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Excerpts from the Oregon County History Book 1992



NOTE:  These excerpts are typed as they were written in the Oregon County History book.  There is no validation being done on the information that is being provided.  These are simply the stories of Simpson family members as they were recorded in this book.



Simpsons in Oregon County

        The Simpsons came to the Territory of Missouri, pre-1860, after homesteading lands in middle Tennessee, seeking a freer life and better lands.  They were considered pioneers and through the years operated gristmills and sawmills, surveyed land, cleared the lands for roads which we use today and served as ministers of the Gospel, legislators, and in the armies of America.

        Peter Simpson (b. 1742) was of Irish descent.  He came to America about the age of 19 years.  He died in Cannon County, Tennessee.

        Thomas Simpson (b. October 6, 1796, in Rockingham County, North Carolina, d. March 19, 1873) married Nancy Moreland (b. November 12, 1794, d. October 7, 1855), daughter of William Moreland on June 4, 1817, in Warren County, Tennessee.  Thomas, Nancy, and children emigrated into Oregon County in 1852, settling on lands along the Eleven Point River and bring with them several families from Tennessee.  October 2, 1854, land was granted to Thomas Simpson for his services in the War of 1812 as officer and soldier by United States President Franklin Pierce.  Their children were Sallie (b. April 11, 1818, d. August 15, 1887), Peter Rine [Ryan] (b. January 9, 1821, d. May 5, 1897), William (b. 1824, d. 1854), Richard, Logan, Elizabeth (b. February 7, 1826, d. July 20, 1904), P. John, Thomas C. (b. 1832, d. 1897), Wade Hampton (b. 1832, d. 1913), Wright (b. October 14, 1839, d. October 17, 1913).

        Peter Rine Simpson married Jane Farrell and their children were Thomas M. or P. Tom, John, Richard, Nancy, Lucy, Sarah, and William.  After Jane Farrell's death, Peter Rine married Ellender Faulkenberry and five children were born:  James, Marithia, Jessie, Peter Lemuel, and Margaret.

        In the mid 1800's Peter Rine and his eldest son, Thomas M., settled the area of Wilderness.  Family tradition reports that Peter Simpson and another brother, Richard had booked passage to America from Ireland.  They got to the docks, and Richard went back for something.  The ship sailed without him, and he had to work for another year to save money for his passage.  Richard may have been an indentured servant.  Both served in the Blackhawk War.  There are land grant papers indicating Peter Ryan Simpson was in Guilford County, North Carolina in 1789 and in Rockingham County, North Carolina in 1790.



Cecil Simpson


        Cecil Webster Wright Simpson was born December 31, 1906, to Meekie and Lemuel Simpson in Alton, Missouri.  Cecil was the second oldest of 11 children.  Times were not always easy for a family of 13, but Cecil always loved telling of his childhood and his growing up years on Eleven Point River.  He always felt especially privileged to have seven sisters.

        When Cecil was 18, he went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad in LaJunta, Colorado, and remained with the Santa Fe for 47 years.  He worked first as a storekeeper and later as a crane operator.  In 47 years Cecil was late for work one time and that was because of a blizzard.

        Cecil married Mary Jane Casebalt in 1931.  Those where the depression years and life was not easy.  They had no car and very little, if anything, else.  After eight years of marriage, a son, Lonnie, was born and eight years later, a daughter, Nancy, was born.  By this time Cecil worked for the Santa Fe at night and did a little farming on the side.

        After living in LaJunta for 50 years, Cecil and Mary Jane moved to Lincoln to be close to their children and grandchildren.  Cecil's health began to fail a few years later when he had a stroke.  Cecil died June 9, 1987.

        Cecil, above all else, loved the Lord and His message.  He spent many hours listening to sermon tapes.  His children and grandchildren were an important part of his life - nothing pleased him more than a visit from his children, grandchildren, and friends.



Daniel Max Simpson


[Omitted paragraph about living family descendants.]


