Lela May (Sparks) Blackmore

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(May 15, 1884 - February 20, 1948)


The Lusk Herald
February 22, 1968


Mrs. W. S. Blackmore

20 Years Ago
February 26, 1948

Mrs. W. S. Blackmore, a resident of Niobrara County for 37 years, died Friday morning at the Spencer Hospital.


The Lusk Herald
February 26, 1948
Mrs. W. S. Blackmore, Resident Here 37 Years, Dies Friday


Mrs. William S. Blackmore passed away at the Spencer Hospital Friday morning, February 20, at 7:45. She had been in poor health for many years and suffered a paralytic stroke about then days prior to her death.

Mrs. Blackmore would have been 64 years of age this coming May, and has been a resident of the Royal Valley community, south of Lusk, for 37 years.

Lela May Sparks was the daughter of Milburn D. and Jane Sovereign Sparks. She was one of seven children, born at Creighton, Nebraska, May 15, 1884, and her early childhood was spent there.

In 1899 the family traveled in a prairie schooner to Colorado and Kansas, and in 1902 returned to Nebraska, locating at Royal, where Lela May Sparks met and married William S. Blackmore, April 26, 1905, and they continued to live there until 1911, when they came to Lusk and homesteaded in the Royal Valley community. This community was settled largely by people from Royal, Neb., thus its name.

Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Blackmore, eleven sons and one daughter. Ten children survive. A son, Bobby, died while a young boy in 1941, and Merlin gave his life while in the service of his country in 1943.

Mrs. Blackmore was one of the original members of the Royal Valley club, a Gold Star Mother, an American War Mother, having had six sons in the service, and an honorary member of the Legion Auxiliary.

She is survived by her husband, William S. Blackmore; nine sons - Theron, Ed, Harold, Clyde, Clifford, Guy, Delmar, Leroy and Gene, and one daughter, Anna May. She also leaves twenty grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, one sister, Mrs. Belle Falconer of Omaha, Neb., and one brother, Archie Sparks of Lusk.

Funeral services were conducted from the Peet Chapel on Tuesday afternoon, with Rev. Lawrence P. Juell, pastor of the Congregational Church, officiating.

The songs, "The Old Rugged Cross" and "We're Going Down the Valley," were sung by Mrs. A F. DeCastro, Mr. and Mrs. Lafe Culver, Jr., and Don Unruh, with Mrs. J. P. Watson as accompanist.

A tribute was also paid by the War Mothers at the chapel, with Mrs. McCleerey in charge, assisted by Mrs. M. L. Townsend and Mrs. Lydia Taylor. Mrs. Anita Culver sang "Crossing the Bar" during this service.

Interment was made in the Lusk Cemetery, with her sons acting as casket bearers.

Out-of-town relatives here were Mr. and Mrs. Ed Blackmore and son of Arlington, Virginia; Harold Blackmore from the State of Washington; Gene Blackmore, of Cody, Wyo; Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Blackmore of Casper, Wyo.; Mrs. Stella Sparks, Conago Park, Cal., and a granddaughter, Mrs. Thera Trabert, Chadron, Neb.








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