Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
GEORGE H. SIMONS. No more
perfect type of the real pioneer, the progressive and capable citizen,
and the builder of the Big Bend country, can be found, than the gentleman
whose name stands at the head of this article. A Pennsylvanian by
birth, the county being Erie and the date, September 9, 1851, he inherited
the patriotism of the real American and learned the thrift and wisdom that
have made him a prominent and influential man, from worthy parents, William
and Eliza J. (Brown) Simons, natives of New York and Pennsylvania, respectively.
His primary education was received in the common schools of the Keystone
State and then, being seventeen, he came to Nebraska with the balance of
the family. He finished his education and then engaged to work on
a farm, where he remained for eight years. This is an index to the
man, faithful, tenacious, and dominated by keen wisdom. In 1877,
we find Mr. Simons in California and after two years on a rented farm,
he came up to Weston, Oregon. A year later, in 1880, Mr. Simons came
on to what is now Lincoln county, he and his party being the very first
settlers in the section known as the Brents country, near Creston.
He took a squatter's claim and labored along with his brother, who is mentioned
elsewhere in this volume. Together they held down the claims and
one or the other would go to the Walla Walla country and earn money for
the provisions. Thus he continued, purchasing land as opportunity
offered, until now Mr. Simons has an estate of two sections, one of the
very finest to be found in the Big Bend country. His land is in a
high state of cultivation, is supplied with all conveniences, implements,
and so forth, while the imposing residence, beautifully and tastefully
set, is one of the best in this banner county. Mr. Simons has not
attained this distinction and accumulated this magnificent holding without
plenty of hard and trying labor, numerous deprivations, and tenacious weatherings
of tough places in stringent times. He has succeeded and is today
one of the most substantial men of the county.
In 1877, Mr. Simons married Miss Elizabeth
J., daughter of M. M. and Virginia Apperson, natives of Indiana.
Mr. Apperson was one of California's earliest pioneers and a man of priminence.
Mrs. Simons was born in California, on September 9, 1859. To our
subject and his estimable wife, there have been born sixteen children,
William W., Bertha, deceased, Harry S., Olive M., Elmer F., Carrie L.,
Hattie A., deceased, Milton A., Fosco G. and Rosco R., twins, Earnest C.,
George F., Elizabeth J., Minnie B., Chester M., and Violet H. On November
1, 1902, Mr. Simons and his children were called to mourn the death of
the beloved mother and wife, who had always been affectionate and devoted.
A brave and noble woman, whose sons and daughters lived to perpetuate her
memory, she can hardly be too highly spoken of as the grand work she did
on the frontier to rear and care for this large family entitles her to
first place both in the hearts of her loved ones and in the esteem and
deep respect of all.
Mr. Simons assisted to organize the first
school district in the county. He was then appointed director and
has since been constantly in office by the election of the people.
He has served as judge of election in his precinct and is one of the progressive
and leading men of the county. Mr. Simons started here with little
funds, practically nothing, and the excellent success that has now crowned
his efforts is the result of sagacity, industry, and thrift. In addition
to the property mentioned, he has a fine fruit ranch in Orchard valley,