        My father was born September 13, 1922, to Thomas Jason and Verda Cordelia (Warren) Simpson at Alton, Missouri.  He was the youngest of nine children.  His older sister and brothers were Elva, Ava Jane, and Alma Lee, who died in early childhood, Lula (Simpson) Harris, Edna, and Warren T. Simpson.  At the present time, Warren T. Simpson is the only living child of Thomas Jason and Verda Cordelia Simpson.

        My father attended grade school at Bill Dad and went to high school at Alton, Missouri.  He granduated from high school in 1941.  Upon graduation he went to St. Louis, Missouri, to seek employment.  He worked at Emerson Electric until he was drafted into the Army in October of 1943.  On February 14, 1942, he was united in marriage to my mother, Ruth Delores Click of St. Louis, Missouri, whose parents were George Authur and Nancy Jane (Reynolds) Click.

        When I was ten days old, my father left for the Army and was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  He was sent overseas and served in the European Theatre.  He was discharged from the Army in October 1945.  After he returned home, he worked at Railway Express Agency in St. Louis, Missouri, until March 1946, when he returned to Oregon County to take over the family farm, which is five miles northeast of Alton, Missouri, because of his parents' failing health.  He continued to farm until his death on December 31, 1978. from a massive coronary.

        He was a very active member of the Bailey Chapel Free Will Baptist Church and is buried in Bailey Cemetery.  He enjoyed helping people and taking part in community activities.



Rev. E. E. Simpson

[known as Preacher Simpson]


        Elzie Elisha Simpson was born December 13, 1898 at Wilderness, Missouri.  He is the fifth generation of Simpsons to live in Oregon County.  his great-great grandfather, Thomas Simpson, his great grandfather, Peter Ryan Simpson, and his grandfather, John Simpson, came to Oregon County in 1853 from Tennessee.  His father George Simpson, was born in Oregon County July 1868 to John C. and Mary Weldon Simpson.  Elzie's mother, Rose Josephine Mullis, was born September 5, 1876, in Newton, Illinois to J. Elisha and D. E. Mullis.

        When Elzie was about 3 years old, his father died, leaving his mother with three children, Elzie, Ethel, and Willie.  Rose married William "Bill" Simpson (brother of George) August 29, 1903; therefore, Elzie was raised by his mother and uncle.  Rose and Bill later had six children of their own.

        On October 3, 1918, Elzie married Pearl Hester Watson.  Pearl was also a native of Oregon County.  She was born January 25, 1903, to George Washington and Martha Ann Barrett Watson in the Smyrna community near Alton.  George was born in Butler County, Missouri, April 16, 1861, to William and Martha Watson.  Martha was born at Wilderness, Missouri, Spetember 27, 1870, to S. and Mary Barrett.

        Elzie and Pearl had five daughters:  Mabel (Martin), Violet (Johnson), Eula (Bowerman), Eunice (Stogsdill), and Daisy (Brewer). 

        Elzie's first wife, Pearl, died on March 6, 1960.  She is buried at the Smyrna Cemetery near Alton, Missouri.

        On May 3, 1961, Elzie married Susie Anthem Warren Watson.  Susie was born October 14, 1898, the daughter of Thomas Warren and Emily Bates.  She died February 8, 1983, and is buried in the Smyrna Cemetery near Alton.

        Elzie is best known in Oregon County as Preacher Simpson, or the "one-eyed preacher".  He was ordained to preach by the Cave Springs Association of Freewill Baptists in 1929.  Since that time he has been involved in helping organize many churches, has ordained many of the pastors and deacons in the association, and has married over 100 couples.  The 100th couple he married was his great-granddaughter, Glenette Booker and Chris Haney.  During the depression, Elzie was the part-time pastor for as many as four churches at one time.

        Besides being a Christian and a Freewill Baptist preacher, Elzie also takes great pride in being a Democrat.  He has voted in every presidential election since he was old enough to vote and he has always voted the Democratic ticket.

        At the present time, at the age of 91, he is not able to care for himself and is living with his daughter and son-in-law, Eunice and Hugh Stogsdill.  Elzie attends church and continues to preach when his health allows.  He is now partially blind.



Lemuel W. Simpson


        Lemuel Wright Simpson, son of Wright and Samantha (Cates) Simpson and grandson of Thomas and Nancy Moreland Simpson, was born on October 7, 1881.  He died on March 14, 1953.  Lemuel was married to Meekie Hooper about 1903.  Meekie was born June 7, 1886, and died May 22, 1972.

