B. SPARKS was
born in Camden, New Jersey
around 1847 to Abner and Amelia Sparks. He was the third son,
coming after Alfred and Charles, and before younger brother Abner
Benjamin Sparks, who was better known as A. Benjamin Sparks.
Abner Sparks was in the tobacco business in Camden as early as
1850, and eventually had a cigar factory, at 302 Arch
Street, next door to the family home at 304 Arch.
to the 1890 Veterans Census, David B. Sparks enlisted in Company
K, 44th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment on July 6, 1863. He
served for two months and 15 days.
1870 Census shows that David Sparks was married. He lived with
his wife Mary, 16, at the home of his mother-in-law, Elizabeth
Arrison, in Camden's Middle Ward. He was working as a cigar
maker, as was his sister-in-law Sarah Arrison. Brother-in-law William
H. Arrison, then 14, would learn the cigar maker's
trade in the early 1870s, and would follow it and operate
tobacco shops in Camden until 1930.
April 20, 1872 David B. Sparks was appointed to the Camden Fire
Department, replacing William
C. Lee, who had resigned, as an extra man with the Hook and
Ladder Company, known in modern times as Ladder Company
1. George Morgan was appointed to the same unit on the same
date, replacing James
Cassidy, who had also resigned. David
and Mary Sparks, and their son William, were then living at 302 Arch
Street, or as it was then known, Plum Street. He resigned
from the Fire Department in October of 1872.
1880 David Sparks and family were again living with his wife's
mother. Their address was 570 Berkley
Street. David Sparks was
by then working as an engineer.
1900 Census shows the Sparks family, now with a daughter-in-law
and a grandson, at 333 Mickle
Street. David Sparks is working as
a railroad engineer.
Sparks and his family were living at 330 Royden
Street and still
working as an engineer when the 1906 City Directory was
compiled. The family was still at this address when David
Sparks passed away away on November 24, 1908. The April 16, 1910 Census
enumeration shows that he was survived by his wife, Mary E.
his son William Sparks, a scenic artist, and five grandchildren.
The family was then living at 622 South
Sparks was active in a fraternal organization known as the Seven
Wise Men. The Kearney Conclave, No. 1, Heptasophs (or Seven Wise
Men), was organized in Test's Hall, October 15, 1869, when
George P. Oliver, of Maryland, Supreme Chancellor; Dr. G.
Jennings, Supreme Ephor, of Pennsylvania, and others, initiated
and installed these members and officers: A., Harry H. Franks;
C, S. C. Hankinson; Pro., Charles H. Cook; R. S., Theodore F.
Higbee; F. S., Charles
M. Baldwin; T., D. W. Neall; I. G., James E. Carter; H.,
Caleb H. Taylor; W., David
B. Sparks; S., Wm. Acton; Wm. Higbee, Wm. Darby, Henry
Hollis, Frank Rawlings, Samuel K. Batchelor, Isaiah Morton, John
D. Mahoney, Samuel Pine, George Parson, Benjamin F. Richards,
George W. Williams, Absalom Dougherty, Henry Rhinehart, Wm. H.
McKee, S. R. Hankinson, John Laning, Richard Bozarth, Alexander
Simpson, Nathan Jacobs and William Middleton. Edward
S. Andrews, who served with the Camden Fire Department in
the 1870s, was also a member.