November 4, 1898 – County Attorney Sparks and family have taken charge of the Jackson House and Z. Roberts and family have moved down near the depot.

[When I realized Mr. Sparks had been elected County Attorney I went to the microfilmed copies of the newspaper to find additional details concerning the election. He was elected in November, 1897, and served from 1898-1901. He was the Republican candidate and had no opposition in the race. He received 1343 votes. Two other men, Commonwealth's Attorney J. L. Isaacs and Surveyor W. F. Bray, were also unopposed in their races and received a similar number of votes.]

December 2, 1898 – Mr. and Mrs. Silas Prewitt are now boarding at the Jackson House, with Mrs. Jas. Sparks.

January 27, 1899 – [County Attorney Sparks was mentioned as representing the Commonwealth in the case against E. K. Wilson for the murder of Mary E. Cloyd. Logan Ewell’s father was one of the attorneys representing Mr. Wilson who had been the County Attorney from 1895-1897.]

February 10, 1899 – [County Attorney Sparks was mentioned as representing the Commonwealth in the case against Milt Green for the murder of Jesse Mullins.]

May 5, 1899 – Mr. James Sparks has moved from the Jackson House to the property near the depot known as the Commercial Hotel.

June 30, 1899 – Mr. James Sparks had a very valuable little saddle mare killed Tuesday night. Her remains were found Wednesday morning in the alley between Mr. J. T. Brown’s residence and his store, with a huge hole in her side. She had the appearance of having been hit by a train, but succeeded in making her way to the point where she was found, before she fell, which was some 300 yards from the railroad track’s nearest point.

January 26, 1900 – Mr. Jas. Sparks is erecting a dwelling house back of his hotel.

February 9, 1900 – Lieut. Jas. Sparks is home from Frankfort.

February 23, 1900 – Mrs. Jas. Sparks was quite ill several days during the week with something like pneumonia. She is now improving however.

March 16, 1900 – Quite a maddog scare occurred in London last Friday. A very large dog of County Attorney Sparks became rabid and after biting several other dogs of the town was killed. There has been no other cases of hydrophobia and it is hoped that there will not be.

June 15, 1900 – Uncle Calvin Sparks has been quite ill for several days, and his life was almost despaired of. He is suffering with LaGrippe. [The Spanish Flu was often called LaGrippe.]

July 13, 1900 – Calvin Sparks was born in Harlan, Feb. 10, 1826 and died June 26, 1900, aged 74 years, 4 months and 16 days. He leaves an aged wife, six children, 26 grandchildren and six great grandchildren to mourn his death. [Calvin was the father of James. He is buried in the Sparks Cemetery on Willie Green Road.]

December 2, 1900 – Mr. Will Madden and Miss Maggie Anderson were married Wednesday evening at the residence of county Attorney James Sparks.

February 1, 1901 – Mr. James Sparks recently traded his property in London, near the depot, known as the Commercial Hotel, to the farm of Mr. Lee Wyrick and the latter has moved to town.

February 8, 1901 – In our last issue we said that Mr. Lee Wyrick had moved to London. This was a mistake; it was Mr. Ezekiel Wyrick instead of Lee. We are glad to note our error.

February 8, 1901 – Mrs. Malinda Allen, of Piney Woods, moved down below Livingston last week and will keep boarding house for Mr. James Sparks.

September 6, 1901– Mr. James Sparks, of Ammie, passed through here last week with a large drove of sheep. [This does not sound like our James. I do not know where Ammie is located.]

October 4, 1901 – Mr. James Sparks is filling up his store room on Sublimity Street in elegant style. The painting and finishing work done by Mr. Wm. Madden is a piece of the finest work of the kind ever seen in London. Billy knows his business.