        Lemuel's parents had these children:  Nancy, who married George Bailey; Joie, who married Doc Ollar; Bud, who married Minnie Teague; Betty, who married Clay turner; Esther, who married James Burkhead; Sally, who married Sam Brawley; Tom, who married Cordelia Warren; and Lemuel, who married Meekie Hooper.  Wright and a second wife, Mary Sloan Simpson, had four children:  Ruth, who married Ivor Florea; Lewis, who married Ella Blankenship; Jurusha, who married Austin Hopper; and Sol, who married Della Blankenship.

        Lemuel W. and Meekie Simpson's children are as follows:  Eva (1903-1903); Mae (1905-1970) married Virgil Hale.  Her children were Irene, Cecil (1906-1988) married Jane Casebolt; his children were Lonnie and Nancy, Verna (1909) married Lawrence Crews.  Her children were Howard, Shirley, and Russell.  Tom (1911-1920), Mary Lee (1912) married Fre Sisco; her children were Bonnie Delmar, and Carolyn.  Helen (1915) married Lilburn Alcorn then Handlin Olson; her children were Billy Carson, Robert G. Alcorn, and Cathy Olson.  Ralph (1917-1985) married Rita Kennedy; his children were Sheila and Sonya.  Louise married Waymon Barton then Don Miller; her children were Ann, Jim, and Lavern Barton, and Donald Miller.  Lloyd (1923-1985) married Erna Black; his children were Christopher, Daniel, Tom, Linda, and Catherine.  Lorene married Carl Dodson; her children were Keith, Tom, and Pamela.  Dorothy married Gene Boze; her children were Rosemary and Douglass.

        Lemuel had the misfortune of having to pay off a friends note that he had co-signed.  When the note came due, Lem had to come up with the money; therefore, he earned this money in the Kansas wheat harvest.  From there he took a job in LaJunta, Colorado, with the Santa Fe Railroad Company where he stayed for 25 years.  When he and the family returned to Oregon County in 1930, they purchased a river farm from Clay Turner at the mouth of Little Hurricane Creek.  Lem and family lived there for several years before moving to the Bill Dad Farm.

        The Simpsons have held and served in several offices.  Thomas served as State Representative in 1851.  A son, Wright, served as presiding judge of Oregon County, Wright's son, Lewis, served two terms (1957-1961) as a State Representative and Bud served as a County Court Judge.  Warren T., a grandson, served several years as treasurer of Oregon County.



Lewis Simpson


        Lewis Simpson was born Septeber 7, 1902, and died on January 9, 1989.  He was the son of Wright and Mary E. Sloan Simpson.  He grew up and spent his life on the farm which was granted to his father, Thomas, for serving as a soldier in the Revolutionary War.  The farm was homesteaded September 28, 1850 and granted by President Franklin Pierce.

        Lewis married Ella Blankenship, the daughter of Green Blankenship, Lewis and Ella had three children, Louella, Nelson, and Linda.  Louella married Ralph Cox; Nelson married Shirley Harrington Combs;  and Linda married Claude Doss.

        Lewis was an excellent carpenter.  Many of the 27 homes he built are still standing today.  He also worked for the United States Army, building barracks for soldiers in various places across the United States.  Among them were barracks at Fort Leonard Wood.  He especially liked the job which took him to Alaska.  He loved to tell about starting to the outhouse one cold, Alaskan morning and seeing what appeared to be a person stooped over just up the path.  He couldn't resist the temptation to kick him in the seat.  When he came closer, he discovered that teh "person" was an Alaskan bear.

        Lewis served as a Missouri Representative for a period of two terms:  1957-1960.  He was the person who introduced the bill to make Grand Gulf into a State Park.  His proposal because a reality in 1987.  He also served as judge for Oregon County.  He was the author of the Oregon County history book, Oregon County's Three Flags, Six County Seats via the Horse and Buggy.  The book went to every state in the Union by people who knew someone from Oregon County.  Several historians have said "It is one of the best county histories ever written."

