Jesse M. Simms, deceased, was born in the state of Georgia in the year 1813. At the age of twenty-two years he married Miss E. G. White in an adjacent county. In the year 1857 he moved with his family to Hopkins County, Texas. They were the parents of three children-two girls and one boy. The eldest, Miss Martha, married John P. Orr, a distant relative, and raised a large and respectable family in Hopkins County. The youngest, Miss Penelope, married Rev. James Christian, a Baptist preacher and a splendid gentleman. T. L. Simms married Miss Minter at the age of twenty-four years; She was a daughter of Uncle Joe Minter, an old Texan whom all loved for his many noble qualities of heart and soul. By this marriage twelve children were born, nine of whom are living. Mr. Simms’ family are all about grown.
There are two living at home with their parents. They are all worthy of mention in this history-sober, industrious honest, just and truthful. He has used great care and caution in training and educating his children, and with the help of a noble wife and mother to assist, advise, counsel and admonish, he has been successful in rearing first-class children. He has followed farming and raising a few cattle, all through life. He is in comfortable circumstances; always ready and willing to meet all legal and lawful demands. His house is well furnished and his table well supplied, and his friends are at all times welcome and encouraged. He has been a Democrat in politics, and has been honored by his party to fill important positions in the county, the duty of which he has discharged to the satisfaction of his constituents.
He has ever been honest, sincere and absolutely conscientious in all of his relations with his fellow men, in private life as well as in public life. He is a consistent member of the Bapitst church, and his membership is at old Bethel Church. Askew is his postoffice address, a new office, recently established, the name of which is given in honor of the Askew family, a family famous for its many good and noble traits of character.
Mr. Simms believes the young should be educated, thereby better qualifying them to become better and more useful citizens. He was an old soldier in the Confederate army, and volunteered to serve his country while in college, leaving one of the best schools in that day in all of the country. He was promoted and acted as Sergeant Major in the Thirty-second Texas Regiment, Ector’s Brigade. He succeeded Luther Williams, father of Jno. D. Williams, of Sulphur Springs. Luther Williams was killed at Richmond, Kentucky. He was as brave and courageous a soldier as ever wore the gray. Mr. Simms is sixty-one years old, has spent his life in Hopkins County. His father possessed the only cotton gin for miles around. It was propelled by horsepower, manufacturing a couple of bales of cotton per day. The seed from which the lint had been taken would accumulate, to his disturbance, in such large quantities that his father absolutely refused to gin cotton unless the owner pledged himself to remove his seed from the gin-house. He offered inducements to any one that would haul his seed from the gin.
How different are the conditions that confront the citizens that raise cotton in this day! Cottonseed is now in great demand at twenty dollars per ton, each owner of a bale of cotton demanding every seed. The author lived in the same section of the county that Mr. Simms is living in at this time, forty-five years ago. At that time water was quite scarce and difficult to obtain. Now springs are to be seen, and wells may be had at a reasonable distance below the surface of the earth. We leave this strange phenomenon to the geologists to settle and determine the cause of the wonderful change in nature.