According to the records of the Coffee Creek Baptist Church, this Elizabeth was
also known as Betsy. From the minutes of the church, we also know that Betsy died
young. It reads: "Sister Betsy Snowden departed this life, June 1834."
James Snowden was not a widower for long. He married Mary Ann Hopkins on November
6, 1834. The 1850 census for Clinton County, Indiana shows that James and Betsy
had a son before she died prematurely. The oldest boy, named Joshua Snowden, must
have been the son of Betsy and James Snowden. (136) No further records for this boy,
the grandson of John and nephew of Martha Fear were found. George Higgins Fear, son
of John Fear, and his family are chronicled later. More on James Snowden in that
section.John Fear, Jr. was born around 1812 in Montgomery County, Kentucky. Not much
is heard about John, Jr. until his father?s death. John Fear, Sr. received a patent
for 40 acres of land in northwest Marion Township in Jennings County, Indiana in 1838.
A patent for 80 acres nearby was granted to John Fear in 1841.
This land either belonged to John, Jr. since his father had passed
away two years before, or the process for obtaining the patent was begun before John Sr.'s
death and was only formally granted in 1841.
The Commiskey Pike Road, both then and today, runs just south of this tract of land before
crossing into Jackson County when heading northwest.
Northern Marion Township land plat (originally Montgomery) 1884. Martha Fear Sparks Warner?'s
40 acres is lower left. John Fear owned 40 acres in Section 8 (upper) shown on map as owned by
grandson Woodford Barnes. William Fear owned 40 acres in Section 9 shown as owned by F & H
Deputy. George Fear owned 40 acres in Section 17 shown as owned by J & H. Little. The 80 acre
tract owned by John Fear is located in Section 18 shown as owned by Sam Liginer (below "Barnes
P.O. with fork in creek). The road running at a 45-degreee angle through the township is
Commiskey Pike, still in use today.
Sometime in the 1840s, John, Jr. moved to Johnson Township in Clinton County, Indiana with some
of his siblings. On April 4, 1849 he married 16-year-old Elsa Kirkendall in Clinton County. Elsa
was the daughter of John Kirkendall, a native of Virginia. Her mother was unknown, but Elsa lived
with a stepmother, Sophronia Rockwill Kirkendall in Johnson Township. The 1850 census of Johnson
Township had an oddity. Elsa was listed in two places: first with husband John Fear and second
with her father and stepmother. Also listed as living in her father's home was Elsa's sister Eliza
Kirkendall. Eliza had married John M. Sanders on March 1, 1849 in Clinton County. Perhaps Mr. or
Mrs. Kirkendall felt they had to list all of their children to the enumerator whether they lived
at home or not.
John Fear and Elsa had a daughter named Eliza born in 1851. Not long after that, Elsa either died
or was divorced from John. The same is true for Eliza Kirkendall Sanders and John M. Sanders,
because on August 4, 1853 John Fear, Jr. and Eliza Kirkendall Sanders were married in Clinton County.
Eliza was born in February, 1832.
In addition to little Eliza, another child was brought into the union. John and Eliza Sanders were
the parents of Matilda Sanders, born in 1851. We do not know what happened to John Sanders.
By 1860, John Fear, Jr. and Eliza had returned to John's former home of Jennings County, Indiana.
They were living near the area of Cana, according to the 1860 census, along with Matilda and Eliza
and four other siblings. They were living in Fairfield Township of Tippecanoe County near
Lafayette in 1870.
John does not appear again, making it likely he died before 1880. There are several guesses on his
burial place, but Eliza was living in Marshall County in 1900, making that county a possibility.
Eliza was a border at age 69 living in Green Township of Marshall County in 1900. In 1910, she was
also renting a room, this time in Fulton County, Indiana near New Castle. Finally, at the age of 89
in 1920, she was living with her eldest son, William and his wife, Susan Cooper Fear, in Kosciusko County,
where a number of Fears had settled. Eliza died in 1922 at the age of 91.
John Fear, Jr. and Eliza Kirkendall Sanders had their first child together, William, in September, 1853.
Little information is known on each, but these were the children of John and Eliza:
1. William A. Fear was born in September, 1853 in Clinton County, Indiana. He married Susan Cooper (born
September 11, 1855 in Fulton County, IN) on April 2, 1874. and died on August 11, 1934 in Fulton County,
Indiana (county seat of Rochester). Susan died in 1940. The couple had at least 13 children with 12
identified: William, Ida, Fred, Orval, Ora, Oscar, Son Losla, Son Leslie,John Henry, Son Dilas, Maude and
Homer. William died August 11, 1834 in Fulton County and Susan died on December 19, 1940 in Fulton County.
2. James Alexander Fear was born around 1854 and was living in Tippecanoe County in 1870. No further information
has been found.
3. John Ben Fear was born about 1857 and was living in Tippecanoe County in 1870. No further information has
4. Sara Molly Fear was born about 1859 and was also in Tippecanoe County in 1870. No further information has
5. George Nelson Fear was born August 14, 1861 and was also in Tippecanoe County in 1870. On November 28, 1889
he married Sarah Aletta Wagoner (born January 29, 1870 in Fulton County) in Fulton County. They were the parents
of four children, two of which died prior to 1900. Son Carroll Cleveland Fear (1893-1895), Daisy Iona Fear and
Mary Ethel Fear. In 1920 they were living in Marshall County, Indiana, but no further information, including
dates of death, is available.
6. Palene P. Fear was born in 1864. No further information.
7. Lillia Viola Fear was born in 1867. No further information.
8. Charles Edward Fear was born 1870. No further information.
Sarah (Sally) Fear, daughter of John Fear, Sr., was born on August 1, 1820 in Harrison County, Kentucky. When she
was approximately six years of age, the family moved to Jennings County, Indiana. On October 3, 1841, she married
George O. Barnes in Jennings County, Indiana. George was born on August 17, 1819 in Kentucky and was the son of
Craven Barnes and Mary Howard Barnes, part of a prominent family in early Jennings County and namesake for the
community known as Barnes. George owned property in Section 8 near the tract formerly owned by Sally's father,
John Fear. (See map on page 12)
George and Sally Fear Barnes were the parents of seven children: William Levi Barnes was born in September, 1842
in Indiana. In 1868 he married Melvina (maiden name unknown). They had eight children, all of whom lived until at
least 1900: Elzora, Mort, Herschel, Nellie, Dora, Lulie, Maud and Eunice. William died on April 12, 1914 and
Melvina on February 14, 1936. They are buried in Marion Baptist Cemetery next to Herschel, who died in 1931 and
Elzora (death date not noted).
2. James Henry Barnes was born 5 May 1845 in Jennings County, Indiana. Around 1871 he married Nancy Elma Deputy
(born Feb. 1849 in Indiana), who brought two children with her to the marriage: Carrie and Joseph. The 1900 census
indicates Henry, as he was known, and Elma, as she was known, had eight living children (out of eight). The six
Barnes children were: Allen L., daughter Isa, daughter Cona, Josie, George W., and son Arlice. Both Henry and Elma
died after 1920.
3. John A. Barnes was born in Jennings County in 1847. Around 1873 he married Jennie (last name unknown). In 1880
John and Jennie were still living in Jennings County next to the home of the widowed Martha Fear Sparks Warner and
her youngest son Sherman Sparks. Listed in the Barnes home were three children (spelled as they appear on 1880
census): son Esculafuns, Horatio and Orville. No further information found.
4. Woodford T. Barnes was born September 18, 1852 in Jennings County, Indiana. He was named after his uncle Woodford
Barnes, a prominent Jennings County citizen.
On October 7, 1875 he married Jane Steelman in Jackson County, Indiana. Apparently, Jane died sometime around 1890
because Woodford married Samantha (last name unknown). Samantha was listed as a widow in the 1910 census. It is
unknown how many children Woodford and Jane had together, but he had two with Samantha. The names are unknown.
Samantha died sometime between 1910 and 1920 and Woodford died on June 1, 1939 and is buried in the First Marion
Baptist Cemetery in Marion Township. Neither wife is buried with him.
5. Mary E. Barnes born in 1853 in Indiana. After the 1870 census, no further records have been discovered.
6. Craven P. Barnes was born in 1857 in Jennings County, Indiana. Approximately 1891 he married Eliza Florence Lucas.
She was about 15 years his junior. No record in the all-important 1900 census has been found, but the 1910 census
indicates the Barneses had nine children, five of which were living in 1910. (143) We have identified Eva, Mabel,
William, Minnie and Alonzo. Two more were born after 1910, Howard and daughter Ferry. They are listed on the 1920
census of Indianapolis, where Craven and Eliza had moved. No further records were found, but an online posting by
those tracing Eva put Craven's date of death as February 25, 1926. We did not find Eliza Florence's date of death.
7. Alice C. Barnes was born August 27, 1858 in Jennings County, Indiana. On November 2, 1877 she married Thomas R.
Kysar (born August 15, 1860). They Kysars were the parents of ten children, all of whom were living in 1910: Geneva,
Fredrick, Dale, Isa, Clarence, Jennie, Myrtle, Grace, Virgil and Herbert. Thomas died on October 10, 1910 and Alice
died on June 27, 1914. Both are buried in the Mt. Zion Methodist Church Cemetery in Jennings County.
Sally and George Barnes lived the rest of their lives in Jennings County. She died on October 4, 1895 and George died
January 13, 1899. Both are buried in the Marion Baptist Church Cemetery in Marion Township
Margaret Fear, the first child of John Fear and Isabel Hamilton Fear, was born in 1821 in Harrison County, Kentucky
and came to Indiana at the age of five. On May 18, 1844 she married Jacob Trumbo Foster (born 1823 in Clark County,
Jacob was the son of Hiram Foster (and Polly Trumbo), a holder of significant land in Marion Township. Much of Hiram's
land was near that of John Fear and his sons. He owned much of the northern and western portion of Section 7 on the map
on page 80.
Jacob and Margaret Fear Foster were the parents of six children.
1. Elvira Foster was born in January, 1846 in Jennings County, Indiana. On August 3, 1865 she married Evan James Hughes
(born Feb. 21, 1843 in Jennings County). Elvira died on November 11, 1931 in Crothersville while Evan died November 6,
1919 in Crothersville. They had no children.
2. Leonidas Foster was born in April, 21, 1847 in Jennings County. On March 15, 1867 he married Sarah Jennie Love
(born 1841 in Jackson County, Indiana). They were the parents of Happy Lou, Jacob, Mary, James, Jennie and Fairy.
Leonidas moved to California in the 1870s near Sacramento before going to Southern California. He died in Long Beach,
California on October 8, 1926. Sarah died in Lemoore, California on December 11, 1927.
3. Josephine Foster was born November 16, 1849 in Jennings County, Indiana. On April 27, 1869 she married Sylvester
Deputy (born 1831). The Deputys were the first family to settle in Jennings County around 1810.
This was the second marriage for Sylvester. His first wife, Martha Jane Rust Deputy, died in 1868. They had two children,
Lois and Delmar Deputy. Josephine and Sylvester had a daughter Louise and a son Orlando Ross Deputy. In the 1870s the
Deputys moved to Kansas. Sylvester died on April 19, 1909 in Riley, Kansas and Josephine died on January 6, 1932 in
Topeka, where her daughter Louise and husband J. H. Heller had moved.
