Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

1910 Obituary of William Henry Sparks Who Served as Police Justice in the Town of Pelham for Sixteen Years

William Henry Sparks served as Police Justice in the Town of Pelham for sixteen years after he moved to Pelham in 1861. He died in 1910. An obituary appeared in the September 27, 1910 issue of the New-York Tribune. Sparks Avenue, on which Village Hall for the Village of Pelham now stands, was named after Sparks. The text of his obituary appears below.


William Henry Sparks died late on Friday night in Chappaqua, Westchester County, where he had lived since 1902. Like his father and grandfather, Mr. Sparks was a native of New York City, where he was born on January 14, 1822. In his early life he lived far downtown, in Gold street, then a residence street of high respectability, into which neither wholesale nor retail trade had made way.

He married, on October 19, 1842, Miss Hannah Smith, a young English woman, and their married life continued for sixty-two years, as she died only two years ago.

In the winter of 1846-47 Mr. Sparks set up in business for himself as locksmith, but gave it up temporarily to serve as captain of the old police force in what was known as the 10th Ward precinct. For eleven years he was a member of the old Fire Department, in Temperance Hose Company, 15. In 1861 he removed from this city to Pelham, and thereafter until his death remained a resident of Westchester County. For sixteen years he served as police justice in the town of Pelham. Mr. Sparks leaves two sons and two daughters. The funeral will be to-day."

Source: William Henry Sparks, New-York Tribune, Sep. 27, 1910, p. 7, col. 6.

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