Biography of Wright Simpson

WRIGHT SIMPSON, a prominent citizen residing four miles northeast of Alton, is a native of DeKalb County, Tennessee, born in the year 1839, and is the son of Thomas Simpson and Nancy (Moreland) Simpson, the father a native of Rockingham County, N. C., and the mother of Carter County, East Tennessee

The parents were married in Warren County, Tennessee, and resided in that and DeKalb Counties until 1853, when they came to Missouri, where they located in township 24, range 4 and section 13. This farm was in the dense woods and the nearest neighbor lived as far away as Alton. Mr. Simpson owned 440 acres of land and with the assistance of our subject cleared the place and became the owner of a fine tract. There his death occurred March 19, 1873, when seventy-seven years of age, his birth occurring October 7, 1796. Mrs. Simpson was born November 12, 1794, and she died in December, 1855. They were married June 4, 1817. While a resident of Tennessee Mr. Simpson was trustee of his district, and after coming to Missouri he represented the county in the Legislature from 1855 to 1858. He introduced the bill making Howell a county. After the war he held the office of county judge. In politics he was a Democrat. Farming was his principal occupation in life.

Peter Simpson, grandfather of our subject, was born in 1742 and died in Cannon County, Tennessee He was a cousin of Daniel Boone, and of Irish descent. Mrs. Simpson’s father, William Moreland, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and was at Saratoga when Gen. Burgoyne surrendered. He served seven years in that war. Born to the parents of our subject were the following children : Sallie, Peter, William, Richard, Logan, Betty, John, Thomas, Wade and Wright, our subject. Five are now living. Betty is the wife of Lemuel Braswell; Peter is a farmer of this county; and Wade and Thomas are residing in Arkansas.

During his youth and school days our subject resided in DeKalb County, Tennessee, and Oregon County, Missouri, and commenced farming on the old homestead before the war. In June, 1861, he became a member of McBride’s brigade, Foster’s regiment, P. R. Simpson’s company, where he served some time, and then became a member of Col. Coleman’s regiment and Capt. Greer’s company, Mr. Simpson being elected sergeant of his company. After this regiment disbanded he attached himself to Company C, Tenth Consolidated Missouri Confederate Infantry, where he served until his command surrendered to Gen. Canby at Shreveport, La., in 1865. Mr. Simpson participated in the battles of Wilson’s Creek, Pleasant Hill, Mansfield, Jenkins’ Ferry, Little Rock and numerous skirmishes. He was struck by a spent ball, but was never captured or severely wounded, although time and again comrades on his right and left were shot down. He was a brave and exemplary soldier, and is highly spoken of by his comrades in arms. During his service in Arkansas he assisted in baptizing an editor who had spoken of the Missouri troops as thieves. The ceremony was ritualistic only in the thoroughness of the immersion. After the war he returned home and began farming and attending school in Oregon County, and later began teaching in his home and neighboring districts. By his honesty and industry he has accumulated a goodly share of this world’s goods and now owns 800 acres of land, a portion of which is under cultivation.

He has been a lifelong Democrat, and while he has never sought office he has lately been nominated by his party for the office of county judge, a position he is in every way qualified to fill. Mr. Simpson was united in marriage with Miss Samantha Cates January 5, 1868. She was born in Hamilton County, Illinois, November 26, 1848, and died April 30, 1890, in full communion with the United Baptist Church, of which she was an exemplary member. To Mr. and Mrs. Simpson were born the following family of children: Nancy S., who became the wife of George Bailey; Jonah E.; Eveline, who married R. Ollor; Samuel M., who married Minnie Tegue; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Clay Turner; Sarah B., Thomas J., Margaret Esther, Lemuel W., Virgilee and Rosabell. Mr. Simpson is well and favorably known in Oregon and adjoining counties, and is a representative and public-spirited citizen.

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