Among the representative farmers of Nishnabotny township must be numbered Miller Simmerman, who has been identified with the agricultural interests of Crawford county for over thirty years.
His birth occurred within three miles of Birmingham, Guernsey county, Ohio, on the 22d of October, 1852, his parents being Francis and Eleanor (Miller) Simmerman. The father was born in Pennsylvania, from which state he migrated to Ohio with his parents when a boy. In 1862 he removed with his family to the vicinity of Newcomerstown, Tuscarawas county, Ohio, where he continued to reside until he passed away on the 16th of December, 1881. His wife was also a native of Pennsylvania, her birth occurring on the 15th of April, 1820, and she had passed the eighty-eighth milestone on life's journey when she departed this life on New Year's morning, 1909. She came west with her parents and taught school in the vicinity of her home until her marriage in 1843.
Ten children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Francis Simmerman: David, a resident of Dakota; Jacob, who is deceased; Layton, of Ohio; Leander, a resident of South Dakota; Miller, our subject; Osborn, deceased; Jenkins, who is living in Idaho; Barnette, deceased; Willis, who is a resident of Ohio; and Francis, deceased.
The family always affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church, of which denomination the parents were active and earnest members. The father was a class-leader, having united with the church forty years prior to his death and the mother at the age of thirteen.
Miller Simmerman acquired his education in the common schools of Guernsey and Tuscarawas counties, Ohio, remaining at home until he attained his majority and assisting his father, who was an agriculturist, in the cultivation of the homestead. In 1873 he came to Iowa to join his brother David, with whom he engaged in cooperative farming for three years, during which time they also performed all the work which usually devolves upon women, as they were both unmarried. At the expiration of that time Miller Simmerman bought the farm upon which he has ever since continued to reside. He has added to his original tract from time to time until he now owns two hundred and fifty-one acres of land, all of which is under a high state of cultivation and is well improved.
In 1883 Mr. Simmerman was united in marriage to Miss Mary Knowles, who is also a native of Guernsey county, Ohio, and the eldest daughter of John and Maria (George) Knowles, natives of Ohio, from which state they removed to Missouri when Mrs. Simmerman was six years of age, locating in Gentry county, where the father passed away. After his demise Mrs. Knowles and her family returned to Ohio, but she now makes her home at Blanchard, Iowa.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Knowles were born the following children: Homer M., deceased; Mary, who is now Mrs. Simmerman; Maggie, who married Samuel Downer, of Blanchard, Iowa; and Ella, the wife of William Hold, also of Blanchard.
Mr. and Mrs. Simmerman have become the parents of three children: Lucy, Francis and Walter, all of whom are at home.
The religious belief of the family is manifested by their identification with the Methodist Episcopal denomination, while fraternally Mr. Simmerman is affiliated with the Masonic order. The candidates of the republican party have always been accorded his political support, which body has rewarded his fealty by electing him to the offices of school director, township trustee and road supervisor, the duties of which he discharged in a manner highly creditable to his constituency.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.