Was born in Bullet county, state of Kentucky, September 3d, 1809. He was the eldest son and third child of Richard and Sophia Simmons, who were among the early pioneers of the "dark and bloody ground." The country being new, they had to undergo untold sufferings. The state at that early period was very sparsely settled, and they had but few of the conveniences of modern times, while the remorseless savages and ferocious animals were numerous. They could raise but little produce, and even then could find but poor markets, A patch of corn comprised almost the sum total of their farming. They had a family of five children.
The subject of this sketch was only three years of age when his father died. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Simmons was married again, though she died about five years after Mr. Simmons in 1817. The subject of this sketch was thrown upon his own resources at a very early age, with little capital except his hands, and his opportunities for obtaining an education were very poor. In 1827 he came to Illinois and for two years lived with his uncle, Enos Simmons, then residing in Morgan county. There he became acquainted with and married Miss Lucy, daughter of Jacob and Patience Bradbury. She was born in Claremont county, Ohio, in the year 1810.
Mr. Simmons says, when he was married his wealth consisted in the possession of a colt and two calves. At this day few would have the pluck to enter the matrimonial state with so little capital, but Mr. Simmons says that he had two hands which were acquainted with work, and, by industry, perseverance, and economy, he has become quite wealthy. He owns the best business block in Griggsville, besides considerable other valuable property.
Mr. Simmons has a family of seven children, all of whom are living, married, settled in life, and doing well. Politically, he first belonged to the whig party, but since the organization of the republican party he has firmly adhered to its principles. Two of his sons served in the late war. D. C. volunteered for three years, and was wounded at Perryville, Kentucky, and still carries the ball in his body. Mr. Simmons, during the rebellion, always stood firm for the Union cause, ever ready to assist in measures calculated to bring about a speedy suppression of the rebellion.
Mr. Simmons is a gentleman who is always alive to the promoting of both public and private interests. He is highly respected by his fellow-citizens for his fairness and plain dealing. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons are both members of the Baptist church. Mr. Simmons has been a member for thirty-six years and his wife for twenty-nine years, and most of their children are members of the same church. He is now retired from the active cares of business, and is residing at his beautiful residence, north of Griggsville, a view of which is shown on page 77 of this work.