        Lewis' wife, Ella, still resides on the farm, which is one of Oregon County's oldest homesteaded farms.  She takes pride in her garden and flowers.  She cans and enormous amount of vegetables each year.  She also quilts beautiful hand-made quilts which win blue ribbons at the County Fair.  She is a spry age of 84.



Peter Lemuel Simpson


        Peter Lemuel Simpson, son of Peter Rine and Ellender Faulkenberry, was born December 28, 1864, and died March 29, 1901, with burial in the Wilderness Cemetery.  On November 14, 1886, he married Wilhelmina Holland Parvin.  To this union six children were born.

        James Peter Simpson (b. March 12, 1888, d. August 21, 1979) married Lucy Bell on July 13, 1919.  Their children were Willie Ann, Ella Elizabeth, Joyce, and Vernon.

        Mary Elizabeth (b. June 2, 1890, d. June 25, 1970) married Wesley Madison Miner on November 7, 1915.  Their children were Hubert, Lawrence, Jewell, Joe, and Eunice. 

        William Joseph (b. September 7, 1893, . March 31, 1918) never married.

        Elina J. was born April 15, 1895 and died December 11, 1895.

        Robert Thomas (b. September 24, 1896, d. November 1, 1946) married Olsie Mae Pigg on July 22, 1923.  Their children were Hattie Martha, Artie Marie, Electa Michel, Armentie Jane, and James Joseph.

        Electa M. was born February 3, 1901, and died June 19, 1902.



Thomas Jason Simpson


        Thomas Jason Simpson was born February 2, 1876, in Oregon County.  He was the sixth of ten children of Wright and Samantha Cates Simpson.  After the death of Thomas Jason's mother, his father married Mary Sloan and to this union two boys and two girls were born.

        On April 10, 1898, Thomas was united in marriage to Verda Cordelia Warren born September 28, 1883, in Oregon County to Smith Alexander and Eliza Jane Bailey Warren.  Cordelia was one of six children.  Both Thomas's and Cordelia's fathers fought in the Civil War in the Confederate Army.  Thomas and Cordelia had nine children:

        Alexander Elva Wright was born February 19, 1899, and died in 1901.  Ava Jane was born in 1901 and died in 1905.

        Lulu Emmiline was born August 25, 1905, and died in 1977.  She was married to Floyd Harris on June 7, 1924; they had no children.  Edna Marie was born February 11, 1908, and died in 1968.  She married Charles Leslie Nicholas November 17, 1928.  They had no children.

        Ethel Belle was born November 21, 1909 and died in 1976.  She married Waco Perkins.  They had three children:  Ronald, Tommy, and Sharon Kay Perkins Rapko.  Sharon Kay has three children [omitted].

        Lemuel Woodrow was born July 15, 1916 and died October 24, 1942.

        Warren Thomas Simpson was born April 14, 1920.  He married Jewell Thompson May 13, 1942.  Warren and Jewell had two daughters:  [omitted].

        Daniel Max Simpson was born September 13, 1922.  He married Ruth Delores Click on February 14, 1942.  Their children [omitted].

        Beginning in 1903 and continuing for a period of 15 years, Thomas carried the mail on a star route between Thayer and Alton.  For this mail service, he received $800 per year $400 of which went to his partner, who lived in Alton while Thomas lived at Thayer.  Thomas drove from Thayer to Alton, and his partner drove from Alton to Thayer.  In their three-seated-mule-driven hacks, both carriers hauld express, freight and passengers.  The fare per passenger was 70.  One day his total intake from luggage and passengers was the sum of  $20.  There were two trips of four hours each one way.

        After Thomas retired from the job as mail carrier, he moved his family to his farm five miles northeast of Alton.  The original 75 acres including the house is now owned by his grandson, [omitted].  The remainder of the farm is divided equally among [the granddaughters].

        Thomas and Cordelia were married for almost 53 years.  Thomas died January 10, 1951, and the age of 74 years.  Cordelia died April 24, 1958, at the age of 74.  Both are buried in the Bailey Cemetery.





