a barn to build for General Whitney, proprietor of the Cataract and the Eagle Hotel at that place. Left Canada on the 24th of April, 1838, and did not go back again for 25 years. After completing the job for General Whitney, we went to Tonawanda at the mouth of the Erie Canal, and built a house for Mr. Sherman, brother to the Sherman of Chicago. After finishing the job we left for the west, spending July 4th in Buffalo, and started up the lake the next day on the steamer Wisconsin, with five other refugees. On the way up the lake we stopped at Erie, Dunkirk, Cleveland and Sandusky. Run on a sand bar in the Detroit River, which caused some funny mishaps. We were close to the Canada shore, where some British soldiers were stationed and it made some of the refugees feel rather scared -afraid the soldiers would come aboard and take them prisoners; but a small steamer passing came to our assistance. She took with her all the passengers that boarded her from our boat, some of them being glad to get away, while others had left their families- husbands parted from wives and parents from their children; but the next day came and we were pulled off, soon after reaching Detroit, where we found our friends all right. Captain MacIntosh, a refugee was at Detroit with his schooner, his friends having brought her through the Welland Canal for him from Toronto, with some sixty barrels of flour and pork on board. He proposed that we get on board with him, and help him man his vessel, and he would take us up the lakes, and board us and charge us nothing for the trip. Seven of us accepted the proposition, and had a fine trip to Mackinaw, staying there four days. The Indians, at that time were paid by the government at that place, and it made lively times for the saloons. Getting the poor Indians drunk and cheating them was the order of the day. From Mackinaw we sailed up the lake, and a severe storm coming on, we tried to land at Milwaukee, but could not, and laid too all night in the lake. Next morning we made Grand River, Michigan, and there we parted company with Captain MacIntosh, he going into the lumber barging trade. We stayed here a few days, when all hands hired out to a Philadelphia company who were building a new town some twelve miles south of this place, on Pigeon River. We worked there two weeks when the fever and ague made its appearance, and twelve workmen were laid up with it. We expected it would be our turn next, and we wanted to get out of there, but the company's foremen did not want to part with us. We had to wait a few days before we got an opportunity to go but finally a small vessel stopped at the mouth of the creek, and we made a bargain with the captain to take us away from there. Next morning we were landed in Chicago, the first time I had ever heard of the place. After leaving the boat we went to the hotel to get breakfast, and learned that Mr. Sherman was the proprietor, and that he was a brother to the Sherman we built a house for in Tonawanda. My boss handed him the letter from his brother, and he received us very kindly. Said times were dull and work scarce, but he had a small job he would let us have-finishing the upper rooms of his hotel-a small wooden house-at that time the Sherman of today was not dreamed of. I worked there but a few days, when I left with one of our men, and went to Widow Berry's, 12 miles from Chicago, where I got $1.00 a day for harvesting. I stayed there until after harvest when I went back to town. My boss having got through with his job concluded to go west as far as Geneseo, Whiteside County, to see a friend, which took him four weeks. During that time I hired to Ryan of the Vermont house to do some carpenter work. While working for him he laid out forty acres in town lots not far from where the courthouse now stands and he told me for every month's work I would do for him he would deed one of those lots to me. I told him I couldn't see it, as the lots were nothing but mud holes, for such was Chicago at that time. When Mr. Harrison returned he said he liked the country very well; why, he said, you can take your plow and turn over the wild prairie so that it looks like weather boarding on a large scale. He said he was bound to go back there as soon as he could go back to Canada and get his family. He told me to take my tools and go to Dixon and stay there until he returned, which would not be longer than three months. I gave him all the money I had earned while he was gone, and he started for Canada the next morning. I worked for Ryan a month longer in order to get money enough to take me to Dixon In company with Dr. Bixkness we hired a man to take a chest of tools for each of us to Dixon, we going on foot, the team being to heavily loaded for us to ride. On the way I was taken with a severe attack of bilious fever, and was obliged to ride part of the way until we got to the end of the journey. I only recollect seeing four houses on our trip to Dixon. One of these was on the banks of the fox river where Aurora now stands, the team stopping here two days waiting for me to get able to walk. I stopped one mile south of Dixon with a Mr. Talmage, who kept a sort of hotel. The business of Dixon was done by the McHenry brothers in a double log cabin, which answered for dwelling house and store. A small distillery and ferry were the main attractions of the place at that time. Mr. Dixon lived on