4. Benjamin Franklin Foster was born on June 6, 1853 in Jennings County. On November 8, 1874 he married Allie J. Lewis
(born 1858). Benjamin and Allie were the parents of nine sons: Fernando, Herbert, Jacob, Argus, Arthur, Hamilton, Benjamin,
Oliver and Frank. Shortly after Frank's birth, Benjamin Franklin Foster died on February 25, 1895 in Jackson County, Indiana.
Allie died October 1, 1927. John Quincy Foster was born September 17, 1855 in Jennings County, Indiana. On September 10,
1879 he married Mary Jane Coryell (born March 29, 1861) in Jennings County. John and Mary Jane were the parents of eight
children: Eva, Maud, Allen, Albert, Joseph, John Raymond, Margaret and Grace. Mary Jane died July 29, 1934 in Jennings County,
while John Quincy died January 4, 1946 in Greenfield, Hancock County, Indiana.
5. Victoria Alice Foster was born in Jennings County, Indiana on December 17, 1860. On November 28, 1877 she married Perry
Burns Taulman (born August 17, 1855 in Indiana). Perry and Victoria were the parents of five children: Clarence, Maggie,
Myrtle, Fred and Glydia. Perry lived to be almost 94, passing away on May 18, 1949 in Seymour, Indiana. Victoria died on
March 28, 1950 in Seymour, just a few months short of her 90th birthday.
Jacob Trumbo Foster died on August 9, 1865 in Jennings County. On November 5, 1868 Margaret married Samuel Wilson Dixon, who
had lost his wife, Margaret Shilliday Dixon, in 1864. Samuel died March 22, 1874 in Jennings County. Margaret Fear Foster
Dixon died on December 30, 1908 in Jackson County, Indiana. She is buried next to Jacob Trumbo Foster. James Fear, son of
John and Isabel Fear, was born February 4, 1827 In Jennings County, Indiana. James joined his brothers George, John, Jr.
Alexander and sister Martha and moved to Clinton County, Indiana in the 1840s. On July 21, 1848 he married Lucy Edwards,
the daughter of Uriah and Nancy Church Edwards, in Clinton County (others had her name as Gregg). The Fear brothers were
land owners in Johnson Township in Clinton County, perhaps retaining some interest in the land of their late brother, George,
who died in 1847.
By 1860, James and Lucy had moved to Blue River Township in Johnson County, Indiana living near his brother Micajah and his
sister Martha Fear Sparks and her husband, Leander. Leander's mother, Mary Ayres Sparks was living in James's home as a
On August 3, 1862 James enlisted in the Union Army, specifically the 70th Indiana Infantry Regiment. He served until June 8,
1865, where he was "mustered out" in Washington, DC. (144) We are unable to locate James and Lucy in 1870, probably due to
the misspelling of their last name, a frequent occurrence. By 1880 they had moved to Kansas. James died in McCracken, Ness
County, Kansas on March 4, 1887. Lucy, who was born on 31 March, 1823 in Rush County, Indiana, died on October 25, 1893 in
Ness County, Kansas.
James and Lucy were the parents of five children:
1. George Washington Fear was born June 10, 1849 in Clinton County, Indiana. He married Emma Andrena Peckham (born 1855 in
Wisconsin) in 1869. They had five daughters and three sons. George died on January 10, 1936 in Enid, Oklahoma. Emma died in
1923 in Enid.
2. William Alfred Fear was born December 16, 1851. Fear family records say the birth was in Rush County, Indiana. In 1900 he
was living in Howard County, Indiana and had married Mary J. (?) in 1875. He died May 11, 1925 in Greentown, Howard County.
3. John H. Fear was born June 29, 1854 in Indiana. In 1880 he was single and living in Rush County, Kansas. We know in 1905,
brother James L. was living with John, Emma, their one son and four daughters in Kansas. By 1910, Emma was home with one son
and four daughters making it likely John died sometime between 1905 and 1910.
4. Mary E. Fear was born in Indiana on December 11, 1858. She married Edward Tritt in 1877 in Kansas. They were the parents
of eight children, two of which died young. The Tritts moved from Kansas, back to Ohio, to Oklahoma and finally to Colorado.
Edward died between 1920 and 1930 and Mary was still living as of 1930. Date of death not determined.
5. James Leander Fear was born December 20, 1861 in Blue River Township, Johnson County, Indiana. It is likely his middle
name came from his uncle Leander Sparks, who was living quite nearby. James L. went with his parents to Kansas. In 1900 he
was living alone as a day laborer in Waring, Kansas, while in 1910 he was next to the family of his brother John's widow,
Emma. James was living in Kansas City in 1920 as a "lodger" in a large facility. He never married and no further information
was found after 1920.
Alexander Fear, son of John and Isabel Fear, was born in 1829 in Jennings County, Indiana. Tracing his life has been one of
the more frustrating endeavors not only for this author, but also for his descendants. Alexander came to Clinton County,
Indiana with his brothers and his sister Martha in the 1840s or early 1850s. On April 4, 1852 he married Elizabeth Edwards
(born about 1831 in Indiana), the daughter of Henry H. and Melinda Edwards. Henry was the son of Uriah Edwards and Nancy
Church (or Gregg). Uriah was the father of Lucy Edwards, wife of Alexander's brother, James.
By 1860, Alexander was back to his place of birth in Marion Township of Jennings County, Indiana, but in 1870 he and his
family was living in Graham Township in Jefferson County (county seat is Madison on the Ohio River adjoining Jennings).
By 1880, Elizabeth has apparently died and Alexander is living in Edinburgh in Johnson County with three of his children,
plus an adopted son, Harry Ensley. In August, 1885 Alexander was living in Boone, County and on August 30 of that year,
he married the former Mary A. Keaton. Mary was twice widowed. After her first husband, James Dunn, died she married John
G. Hart, who died in 1880. From there, no further information on Alexander Fear has been found. Alexander and Elizabeth
Edwards Fear were the parents of four children.
1. Margaret Fear was born around 1853, probably in Clinton County. She appeared on the 1870 census in Jefferson County,
Indiana and there was an 1872 marriage in Jennings County between Margaret F. Fear and William B. Tanner, but nothing
further was found.
2. Tolbert C. Fear was born in November, 1856, probably in Clinton County. On May 17, 1884 he married Anna Dartha Wallace
(born 1859). They did not have children. Anna died sometime between 1920 and 1930. Tolbert was living in Morgan County
(county seat Martinsville), Indiana in 1930 with the adopted son of Alexander Fear, Harry Ensley. Tolbert died in 1931
and was buried in the Oak Hill cemetery in Kirklin Township of Clinton, Indiana.
3. Manford Alexander Fear was born July 10, 1859 in Indiana. On August 30, 1883 he married Naomi Wynkoop (born Feb. 2, 1859
in Indiana) in Clinton County, Indiana. Manford and Naomi were the parents of Johnny, Carl, Otto, Ida May and Bertha. All
lived fairly long lives except Carl, who died at age two. This family of Fears went west from Indiana, living in Missouri
in the 1890s. They appeared on the 1900 census in Randolph County, Arkansas and Dunklin County, Missouri in 1910. Manford
died on November 9, 1911 in Alto Pass in Union County, Illinois, which is located in the southwestern part of the state
along the Mississippi River. Some of his descendants were living on the Missouri side near Cape Girardeau in 2010. The
cause of death was complications from tuberculosis. Naomi died in Alto Pass on March 28, 1924.
4. Agnes S. Fear was born in Indiana in 1861. On August 7, 1883 she married Christopher C. Bower in Clinton County, Indiana.
No further information is available.
By 1880 Nancy Fear Bowman was a widow and living in Vernon Township in Jackson County, Indiana. (145) She died on February
26, 1898 in Retreat, Vernon Township, Jackson County, Indiana.
Jemima Fear, daughter of John Fear and Isabel Fear, was born around 1834. Her date of birth was likely after Nancy and before
Micajah because John Fear, Sr.'s will seemed to put his four youngest children in order. Jemima did not appear on the 1850
census, leading to the theory she died before then.
Micajah Fear, son of John and Isabel Fear, was born January 5, 1835 in Jennings County, Indiana. Fear family history says his
nickname was "Kage." On January 27, 1859 he married Elizabeth Elrod Barnett. By 1860 he was living near Edinburg near his
brother James and his sister Martha and her husband Leander Sparks.
Micajah and Elizabeth remained in Edinburg until 1883 when they moved to Sheridan in Hamilton County, Indiana north of Carmel.
The Fears were parents of six children, four of which were living as of 1900:
1. James Edward Fear was born in November 1859, probably in Johnson County. In 1880 he married Amanda Elizabeth Dixon (born 1864)
and they were the parents of five children. Two died before 1900, but their others were Nellie, Bessie and Ralph Walter. James
Edward died on March 2, 1920 in Sheridan, Indiana. Amanda "Lizzie"'s date of death is unknown.
2. William O. Fear was born in 1863 in Johnson County, Indiana. On February 12, 1891 he married Irena Elsie Bradshaw (born 1866).
Their only child, James Walter Fear, was born October 26, 1896. Elsie died in 1896, but for some reason, James Walter was raised
by his maternal grandmother, Permelia Bradshaw, in Jennings County. No further record is found of him after 1920. In 1910,
William was living with his parents at age 46 in Hamilton County. No further record was found of him.
3. Henry C. Fear was born about in August, 1870 in Johnson County, perhaps a namesake of his cousin who had lived nearby. On
January 10, 1892 he married Laura B. Fifer in Hamilton County, Indiana. The couple had no children. A date of death was not
discovered. George Fear was also born in August, 1870 in Johnson County. This is the only set of twins discovered in this line
of the Fear family. On September 12, 1891 he married Luvena King. The couple did not have their own children, but Luvena brought
a son, Guy King (born 1886) to the marriage. No date of death was discovered for either.
A name for the fifth and sixth child was not discovered, leading to speculation both died as infants or at a young age.
Micajah lived the last years of his life with a severe handicap. Around 1884, cataracts left him blind. He lived with this malady
for the last 30 years of his life. He died on May 28, 1914 in Sheridan at the age of 79. A date of death for Elizabeth was not
Elizabeth Fear, daughter of John and Isabel Far, was born around 1837 in Jennings County, Indiana. She appeared on the 1850 census
of Jennings County living with her mother. Records of a marriage between Elizabeth Fear and Francis Wilson on April 21, 1861 were
discovered, but it cannot be verified that this was the youngest daughter of John Fear, Sr. No other records were discovered.
The Story of George Higgins Fear
George Higgins Fear was the son of John Fear, Sr. and born sometime around 1809-1810 in Montgomery County, Kentucky. He came to Indiana
around 1826 with his family. It is the theory of this author that his middle name of Higgins was given to him in honor of Elizabeth
Higgins (daughter of Moses and Jane Jeter Higgins), who was possibly his mother. At some point soon after their arrival, the Fears
became acquainted with the Snowden family, who had moved to Indiana from Estill County, Kentucky (the county where Captain William
Sparks's brother, Isaac, had settled). On November 23, 1830 George married Sally Snowden in Decatur County, Indiana, which adjoins
the northeastern border of Jennings County. A few weeks earlier, George's sister, Elizabeth, married Sally's brother James Snowden,
but this marriage took place in Jennings County. There was no record of the Snowden family living in Decatur County, but John D.
had settled there, indicating a possibility of a family relationship (cousins) between the two John Fears. George and Sally Fear
would become members of the Coffee Creek Baptist Church, the same church as his father and stepmother along with the Snowdens. On
Sunday, January 6, 1833 both George and Sally were "received by experience for baptism," according to church records.