December 27, 1901 – MARRIED At the residence of Mr. James Sparks in this city, Christmas Day, by Rev. E. L. Morgan, Mr. Edward Sparks to Miss Vina Jones. Mr. Sparks is one of London’s most prominent business men and the bride, the accomplished daughter of Mr. Evan Jones, one of Laurel’s most substantial farmers. [Edward was probably a first cousin to James. His Uncle James had a son named Edmund/Edward.]

January 30, 1903 – TOPTON NEWS Mr. James Sparks, of London, was in our midst Thursday and Friday of last week visiting his brother-in-law, Mr. John Carroll. [John Carroll married M. A. Barton. James was married to Rachel Barton.]

April 24, 1903 – BOREING NEWS James Sparks, of London, passed through our place Wednesday.

November 6, 1903 – Mr. James Sparks and Miss Lizzie Reid were married last Saturday evening at the home of the bride’s father, Jackson Reid. [I am not positive, but I suspect this is a nephew of the County Attorney. His brother John M. had a son named James C.]

December 4, 1903 – Mr. James Sparks has moved from the Catching Hotel to his residence on Sublimity street.

February 12, 1904 – EAST BERNSTADT NEWS Mrs. James Sparks spent the day with her daughter, Mrs. C. L. Troutman, Monday.

April 8, 1904 – DISASTROUS FIRE. Residence and Contents of Mr. James Sparks Destroyed Tuesday. The residence on College Hill of Mr. James Sparks was totally destroyed at noon on Tuesday. The origin of the fire is not known. Mrs. Sparks was house cleaning and the few articles saved were those that had gone through a process of cleaning. She saved a few quilts, family pictures, piano, and a few pieces of furniture, the rest of about $1,500 worth of household goods went up in smoke. Mrs. Sparks doesn’t know if there was any insurance on her household effects as Mr. Sparks is in Covington this week attending Federal Court. There is a policy of $700 in force on the house, which was worth about $1,000, it being a two story seven room frame with tin roof. Mrs. Sparks has furnished her same rooms in their property on Sublimity Street opposite The Echo office. About 100 panels of fence was also destroyed by the fire.

LATER – It has been learned that a $700 policy exists on the household effects.

May 6, 1904 – Mrs. James Sparks has newly furnished her house opposite the ECHO office and is preparing to serve meals and furnish nice rooms to those desiring either.

May 19, 1904 – Circuit Court - The following cases have been disposed of: James Sparks, liquor, submitted to law and facts and fined $20.

James Sparks and Wm. Grant, liquor, $50 and costs.

October 13, 1904 – [George Newman was found guilty of murder.] His attorneys Sparks and Ramsey will ask for a new trial.

October 13, 1904

CIRCUIT COURT The following indictments have been returned:

Henry Whitaker, c.w. [possibly concealed weapons] Set for February term; executed bond with James Sparks as security in the sum of $100 for his appearance.

James Sparks and W. R. Grant, liquor; Sparks not guilty, Grant fined $100 and costs.

October 13, 1904 – CIRCUIT COURT Mahala Baker, m.s. and w. [I am unsure of what these initials represent. Perhaps it is manslaughter and wounding.] Continued to third day of February term; executed bond in the sum of $500 with Jas. Sparks, G. C. Moore, R. A. Dyche and A. J. Baker as security.

October 27, 1904 CIRCUIT COURT Additional indictments were as follows:

James Sparks, adultery [I have no idea to which James this refers.]

November 17, 1904 - EAST BERNSTADT News Quite a lot of the E. B. people went to London Monday to hear Jim Sparks tell his secret.

November 24, 1904 – James Sparks was in Lily the 16th.

Next week I will provide the 1905 excerpts on Mr. Sparks.

The Laurel County Historical Society is located at Located 310 West 3rd Street in the old Health Department Building. We are open on Mondays & Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will open on other days by appointment. Please contact us far enough in advance to schedule a volunteer to open the library. You may contact the Laurel County Historical Society by calling 606-864-0607 or e-mail us at (The first character is a lower case L as in Laurel.)

React to this story: