Joseph S. Simmons, a prosperous and intelligent farmer residing about two miles northeast from Ilo on the estate which he took by homestead right from the wilds of nature, has done good labor in the building up of the country and is one of the enterprising devotees of progress in every line, especially in the matter of betterment of educational facilities, for the purpose of which he even advocates doubling the school tax.

Joseph S. Simmons was born in Warren County, Iowa, on November 20, 1859, being the son of William C. and Mary B. (Allen) Simmons. The father was a farmer, born in Maryland in 1819 and died in 1876.

He came to Warren County as early as 1846, being one of the very first settlers there. The mother was born in Indiana in 1821 and is now living in Nez Perces County. Her father was in the Blackhawk war and also in the war of 1812. She was a grandniece of Daniel Boone and her parents were pioneers in Kentucky.

Our subject received his education in his native place and remained there until young manhood. 1879 marks the date when he started west for himself and he was in the first rush to Leadville, in the San Juan country, and then traveled in New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and returned to Iowa after he had been absent four years. He farmed there for a couple of years and in 1886 came to Genesee, settling to the basic art for nine years. Then came a move to Camas prairie and when the reservation opened he took his present place and has devoted himself principally to raising grain and improvement of his farm since. He is one of the substantial agriculturists in the section and a man whom all respect.

On January 4, 1885, in Iowa, Mr. Simmons married Miss Mary F., daughter of Absalom B. and Susan (Little) Banks. The father was born in North Carolina in 1828 and the mother in Kentucky in 1838 and they both live in Nez Perces County. Mrs. Simmons was born in Warren County, on July 26, 1867, and has the following brothers and sisters: James George, Isabella, Andrew J., Cora J. Mr. Simmons has brothers and sisters named as follows: Lewis A., Mehalah A., John B., Lucinda R., William T. Three children have been born to this couple, James, Herbert, and an infant unnamed.

Mr. Simmons is an active Democrat and a familiar figure in the caucuses and conventions.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903