Jennings County, Indiana. Coffee Creek Baptist Church was located in Montgomery Township. Marion was part of Montgomery until the
1850s. George H. Fear owned property in today's Marion Township near the "S" in Slate and by the "A" in Barnes.
The 1840 census of Marion Township showed George Fear and Sally Snowden Fear with three children. They had a daughter under the age
of 5, a daughter between the ages of 6-10 and a son between the ages of 6-10. The author is able to say with certainty that the
daughter under the age of 5 was named Hester Ann Fear, born in 1837. The other two have not been identified. From here, George and
Sally Fear disappear from the census records. After John Fear, Senior's death in 1839, the family slowly began to go their separate
ways. Brother William and wife Louisa had moved to the area of Fairmount in Grant County, Indiana.
Some of George's siblings wind up in Clinton County, Indiana, including some who marry there, but nothing was previously discovered
on George. The facts now reveal that George might have been the first Fear to move his family to Clinton County. George left Jennings
County between 1842 and 1846. Just because he received his second land patent in 1843, that does not mean he was still there at that
time. He could have sold the land prior to the issuance of the certificate. We know he was in Clinton County by 1846 because George
and Sally's third son, Henry, was born in Clinton County in 1846. Their second son, James Harvey, was born in July, 1841 in Jennings
George purchased land in Clinton County, but had not yet received a land patent. Record show the Fear brothers and sister Martha were
residing in Johnson Township.
Henry would be their last child because an unspeakable tragedy befell George and his family. The following series of events were
re-created from probate and guardianship records located at the Clinton County Library in Frankfort, Indiana. Sometime around October
10, 1847, George Higgins Fear died in Clinton County. While it would be natural to assume minor children would go to their mother, the
fact that legal guardianship proceedings indicated that both had died. Both probate and guardianship proceedings revealed this was the
sad reality. Following George's death, a full accounting of the family's property, both land and personal, was undertaken by appraisers.
A listing of George's debts would also be revealed. Among those debts were some gruesome liabilities. There was a debt to James M. Ward
for $5 for a "coffin." Another debt was owed to George Kirby for $8.75 for "3 coffins." This would help prove that Sally Snowden Fear
had died along with two of the Fear children. The records show that Mr. Ward prepared the coffin in Nov. 1847 for "the daughter of the
deceased." It is reasonable to assume that George had ordered two coffins to bury his wife and other son, but died before Mr. Kirby
could be paid. A third one became necessary for George. Mr. Kirby was finally paid on December 13, 1848. Gauging from the price, Mr.
Ward must have produced a higher line of coffin. It would appear that disease killed George Fear and family members. Had there been
a disaster such as fire, there would have been little remaining to sell off through a probate sale. A world-wide flu outbreak, such
as the H1N1 pandemic that struck in 2009, was recorded for 1847. Not that this was the cause, but is certainly a possibility. Further
evidence of disease being the cause of death was a claim made by Martha Fear Sparks against the estate sometime after 1849. She asked
for reimbursement in the amount of $34 to cover 12 months of keeping Henry Fear and this telling statement on another claim: "The claim
of Martha Sparks for waiting on George Fear and his family during their (emphasis added) illness, three weeks at one dollar per week."
We can only speculate on the nature of the illness, but it appears that it only took three weeks to kill four people. The guardianship
process came before the court on October 10, 1847, putting George?s date of death likely between October 1 and October 10, 1847 and his
daughter?s death in November 1847.
Settling the Estate Sale of George Fear
On December 13, 1847 appraisers John Pittman and Jesse Needham presented their report to William Burget, Clinton County Justice of the
Peace (and the man who married Leander Sparks and Martha Fear), indicating George Fear's non-real estate holdings amounted to $358.19.
When adding the debts owed to George, his personal property was worth $569.43. Isaac Apperson, who administered the will of John Fear
in Jennings County, performed a similar role for George's estate. Apperson swore to the accuracy of the report to the court on December
18, 1847. Among those in debt to George were Woodford Barnes and Mason Parks Keith from Jennings County, Indiana. George's estate would
also have some debts (such as for the services provided by Mr. Kirby and Mr. Ward). Since George left no will, on December 15, 1847,
the estate of George Higgins Fear was sold at a public sale. Among those purchasing items were James Snowden, John Fear, Jr., Jacob
Kirkendall, Martha Fear (wash board, bed & bedding, saddle & bridal, trunk ? all for $15.37) George Kirby (the coffin maker bought a
lot of corn for $4.77), James N. Fear (a mare and 2 razors) and Isaac Apperson. Net proceeds were $596.69.
Some of the final details were settling the debts of George?s estate. Among the amounts paid out were to Martha Sparks, James Snowden,
Isaac Apperson, G(eorge). Bantz, William A. Fear, John Fear and James Fear.
Some receipts for expenditures from the estate have been preserved. For example:
"March 2nd 1848 Received of I. H. Apperson admr of George H Fear deceased two dollars and seventy five cents in full of this account.
"January 15, 1855 $24 Received of I.H. Apperson adm of George H. Fear deceased twenty four dollars in full for keeping the children of
said deceased --John Fear"
"January 15, 1855 $12.50 Received of I.H. Apperson admr of George H. Fear deceased twelve dollars & fifty cents in full for the
services in attending to stack & taking care of said deceased in his last sickness ? James Fear John Fear"
No Date "Received of Isaac H. Apperson admr of George H. Fear fifteen 37/100 dollars for keeping Henry Fear. Martha Sparkes"
George wrote an IOU to G.M. Bantz of Jennings County on January 4, 1847 in Clinton County promising to pay Bantz $6.75 by Christmas
Day. More significantly, on January 27, 1847 he promised to pay Mordecai McKinsey $125 "value received of him" by Christmas Day, 1848.
For such a high amount in those days, the latter was likely for land. Both documents did not include a "signed by mark (X)", so the
signature contained was obviously that of George Higgins Fear.
Guardianship of the Surviving Children of George and Sally Fear
The guardianship records revealed the identities of the surviving children of George and Sally. James Harvey Fear was born in July, 1841
in Jennings County, Indiana. Henry N. Fear was born October 24, 1846 in Clinton County. Along with Hester Ann, born in 1837, three
children were now orphans requiring the court to step in.
A guardian for the children would need to be appointed. We know that James and Mary Ann Snowden had moved to Clinton County because
the court named James, the uncle of the three children, as their guardian. Isaac Apperson, who still resided in Jennings County,
played no legal role in guardianship proceedings.
The records indicate James Snowden took charge of Hester Ann. George's older brother William, now living in Grant County, Indiana,
took some responsibility for James H. and Henry N. Fear. By 1850, Hester was living with the family of David and Mary Kemp in
Jefferson Township of Tipton County, Indiana.
Nearby was the home of Daniel and Mary Prichard, a family with Jennings County ties. James H. Fear was living with them. Leander and
Martha Fear Sparks were raising Henry Fear in Johnson County, Indiana.
By 1860, Hester had married Larkin Perry Tuder (at age 16) and was the mother of three daughters, while James was living with
Abraham and Rebecca Kemp in Tipton.
Henry Fear may have had the most stable childhood of the three by remaining with Leander and Martha, who now resided in Blue River
Township near Edinburgh in Johnson County, Indiana in 1860.
The court's appointment of James Snowden as guardian may have stemmed from the fact he had the only complete family in the area
at the time. James and Mary Ann had children of their own along with Joshua, the son of George?s late sister, Elizabeth. John Fear,
Jr. was probably living in the area, but was still single. Martha was still single and her younger brother, James N. Fear, who
became a resident of Clinton County in the 1840s, was also still single.
Administration of the Children's Trust Funds
That left James Snowden to administrate the children's trust funds. He would provide periodic reports to the court on the children's
financial holdings and their care. Proceeds from the sale of George's land went into a trust for each. This trust would gain interest
and build. The size of Henry's and James's trust was far larger than Hester's since, as a female, she was not an heir to George's
land. For example, an 1857 report showed the trust value for Henry Fear and James H. Fear was $333.40. Hester's share was $34.
The guardianship file for George Fear also contained receipts for monies disbursed to those who provided care for the heirs of George
Fear. Here are three examples:
1. "$12.12 Received Sept 30th 1853 of James Snowden guardian of the heirs of George H. Fear deceased Twelve dollars and Twelve cents
2. "Received of James Snowden thirteen dollars in full of all amounts against Him as guardian of the heirs of George Fear deceased
this 23rd of December 1856 William A. Fear"
3. "January the 8th 1857 Received of James Snowden guardian of the Heirs of George Fear deceased for taking care of Henry N. Fear three
dollars and fifty cents in full of all demands, witness my hand and Seal Leander Sparkes"
Final report of guardian
In June, 1860 James Snowden would file what would turn out to be his final report as guardian. Despite the fact Henry was not yet 14,
James Harvey was about 19 and Hester was married. It is believed that James Snowden died in 1860. He has not been found on any census
list and with a lack of any further accountability of James Harvey and Henry Fear, this makes sense. Another piece of evidence is a
legal filing made by James Harvey in the early 1860s in which he seeks a new guardian. One of the reasons for the filing was the
inability to locate James Snowden. The resolution to this filing was not found, which could indicate that James Snowden was indeed
The final report was filed in the June, 1860 term of the Court of Common Pleas:
"Report of James Snowden, as the guardian of Hester A. Fear, James H. Fear and Henry N. Fear. In final settlement of Hester A. and
parties as to James & Henry.
I have since my last report made final settlement with Hester A. who has intermarried with one Larken Tuder and of full age to act
for herself and taken thru receipt in full herewith plead.
I am chargeable with amount found due on final settlement with this court. (unreadable) on 4th day of Jan 1858 to my ward James
$310.48 with interest therein. I am chargeable with the amount found on at the same time & with interest to Henry $309.20.
I have received since (unreadable) on the 15 day of Nov. 1859, which sum is loaned at (unreadable) interest $106.00.
All of which contains the full estate of said wards and is respectfully submitted.
Submitted November 20 1860
On December 23rd, 1856 the guardianship of Hester Fear was ended with this note (spelled as written):
"Received of James Snowden, guardian of hester ann fear wife of Larken P tuder in full of all demans up to this date winess our
hand and seals
Larken p (X) tuder
Hester ann fear (X) tuder
The Fears moved to Johnson Township from Jennings County, Indiana. Those remaining after George's death lived in Kirklin Township.
The James Sparks family (son of William from Washington County, PA) settled in Perry Township. Frankfort is located in Center
The Lives of the Surviving Children of George Higgins Fear
Hester Ann Fear went to Tipton County to live with David and Mary Kemp and was enumerated on the 1850 census within that home.
On August 7, 1853, Hester married Larken Perry Tuder in Tipton County, Indiana. She was only 16.
