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Page content last modified: March 19, 2008, added text and photographs.

MAJORVILLE   CEMETERY
HANCOCK  COUNTY,  ILLINOIS

 

ETHEL LEIR SIMMONS (nee ROBINSON)
1896-1926

 

A photo of the grave marker for Ethel Simmons. For display on this website only. Click for more information.

 

A hand-colored photo of Ethel (Robinson) Simmons as a young woman, courtesy of Sally Simmons, granddaughter. For display on this website only.
Ethel Leir Robinson was born October 25, 1896, in Metcalfe County, Kentucky, the daughter of Charles W. Robinson and Lucinda Bryant.  Two of Charles' sons from a previous marriage came to Illinois.  One of them, John Thomas "Tom" Robinson, lived for a time in Hancock County, first in Fountain Green Township, later in the village of LaCrosse in Pilot Grove Township.  Ethel and two younger siblings, Elizabeth (married William Waymack about 1917) and Curtis, came to Illinois to look for work.

Albert Pinckney Simmons, newly widowed and with six children under the age of 12, hired Ethel to care for his children.  There was apparently an immediate attraction: A. P. and Ethel soon married.  They moved to Macomb, McDonough County, for about a year, then returned to the Fountain Green area.

A. P. and Ethel had seven children in rapid succession.  Ethel was barely a month beyond her 30th birthday with she died in childbirth on November 26, 1926.  The infant also died and was probably buried with Ethel at Majorville Cemetery.

A. P. wasn't prepared to care for his and Ethel's surviving children who ranged in age from about 8 to 1.  Follow this link for more information.

While most of Ethel's children weren't old enough to have many memories of her, she was nevertheless lovingly remembered.  Claudine Simmons Long, A. P.'s daughter from his first marriage, wrote fondly that Ethel did a lot for all of A. P.'s children.

The picture above was contributed by Sally Simmons, Ethel's granddaughter.  She shared the following:

This is a copy of one of just two photographs of Ethel known to exist.  The original photograph was a black and white snapshot.  Ethel’s son, William “Willard” Simmons, had the photograph professionally copied, enlarged, color tinted and framed.  As a painting contractor, William appreciated clean and unmarred walls; thus, he did not permit anything to be hung on the walls of his Denver home with the exception of this photograph.  This print was scanned from the framed, color-tinted version of this picture, which now hangs in my home.

The picture below is the other known photo of Ethel.  Also from Sally:

The original photograph was printed on a post card form.  We believe that it was taken in 1916 in Fairbury, Jefferson County, Illinois.  Ethel was probably visiting her older, half-brother, Samuel L. Robinson, who lived in Fairbury in 1920.  Samuel was married to Tillie’s older sister, Eva.  Assuming this photo was taken in the summer, Tillie would have been 16 years old, and Ethel, 19.  Ethel would later join another half-brother, John Thomas Robinson, in Fountain Green, Illinois.  Tillie stayed in the Fairbury area where she found work as a housekeeper and married Ben Sutter in the late 1920s.

Ethel Robinson and Tillie Nance
A photo of Ethel Robinson and Tillie Nance, ca. 1916, courtesy of Sally Simmons. For display on this website only.

1900 Kentucky Census, Metcalfe County, Summer Shade Magisterial District, page 67A
enumerated June 20, 1900, dwelling #257

Robinson, Charles W, head, white, male, Sept 1854, 45, married for 9 years, born TN, both parents born TN, farmer, months not employed - 0, could not read or write, spoke English, owned his farm home free of mortgage, farm schedule 241

Lucinda, wife, white, female, Oct 1869, 30, married for 9 years; mother of 5 children, all living; born KY, both parents born Ky, could not read or write, spoke English

John T, son, white, male, July 1885, 14, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, farm laborer, months not employed - 0, school attendance - 0 months, could read but not write, spoke English

Samuel, son, white, male, July 1884, 15, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, farm laborer, months not employed - 0, school attendance - 0 months, could not read or write, spoke English

