Archie Leroy Sparks

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

(September 3, 1875 - February 12, 1954)

Lusk Free Lance
February 18, 1954

Last Rites for the Late Archie L. Sparks Are Held Sunday Afternoon; Burial Made in Lusk Cemetery

Tribute was paid to the life of the late Archie L. Sparks, retired farmer and plasterer, in funeral services held at 3:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon, February 14th, from the chapel of the Peet mortuary.

Rev. Jacob Nein, pastor of the First Congregational Church, conducted the services. A male quartet, composed of L. E. Johnsonbaugh, Dan Christian, Dale and Jerry Bardo, sang "Abide With Me" and "Beautiful Isle," with Mrs. J. P. Watson providing the organ accompaniment.

Members of Custer Lodge No. 21, Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Lusk also gave their ritualistic tribute at the chapel.

Burial was in the family plot beside the remains of his wife, with Menno Kaan, Robert Black, Z. B. Crinklaw, Henry Kaan, Roy McLain and Nick Kaan serving as active casketbearers. Honorary pallbearers included Walter Tyrrel, Floyd McLain, Joe McConaughey, John Peterson, Jalmer Thon, Lee Wood, John McCleery and H. W. Morgan.

Archie Leroy Sparks was born September 3, 1875 at Independence, Iowa, the oldest son of Milburn and Jane (Soverign) Sparks and departed from this life at 4:30 a.m., Friday, February 12th, at the Niobrara Memorial Hospital where he had been a patient for the past two weeks. He entered the institution when he suffered a heart attack after having the flu. For several days he seemed to improve until he suffered a stroke and his condition gradually became worse, resulting in his demise. He had attained the age of 78 years, five months and 11 days.

When he was two years old, he moved with his family from Independence, Iowa to Royal Nebr., where he spent his early life. On April 10, 1901, he was united in marriage to Frances Hering. This union was blessed with five children.

Mr. and Mrs. Sparks moved to Wyoming in 1910, where they homesteaded in the Royal Valley community south of Lusk, and where he lived until 1930, when he moved to Lusk to spend his remaining days.

Mr. Sparks was a member of Custer Lodge No. 21, I.O.O.F, of Lusk, and the Niobrara County Pioneers Association. After moving to Lusk, he engaged in carpentering and plaster work from which he was retired. For many years he was devoted to his hobby of rock collecting and polishing and during the Niobrara County Fair always had a fine display of polished agates.

His wife, Frances, preceded him in death in 1928. Survivors include one son, Julius Sparks of Bakersfield, Calif., four daughters, Mrs. Ralph N. Roley of Miami, Fla.; Miss Violet Sparks of Chicago, Ill., Mrs. Harry Carlisle and Mrs. Harold Gautschi of Lusk, Wyo., eight grandchildren, and one sister, Mrs. Arthur Falconer of Omaha, Nebr.

The Thon Files

Archie L. Sparks, Long Time county Resident, Dies

Archie L. Sparks, 78, a resident of this section of Wyoming for the past 44 years, died at the Niobrara Memorial Hospital Feb. 12 after a short illness.

Mr. Sparks was an unusually well preserved and active man for his years and it came as a shock to relatives and friends when he suffered a heart attack a few weeks ago, which was followed by a cerebral hemorrhage which hastened his death.

Archie Leroy Sparks was born Sept. 3, 1875 at Independence, Iowa, the eldest son of Milburn and Jane Sparks. When he was two years old the family moved to Royal, Nebr. On April 10, 1901 he was married to Miss Frances Hering. In 1910 they were among the homesteaders who came to Wyoming and located on land south of Lusk which came to be known as the Royal Valley community. It was here that they reared their family of one son and four daughters. Mrs. Sparks died in 1928 and two years later Mr. Sparks gave up farming and moved into Lusk where he has since resided. He was a carpenter, paper hanger and plasterer.

He was a member of Custer Lodge No. 21, IOOF, of Lusk and belonged to the Niobrara County Pioneer Association. In the later years of his life he took up the study of archeology and mineralogy as a hobby and as the years went by secured the equipment for sawing, grinding and polishing stones until he had a large assortment and every summer a large number of tourists called at his home to see the display of his collections.

Mr. Sparks was also a violinist although he laughingly said he was "only a fiddler." Before coming to Lusk he had played the cornet in the band at Royal, Nebr.

Rev. Jacob Nein, pastor of the Lusk Congregational church officiated at the funeral service which was held at the Peet Chapel at 3:30 Sunday afternoon, Feb. 14. The members of the Odd Fellows lodge attended in a body.

The songs "Abide With Me" and "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere" were sung by a male quartet composed of Dale M. Bardo, Dan Christina, Gerald Bardo and L.E. Johnsonbaugh, with Mrs. J.P. Watson presiding at the organ.

The active casket bearers were Menno Kaan, Robert Black, Henry Kaan, Nick Kaan, Z.B. Crinklaw and Roy McLain. The honorary members were Walter Tyrrel, Floyd McLain, Joe McConaughey, John Peterson, Jalmer Thon, Lee Wood, John McCleerey and H.W. Morgan.

Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery beside his wife.

Mr. Sparks is survived by his son, Julius Sparks of Bakersfield, Calif., and four daughters, Mrs. Ralph N. Roley of Miami, Florida, Miss Violet Sparks of Chicago, Ill., Mrs. Harry Carlisle and Mrs. Harold Gautschi of Lusk; a sister, Mrs. Belle Falconer of Omaha, Nebr., and eight grandchildren.

Among the out-of-town relatives here for the services were Miss Violet Sparks, Mrs. Belle Falconer, nephews, Gordon Sparks, LaHabra, Calif., Struve Hering, McCook, Nebr., Leroy Blackmore and Bruce Blackmore of Newcastle, cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Alva Sovereign and their daughter, Mrs. Luther Johns and husband and two sons of Alliance.

Out-of-town friends included Dr. and Mrs. A.B. DeCastro, Hay Springs, Nebr., Mr. and Mrs. Pat Weston, Scottsbluff, Mr. and Mrs. L.A. Wood, Lingle, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Downs, Gillette, Mr. and Mrs. John Erlewine, Glendo, Mr. and Mrs. Walt Couger, Mr. and Mrs. Ernie Mass, Roy Eaton, Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Lesher and two sons, all of Casper.

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