The Tuders were the parents of at least three daughters: Sarah, born around 1855, Josephine, born in 1857 and died in 1874,
and Lydia born in 1860.
Hester Ann Fear Tuder died on June 14, 1865 in Tipton County, Indiana at the age of only 28. Larken would remarry and have
three sons by a second wife, before he died on November 14, 1915 in Clinton County.
James Harvey Fear was born in July, 1841 in Jennings County, Indiana. Following his father's death in 1847, he went to Tipton
County, Indiana to live with Daniel and Mary Pritchard. By 1860 he was living with Abraham and Rebecca Kemp in Tipton County.
On August 21, 1862 he married Mary Fisher in Clinton County.
A daughter, Loretta (known as "Rhetta") was born in January, 1863. Rhetta never married and died on August 18, 1929 and was
buried next to her parents in Fairview Cemetery in Frankfort.
Another daughter, Rachel, was born in 1865 and we assume she died fairly young because no other reference was found.
Mary Fisher Fear must have died young, because James Harvey married for a second time on October 8, 1874 to Emma Louise
Vandercook. He and Emma were the parents of two sons:
1. Carl Fear was born August 1, 1875. He married Lilah E. Hines (born August 31, 1878) on November 16, 1910. They had no
children. Carl died of a heart attack on August 2, 1934 in Tipton. Lilah lived another 35 years, passing away in Frankfort
in October, 1969.
2. Herbert Fear, Sr. was born November 6, 1884 in Tipton. He married Ethel Margaret Aughe (born March 28, 1886) in 1906.
They were the parents of five children: Herbert, Jr., James H., Belva L., LouDell and Joan. Herbert, Sr. died on September
22, 1947 and Ethel on November 26, 1979.
James H. Fear married for a third time on February 26, 1890 when he wed Lydia E. Patterson. James and Lydia apparently had
no other children of their own.
James Harvey Fear turned into a successful businessman in the Tipton area and in adjoining Clinton County. He was a merchant
and dealt in the distribution of poultry and livestock. James operated a company known as J.H. Fear & Company which then
merged into the Fear-Campbell Poultry Company.
He was known as Harvey and became prominent in local politics. He was the Chairman of the Tipton County Republican Party
in the late 1870s and early 1880s. In 1880, he was elected Sheriff of Tipton County and served a two-year term. In 1903,
he was elected to represent Tipton County in the Indiana House of Representatives, serving one term.
Shortly after his public service, the family moved to Frankfort. James Harvey Fear died on January 15, 1908 in Frankfort.
Lydia Patterson Fear died in Frankfort in 1938.
Henry N. Fear left behind a large volume of records. He takes on a higher level of significance for this publication
not only because he was the grandson of a common ancestor, John Fear, Sr., but also because he was part of the Sparks
family since Leander and Martha Sparks basically raised him.
We know Henry was the last child of George and Sally Fear, born in Clinton County, Indiana on October 24, 1846. Near
his first birthday, both of his parents had died. After the guardianship was established, Henry ultimately went to
live with Martha and her husband Leander Sparks. Until the author?s discovery of the records of George Higgins Fear,
it was believed that Henry was somehow the son of Martha.
His early days were in Nineveh Township in Johnson County, Indiana and by 1860 he was living near Edinburgh in Blue
River Township in Johnson County with the Sparkses. Sometime in the early 1860s, the Sparkses moved to Uniontown in
Jackson County, Indiana.
Signs would indicate that Henry stayed behind in Edinburg, perhaps with one of Martha's brothers, James or Micajah
Fear, who had moved to the area. When Henry enlisted in the Union Army for a 100-day tour of duty on May 18, 1864,
his home was listed as Edinburgh.
Henry's Unit, the 132nd Infantry, served by guarding General William T. Sherman's supply and communications lines
between Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee. Private Henry Fear was honorably discharged on September 7, 1864.
On December 29, 1865 Henry married Mary Elizabeth Foster, in Jennings County, but moved to Jefferson Township in
Tipton County, Indiana. Mary was the daughter of William and Ann Wingate Foster and the granddaughter of Hiram Foster,
who owned 200 acres of land in Jennings County. Much of that land was near Henry?s grandfather, John Fear, Sr. and his
father George and Uncle William Fear in the 1830s. Henry?s aunt Margaret had married his father-in-law?s brother,
Jacob Trumbo Foster, in 1844. Jacob died four months before Henry's wedding.
The 1870 census shows Henry living virtually next door to his brother James Harvey. By 1880, Henry had moved into the
city of Tipton. A profile in the Tipton Daily Tribune indicated Henry was a stone cutter of tombstones for the
Martindale monument shop. He was also involved in the sale of musical instruments and played the tenor saxophone
himself. In March of 1881, Tipton's first band was formed with Henry on tenor and son William Henry playing second
coronet, though only 13 years of age. The band would practice in the Martindale shop.
Henry was also a businessman in his earlier days in Tipton County. He and partner Levi Young operated a beef store
(butcher shop) in the city. Young bought out Henry's interest in August, 1882. Henry Fear would run an unsuccessful
campaign for Treasurer of Tipton County in 1880 on the Republican ticket while his brother Harvey was elected Sheriff
on the same day. No other political activity was found.
1. William Henry Fear was born September 22, 1867 in Jennings County. He lived his life as a laborer and died in
Indianapolis on September 28, 1937. He and wife Allie Reams Fear lived at 519 W. 28th Street in Indianapolis. Allie
died in Indianapolis on January 24, 1946 of a heart attack. They were the parents of Harry Rex, Guy Lester, Elmer,
Cloe, Claude T., Clifton, and Audrey. As previously mentioned, William Henry was part of Tipton's first band while
only 13 years of age, playing second coronet.
2. Charles Homer Fear was born November 23, 1872 in Tipton County. On September 20, 1890 he married Nora Wright.
They lived in Hamilton County, Indiana in 1900 with no children. In 1910 Charles appeared on the census in Brown
County, Indiana as a divorced man of 37 living alone. He apparently died sometime before 1922. No further records
for either have been located.
3. Daughter Oda E. Fear was born on June 26, 1874 in Tipton, Indiana and died on November 26, 1876.
4. Edward Orie Fear was born January 16, 1878 in Tipton. On February 24, 1896 he married Blanche Kinder in Hamilton
County, Indiana. They were the parents of Lee Elmer Fear and Bessie M. Fear. Lee owned "Fear's Standard Service
Station" in Indianapolis in 1960 and died in 1972.Edward and Blanche divorced around the time of World War I and on February 5, 1919, Edward married Grace E. Armstrong
in Indianapolis. Edward was working as a harness maker at Indianapolis Saddlery in 1920, living on Agnes Street, while
in 1930 he was employed as a shoe salesman and living on E. Morris St. Edward died on January 16, 1937 in Indianapolis.
Blanche Kinder Fear died on May 30, 1934 in Indianapolis. Grace died sometime between 1951 and 1960.
5. Hannah May Fear was born April 16, 1881 in Tipton and died May 21, 1882.
6. Freddie Fear was born May 4, 1883 in Tipton and died October 8, 1889.
7. The last of Henry and Mary's children is the most difficult to pin down. Emma Jane Fear was born December 6, 1887
in Tipton, Indiana. There is no record of Emma Jane ever marrying and her death was noted as August 14, 1959. We
also have information of a daughter of Henry N. Fear named as "Jennie E. Fear," and "Jeanette Fear" (1940 Indianapolis
City Directory) who also never married and the last listing we have for her is 1951 in Indianapolis. Jennie E. Fear was
a working woman who spent her entire adult life in the workforce. She was a bookkeeper as early as 1914 in Indianapolis.
In 1930 she was office manager at Equitable Securities Co. and lived on the east side of Indianapolis. She remained with
that company and lived on East Washington Street at least through 1951. She did not appear on the 1960 Indianapolis City
Directory. It is not known if Jennie Fear and Emma Jane Fear are the same person.
On February 14, 1889 Henry Fear filed for a military pension under the category of "invalid." The records do not indicate
the nature of his disability.
In April, 1895, Mary Foster Fear suffered a crippling stroke and would never recover. She died on February 10, 1897 in
On October 28, 1897 Henry married widow Mary Jane Deal King (157) and had a daughter together, Anna Ruth Fear born
September 2, 1899. A little more than one month later, on October 25, 1899, Mary Jane Fear died. We do not know what
happened to Anna Ruth, but she was likely adopted or died very young.
This must have been a trying period for Henry. The 1900 census of the city of Tipton listed Henry N. Fear as a
prisoner in the city jail. It is not known how he got there or how long he stayed, but nothing major was ever reported
or filed, so it was probably a brief stay. His obituary would describe him as a well-known man around town.
By 1910, Henry's disabilities were multiplying. He was admitted to the U.S. National Home for Disabled Veterans in Marion,
Indiana and transferred that same year to a similar home in Danville, Illinois. He was admitted with prostate problems,
loss of teeth and other maladies. The form listed Jennie E. Fear of Indianapolis as closest relative, although others
were also living in Indianapolis. On October 2, 1920 he was again returned to the Veteran's facility in Danville,
Illinois suffering from "arterio sclerosis" (hardening of the arteries) and "senile dementia." It would seem Henry
Fear was suffering from the yet unnamed Alzheimer's Disease.
Henry Fear died on January 30, 1922 in Danville. At the time of his death he had $15 on deposit in a bank, $922 in
pension money, and $12.25 in personal effects. At the bottom of Henry?s paperwork it said this: "How disposed of:
Effects of Henry N. Fear, shipped to (Daughter) Jennie E. Fear. 127 N. Delaware Street, Indianapolis, Ind.
March 22, 1922."
His body was returned to Tipton for burial and his surviving children of William, Edward and Jennie made the
arrangements. Henry was known well enough in Tipton that his death was reported on the front page of the Tipton
Daily Tribune on February 2, 1922.
After 100-plus years of history, the story of George Higgins Fear and his direct descendants would now continue
1830 United States Census for Jennings County, Indiana, Montgomery Township. Page 6
Jennings County, Indiana Marriages, 1866-1887, Books 7, 8 and 9. Compiles by Ruth Slevin
An Atlas of Jennings County, Indiana: from actual surveys by J.M. Lathrop and J.H. Summers
Pioneer Soldiers History, Part 1 by Lewis Collen.
1830 United States Census for Campbell County, Kentucky. Page 249
1810 United States Census for Montgomery County, Kentucky. Page 3
1820 United States Census for Harrison County, Kentucky. Page 152
Abstracted Court Records: Grant, Harrison and Pendleton County, Kentucky by Janet Pease.
United States Bureau of Land Management. Document Number 8738.
Family Maps of Jennings County, Indiana. Map Group 15, page 184.
1840 United States Census for Jennings County, Indiana. Page 447
1850 United States Census for Jennings County, Indiana, Marion Township. Page 809
United States Bureau of Land Management. Document Number 3860
United States Bureau of Land Management. Document Number 22976
U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918. Division Six, Collection District 11, State of Indiana. Page 7
1850 United States Census for Clinton County, Johnson Township, Indiana. Page 80.
1860 United States Census for Jennings County, Indiana, Marion Township. Page 197.
1870 United States Census for Tippecanoe County, Fairfield Township, Indiana. Page 203
1900 United States Census for Marshall County, Green Township, Indiana. Page 7.
1910 United States Census for Fulton County, New Castle, Indiana. Page 8
1920 United States Census for Kosciusko County, Franklin Township, Indiana. Page 5
1900 United States Census for Jennings County, Marion Township, Indiana. Page 10
1910 United States Census for Jennings County, Spencer Township, Indiana. Page 33
American Civil War Soldiers
1880 United States Census for Jackson County, Vernon Township, Indiana. Page 227
George Higgins Fear
Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research, comp. Indiana Marriages 1802-1892.
