Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
HERMAN S. SIMMONS, one of the
most successful fruit growers in Chelan county, is a recognized authority
in horticulture. He resides in the immediate vicinity of Wenatchee.
Descended from one of the oldest families
of West Virginia, he was born August 20, 1848. This was before the
division of the state of Virginia. The ancestors of his grandparents
were Germans. His father, Valentine Simmons, nearly one hundred years
old, is still living in Missouri. His paternal grandfather was one
of the heroes of the Revolutionary war. His mother, Germina (Grimm)
Simmons, is a native of Virginia, her parents being old settlers of the
state of New York. At present she resides at Valley Head, West Virginia,
which has been her home for the past sixty years.
Our subject was reared and educated in the
mining district of Randolph county, West Virginia, attending the public
schools and graduating at a select academy. He pushed on west when
he was twenty years of age, and for four years worked on various railroads
in Nebraska and Wyoming. For twelve years following he was in the
mercantile business in Missouri, coming to Washington in 1884. His
objective point was Alaska, but meeting an old friend in the vicinity of
Wenatchee, Z. A. Lanham, he decided to invest in this state, and purchased
a relinquishment, upon which he proved up. Having grubbed and broken
a portion of this land, of which he had a quarter section, he set out peach
and apple trees, and sowed two acres of alfalfa. At that period the
nearest railroad point was Ellensburg, fifty-five miles distant.
Today he has twenty acres in fruit and eight acres in alfalfa. As
illustrative of his success in the line of horticulture he was presented
with a gold medal at the Buffalo Exposition, in 1901. The range of
his fruit crop now embraces peaches, apples, pears, apricots and quinces.
At the Spokane fruit exhibition of 1897, Mr. Simmons was awarded
several prizes, and he has received the same recognition each succeeding
year since. He gained seventeen prizes in 1900, and in 1901 he carried
away the first prize for the best general exhibit by one grower in the
state of Washington. In 1902 he sold three thousand five hundred
boxes of apples and four thousand boxes of peaches, aside from large quantities
of apricots and pears. He has also a fine and profitable vineyard.
At Halfway, Missouri, January 12, 1879, Mr.
Simmons was united in marriage to Martha Myer, a native of Waco, Texas.
Her father, William Myer, deceased, was a native of Hanover, Germany.
Her mother, also a German, was Mary (Kreuger) Myer. Mrs. Simmons
has four brothers, William and H. Ernest, Texas farmers, Benjamin F., of
Halfway, Missouri, and G. Augustus Myer, a physician residing in Buffalo,
Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs.
Simmons, Minnie L and Mabel. Their home is a cozy cottage, one and
a half stories high, and surrounded by luxuriant shade trees, making it
an ideal Washington residence. The daughter, Minnie, is studying
medicine in the Barnes Medical College, St. Louis, Missouri, and is a graduate
in pharmacy from the Vashon College, Washington. She is a devoted
student and a highly accomplished young lady.
Mr. Simmons is an active and earnest worker
in the Democratic party, and has been frequently chosen as a delegate to
county conventions. Fraternally he is a member of Wenatchee Lodge
No. 157, I. 0. 0. F., and the Eagles. He is also prominent in the
membership of the famous Diamond "C" Club, of Wenatchee.