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SPARKS, JOHN MARION (1831–1909). John Marion Sparks, physician, was born on June 26, 1831, in Lawrence County, Mississippi, to Richard and Elizabeth (Cooper) Sparks. His father was a veteran of the War of 1812, a sheriff, and a member of the Mississippi Legislature. The family, including five brothers, two sisters, and four uncles, moved to Texas in 1832. The Sparkses participated in the Runaway Scrape. Sparks was apprenticed to an English physician at Douglas, Texas, in 1849–50 and practiced medicine thereafter until his death. He inoculated the first Nacogdoches volunteers for Confederate duty on the steps of Nacogdoches University. He became a member of the Second Regiment, Third Brigade, Company C. On September 18, 1851, Sparks married Martha Ann Crain; they had two children. Sparks married Elizabeth Whitlow Hazle in 1884; they had three children and raised an abandoned child. Sparks also dealt in real estate and invented, bottled, and sold "Dr. Sparks' Hair Vigor." He died on April 17, 1909. The Sparks homestead in Nacogdoches is a Texas Historical Landmark.


Carolyn Reeves Ericson, Nacogdoches, Gateway to Texas: A Biographical Directory (2 vols., Fort Worth: Arrow-Curtis Printing, 1974, 1987). Nacogdoches Jaycees, Bicentennial Commemorative History of Nacogdoches (Nacogdoches, Texas, 1976).

Charles K. Phillips


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Charles K. Phillips, "SPARKS, JOHN MARION," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed September 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.