United States Bureau of Land Management. Document Number 5129
United States Bureau of Land Management. Document Number 16651
1840 United States Census for Jennings County, Indiana. Page 485
1850 United States Census for Tipton County, Jefferson Township, Indiana. Page 581
1860 United States Census for Tipton County, Jefferson Township, Indiana. Page 194
1860 United States Census for Tipton County, Jefferson Township, Indiana. Page 184
America?s Civil War Soldiers: The Union Army. Volume 3, Page 186
Jennings County, Indiana Marriages 1837-1866. Compiled by Ruth Slevin. Book 6, Page 492
1870 United States Census for Tipton County, Jefferson Township, Indiana. Page 11
Civil War Pension Index, General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Application 689452, Certificate 619048
Tipton County, Indiana Marriages 1870-1905. Compiled by Ruth Slevin. Book 8, Page
1900 United States Census for Tipton County, Cicero Township, Indiana. Page 08
U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938. Page 45, Record 15544
Milford Leander Sparks was the fifth child of Leander and Martha Fear Sparks. He was born near Edinburgh in
Johnson County, Indiana on May 4, 1861, about three weeks after the Civil War began. When Milford was quite
young he moved with his family to Vernon Township near Uniontown in Jackson County, Indiana. He likely did
not even remember his father, who died when Milford was three on December 8, 1864. By 1870 he and his three
surviving brothers were living with their mother and their stepfather John Warner in Marion Township of
Jennings County, Indiana. The two older brothers were working on the Warner farm, while Milford and his
youngest brother were attending school. On December 27, 1877 and at the age of only 16, he married Sarah
Jane Sage, the daughter of Asa and Martha Davis Sage in Jennings County. Sarah Jane was herself only 17.
They remained in Jennings County for at least the first quarter-century of their marriage. While still
teenagers, Milford and Sarah Jane became parents with the birth of their first daughter, Hattie Mae, in
1880. Milford was farming at that time, probably working someone else's farm, but not his mother's. Martha
Fear was now the owner of 40 acres (probably willed or granted to her through probate after John Warner's
death) in southwest Jennings County, which was being farmed by her son, Phillip. In 1900, Milford was still
farming, living on rented land in Marion Township. Their home was near the farm of Sarah Jane?s father and
another farm owned by her uncle George Sage. Milford could have been working one or both of those farms.
In 1910, Milford and Sarah Jane were living on Walnut Street in Crothersville, Jackson County, Indiana.
They were the parents of five children and Milford was working as a laborer in a local saw mill. Living
close by on Preston Street was a civil war veteran named Griffin Stradley, a widower who employed a
housekeeper named Opal Davis. (161) She would become part of the family within two years. Within two
years Milford and Sarah Jane had moved to Oak Street, according to the 1912 Jackson County
(although he was listed as "Melvin"). By 1920 they were listed in Vernon Township with all of the
children having left home. They were grandparents by then. Milford?s occupation was not legible on the
census form. By 1930 Sarah Jane had died and Milford was living with his son Burl, wife Edith, and their
four living children on East 3rd Street in Seymour, Indiana. On August 12, 1935 Milford died in Seymour
with the cause of death listed as "Uremia ? Chronic Prostatitis." The cause of death was listed on the
one-page document acquired from Voss & Sons Funeral Services in Seymour.
Milford was buried with Sarah Jane on August 14, 1935 in Section 1 of Riverview Cemetery in Seymour,
Indiana. It is near the fence looking across Indiana Highway 11 (formerly 31-A) and directly at
Sarah Jane Sage Sparks
Sarah Jane Sage was born August 21, 1860 in Cana, Jennings County, Indiana. She was the oldest of eight
children of Asa Sage (1830-1909) and Martha Davis Sage (1836-1904). Sarah Jane attended school and learned
to read and write. Asa and Martha Sage apparently took awhile to give their young daughter a name. The
1860 census enumerator visited the Sage home on August 26, 1860 when Sarah Jane was only five days old.
Below the listing for Asa Sage and Martha Sage was an infant listed as "Not Named." (162) Perhaps she
was named after her grandmother, Sarah Lawler Sage. In 1870 she was attending school and by 1880 was
married to Milford Sparks with their infant daughter, Hattie Mae, at home. Throughout her life, any
public record that listed an occupation for Sarah Jane indicated "Keeping House." She raised five children
around the turn of the century and had the unpleasant reality of burying her youngest child, Elsie, in
January, 1929 at the age of only 33. Later that same year, on May 28, 1929, Sarah Jane Sage Sparks died
in Seymour, Indiana and was buried in Riverview Cemetery in Section 1.
The brothers and sisters of Milford Sparks
James Sparks (probably James III) was the oldest child of Leander and Martha Sparks. James (great-great
grandson of Capt. William and Rachel Sparks) was born on April 4, 1850 in Nineveh, Indiana. In what was
far too common in those days, James lived a truly short life. He died on October 18, 1851 and was buried
at the Old Nineveh Cemetery next to his aunts and uncle (John, Rachel, Margaret, Mary Dorcas and Lydia).
John A. Sparks was born January 18, 1852 in Nineveh, Indiana. Following his father?s death in 1864 and his
mother's marriage to John Warner in 1869, John was living in Marion Township on the Warner farm in 1870. While
no marriage record has been found, we know that John married Sarah Ann Wilson sometime around 1878. Sarah Ann
was the daughter of Leander Wilson (1816-1892) and Sarah Lockwood Wilson (1827-1900). John and Sallie
(as she was known), were the parents of four children who had long lives. A fifth child, their first, was
probably stillborn as the grave marker next to her parents lists "Infant Daug." and the date of 1879.
1. Nellie Luie Sparks was born May 18, 1880 in Jennings County. Marriage records, or even her residences have
not been found, but other researchers have definitively placed her date of death as January 22, 1976 at the
age of 95.
2. Leva Gertrude Sparks was born December 3, 1883. On September 15, 1904 she married Harry Gordon Tobias. Harry
and Leva raised four children (Roy, Gerald, Hazel and Helen). They moved to Benton County, Indiana not long
after marriage and later to Jasper County. Harry died in Remington, Jasper County on July 18, 1957 and Leva
Gertrude Sparks Tobias died in Remington on March 3, 1976.
3. Arthur Emerson Sparks was born March 2, 1891 in Jennings County. On February 21, 1917 he married Dora
Wealing (son of Joseph of Mary Hubbard Wealing) in Benton County. The couple apparently had no children.
Dora died on March 15, 1965 in Jasper County, Indiana and Arthur on September 15, 1982 in Remington.
4. Oliver "Hump" Wilson Sparks was born August 11, 1893 in Jennings County. On February 16, 1921 he married
Ina Belle Allison in Benton County. They were the parents of Imogene L. Sparks born in 1922, but no further
information has been found. Ina Belle died on February 24, 1938. Around 1940, Oliver married a lady named
Martha, whose maiden name (or first married name) has not been discovered. A Martha K. Sparks died on
November 21, 1999 in Goodland, Newton County, Indiana and a date of birth was listed as February 22, 1898.
She would have been 101 years old. This could be the Martha married to Oliver. Newton County borders Benton
County and Jasper County in northern Indiana. Oliver died on February 17, 1981 in Rensselaer in Jasper County.
John A. Sparks died on November 29, 1894 in Jennings County at the young age of 42. The cause of death is unknown.
Sallie spent most of the rest of her life in Jennings County, but in her later years she went to Benton County. When
the 1920 census enumerator came by the home of Harry and Leva Sparks Tobias in Benton County on January 3, 1920, both
Sallie and "Hump" Sparks were living in that home. Slightly more than 3 months later, on April 20, 1920, Sallie Wilson
Sparks died in Benton County.
John and Sallie are buried together in Cana Methodist Cemetery in Jennings County, Indiana. On one side of them is
their infant daughter and on the other side is Sallie's father, Leander Wilson.
Mary E. Sparks, daughter of Leander and Martha Sparks, was born on March 17, 1854 in Nineveh, Indiana. Mary
represents another sad story in the Sparks family. She moved with her parents from Blue River Township in
Johnson County, Indiana to Uniontown in Jackson County, not long after 1860. On April 2, 1864 she died and
was buried at the Uniontown Baptist Church Cemetery. Her father would be buried next to her just a few short
months later. Mary's stone indicates her age as 10 years and 16 days, providing a precise date for her birth.
This would be important when comparing her date of birth to that of her brother, Phillip.
Phillip R. Sparks was born in Nineveh, Indiana in May, 1854. There is a discrepancy on dates. There is no
doubt that Mary was the sister of Phillip and the daughter of Leander and Martha, but her birth date on March
17 left a puzzling question when Mary's brother Phillip's date of birth is listed as only two months later. The
1900 census indicates Phillip was born in May, 1854. Mistakes have been made on the census forms, but it seems
clear he was born in 1854. Phillip's tombstone lists 1854 as his year of birth. Perhaps it was later in the year.
During his teen years, Phillip worked with his brother John on the farm of his mother and step father, John Warner.
On June 11, 1879 he married Rosella C. Mosley, the daughter of Griffin and Eliza Deputy Mosely. Griffin was an
educator in Marion Township. Phillip and Rosella were the parents of eight children, seven of which are known.
1. Alma A. Sparks was born in April, 1880 in Jennings County, Indiana. In 1898 she married Edgar Wright, son of James
F. and Amanda Wright. Edgar was born in March, 1880. Alma and Edgar were living with Edgar's parents on East Third
Street in Seymour in 1900. They lived in Seymour until 1930, when they were shown in the home of the eldest son,
Charles, on Cottage Avenue in Indianapolis. This home was next door to Alma's brother, Homer.
Alma and Edgar were the parents of at least six children. Two died at a young age between 1899 and 1910. The others
are Charles, Madge, Eugene and Clarence. By 1940, Edgar had died. Alma was working as a cook and living on North
Sheffield Avenue in Indianapolis. In 1951 she was residing in an apartment on Locke Street. Alma apparently died
between 1951 and 1960 or left Indianapolis.
2. Myrtle Pansy Sparks was born April 22, 1885 in Marion Township, Jennings County, Indiana. On November 7, 1906
she married Thomas Lloyd Bridges in Jennings County. Thomas was the son of Thompson Bridges and Sarah Keith
Bridges. The Bridges and Keith families were prominent members of the Marion Township community. Sarah Keith
was the daughter of Mason Parks Keith and Lucinda Robinson Keith. Thomas was born in 1889.
Myrtle and Thomas were the parents of a son, Ronald, born in 1909 and died in 1992 in Indianapolis. Ronald served
in the armed forces during World War II. Another son named Morris was born in 1911. Morris enlisted in the Army
in 1942 and indicated he was single. He was listed as living in the family home on 1514 Leonard Avenue in the
1930 and 1940 city directory for Indianapolis. Morris died on January 10, 1994 in Indianapolis.