the west side of the river, about one mile below town. In about a month I recovered from my sickness, and shortly after the ague, that I fled from Michigan to escape, over- took me, and hung on for six years before I was able to get rid of it. About the middle of November I was able to work some, and took a small job of carpentering for Mr. Talmage, being in debt to him sixty dollars for board. A few weeks before that I overheard him and his wife speaking about it, saying I could not get well, and that the only chance for them to get their pay when I died was to take my tools and rifle, worth at that time $150. I thought that was rather rough considering the care I had received. When I had the fever and could not help myself I asked for a drink in the forenoon and did not get it until 10 o'clock that night. I give this as a specimen of how they treated me. Had it not been for Mr. Sweeney and wife, neighbors, who nursed me, I think I would have died. When I got his job done he was indebted to me $60, after paying my board bill, and I could not refrain from saying to Mr. Talmage that I did not think it would yet be necessary to dispose of my tools now in order to get their pay, when the sixty dollars was on the other side. I took up a claim that winter and did some work on it in the spring; when I left it and bought another in East Grove, with some improvements. I built a log house, stable and corn-crib, and raised ten acres of corn that year. When not employed on the claim I worked for Mr. Talmage building some houses on the Illinois Central railroad, that was in progress at that time, but soon afterward was abandoned. In the fall of '39 I contracted to build two houses for a Mr. Denolf, agent for a Rhode Island company, who had bought a large tract of land some five miles east of Dixon, and finished there that fall. In January I came to Crow Meadow, Putnam County, to help John Harrison, younger brother to my former master, Joshua Harrison, who, on going back to Canada, found the Queen had issued a proclamation that all engaged in the rebellion could return to their homes by complying with the rules expressed therein, and he concluded to remain, and in a letter asked me to come back, but at that time I was sick and without means. I never saw him again. Twenty-five years later I made a visit to that country, but he had died some years before. John Harrison bought the place I now live on from Josiah Hayes, and I helped him build a log house on it that winter. In the spring I returned to East Grove and worked on my claim, part of the time helping Squire Welty build his log tavern at Inlet Grove. In the fall I sold my claim and came back to Putnam County, and helped John Harrison with several jobs of carpenter work he had contracted to do. I worked for him nearly all through the summer of "41. That fall I helped build the Bradley store in Henry, the first frame house in that place. Harrison did not have the money to pay me for my labor that summer, about $200 and I took his place, the farm I now live on. Harrison went to East Grove to settle some business, and was killed by James Bell, with whom he had some difficulty.
Spent the summer of '42 breaking prairie for R. Taliferro, S.C. Bacon, Philip Reed and James Buchanan, and improving my own farm. On January 12, 1843, I married Adaline Morgan, born in Connecticut, daughter of Alanson and Melinda Morgan, natives of that state. I commenced farming, living near Senachwine Lake. It was one of the best fisheries in this part of the country, and the demand for fish large, people coming twenty miles for them. The only way catching them at the time was with a spear or hook and line, but in the fall of '43 a Mr. Goodrich, a missionary from the Sandwich Islands, came here with a seine, and wanted to try fishing with it. On November 3, we tried the net, and caught 2500 fish, averaging 10 pounds each. Mr. Goodrich sold his seine to Mr. Hunt. I bought one of my own, and Commenced the Senachwine Lake Fishery, buying the most valuable tracts for fishing purposes, until I had purchased some 800 acres, and for 35 years, in connection with farming, carried on the fishing business, the fishery proving more profitable than farming. We sometimes caught as high as 150 barrels at a haul, and the demand was as great as the supply, one season averaging 45 teams a day for three weeks. I sold one haul for $243, and for ten years previous to the building of the Henry Dam our receipts were $3000 a year, but since then it has been utterly worthless caused by the raising of the water, flooding our lands and destroying the banks of the lake. Thinking I had a good thing in the fishery for all time to come, I refused $100 per acre for a large tract of land and lake. Now it is worth nothing, and seemingly there is no redress from the state. Such is fate, and at the age of 56 I was compelled to commence life over again. April 13, 1857, my wife died, at the age of 35, leaving eight children, the last, a pair of twins eight months old, the others being George Edward, born November 1, 1842; James Alanson, born May 26, 1846; Mary Melinda, born February 22, 1848; Helen Elizabeth, born January 27, 1850; William Henry, born January 15, 1856; John Stanley, born December 10, 1853; the twins Adaline and Albert were born August 15, 1856; Albert died August 25, 1857, aged one year; James Alanson, died May 10, 1863, aged 16 years.
Married again August 8, 1858, to Sarah McClung, daughter of Harvey and Sarah Bird McClung, her father a native of Ohio and her mother of Kentucky. She died February 8, 1871, at the age of 35 years, leaving six children, Martha Jane, born May 2, 1859; Sarah Evaline, born September 1, 1860; Kate Bird, born January 3, 1862; Samuel Martell, born June 8, 1864; Frederick Lincoln, born December 25, 1865; Embery Harrison, born September 27, 1867.
August 18, 1874, married Margaret McElroy, widow of James Sparling, my cousin, she having four children by her first marriage; Charlotta, Violet, Nettie, and Annie. The result of this union is two children, Susan Mabel Atkins, born January 3, 1876; Homer Ldeis, born January 19, 1878. In 1844 a two year old daughter of Lewis Thompson being deserted by its mother, I adopted and raised her until she was 14 years old making in all twenty-one children whom I have cared for, nine boys and twelve girls. Seven of the girls are school teachers. With the exception of four dead and one living in Iowa, they are all residents of Senachwine Township, Putnam County, with the addition of ten grandchildren.
On the list of honored dead of Putnam county appears the name of George Sparling, who became a resident of this part of the state when the work of civilization had scarcely been begun here. In fact, he was among those who opened up this region, converting it from a wild and uninhabited district to one of rich fertility and aiding in the growth and progress that have wrought such a wonderful transformation here in the last half century. He was born in County Limerick, Ireland, November 29, 1819, his parents being James and Mary (Atkins) Sparling. His forefathers in Ireland were called Palatines, being German people who came from Palatine on the Rhine. One hundred and ten families from Germany started to seek homes in the new world, but were shipwrecked on the coast of Ireland during the reign of Queen Anne, who gave them homes at Pallas, Countv Limerick.
The father of Mr. Sparling died in 1821 and in 1832 his mother, sister and himself sailed for America, landing at Quebec in May of that year. Three weeks later his mother died of cholera, leaving the orphaned boy to battle for life in a strange land. He had but six sovereigns in his pocket. For a short time he lived with relatives in Canada, but as he grew older he learned the carpenter's trade and started out on his own account. He had the .spirit of adventure, was self-reliant, given to industry and was determined to make his way in the world. Taking his chest of tools with him he went here and there, following the carpenter's trade at various places. He was employed on the construction of a hotel and a barn at Niagara Falls and thence followed the march of empire westward on to Chicago, which at that time was a small place. There he worked at his trade, assisting in building operations in that embryonic city. Money was very scarce and his employer offered him for several months labor a lot of forty acres in Chicago about where the city, hall now stands. His reply was "He couldn't see it," as the lots were only mud holes. Becoming acquainted with a Mr. Harrison from Canada, he was prevailed upon to go to Dixon, Illinois, for Mr. Harrison was greatly impressed with the country, exclaiming, "You can take a plow and turn over the wild prairie so that it looks like weather boarding on a large scale". Through the influence of Mr. Harrison, Mr. Sparling and other carpenters started on foot for Dixon, prevailing upon a farmer to haul their chests of tools, which were too heavy to be carried. They saw only four houses between Chicago and their destination. The hotel at Dixon was a log cabin which served also as a store and a small distillery and ferry were the attractions of the place. Mr. Sparling secured a claim near there, built a log cabin and planted ten acres to corn the first year. In January, 1840, he came to Senachwine township, Putnam county, to assist John Harrison in building several houses for which he had taken contracts. He aided Mr. Harrison in building a log house upon the farm, which afterward became the property of Mr. Sparling, who purchased it from Josiah Hayes. He also helped to build the Bradley store in Henry in the fall of 1841-the first frame building constructed in that place. Not having the money to payMr. Sparling for his summer's labor-the wage being two hundred dollars-Harrison sold to him the farm which became his future home, and he disposed of his claim near Dixon. In the summer of 1842 he broke prairie for his neighbors who had preceded him to this new country, these being J. R. Taliaferro, S. C. Bacon, Phillip Read and James Buchanan. He also improved his own farm, turning the first furrows on the prairie and converting wild land into productive fields.
