Frederick W. Simkin

FREDERICK W. SIMKIN, one of the pioneer settlers of Cherokee County, and a well known and esteemed resident of Columbus, was born April 10, 1848, at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England, and is a son of Capt. George and Charlotte (Watson) Simkin.

Capt. George Simkin was a captain in the merchant marine of Great Britain, and followed a seafaring life until his death, which occurred about 1857. In 1858 the mother, with her three sons George Waston, Charles Edward, and Fredrick W., came to America. The family spent a few months in New York City and then moved to Leesburg, Kosciusko County, Indiana, where the mother died in 1867, aged 46 years. Both brothers of the subject of this sketch served in the Civil War.

Frederick W. Simkin attended school in Leesburg, where he continued to live until 1869, when he decided to accompany W. M. Benham, Albert Fisher and A. D. Watts to Cherokee County, Kansas. They took up adjoints claims, three of them lying side by side. Mr Simkin's land was the northwest quarter of section 25, township 32, range 23, in Ross township, three and a half miles north, and a half miles west of the center of the present city of Columbus. He improved his farm and spent about 30 years there, successfully engaged in farming and in raising of fruit and vegetables. In 1902 he removed to Columbus having leased his farm to the Fleming Coal Company, of Parsons, Kansas.

Mr. Simkin was married in Indiana, on August 7, 1869, to Mary A. Ervin, who was born in Kosciusko County, Indiana, and is a daughter of John and Mary (Harris) Ervin, who were farmers in Indiana. There the father died in 1842, aged 44 years, and the mother, in 1872, aged 59 years. Mrs. Simkin is next to the youngest in a family of eight children, viz.: John M., a resident of Ross township; Charles, who died in Indiana; Mrs. Elizabeth Kibler, of Oswego, Indiana; Mrs. Sarah Rowbotham, who died in 1878 in Indiana; Mrs. Angeline McDevitt, of Indianapolis, Indiana; William, of Ohio; Mary A. (Mrs. Simkin); and Susan, who died aged 10 years.

Mrs. Simkin was born May 19, 1848, and was reared in Indiana. She accompanied Mr. Simkin, after their marriage, to his pioneer home in Cherokee County. As did other brave women of that day, who like her faced drudgery, monotony and deprivations of all sorts with a courage and cheerfulness almost beyond belief, she lived through trying times, and can recall conditions and events of those early days, of the most interesting character. The eight children resulting from this marriage were as follows: Mary, born August 5, 1870, who died September 9, 1870; Jessie G., born January 31, 1872, who married I. W. Shaw, lives four miles north of Columbus, and has three children,—Fern, Thelma and Charles; Bessie, who was born March 18, 1874, and died aged 19 months; George E. who was born April 10, 1877, and died at Columbus, aged 19 years; Charles Ervin, born September 3, 1879; Nettie E., a teacher, born October 28, 1881; and Eulalia, born October 19, 1883, and Frederick W., born November 6, 1886, who are at home.

Politically Mr. Simkin has always found his ideals in the Republican party. Fraternally he is a Mason and Knight Templar, belonging to the Oswego Commandery, and was a charter member of the Knights of Pythias lodge at Columbus. Mrs. Simkin is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Rebekahs and the Knights and Ladies of Security. They belong to the Presbyterian Church.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens,ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Cathy Scofield, students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs Kansas, March 10, 1997.


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