Mary A, daughter, white, female, June 1892, 8, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, school attendance - 0 months

Bert N, son, white, male, Oct 1893, 6, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY

Ethel, daughter, white, female, Oct 1895, 4, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY

China E, daughter, white, female, Jan 1897, 3, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY

Lizzie, daughter, white, female, Apr 1900, 1/12, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY

Denham, Susan, cousin, white, female, Jan 1836, 64, single, born TN, father born VA, mother born IL, could not read or write, spoke English

 

1910 Kentucky Census, Metcalfe County, Magisterial District 3 ED 72, page 268B
enumerated May 11, 1910, dwelling #299

Robison, Charley, head, male, white, 55, married (2nd) for 19 years, born TN, father born VA, mother born IN, farmer, general farm, employer, could not read or write, owned his farm home free of mortgage, farm schedule 311

Lousindia, wife, female, white, 42, married (1st) for 19 years; mother of 9 children, 8 living; born KY, both parents born KY, could not read or write, spoke English

Aannie, daughter, female, white, 18, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, could not read or write, did not attend school after Sept. 1, 1909

Burt N, son, male, white, 16, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, labor ?, odd jobs, employee, whether out of work on April 15, 1910 - no, number of weeks out of work during 1909 - 0, could not read or write, did not attend school after Sept. 1, 1909

Ethel, daughter, female, white, 14, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, could not read or write, did not attend school after Sept. 1, 1909

Chinie, daughter, female, white, 12, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, could not read or write, did not attend school after Sept. 1, 1909

Lizzy, daughter, female, white, 10, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, could not read or write, did not attend school after Sept. 1, 1909

Curt, son, male, white, 8, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY, did not attend school after Sept. 1, 1909

Aver, son, male, white, 4, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY

Ada, daughter, female, white, 4, single, born KY, father born TN, mother born KY

Brint [Bryant], Lish B, father-in-law, [gender overwritten, illegible], white, 72, divorced, born KY, both parents born VA, laborer, odd jobs, employee, whether out of work on April 15, 1910 - no, number of weeks out of work during 1909 - 1, could not read or write

1920 Illinois Census, Hancock County, Fountain Green Township, page 105B
enumerated January 8, 1920, dwelling #88, farm

Hardy, Leo, head, owned his home free of mortgage, male, white, 37, single, could read and write, born IL, father born KY; mother born Ireland, native tongue Irish; spoke English, farmer, stock farm, working on own account, farm schedule 67

Earl J, brother, male, white, 35, single, could read and write, born IL, father born KY; mother born Ireland, native tongue Irish; spoke English, farmer; industry, business or establishment in which at work - P. D.

Jos, brother, male, white, 40, single, could read and write, born IL, father born KY; mother born Ireland, native tongue Irish; spoke English, farmer; industry, business or establishment in which at work - P. D.

Blanche, sister, female, white, 41, single, could read and write, born IL, father born KY; mother born Ireland, native tongue Irish; spoke English

Simmons, Allie, head, rented his home, male, white, 43, married, could read and write, born IL, both parents born IL, spoke English, laborer, public [next word hard to read, maybe road]; working for wages

Ethel, wife, female, white, 23, married, could read and write, born IL, both parents born KY, spoke English

Albert, son, male, white, 14, single, attended school after Sept. 1, 1919, could read and write, born IL, both parents born IL, spoke English

Claudine, daughter, female, white, 13, single, attended school after Sept. 1, 1919, could read and write, born IL, both parents born IL, spoke English

Loyd, son, male, white, 11, single, attended school after Sept. 1, 1919, could read and write, born IL, both parents born IL, spoke English

Onalee, daughter, female, white, 8, single, attended school after Sept. 1, 1919, born IL, both parents born IL, spoke English

[name illegible], daughter, female, white, 6, single, did not attend school after Sept. 1, 1919, born IL, both parents born IL

Max, son, male, white, 2 6/12, single, born IL, both parents born IL

Wendell, son, male, white, 11/12, single, born IL, both parents born IL

 

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