WALTER P. SPARKS, the efficient and truly obliging postmaster at Merom, Sullivan county, was born in Montgomery county, Indiana, March 29, 1842, son of Thomas and Jennie (Harwood) Sparks. Thomas Sparks was born in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, and his wife in Ohio. Thomas came to Sullivan county at a very early day and purchased a farm upon which he continued to reside until his death, his wife dying before he passed away.

Walter P. Sparks was left an orphan at the tender age of seven years. Fie attended the Montgomery county public schools, thus gaining a fair common school education. He worked here and there for various persons, up to the time he was sixteen years of age, when he commenced to learn the carpenter's trade in his native county, and followed this for his livelihood until about the date of the Harrison Presidential election, when he was appointed mail messenger from Merom to Merom Station, which position he filled until the end of a five year period. He was then appointed postmaster at Merom and is the present incumbent, having held the office continuously ever since, except four years during Cleveland's administration. Mr. Sparks by prudence has been able to accumulate considerable property, including two dwellings in Merom, as well as six choice town lots.

He was among the men who braved the exposure and dangers of camp and field, during the Civil war period in this country. He enlisted in the month of September, 1861-first year of the war-as a member of Company B, Tenth Indiana Regiment, under Colonel Manson, and served three years, being mustered out of service September 18, 1864, at Indianapolis. He was in the battles of Mills Springs (Kentucky), Shiloh, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain and Atlanta. His only wound was a bruise caused by a spent ball which shattered the stock of his gun. He was also at Perryville, in which engagement his company lost eight men.

Politically, Mr. Sparks is a firm defender of Republican principles. Aside from being postmaster, he has held the office of member of the school board and other minor positions. In church relations, he is of the Methodist Episcopal creed. He is an honored member of the Masonic fraternity and stands for all that is good and true in the county and state in which he resides.

He was united in marriage, first in 1864, to Martha J. Lisman, born at Merom, Indiana, in 1847, daughter of David Lisman, an early settler who located near Carlisle, now deceased. To this union, two children were born: David L., born December 12, 1866, residing at Robinson, Illinois, a tailor by trade, and Thomas, born January 8, 1868, now living near Merom on a farm. Mrs. Sparks died in 1870. For his second wife, Mr. Sparks married Rebecca I. Curl, a native of Ohio, born March 13, 1858, daughter of David Curl and wife. The father, a farmer, moved from Ohio to Illinois in 1865 and settled on a farm east from Palestine, where they resided many years, but subsequently removed to Texas, where a son was living. There the father died about 1898, the mother having died several years before. By Mr. Sparks' second marriage the issue is: Helen May, married Dr. Boone, and died in September, 1904, leaving an only child, Helen, aged three years; Clara, wife of Elmer Pinkston, a hotel keeper and farmer of Merom; Guy, married Ora Ellis, and resides in Merom, where he is engaged in painting and paper-hanging; Lula, wife of Walter Mahan, a painter and paper-hanger, residing at Merom.