Thomas Bridges was obviously a smart guy as he worked for the Marion County Treasurer in the 1930s and 40s.
Later, he was a clerk at the Kirkwood Hotel. Myrtle and Thomas were living on Leonard Avenue in Indianapolis
in 1930 through 1960. The Social Security Death Index confirms Thomas died in June, 1966 in Indianapolis. Myrtle
"Mertie" Sparks Bridges died in Richmond, Indiana in May, 1978.
3. Harvey Niles Sparks was born on leap day, February 29, 1888. Harvey enlisted in the U.S. Navy and in 1910 was
aboard the USS Virginia, at that time ported in Hampton Roads, Virginia. (163) He apparently suffered some kind
of injury because his World War I draft registration card, filed in 1917, indicated he had served eight years in
the Navy and had "partial paralysis" in one leg. The information on the card, filed in Newport, Rhode Island,
indicated Harvey had a wife. He was working as a driver at the Naval Training Center in Newport in 1917. The 1930
Indianapolis city directory lists Harvey N. Sparks as "Mgr. Federal Cafeteria Corp." and residing on North Delaware
Street. His wife's name was Lena. The 1940 directory listed his address as West 16th Street (near the site of old
Field) and his occupation as "waiter." Lena is not listed. On his World War II draft card, filed in 1942, he
listed "Mrs. Tom Bridges" (Myrtle Sparks Bridges) as the one who would always know his address. Harvey died
in Indianapolis on July 6, 1944.
4. Ivan Morton Sparks was born October 5, 1890 in Jennings County. He must have been one seeking opportunities
or adventures outside of Jennings County for in 1910 he was living in New Castle in a rooming house with several
other individuals. Ivan was working at an automobile factory as a laborer. The auto was the wave of the future.
Ivan enlisted in the Army and served in the 127th Infantry of the 32nd Division and fought in World War I. He
received some kind of severe injury because Ivan did not return to Indiana and spent the rest of his life in
either hospitals or Veterans Administration facilities. In 1920 he was at the Ft. Sheridan Military Hospital in
Illinois (165) and in 1930 he was a patient at the Edward Hines VA Hospital in Chicago. On March 24, 1934 Ivan died
at Fort Sheridan and was returned home to be buried in Cana Methodist Cemetery near his parents.
5. Mary E. Sparks was born on October 4, 1893 in Jennings County, Indiana. It is possible she was named after her
aunt, who died in 1864. When she was 17, Mary was working as a "servant" for a "private family." She also attended
school and had learned to read and write. On December 17, 1919 she married George Earl Adams. Nothing is known
Mr. Adams. He could have died shortly thereafter, or they quickly divorced because the 1920 census showed "Mary Adams"
living at her mother?'s home in Crothersville. Perhaps a marriage of convenience? The Sparkses did live next door to
Willis and Sophia Adams on Bard Street in Crothersville, but no link was established between this couple and George.
Prior to marrying George Adams, Mary became the mother of two sons. Frank Sparks was born in 1913 and Hugh Sparks
was born September 23, 1916. Both were listed on the 1920 census living with their mother and grandmother, Rosella.
By 1930, Frank was living with his uncle Roger in Cincinnati in 1930 working in a grocery store. They lived on
Reading Road on the East side of town, which is today US Highway 50 East. No further information on Frank is available
other than information that he was living in Atlanta in the 1940s. No record has been found of Hugh having a family,
but he served in World War II in the US Navy. Hugh died on December 27, 1971 in the VA Facility in Louisville and is
buried at the Cana Methodist Cemetery in Marion Township, Jennings County. In 1929, Mary married Jeptha Douglas
Bridges, son of John and Mary Bridges (no apparent relation to Thompson Bridges). Jeptha was born on January 23,
1883 in Indiana. He was 46 and Mary was 36 when they married, which might explain why they had no children. They
appeared to spend all of their married life in Crothersville. Jeptha died in Crothersville on January 7, 1971 and
Mary died there on February 14, 1988. Both are buried in Cana Methodist Cemetery. Mary might have been one of the
first of the older generation to have interacted with the great grandchildren of Milford Sparks. At the funeral for
Edith Ervin Sparks in March, 1964, Mary signed the guestbook as "Mrs. Jeptha Bridges." Unfortunately, not many,
including the author, can remember meeting her.
6. Homer Atlas Sparks was born June 30, 1896 in either Jennings or Jackson County, Indiana. By 1920 he was still
working on the family farm. Around 1923 he married Martha J. Linze, daughter of William and Minnie Murnaugh Linze,
in Indianapolis. Martha was born in 1903 in Indianapolis. Homer must have moved to the capital around 1921 or 1922.
By 1930 Homer was working as a laborer. They were the parents of at least one child, a daughter, Vivian Sparks, born
in 1927. The Sparkses remained at the same address on North Cottage Avenue throughout their marriage. In 1951 Homer
was working as a machinist, according to the Indianapolis City Directory. He died sometime before 1960. Martha is
listed as the widow of Homer on the 1960 Indianapolis City Directory, but does not appear in the 1970 directory,
indicating she either died or moved to another location with a child or other relative.
7. Roger Milford Sparks was born March 31, 1900 near Crothersville in Jackson County, Indiana. Around 1927 he married
a woman named Rosa who was seven years his senior. They are shown living in Cincinnati in 1930 on Reading Road. Roger
is employed at a restaurant. The next record found shows Roger now living in Indianapolis in 1951 working as a cook
and living on North Beville Avenue. His wife?s name is listed as Cora, but it is believed that Cora and Rosa are the
same person. The 1960 Indianapolis City Directory shows Roger and Cora living on East 12th Street. He was employed
as a cook at Tommy's Restaurant. By 1970, Roger is not listed and Rosa is listed as "retired" and living in an
apartment on North New Jersey Street. No record of any children was found.
On February 19, 1914 Phillip Sparks died in Crothersville. Rosella would live to be 80 years old before she passed
away on September 14, 1940. Both are buried in the Cana Methodist Cemetery not far from Martha, Griffin Mosley and
other relatives on the southern third of the cemetery.
1. Edwin Clifford Sparks was born October 20, 1888. Sometime around 1915 he married Emma Francis Felix (born 1893),
daughter of Jacob and Ida Darling Felix. They were the parents of Lucille, Eva, Lawrence, Robert and Clifford.
After living in Cincinnati for about 20 years, Edwin and Emma moved to Milan in Ripley County, Indiana. Edwin died
on October 29, 1952 in Milan and Emma lived to be one of the older persons IN THE WORLD at the time. She was 104
years old when she passed away on August 20, 1998.
2. Lillie Victoria Sparks was born November 2, 1891. She spent her young adult years working as a servant in a
private home, before marrying Alfred Moore (born 1890), son of Solomon and Zetta Derringer Moore sometime around
1915. They were the parents of at least three children, Forrest, Earl and Mary. Lillie and Alfred stayed in the
area their entire lives. Alfred died in Crothersville on November 28, 1966 and Lillie died on April 7, 1971. Both
are buried in Cana Methodist Cemetery.
3. Fred Milford Sparks was born September 11, 1893. During the early to mid 1900s, Fred was doing road work. On his
1917 draft registration card, he was currently working on a road job in Hoopeston, Illinois. He served in the U.S. Army
in World War I in the Infantry. It is not known whether he was injured or wounded, but in 1920 he was living on his
mother's farm at age 27 with no occupation. He was listed as a laborer in 1930. Fred never married. On his World War II
registration card in 1942, he listed his mother as his main point of contact. He could have had some service related
injuries that had him going to a VA facility in the 1950s, but there are no records that indicate why he was a patient
at the VA facility in Grand Island, Nebraska. He died there on June 22, 1957, but was returned to Indiana and buried
at Cana Methodist Cemetery next to his parents.
4. William Albert Sparks was born February 2, 1895. Around 1916 or 1917 he married Mary C. Olverson, the daughter of
William H. and Lucy Olverson. Three daughters and one son of William and Mary are known: Hubert, Dorothy, Marguerite
and Martha. By 1930 the family was living near Paris Crossing in Jennings County. Mary died in 1931 at the young age
of 33. In 1940, William (we believe he went by Albert) was living in Crothersville. He died in 1948 and is buried with
Mary in Cana Methodist Cemetery not far from many of his relatives.
5.John G. Sparks was born in October, 1897. Around 1918 or 1919 John married Leva Mathews (born 1900), daughter of John
and Mary F. Mathews. John and Leva had four children: Ronald, Horace, Ruth and Helen. Ronald lived until 2001 and Horace
Mathews Sparks passed away in Tennessee on May 3, 2009. Horace won a Purple Heart during World War II. In 1930, the family
was living in Union Township, Benton County, Indiana where other family members were living. John died in 1938 and Leva
died on January 26, 1991 without remarrying. Both are buried in Cana Methodist Cemetery
6. James Leander Sparks was born in 1900. He appeared to stay near his mother?s farm as he grew up. He was listed as a
laborer, or in 1930, as a timber cutter. There is no record of James ever marrying, but a tombstone next to his bears
the inscription of "Connie Ann Sparks January 2, 1944 December 12, 1949." James died in 1959 and is buried next to his
brother, John G. and Leva Mathews Sparks with Connie Ann on the other side in Cana Methodist Cemetery.
7. Martha Louise Sparks was born in 1903. Louise, as she was known, was still single and living at home with her mother
and brothers Fred and James in 1930. No other information was discovered.
Sherman Sparks's fateful encounter with a new invention.
This generation witnessed some of the most rapid life-changing inventions mankind has ever undergone. Electricity and
the telephone are at the top of the list. Another is the automobile. At the turn of the 19th century into the 20th,
automobiles were just being perfected. Only a select few owned them. Henry Ford would not introduce the mass-produced
Model T for years, so in 1905, a car would still be a rare site.
However, one was making a trip from Louisville to Indianapolis in the spring of 1905. It was probably traveling up the
road on what is now US 31. Here is a story from the Indianapolis News printed on July 8, 1905.
As Result of Husband and Father's Death
Crothersville, Ind, July 8 An unusual case of destitution, due to an accident caused by an automobile, has been called
to the attention of the Revs. C.J. Kelch and W. O. Goodloe of this place, and the Rev. I. C. Overman, of Uniontown. A
widow and seven children are in want, having been rendered destitute by the death of the husband and father.
(Sherman) Sparks, a farmer, was driving along the road about seven weeks ago, when his horse became frightened at an
automobile and he was thrown out of his vehicle. The driver of the automobile picked him up and brought him to this town,
where a physician treated him for a broken thumb.
The automobilists gave the farmer $5, but did not tell where they lived, nor did they give their names.
It developed afterwards that Sparks had been injured internally. He died last week, leaving his family of eight penniless
and in debt with a small farm on which there is a mortgage which has been paid in part.
The automobile party is supposed to have been from Indianapolis or Louisville. It is thought by the ministers named that
if the party were aware of the destitute condition of the family, relief would be afforded the widow to the extent, at
least, of paying off the balance due on the mortgage.