As a further preparation for having a home of his own Mr. Sparling was married January 12, 1843, to Miss Adeline Morgan, a daughter of Alanson and Melinda Morgan, by whom he had eight children: George E., who is living in Senachwine township; James A., who died at the age of fourteen years; Mary M., who is the widow of V. H. Wheeler and resides upon a farm near Putnam; Helen, the deceased wife of Fred Wood; William Henry, who is living in Iowa; John S., who resides in Senachwine township; and Albert and Adeline, twins. The former is now deceased, but the latter is the wife of John McKenzie and lives in Henry. Mrs. Sparling died April 13, 1857, when her youngest children were but eight months old. On the 8th of April, 1858, Mr. Sparling was again married, his second union being with Sarah McClung, a daughter of Harvey and Mary McClung. The children of this marriage were: Martha Jane, Sarah, Eveline, Kate B., Samuel M., Frederick L. and Emorv H. The mother died February 8, 1871, and for his third wife Mr. Sparling chose Margaret McElroy, the widow of his cousin, James Sparling, who still survives him and is now living in Henry. They became the parents of two children: Susan Mabel Atkins and Homer Lewis. In 1844 Mr. and Mrs. Sparling adopted a little daughter of Louis Thompson.
Mr. Sparling's investment at Senachwine Lake was a fortunate one, as it proved to be one of the best fisheries in this part of the county. He began with spear and hook and found a ready market for all he could catch, customers coming as far as twenty miles. The lake was filled with fish. In the fall of 1843 Joseph Goodrich took a seine to the lake and proposed to Mr. Sparling that thev should try using it. On the 3d of November they made a haul and caught twenty-five hundred pounds of fish, averaging ten pounds each. Mr. Sparling then bought up the land about the lake, purchased a seine and found farming and fishing profitable. The lake proved the more remunerative, as he often caught one hundred and fifty barrels at a haul and the demand was as great as the supply. In a single season he used on an average of forty-five teams a day for three weeks to haul away the fish. He sold one haul for two hundred and twenty-three dollars and before the dam was built his income was about three thousand dollars a year from this source. He also carried on his farm work and brought his land under a high state of cultivation.
In 1857 Mr. Sparling became identified with the Methodist Episcopal church of Putnam, of which he remained a consistent member and zealous worker until his death. He was a man of most generous and benevolent spirit and the poor and needy indeed found in him a friend. No one ever appealed to him for assistance in vain and no one was ever turned hungry away from his hospitable door. Mr. Sparling was perhaps as widely known as any resident of Crow Meadows and no man of the community had more friends. He was generous to a fault and was most hospitable, giving with an open hand. In his home was extended a cordial welcome to all who chose to partake of its hospitality. He was a very generous contributor to the support of the Methodist Episcopal church at Putnam and to all of its various activities. He led a most useful life, performing each day's duties as they came to him, and he left behind a memory that is cherished by all who knew him because of his probity and his faithfulness. He was familiarly and lovingly called Uncle George by all who knew him. Such a name is only given as a token of the warmest esteem and friendship and such was the case with Mr. Sparling. That he had prospered in his business life is indicated by the fact that he left an estate of about sixteen hundred acres of land, yet he never selfishly hoarded his means, but was most generous in his donations to many worthy causes and rendered assistance to the poor that is immeasurable, for it was done unostentatiously, frequently none knowing about it save the recipient.
- Past and present of Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois. Burt, John Spencer,. Chicago. Pioneer Pub. Co.. 1907. Pages 244,247
GEORGE E. SPARLING. George E. Sparling, who follows farming on section 21, Senachwine township, and who is proprietor of the Undercliff hotel, was born within a half mile of his present residence, November 1, 1843, and with the exception of three years and seven months spent in the army his home has always been in this locality. He attended the country schools and also had the benefit of a short course of instruction in the seminary at Henry,, Illinois. When quite young he began work upon his father's farm and made a hand at plowing or driving a horse when eight years old. Since that time he has been more or less closely connected with agricultural interests and at the age of eighteen years he enlisted as a member of Company C, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, known as the Board of Trade regiment. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant and after serving his term with that command he re-enlisted for one hundred davs7 service as a member of Company B, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Illinois Infantry. He was mustered into the United States service with the latter regiment, October 1, 1862, and his enlistment papers bore the signature of Abraham Lincoln, and are therefore highly prized. He proved a faithful soldier, always loyal to the cause which he espoused and displayed valor upon many a southern battlefield.
