Source: Crawfordsville Daily Journal Sept 24, 1924
Alamo, Sept 24 – Aunt Mahala Sparks, who was 97 years old September 16, celebrated her birthday anniversary on Sunday Sept 21 at her home, one mile south of here at which time she greeted nearly 150 relatives and friends. Many brought dinner which was served on the lawn. Among those from a distance were her son, Dr. Sparks and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bonebrake of Yeddo; Guy Sparks and family of Merom; Mr. and Mrs. Will White and son, Fred of Waveland; Mr. and Mrs. Everett Harrison, Earl Davis and daughter, Kathleen, Martha Gilkey, Mr. and Mrs. Flint Lee and George Walters of Crawfordsville. After each guest had extended greetings they were asked to register giving their name, address and age, Aunt Mahala’s name headed the list, age 97 while little Kathleen Davis was the youngest, age 10 months. It is doubtful if there is another person in the county the age of Aunt Mahala who can boast of enjoying the health she does. Her memory is wonderful; she speaks with a power equal that of a person of 50 year, and enjoys nothing more than relating her early experiences and telling of the growth of Alamo since she first saw it 77 years ago, when it then had only a half dozen log houses, a little log house near the cemetery, a log church near where the Dr. Brown home place stands, one little store where Clint Grimes’ barber shop it, operated by Uncle Noah Grimes. The most imposing structure was the Buckhorn tavern, where the Will Health home stands, operated by Geo. Balsar. She, together with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Coppener, six brothers and sisters, and her grandmother, 71 years old, left Warren County, Ohio one Saturday morning and arrived in Alamo the next Saturday evening in April 1847, settling on the farm south of town which her father had purchased. No nice, comfortable house awaited them, only a sheep house, but real neighbors had worked hard to make the place clean and it was a shelter and a home. Best of all, these neighbors were there to greet them. Here Aunt Mahala smiles and almost blushes as she tells of one young man among those neighbors who cast shy, admiring glances her way, who was Philip Sparks, and who, before a year had passed, had caused her to change her mind about being a foreign missionary and instead she was married to Him December 23, 1847 and began housekeeping on the farm where she still lives. Another incident of the trip from Ohio that impressed her was their stop at Indianapolis and their visit to the state house. To her it was wonderful, especially the skylights. Several weeks after they had arrived here, she lay in her bed one quiet Sunday morning thinking of her home back in Ohio of friends she never expected to see again and her thoughts turned to her visit to the state house and she composed several verses, these she kept until they were destroyed by fire when the home burned a few years ago. However, she was able to quote a few lines which were: “The skylight was beautiful and round .. a stamp of the foot reechoes the sound .. As if some deadly cannon’s roar … Which speaks the existence of thousands no more.” Aunt Mahala has no enemy. To know her is to love her and if God is willing, it is the wish of all that her life may be spared to be with us a little while longer. .. thanks so much to Linda B for sending this awesome piece. - thanks to "S"