Biographical History of Page County, Iowa, 1890
page 734

Joseph W. Simpson, of Essex, Iowa, next claims our attention in our record of the leading men of Page County. His ancestors came to America long before the [page 735] Revolution. The grandfather, William Simpson, was born in New Jersey, August 25, 1767, and at the age of twelve years was in the employ of the Goverment, acting as teamster, in the great Revolutionary struggle. When a young man he went to Pennsylvania and there married Anna Ammerman, a lady of German descent, May 8, 1797. In 1800 he was a farmer in Cayuga County, New York, whence he moved to Dearborn County, Indiana, in 1817, thence to Warren County, Indiana, in 1829, where he died, July 21, 1841. William Simpson was of Irish descent. He was the father of six boys and three girls.

Isaac H. Simpson, son of William Simpson, and father of Joseph W. Simpson, was born in the State of New York in 1805, and moved to Indiana with his parents in 1817. He learned the cooper's trade and thoroughly understood his business. On December 7, 1826, he married Phoebe Garrison, who was born in Ohio in 1806. She died near Clarence, Cedar County, Iowa, January 10, 1869, having lived to see her children all grown to manhood and womanhood, and all become useful members in the Methodist Episcopal Church. To Isaac and Phoebe Simpson were born seven children: Joseph W., Clark W., Henry J., Hiram G., Nelson R., Anna and Esther. He was a strong Union man, and had two sons in the Union army, one of whom, Henry, died while serving under General Grant at Vicksburg. In 1838 he moved from Warren County, Indiana, to Jones County, Iowa, where he was one of the earliest settlers. He lived there ten years, and removed to Dubuque County, Iowa, where he remained seventeen years. In 1866 he sold his property and divided about $20,000 among his children. He is a man of great force of character and a very earnest Christian. He and his wife united with the Methodist Episcopal Church together, In June, 1832, in which church he has been an exceptionally honored and useful member. He is an inveterate enemy of both tobacco and all intoxicating liquors. He still lives (1890) and is in full pssession of all his faculties.

Joseph W. Simpson, oldest son of Isaac H. Simpson, was born in Warren county, Indiana, October 1, 1829. He received but a limited education, his father being one of the earliest settlers of Iowa; he was a diligent student at home, and when he went to a select school at Dubuque he excelled in algebra and geometry. When twenty-one years old he taught school in Jackson County, Iowa, at which profession he was quite successful; but at the end of nine months he embarked in the lumber business, in which he continued eleven years. In 1863 he was elected member of the Legislature of Iowa, from Delaware County, representing his consitutuents with entire satisfaction.

In 1852 Mr Simpson was united in marriage to Artemesia Sutherland, a daughter of Martin and Mary (White) Sutherland. Martin Sutherland was born in the State of New York in 1806, and was a pioneer of Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. He died in California in 1836. His father was a member of the famous "Boston Tea Party." To Joseph W. and Artemesia Simpson have been born seven children, all of whom have grown to years of maturity: Laura C., Edward B., Alice A., Joseph W., Clarence L., Mary and Linnie. Laura C., is the wife of C.W. Stidger; Edward B. married Nettie Dota; Alice A. was married to Peter R. Granger, who died in 1887, from disease contracted in the civil war; he left five children, who with their mother now find a home with Mrs Granger's parents; Joseph W. married Elvira Thompson, who is dead; Clarence L. married Ella Adell; Mary and Linnie are at home with their parents.

During the war Mr Simpson was a strong [page 736] Union man and devoted his time to the cause in various ways. In 1866 he went to Clarence, Cedar County, Iowa, and engaged in the lumber and mercantile trade. In 1874 he came to Page County and settled on his present farm, which was then in a wild and uncultivated state; it consists of 220 acres, well improved. He has planted fine orchards and an abundance of small fruits, in the cultivation of which he takes great delight. He and his wife are both consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he has acted as steward and trustee. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party. He is a radical temperance man, and has always led a correct, upright life.


[page 714] P.J. Sullivan has been identified with the farming interests of Valley Township, Page County, since 1866. He was born beyond the sea, on the beautiful "Emerald Isle," hence, is an American by adoption. He first saw the light of day November 3, 1842, and is a son of Patrick and Ellen Sullivan, natives of Ireland. The father died on his native soil, and when Patrick, Jr., was eleven years of age his mother bade farewell to the scenes of her youth and sailed away to America, settling, after her arrival, in Cambridge, Masachusetts. Young Sullivan served his apprenticeship at the currier's trade at Farewell's shop on Pearl street, Boston; he worked two years as a journeyman, and in 1864 he removed to Illinois, locating at Canton, Fulton County; there he engaged in coal mining, in the employ of Isaac Johnson, a prominent business man of Canton.

In the spring of 1866 Mr Sullivan came to Page County, Iowa, where he purchased eighty acres of land, which he has improved; at the end of twelve years he sold this piece of land and bought his present farm; it consists of 184 acres, and is known far and near as one of the best improved farms in Valley Township; the soil is rich and fertile, and watered with two pure, never failing springs. The buildings are substantial and modern in style of architecture; the barn is large and conveniently arranged, and there are all the facilities for carrying on farming after the most approved methods.

Mr Sullivan was united in marriage January 12, 1870, to Miss Maria Shepard, a native of Pike County, Ohio, and a daughter of John Shepard, an early settler of Nodaway Township; four children have been born of this union, Ellen, Grace, John Riley, and Mary Urana, who is deceased. We add an obituary, published at the time of the young girl's death:

"Urana, daughter of Mr and Mrs Patrick Sullivan, died January 28, 1890, of pneumonia, aged fifteen years, two months and four days.

"She was amiable in disposition, obedient and loving, and already had won the high esteem of her many friends. But Death, who 'loves a shining mark,' came just as she was blooming into womanhood and marked her for the tomb.

"The funeral services were held at the Cagley Church, January 29, at 2 p.m., a large and very attentive congregation listening to the words of the minister, and taking a tearful farewell of the familiar form 'beautiful in death.'

"The services were conducted by Rev T.C. Smith, of this city, after which the open [page 715] grave received all that was mortal of the dear child, to have and to hold only till the resurrection morn.

Sister, thou wast mild and lovely,
Gentle as the summer breeze,
Pleasant as the air of evening,
When it floats among the trees.
Dearest sister, thou hast left us;
Deeply here the loss we feel;
But 'tis God that hath bereft us;
He can all our sorrow heal.
But again we hope to meet thee,
When the days of life have fled,
And in heavenly joy to greet thee,
When the fareweel tears are shed.

Mr Sullivan affiliates with the Democratic party, and in his religious faith adheres to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Mrs Sullivan is a Methodist in her belief. They are worthy, industrious people, and merit the esteem in which they are held by the people of their community.