Person:Ephraim Sparks (10)

Ephraim Sparks
Facts and Events
Name Ephraim Sparks
Gender Male
Birth[1] 1809 Greene, Ohio, United States
  1. Centennial portrait and biographical record of the city of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio: containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of the presidents of the United States and biographies of the governors of Ohio. (A.W. Bowen, 1897).

    HON. WILLIAM EDWARD SPARKS, [pages 776-777] state senator from the third Ohio senatorial district, and a representative citizen of Dayton, was born near Springfield, Clarke county, Ohio, August 25, 1853, and is the son or Ephraim and Mary (Ellwell) Sparks.
    Ephraim Sparks, the father, was a native of Ohio, born in 1809, near Bellbrook, Greene county, where he was engaged in the wagon-making and blacksmith business as a member of the firm of Coon, Fryant & Sparks. Later in life he lived near Clifton, and thence removed to Springfield, dying in the latter city on March 12, 1880. The mother, Mary (Ellwell) Sparks, was born in New Jersey in 1809, and when a child was brought to Ohio, the family making the journey from Pittsburg down the Ohio river on a flat-boat. Her death occurred May 19, 1884. To these parents there were born the following children: Simon, a resident of Dayton; Mrs. Abbie Aughe and Mrs. Hannah Littleton, both of Springfield; Mrs. Sallie A. Bachman, of Clear Water Harbor, Fla.; Mrs. Ella Gifford, of Bloomington, Ills. died July 30, 1896; Mrs. Lydia J. Slack, of Springfield, Ohio; Derostus F. L., of Chicago, and William E.
    Senator Sparks spent his boyhood days at work and in attending the common schools. Aside from the education thus secured he had the advantage of a thorough course at a commercial school at Springfield. Later he learned the trade of a machinist at Richmond, Ind., which trade he has since followed, sparing only such time away from it as has been required for his attendance upon the sessions of the state senate at Columbus in 1893-4 and 1895-6. He removed to Dayton in 1873, and has always been recognized as a representative of the workingmen of this city, and has for years been prominent in the councils of the republican party. In the spring of 1892, Mr. Sparks was elected to the city council of Dayton from the First ward, at a special election. In 1893 he was nominated by the republican party as its candidate for the state senate from the Third district, composed of the counties of Montgomery and Preble. At that time the normal democratic majority in this district was 1,200, yet so popular was Mr. Sparks that, against a strong opponent, he was elected by a majority of 2,411 votes. In 1895 he was again nominated and elected to the state senate, this time running ahead of his ticket in Montgomery county, and receiving a total majority of 3,052 votes. He is the first republican who has been elected and re-elected to the state senate from Montgomery county since 1864, when a similar honor was conferred on the Hon. L. B. Gunckel, of Dayton. During the Seventy-first general assembly Mr. Sparks was chairman of the committee on sanitary laws and regulations, was second chairman of the committee on municipal corporations No. 2, and a member of the committees on the Soldiers' & Sailors' Home; manufactures and commerce; labor; mines and mining; fees and salaries, and public expenditures. In the Seventy-second general assembly he was chairman of the committee on municipal corporations No. 2, and a member of the committees on universities and colleges (of which he was secretary), manufacturers and commerce, labor, military affairs (of which also he was secretary), public expenditures, medical societies and colleges. Being a workingman himself, and well equipped for the duties of senator, Mr. Sparks has made a fine record in the highest legislative body of the state. He has never missed an opportunity to advance the cause of his constituents, and especially of the working class. His views on public and important questions have always been broad and practicable, and he has had the courage to make known his convictions.
    For five years Senator Sparks was a member of the Champion City guards, 0. N. G., and served during the strikes of 1877. He is at present a member of Linden division, uniformed rank, Knights of Pythias, and has served both as captain of the same and as colonel on the staff of Gen. Weidner; is a member of Wayne lodge, I. 0. 0. F.; of Dayton encampment, No. 2; of Gem City lodge, United American Mechanics, and of Columbia lodge, Knights and Ladies of Honor.
    On May 6, 1890, Mr. Sparks was married to Miss Minnie A. Kimes, a daughter of Frank and Melissa Kimes, of Dayton. During the presidential campaign of 1896, Senator Sparks organized the Workingmen's McKinley campaign club, which had a membership of over 3,000, was the largest laboring men's club in the United States, and of this club he was elected president.