Sherman Sparks was only 41 years old when he died. While this was a terrible tragedy, newspapers had a tendency to
sensationalize even more than they do in the early 21st century. These were tough times for Sarah Jane and the family,
but they did not head for the poor farm after this. Their families probably rallied around them and it could be one factor
why a number of Sherman and Sarah Jane's children remained close to their mother and either did not marry, or married a
little later than normal.
It is not certain if Sherman's mother, Martha, was in any condition to understand what happened to her youngest son.
While she was still living, it is possible she was in some facility that prevented researchers from finding her in the
1900 census. If she was aware, this could have been the last tragedy that took away all emotions. Burying brothers,
sisters, husbands, two previous children, and now this, was probably too much.
Two months after Sherman's untimely death, Martha died.
Sarah Jane Mosely Sparks lived to be 80 years old. She died on New Year?s Day, 1944 and is buried next to Sherman and
their son, Fred, in Cana Methodist Cemetery.
The family of Sarah Jane Sage
The Sage family was among the earliest to come over to the New World, arriving shortly after the landing on Plymouth Rock,
sometime around 1625. While this is not the line that transcended into Sarah Jane Sage, this family came from England and
became leaders in society and the military. Most settled in either Massachusetts or Connecticut.
Army Captains and Navy Admirals were part of the Continental forces that eventually won the nation's independence. One such
man was known as Captain William Sage, born in 1748 in Connecticut. After the Revolutionary War, he raised a family of
prominent sons and daughters.
A grandson, Henry William Sage, became a multi-millionaire businessman, establishing businesses in New York, Canada and
Michigan. Henry William would be a major benefactor to the Ivy League?s Cornell University, donating millions of dollars
to build the University Library, the first non-denominational house of worship on a university campus (known as Sage Chapel),
and Sage Hall, then known as the Sage College for Women and now home to the Graduate School of Management. He was ahead of
his time in supporting equal access to higher education for women.
Far from the aristocratic surroundings of the northeast Sages, Sarah Jane Sage was a fourth generation American from a line
that came to America and went westward via the woods. Her great grandfather, William Sage, Jr. was the first of this line of
Sages to be born in America.
After emigrating from England, William Sage, Sr. settled into what is now Rockingham County and eventually Bedford County,
Virginia. Until 1777 that portion of the state was within Augusta County and Bedford County.
The first Sage we can trace is John William Sage born in 1718 in the part of England known as the Isle of Wight. His wife
was Nancy Beard Sage, born in approximately 1720. They had two sons, John and William Sage.
William Sage was born in 1740 in Cowes, Isle of Wight. Around 1760 he married Mary Myers. The Sages were said to have arrived
in Virginia on the ship Augusta around 1760. William died in 1795 in Hardy, Bedford County, Virginia. Mary?s date of death is
unknown. All of the Sages six children went west into Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. The children were:
1. William Sage, Jr. was the oldest and born in Virginia in 1762. He is Sarah Jane's great grandfather. His profile begins at
bottom of this page.
2. John Sage was born in around 1763 in Virginia. On April 13, 1780 he married Frances Crim. The names of any children are
unknown. He died on August 12, 1817 in Clark County, Indiana.
3. Jeremiah Sage was born in 1769 in Virginia. On April 20, 1792 he married Mary Shad in Mercer County, Kentucky. One son,
George T. Sage, was born in 1808 in Kentucky and died sometime after 1870. No other children were identified. Jeremiah died
sometime between 1840 and 1850.
4. Alexander Sage was born in Virginia in 1770. On March 4, 1793 he married Lucy Bennett (b. 1774 in Virginia) in Mercer County,
Kentucky. They were the parents of John, Elizabeth, Daniel, Mary, James, Jesse and Jeremiah. Alexander died in February, 1827 in
Oldham County, Kentucky.
5. Jesse Sage was born in 1774 in Virginia. On October 16, 1809 he married Fanny Crim (probably a sister of Frances Crim Sage,
but not confirmed). They were the parents of at least two children: Catherine and James. Jesse died on June 15, 1830 in Jefferson
County, Indiana and Fanny died on September 15, 1839 in Jefferson County, Indiana.
6. Nancy Sage was born in 1775 in Virginia. Around 1794 she married Joseph McKinney (b. 1765 in Virginia). They were the parents
of Jeremiah, Elizabeth, Daniel, Edward, Stephen, Anna and Sally. Nancy died between 1830 and 1840 in Fayette, County, Illinois and
Joseph in 1835.
William Sage, the oldest child of William and Mary Myers Sage, was born in Virginia in 1762. In the late 1770s or 1780, he was in
Kentucky with some or all of his siblings. Kentucky was still part of the Commonwealth of Virginia in those days, so it could merely
been a matter of moving further west in the state. The Sages made their new homes in what is today Mercer County, Kentucky (Virginia).
There was no official census for Kentucky taken in 1790, but a record is available showing the marriage between Mary Ann Long,
daughter of Caleb Long, and William Sage of March 27, 1792.
William, his brothers John and, Jesse and Uncle John all show up on the Mercer County, Kentucky tax lists for 1800. Jeremiah is
on the Washington County, KY list.
As early as 1810, the Sages were in the Indiana Territory, probably in Clark County, which sits on the Ohio River across from
Louisville. William's Uncle John had moved there and spent his last years there. Indiana became a state in 1816 and on the very
first official tax records filed as part of the State of Indiana, Jefferson County showed William and sons Caleb, John and Morgan
on those records.
The townships of Jefferson County, Indiana (located just west of Clark County and also on the Ohio River), would be cut or broken
off through the years. Persons living in Republican Township, might show up in Graham or Lancaster years later. William and his
brother John show up on an 1828 voter list for Republican Township, but many of their records are found in Lancaster. Some of the
family began to trickle into Jennings County around that time.
Less than four years later, June 1832, William died in Jefferson County. Mary Ann would later move to Bureau County, Illinois with
other Sages and last appeared on a census in 1850, age 74, living with her daughter Mary Ann Sage Tate.
William Sage, Jr. and Mary Ann Long Sage were the parents of five known children:
1. Caleb Sage was born in 1793 in Mercer County, Kentucky. On April 15, 1827 he married Hannah Jones, (b. 1799), daughter of John Jones
and Polly White. Two known children were a result: William L. Sage and John Sage. Caleb died around 1840 in Fayette County, Illinois
and Hannah around 1843.
2. John Sage was born in 1794 in Mercer County, Kentucky. On November 4, 1819 he married Margaret McCartney (b. 1802) son of Irish
immigrant James McCartney and Jane McCartney. They were the parents of Miriam, Martha, Roseanna, Amanda, George Washington (an entire
biographical history will be devoted to him), Maud, William, Alexander and Rachel. John died in 1871 and Margaret shortly after 1860
in Fayette County, Illinois.? Morgan Sage was born in 1795 in Mercer County, Kentucky. In 1812 he married Mary Ann Radcliff (b. 1796
in Mercer, KY). They were the parents of Mary Ann, Elizabeth, William H., Lewis, Rebecca, and John W. Morgan died in 1864 in Jennings
County, Indiana. A date of death for Mary Ann was not determined.
3. Mary Ann Sage was born in 1814 in Indiana. Around 1835 she married William Tate. They would be the parents of at least seven children:
Joshua, George, William E., Mary Ann, John B., Illinois, and Alonzo. All of them were born in Illinois. Mary Ann would last appear on a
census form in 1880, when she was living with her daughter Illinois and her son-in-law Charles Neal in Peru, Nebraska.
William Long Sage, the grandfather of Sarah Jane, was born in 1803 in Mercer County, Kentucky. On Christmas Day, 1825 he married Sarah
Lawler, daughter of James and Mary Spicer Lawler. Sarah was born on March 5, 1798 in Virginia.
William began to acquire property in the 1830s, buying 40 acres in both Jefferson and Jennings County in 1838. In 1949, he acquired 40
more acres in Jennings County. He likely moved into Jennings County not long after his father's death in 1832.
An entry in the History of Marion Township by Bertha Robinson Barnes in 1913 pinpointed this, plus a brief anecdote on life in early
Indiana. She wrote:
"William Sage moved to Cana after living for a time near Lewis Creek, he told many stories of living in the frontier including
encounters with Indians and large dens of Copperheads in the area." He might have been speaking of frontier Kentucky or Clark County,
but Indiana was given its name for a reason.
William's first tract of land in Jennings County was located about half way between today's State Highway 250 and Commiskey Pike with
a western boundary of today's County Road 800 W. In 1849 he purchased the tract bordering his current tract to the north.
The last reference available for William and Sarah is the 1870 census. They are listed as living with their son, James. William is
67 and his occupation is farmer while Sarah is "Keeping House" aged 71. He is listed with $1,500 worth of property. Sarah died on
November 17, 1872 while the precise date of death for William was not determined.
William Long Sage and Sarah Lawler Sage were the parents of seven children. Asa Sage was the second-oldest, but will be profiled last.
1. George Sage was born in November, 1826 in Jennings County, Indiana. On August 2, 1849 he married Jane Sawyer. George and Mary were
the parents of five known children: Sarah, William F., Mary, Victoria, and James L. After his father's death, George and Jane lived
on and operated the southern tract of the Sage Farm (see plat map on page 119). Both lived there the rest of their lives. George died
in 1902 and Jane in 1904. Both are buried in Cana Methodist Cemetery.
2. Elizabeth Jane Sage was born May 12, 1836 in Jennings County. On March 28, 1856 she married William Owen. They were the parents of
Sarah, Viola, Elizabeth, Hamilton, Electa, Samuel, Sudie, James and Miota. By 1880 the family was living in Vernon Township, Jackson
County. William died in 1889 and Elizabeth on March 24, 1926.
3. Cynthia Sage was born in 1837 in Jennings County. She is found on the 1850 census still living at home, but no further record was
4. James Sage was born in 1838 in Jennings County. On December 23, 1865 he married Elizabeth Derringer. They were the parents of eight
children, four of which are known: Luella, Wilmer, Julia and Addie. Elizabeth died between 1910 and 1920, while James died between 1920
5. William Sage was born in 1841 in Jennings County. By 1860 he was still living at home with his parents, but no further information
6. Lavina Sage was born in 1843 and apparently died at a very young age. She does not appear on the 1850 census with the rest of her
Asa Sage, Sarah Jane's father, was born in January, 1930 in Lancaster Township, Jefferson County, Indiana. Lancaster is the township
just across the border with Jennings County and shares a boundary with Marion Township. With his father being a relatively large
landowner, Asa and his siblings did not likely want for much as they grew up. With no record of an earlier marriage, it appears that
Asa did not marry until he was nearly 30. On March 20, 1859 he married Martha Davis, who was born in October of 1836. Her parents
were not identified.
The 1860 census had Asa living with Martha and infant Sarah Jane in the home of his parents. His occupation was listed as "Mechanic."
At this time, trouble was brewing in the country as the battle raged over slavery. Two years after Asa and Martha were married, the Civil
War broke out. Asa is said to have served in Company C of the 9th Indiana Regiment during the war, but a confirming record could not be
found. An entry in the History of Jennings County by the Jennings County Historical Society included Asa Sage. If he did serve on the
front lines, he would certainly have been older than most of his counterparts.