        Thomas Simpson, born October 7, 1796, in Rockingham County, North Carolina, son of Peter Ryan Simpson and Elizabeth Cunningham, married Nancy Moreland on June 4, 1817 in Warren County, Tennessee.  In 1853, Thomas and Nancy, along with several of their children and families migrated from Dekalb County, Tennessee, to Oregon County, Missouri.  They settled on Little Hurricane Creek, with some sons and daughters settling nearby.

        Their children were Sarah "Sally", Peter Rine, William, Richard, Logan, John, Thomas Carey, Wade Hampton, and Wright R.  Sally, born April 11, 1818. om Warrem Cpimtu. Temmessee. ,arroed Go;bert Wo;;oa,s. Ki;u 20. 1839 in DeKalb County, Tennessee.  Gilbert and Sally came to Oregon County with her arents.  Their children were Eliza K. married A.G. Hall; Samuel Thomas married Elizabeth Bolton; Nancy married 1. William Amos Moss, 2. Spencer S. Simmons; William Logan married Nancy Simmons; Sarah Elizabeth married Specer S. Simmons; Gilbert P. married Rutha Hall; Peter Carrol married 1. Harriett England, 2. Susan Parrott, 3. Rebecca Margaret Cates; Simuel Marion married 1. Sarah England, 2., Matilda Gazaway; Elizabeth (Polly)married Jessie Parrott; Josephine married Harve Parrott; Ira Moss married Catherine Harrod.

        Gilbert and Sally's daughter, nancy Emeline, born October 19. 1842, in DeKalb County, Tennessee, married William Amos Moss, son of Arnod and Sarah  (Qualls) Moss on June 3. 1863 at Alton, Missouri.  To this union were born three daughters:  Sarah Jane, who married james Samuel Strain; Cintha Parlee married Henry Warren; and Eliza married Enoch Bailey.

       Sarah Jane, born June 3. 1864, married James Samuel Strain on September 3, 1885, at Alton.  Their children were Nova, who married 1. Everett Barton, 2. Elijah Frost; Ollie Melvina married Rufus Earls; Liddie Emmaline married Henry Lents; William Amos married Vallie Hack; Albert B. married Lura Roy; Delia Mae married Willie Waggoner; Perry Arthur married Rachel Cockman; Esther Pearl married 1. Roy Stogsdill, 2 Millard Cloven; James Paris married Gertrude Newberry; Sarrah Mae married Carl Bates.

        Ollie Melvina, born August 10, 1890, married Rufus Earls on December 25, 1910, at the home of her parents who lived on the Strain homestead.  They had ten children.

        Ollie (Strain) Earls died November 25, 1971; Rufus Earls died June 16, 1947.  Both are buried in the Bailey Cemetery.

        Ruby (Earls) King was born November 17, 1927, at Greer on Spring Creek.  Oregon County is a very special place for her.  While it is not possible for her to live there, she enjoys all her visits to Alton, Missouri.



Wright Simpson


        Wright Simpson, son of Thomas Simpson and Nancy (Moreland) Simpson was born in the year 1839.  Mr. Simpson was united in marriage to Samantha Cates January 5, 1868.  She was born in Hamilton County, Illinois, November 26, 1848 and died April 30, 1890.

        After the Civil War he returned home and began farming and attending school in Oregon County, and later began teaching in his home and neighboring districts.

        To Wright and Samantha were born the following family of children:  twins Nancy s., who became the wife of George Bailey and Joie Evaline, married Rudolph Ollar; Samual M., married Minnie Teague; Elizabeth became the wife of Clay Turner; Sarah B. married Sam Brawley; Margaret married James Burkhead; Thomas married Cordelia Warren; Virgie Lee married James Wiggs; Lemuel married Meekie Hooper; and Rose Belle died after being attacked by a rooster at the age of two.

        After Samanthan died, Wright married Mary Evelyn Sloan, and they had five children:  Wm. Isaac, died in infancy; Ruth married Ivor Florea; Lewis married Ella Blankenship; Gerush married Austin Hopper; and Solomon married Della Blankenship. 

        He was a lifelong Democrat.  He died October, 1913.



This is very much a work in progress.  I would like to add additional family histories, both from this book and elsewhere.

 - Denise Woodside



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