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Overview John Sparks was a native of Mississippi that made his fortune in the cattle business and banking in Texas and Wyoming Territory after the Civil War. He married Nancy Elnora Knight in 1880 and moved to Elko County, Nevada where he continued cattle ranching operations. In 1902, Sparks became the 10th governor of Nevada, but passed away while in office during his second term in May 1908. Sparks was survived by his wife and four children: Maud Sparks McKenzie, Benton Hackett Sparks, Charles M....