In 1880, five children were listed on the census form, but two may have been adopted. More on that later in the chapter. Asa's farm was
officially surveyed as 49.6 acres and George?s farm was 50. Sarah Jane's brother-in-law, John A. Sparks and his wife Sallie were living
1900, Asa is now 70 years old and Martha is 63. His occupation is still listed as farmer. In the home was James, identified as "Son,"
but no records indicate they had a son by that name.
The Cana Area of Marion Township in 1884. George and Asa Sage's property is near the top center, with Cana Creek running through George's
land. The road in the upper right corner is today's Commiskey Pike, while the one moving east to west under the Deputy, Steele and Smith
land is today's Indiana route 250. County Road 800 West runs north and south along George and Asa's property.
Asa's brother, George, had a son named James, who fits the time frame. Also in the home was 19-year old daughter (supposedly), Iva and
grandson Velmer. The family of John and Mary Bridges, with their 17-year-old son, Jeptha (future husband of Mary E. Sparks, daughter of
Phillip and Rosella Mosley Sparks) was listed next to the Sages.
The 1900 census indicates the Sages were the parents of five children, four of whom were living at that time. Those searching the Sage
family are likely to become confused, because more than five show up through the years listed as "son" or "daughter." Here is the best
information available, according to census records. In addition to Sarah Jane, there were:
1. George H. Sage was born approximately 1863. A marriage record exists indicating George married Anna Witherby on August 18, 1879,
but no record of them living together. The Dodd Funeral Home in Crothersville has a record indicating George Sage died on September 18,
1896. This would make sense when discussing a seven-year-old (Velmer) living with Asa and Martha in 1900 (probable child of George).
2. William M. Sage was born in January, 1865. In 1895 he married Martha Lewis, who was born in 1867 in Indiana (parents unknown).
William and Martha did not have children. Martha died between 1920 and 1930 while William was still living in 1930, sharing a home
with his sister Leona Sage Briner.
3. Lucetta Sage was born in 1867 and appears on the 1870 census. No further information was discovered.
4. Leona Sage was born March 20, 1870. She went by Leona. On January 3, she married Isaac Kelly Briner in Jackson County, Indiana. He
was born in 1870 and was the son of Peter Briner and Drusilla Kelly. Leona and Isaac were the parents of George, Ruth, Lula, Edna,
Doris and Robert. Sometime between 1900 and 1910, they moved to the Silver Creek area in Clark County, Indiana. Isaac died on
October 29, 1915. Leona was still living as of 1930, living with her widowed brother William in the Cana area in Jennings County.
5. Matilda Sage was born in March, 1870. She was either Leona's twin or a child that died early, for there is no other record of her.
If Asa and Martha were accurate with the information provided to the 1900 enumerator (five children, four living), then this would
constitute all of their children, and then some, but more would be named later. Iva Ola Sage was listed on that 1900 census form as
a "daughter." Iva was born on September 23, 1880. She married James Frank Monroe on October 27, 1901. In 1925 the Monroes were living
in Ida, Iowa. On that 1925 Iowa census form (viewed on Ancestry.com), Iva?s mother's name was listed as "Martha Davis", but her father
was named as George Sage.
The likely answer to the listings on the 1900 census form is that both Velmer and Iva were the children of George Sage and were being
raised by Asa and Martha. Velmer died in 1918 and is buried next to Asa and Martha in Cana Methodist Cemetery. Iva and James Monroe
had four sons and a daughter. She died in 1953 in Iowa.
Possible adopted children of Asa and Martha Sage
The 1880 census listed two other Sages below the other three still living at home (Sarah Jane and George were no longer living there).
The normal manner in listing children was by age with the oldest first. Following Leona (age 9), came entries for William (Age 14) and
Lillie B. (age 8). William was listed as "son" and Lillie as "daughter." These children were likely a nephew and a niece and probably
orphans, but their parents have not been located.
Martha Davis Sage died in 1904 and Asa Sage died in 1909. Both are buried in Cana Methodist Cemetery.
George Washington Sage and the crime of the century in Jennings County
George Washington Sage was the oldest son of John and Margaret McCartney Sage. In other words, he was a cousin of Asa Sage, the son of
Asa's Uncle John and Aunt Margaret.
George W. Sage was born in Smyrna Township in Jefferson County, Indiana on May 29, 1831. His father and the family moved to Fayette
County, Illinois in 1860. On December 20, 1860 George married Rebecca Ann Ledbetter. They had two children together.
Mary Elizabeth Sage was born around 1862 and lived a very short life of less than three years. John Henry Sage was born around 1864,
but his life history was not discovered. The reasons behind the family removing to Illinois were revealed by George in 1866.
He became mixed up in rather petty crimes, such as setting fire to a farmer?s hay bales. What became serious was his alleged
involvement with a plot to kill a local doctor. George always denied that, but the family left and went to Illinois.
George did not go straight to Illinois. He wound up as far as Kansas before finally joining his family near the appropriately named
village of Vandalia in Fayette County.
According to records from the Illinois Secretary of State, George enlisted in the Union Army on December 29, 1861 in Birds Point,
MO and re-enlisted on January 11, 1864 in Lagrange, TN. Just four months later, he deserted.
In the spring of 1865, George, Rebecca and John Henry moved back to Paris in Jennings County, Indiana. In March of 1866, George had
been hired by William Todd for day jobs around the farm. Not long after completing the work, George learned that his property in
Illinois was about to be sold.
With a desperation for money, George went to the home of Mr. Todd on the evening of March 7, 1866 intending to rob the home. When
he arrived, Mr. Todd and his wife were away, but the children were home. The children caught George in the act. In his own words,
here is what happened next:
Something suddenly came over me, and I was so excited that I seemed beside myself. While in this state of mind I determined to kill
them. I gathered a piece of brick that lay on the hearth, and at once commenced to carry out my wicked purpose, striking them as they
came to me, the oldest first and the youngest last. The last one, which was the youngest, I struck a very light blow. I left immediately,
but before I was a great way from the house I heard crying and knew the children were not all dead.
I now began to reflect on the great crime I had committed, and suffered intensely in my mind as I thought about it. I would have given
all I had in the world, and even died myself, if that would undo what I had done. I did not expect to escape detection, as the children
were not all dead, and as they knew me, I supposed they would tell as soon as someone came in.
George Washington Sage had committed murder on a child, and had attempted to kill all three of the Todd children. Not long after, Sheriff
William H. Dixon arrested George for the murder.
The date of George's trial and conviction was not found, but he was sentenced to hang in the county seat of Vernon on May 25, 1866, less
than three months after the murders. The speed of justice was remarkably quicker in those days.
It has been recorded that in those days, public hangings were almost community events. Here is how the Vernon Banner reported the events
of May 25, 1866:
The Execution of George Washington Sage May 25, 1866
The morning of the 25th of May dawned with a beauty and lovliness seldom exceeded in the gentle tide of Spring. The sun shone upon the
hill around our quiet village, and the morning songsters warbled their music in sweet harmony with the loveliness and the quiet of
surrounding nature. But soon the scene was changed. Nature as if from a sympathy with the terrible but just avenger of Gods broken law,
put on her morning garb. At seven o'clock the heavens were overspread with dark and lowering clouds, and the rain descended in a slow
and cheerless manner.
The streets that were but yesterday quiet, now were filled with anxious spectators. For more than two hours the rain continued, but
with it came the crowds of people. On foot, on horseback, in buggies, wagons, and by rail they continued to come until noon. The
enclosure in which the scaffold was built was an object to be inspected by all. And well was the duty performed. From early morn till
noon the crowd pressed around it, each expressing his opinion as to whether it was "good enough", or, he "would have made it so and so."
Before noon the guard called for the occasion was formed, and placed around the enclosure, extending as far as the jail. They were placed
in a skillful manner, and good order prevailed, throughout the day.
At twenty minutes before two the prisoner was brought out from his cell, with his arms pinioned from behind. His general appearance and
demeanor was very similar to what it was during his trial, his complexion perhaps more sallow, and somewhat reduced in flesh. He walked
with a firm step, and on entering the enclosure he mounted the steps and ascended the scaffold with, apparently, but little assistance
from the Sheriff and his deputy, who accompanied him.
When he entered the enclosure he looked earnestly around and examined the rope that was suspended from the beam above, he glanced hastily
at the preparations that had been made for the occasion. His hat was removed and an earnest and heartfelt prayer was offered by Rev. J. B.
Swincher on behalf of the wretched man to that God whose law he had offended, and before whose spotless throne of pure justice he must
soon stand, there to receive his reward for the deeds done in the body, and there meet the infant spirit of little Willie.
After the prayer was concluded he thanked his spiritual advisers?Rev. Dolph and Swincher?and when the Sheriff placed the black cap over
his fact and adjusted the rope, he shook the Sheriff and his deputy by the hand, wished them well, and said he hoped to meet them in
heaven. Up to this time he seemed to stand up remarkable well, even while the Sheriff was adjusting the rope he would move his head to
facilitate its adjustment. When informed that his time had come he commenced in a faltering and broken voice praying God to have mercy
on his poor soul, which he kept up in a scarcely audible voice until the drop fell.
When the rope was adjusted the Sheriff asked the time, and being informed that it lacked 15 minutes to two the axe fell, the drop gave
way and Sage was suspended in the air. For two minutes he struggled considerable, and the violent muscular contractions gave unmistakable
evidence that he was passing away. When he had hung fourteen minutes the attending physicians, Drs. Green and Wiles examined the body and
pronounced life extinct.
The last remains of Sage was then placed in a coffin, his eyes and mouth closed in the usual manner, and was then removed from out of
the enclosure, where all who desired had the privilege of looking upon all that was mortal of this misguided man.
Thus concluded the first and only public execution in Jennings County, Indiana. It is not known if any of the family was present. Was Asa
or any of his family watching? Would a six-year-old child such as Sarah Jane be permitted to witness such an event?
George Washington Sage was buried in Vandalia, Illinois, but no further information on Rebecca Ledbetter Sage has been discovered. She
seems to have disappeared. No official information was discovered on John Henry Sage.
1900 United States Census for Jennings County, Marion Township, Indiana. Page 9
1910 United States Census for Jackson County, Crothersville, Indiana. Page 1B
1860 United States Census for Jennings County, Marion Township, Indiana. Page 363
1910 United States Census for USS Virginia, Hampton Roads, VA. Page 4B
1910 United States Census for Henry County, New Castle, 4th Ward. Page 11A
1920 United States Census for Army Hospital, Ft. Sheridan, Illinois. Page 19A
1930 United States Census for Edward Hines Hospital, Cook County, Illinois. Page 24
1910 United States Census for Jackson County, Crothersville, Indiana. Page 5
Jackson County, Indiana Marriage Record Index (1850-1920), Page 204
1920 United States Census for Jackson County, Crothersville, Indiana. Page 9
1930 United States Census for Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ward W, Ohio. Page 226
1850 United States Census for Bureau County, Illinois. Page 79
1880 United States Census for Peru, Nemaha County, Nebraska. Page 12
United States Bureau of Land Management. Document Numbers 9308, 11812 & 21701
1870 United States Census for Jennings County, Marion Township. Page 20
1860 United States Census for Jennings County, Marion Township. Page 178>br>
1900 United States Census for Jennings County, Marion Township. Page 8