After his return from the army Mr. Sparling worked upon the home farm until twenty-three years of age. when, desiring that his labors should more directly benefit himself, he rented land and engaged in farming on his own account for seven or eight years. He then purchased two hundred acres of land, where he still lives, known as the Silas Lock farm. It had been settled in a very early day, and the old house, which was built by Mr. Lock, still stood on the place at that time, and in fact remained the residence of Mr. Sparling for ten years. He then erected a beautiful frame house, one of the finest in the township, and in this home is now pleasantly located. In 1882 he erected a hotel on the bank of Senachwine lake, and for eleven years was proprietor of and conducted the Undercliff hotel. People came from long distances to enjoy an outing here and to engage in hunting and fishing in the district. At the present time Mr. Sparling leases the hotel and occupies his beautiful country home. That he has prospered in his undertakings is indicated by the fact that he is now the owner of eight hundred and twenty acres of land, all in one body. There is no richer or more productive soil for agricultural purposes than is to be found in this part of Illinois, and the farm of Mr. Sparling is therefore a very desirable one, responding readily to the care and labor which is bestowed upon it.
On the 1st of November, 1866,,was celebrated the marriage of George E. Sparling and Miss Carrie I. Bagley, who was born in Fulton county, Illinois, September 3, 1848. Her father, Nelson Bagley, was born at Crown Point, New York, in 1807, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Sparling, when eighty-seven years of age. His wife bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Moran, and was born in Baltimore, in 1817, while her death occurred in Springfield, South Dakota, in 1889. They were married in Fulton countv, Illinois, in 1837, and there resided until 1864, when they removed to Putnam county, Illinois, where they made their home until 1872. In that year they removed to Springfield, South Dakota, where the mother passed away, after which the father came to make his home with Mrs. Sparling. There are also four other children living: Eveline, who likewise resides with Mrs. Sparling; Mrs. J. C. Houtton, of Illinois; J. M. Bagley, of South Dakota; and Mrs. M. G. Cotney, of Oklahoma, whose husband was an old settler of Marshall county. When a boy of seven years Mrs. Sparling's father witnessed the sinking of the ships on Lake Champlain that were captured by the British in the war of 1812. Mrs. Sparling has in her possession many interesting old relics, including a fine collection of Indian relics, of geological specimens and rare coins. These have not only been secured from this district, but have been sought in various parts of the United States. Both she and her husband are well versed in geology, and have in their possession many valuable and rare stones which many people would pass by without notice. Mrs. Sparling is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
For twenty years Mr. Sparling has been identified with the Masonic fraternity, and he also belongs to the Grand army post at Henry. In polities he is a republican, and for twenty-four years has filled the office of constable, while for eighteen years he has been road commissioner and is now township treasurer. He never misses attending a term of court, yet he has never had a lawsuit. In manner he is genial and jovial, and has gained many friends during the long years of his residence in this county and among those whom he has entertained as guests at the Undercliff Hotel.
- Past and present of Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois. Burt, John Spencer,. Chicago. Pioneer Pub. Co.. 1907. Pages 375,376
 Died of Tuberculosis
JOHN STANLEY SPARLING.
On the old homestead of the Sparling family which was settled in pioneer days John Stanley Sparling was born December 10, 1853, his birthplace being the third house which was built upon that farm. He was a son of George Sparling and a brother of George E. Sparling, who are mentioned elsewhere in this work, in which connection the family history is given. With the exception; of two years spent in Iowa he has always made his home in this county and he owns a farm of one hundred and forty acres, of which he purchased one hundred acres from his father, who gave him the remaining forty. He was educated in the country schools and in early life mastered the work of plowing, planting and harvesting in the fields upon the old homestead, so that practical experience well qualified him to engage in farming, on his own account after he had arrived at man's estate.
Mr. Sparling was married in 1875 to Miss Charlotte Sparling, a daughter of James Sparling and a distant relative of the family. Her mother became the third wife of our subject's father and now lives in Henry. Mr. and Mrs. John S. Sparling have two sons, James A. and George J. The former, who married Miss Nellie Martin, is living in Putnam and is a rural mail carrier. George J. resides in Kewanee, Illinois, and is a boiler-maker. He married a daughter of O. P. Carroll, of Putnam.
Mr. Sparling has a good farm and a portion of his land is leased to fishing parties, from which source he derives a good income. Mr. and Mrs. Sparling have held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church for many years. For thirteen years he has been connected with the Modern Woodmen and is a director of Putnam camp. He is also a member of the Yeomen of America, of Henry. He belongs, to one of the old and prominent pioneer families of the county and has spent almost his entire life within its borders, so that he has a wide acquaintance here.
- Past and present of Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois. Burt, John Spencer,. Chicago. Pioneer Pub. Co.. 1907. Pages 505,506
 Not enumerated at home, but with Aunt and Uncle Eliza (Sparling) and Aaron Haines
 Not enumerated at home, but with Aunt and Uncle Eliza (Sparling) and Aaron Haines