John S. Simmons, the senior member of the legal firm of Simmons & Tinder, one of the leading firms of central Kansas, is a native of the Sunflower state, born in Douglas county, Aug. 5, 1860, son of John and Elizabeth (Collins) Simmons, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Kentucky. The father was a physician. He came to Kansas in 1858 and settled near Baldwin, Douglas county, and continued the practice of his profession there until his premature death, at the age of fifty-five. Mrs. Simmons survived him until 1910, when she passed away at Hutchinson.
John S. Simmons was one of nine children. He was reared in Douglas county and attended the public schools there. After completing his elementary education he entered Baker University, at Baldwin, Kan., graduating with the class of 1883. During his course he taught two terms of school. He then taught a term at Baldwin and then went to Colorado City, Tex., where he entered a law office and read law. He was admitted to the bar in Texas in 1884, and two years later was licensed to practice in Crawford county, Kansas. He removed to Dighton, Lane county, served two terms as county attorney, also represented the county in the state legislature for two terms, and in 1907 was elected speaker of the house. He served as superintendent of the State Reformatory under Governor Stanley, from 1899 to 1903, and on the board of management for four years, being appointed by Governor Hoch. He resigned from his position as superintendent to return to Dighton again to take up the practice of law, but in a short time returned to Hutchinson and formed a partnership with Houston Whiteside and Albert Wilson Tyler, under the firm name of Whiteside, Simmons & Tyler. Mr. Whiteside soon retired and the firm remained Simmons & Tyler until 1910, when the old partnership was dissolved and the present one was formed. Mr. Simmons has been president of the First National Bank of Dighton for fifteen years, and is a director of several other banks in western Kansas. While thoroughly wedded to his profession he is a practical business man and is also interested in one of the large wholesale houses of Hutchinson, and one of the local banks. He is an up-to-date man of affairs, a shrewd reader of character, and one of the best business men in the state, as is shown by his excellent administration of the reformatory. Since coming to Hutchinson he has been the local attorney for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad, a position of responsibility, which he easily carries with his other manifold interests. Fraternally he is associated with the Masonic order; in religious belief he is a Methodist; and in politics is a Republican, having cast his first vote for that party, and has ever remained true to its principles. For some years he has been a trustee of Baker University, his Alma Mater.
In 1886 Mr. Simmons married Emma, daughter of Capt. G. W. Brown, of Osage City, and they have four children: Harriet, Stuart, Ada, and Catharine. Mrs. Simmons is a prominent figure in Kansas club circles and was elected president of the Kansas Day Club in 1907. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons have an extensive acquaintance, not only in Hutchinson, where they have made many friends, but also through the state.Pages 830-831 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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