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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


WALTER L. SIMPSON, freight agent for the Wabash Railroad Company, has been located in Jacksonville since the 6th of December, 1885. He is a native of the city of Liverpool, England, was born April 6, 1856, and was brought by his parents to the United States when a little lad three years of age. The latter were Alexander and Bathia Souter (Wright) Simpson. The father was a native of Scotland, born near the town of MacDuff, where he was reared to manhood and married. He was at one time cashier of a bank in the city of Bamff, Scotland, and was also manager of the once famous Bone Mill of MacDuff. The family only sojourned in Liverpool two years, then removed to London, and from that city sailed to the United States.

The parents of our subject, upon reaching America, immediately proceeded Westward and located in the then unimportant town of Jacksonville, this State. The wife and mother lived only one year thereafter, her death taking place in the spring of 1860. In the fall succeeding, the father, with his youngest child, Eliza, returned to Scotland, where the child was left in the care of her aunt. The father came back to Morgan County in 1866, and died in 1874. In the meantime, Walter L., after the departure of his father to Scotland, was taken into the home of his uncle, Dr. John Simpson, of Woodson, where he lived until the fall of 1864. Then, with his eldest brother, Henry, he, too, crossed the ocean again, and for two years attended school in the town of Turriff, Scotland. Upon his return to America he was accompanied by his father, brother and sister, and he subsequently entered the High School in Jacksonville, where he completed his education.

Our subject, upon leaving school, engaged for a time in farm pursuits, and July 16, 1875, was united in marriage with Miss Emma B. Wyatt, of Jacksonville. The young people began the journey of life together on a farm which had been left to William and Walter by their paternal uncle, John Simpson. It is situated ten miles southeast of Jacksonville, and is still owned by Walter, as the home of his childhood and the scene of many happy days. Mrs. Simpson's health failing, in 1880 they removed to Jacksonville. Then Mr. Simpson abandoning agriculture, entered the employ of the Wabash Railroad as Check Clerk. His strict attention to his duties secured his promotion at different times, until he was given his present responsible and lucrative position.

Mrs. Emma B. Simpson was born Dec. 19, 1858, in Morgan County, and is the daughter of William T. and Margaret (Harndy) Wyatt, natives of the same county, and who are now residents of Jacksonville. The parental family included eight children. The father is a dealer in live-stock. To Mr. and Mrs. Simpson there have been born four children - Maggie May, Annie D., Minnie Pearl and William Henry.

John Simpson, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was also a native of Scotland, and lived in Aberdeenshire, two miles from the village of Turriff. He was a farmer by occupation, and belonged to the Established Church of England. He married a Miss McIntosh, a native of his own country, and to them were born five children, Alexander, the father of our subject, being a twin to William. William and John came to the United States in 1835, and settled in Lexington, Ky., where they were intending to follow teaching, for which they had fitted themselves by careful education. William died about 1840. John entered upon the study of medicine, and was graduated from the Medical College of Lexington, under the famous Dr. Dudley. Subsequently he came to Morgan County, where he practiced successfully until his death, in 1878.

John H. Simpson, a brother of our subject, is a traveling salesman for the firm of A.J. Jordan & Co., of St. Louis, Mo.; Annie, a sister, is the wife of John McAlister, of Jacksonville; Charles and Catherine died in infancy in the city of Liverpool, England. William M. was drowned, Aug. 8, 1878, while bathing in the River at Alton, Ill.; he was by occupation a railroad engineer, and was in the employ of the Chicago and Alton Railway at the time of his death. Eliza, the youngest sister, makes her home with her sister Annie.

1889 Index
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