Thursday, May 9, 2013

Joseph Simpson.

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Joseph Simpson, a retired carpenter and contractor of Spring Hill, has spent more than forty-five years of his life in Johnson county. He was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1839, a son of Thomas and Mary (Bradbury) Simpson, both natives of England. The mother died when Joseph was three years old, leaving five children. The father married again, and, in 1844 with his wife and children immigrated to America on a sailing vessel which required thirty-seven days to make the voyage. While in mid-ocean the vessel on which they were making the voyage collided with another ship and narrowly escaped being sunk. They reached the port of New York where the Simpson family embarked on a boat and sailed up the Hudson river and from there on the Erie Canal and Lake Erie to Sandusky, Ohio, and drove inland from there to Springfield, Ohio.

This was before the days of railroads in that section of the country. The father was a shoemaker and worked at his trade in Springfield for a few months when he located at North Hampton, Ohio, where he followed his vocation four years. He then purchased an emigrant outfit and in 1848 drove to Wisconsin and settled on Government land where he died in 1857. In 1859, Joseph Simpson, whose name introduces this review, went to Illinois locating in Lasalle county where, in 1862, he was married to Miss Hannah M. Miller, daughter of Andrew and Caroline Miller, natives of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Simpson began life on a farm in Lasalle county and about a year later removed to Kendall county, Illinois, where they remained about eight years, and in the meantime bought a farm. In 1870 they came to Kansas, locating at Spring Hill.

His original intention was to engage in farming but on account of his health he could not stand the hard work incident to that vocation. Therefore, he learned the carpenter's trade and later drifted into contracting and made that his life business. To Mr. and Mrs. Simpson have been born six children, as, follows : Nettie Bell married Clay Reynolds, Spring Hill ; George, Spring Hill ; Maud married F. A. Smith, resides in Salina, Kan. ; Jessie married Gale Chamberlain, Spring Hill ; Lulu married Homer Ainsworth, Spring Hill, and Ollie married Elmer Burch. In the spring of 1861, when President Lincoln first called for troops to defend the Union, Mr. Simpson was among the first to respond. He enlisted in the Thirteenth regiment, Illinois infantry, and in September of that year was discharged on account of disability. However, he offered his services later during the war, but was rejected as being physically unfit for service. Mr. Simpson is a Socialist and is one of the substantial citizens of Johnson county and the family is well known and prominent in the community

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