William F. Simeral


WILLIAM F. SIMERAL, the present auditor of Jefferson county, Ohio, and who has held that office, in all, for seventeen years was born near Bloomfield, Wayne township, of the county in which he resides, October 7, 1822. He was the son of Archibald and Mary (Ferguson) Simeral, the former of whom was born in Westmoreland county, Penn., in April, 1797 and the latter was born in the same township in which our subject was born, July 6, 1803. His father was the son of Alexander and Martha (McGrew) Simeral, who were natives of eastern Pennsylvania, but located in Westmoreland county shoertly after the close of the Revolutionary war, the former being a soldier in that war. In 1810 they removed from Westmoreland county, Penn., to Jefferson county, Ohio, and settled near what is known as Long's Meeting House, in Cross Creek township, where both spent the rest of their lives, the former dying in 1823, and the latter in 1825. By occupation the former was a farmer. Archibald Simeral, the father of our subject, was a lad thirteen years of age when his parents located in Jefferson county, and during all the rest of his life he continued to reside within its boundaries. He was a blacksmith by trade, but from the year 1833 until the time of his death, he gave his attention to farming, and to the purchase and sale of live stock. He was married January 1, 1822, to Mary Ferguson, who was the daughter of William and Margaret (Carroll) Ferguson, who were born, reared and married, in Pennsylvania, but emigrated to Jefferson county, ohio, and located on a section of land in Wayne township, in 1802. The land which Mr. Ferguson had entered from the government, was one vast wilderness. There both spent the rest of their lives, the latter dying in August, 1869, and the former in February, 1874. Archibald Simeral died on the old homestead near Bloomfield, May 13, 1844. His wife survived him until January 5, 1884, after having lived nearly eighty-one years and after having lived a widow nearly forty years. The subject of this sketch is of English and Irish descent, his paternal ancestors originally having come from England, and his maternal ancestors from Ireland. He was reared to manhood on the old home farm near Bloomfield, and at twenty-one years of age he became a teacher in the district schools, and from 1844 until 1852, he was engaged in that capacity in Wayne township. He entered upon the duties of teacher with only a common school education. In 1848, he entered upon a course of private instruction under Dr. John Carter, his wife's uncle, and for three years he devoted his attention to the study of the higher branches of mathematics. In 1852 he discontinued teaching, and for four years following this he was employed on the civil engineering corps of the Steubenville & Indiana railway, now the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis railway, which road was located and constructed during that time. In 1856 he was elected to the office of county surveyor and served three years. Upon the expiration of his term of office in 1859, he accepted a position as deputy county auditor and served as such from March, 1859 until March, 1863. In the meantime, in October, 1862, he was elected county auditor, and entered upon his duties as such the first Monday in March, 1863. He held the office continuously by four re-elections, until the seond Monday in November, 1873, a period of ten years and eight months. After this, by reason of impaired health, he lead a retired life for about three years. From 1875 to 1878 he was engaged in general grocery and produce business in Steubenville. In 1879 he was employed by the cunty commissioners to construct a set of land and town-lot plats of Jefferson county, for the use of the real estate assessors for the year 1880. This occupied a little more than a year. From November, 1880, until October, 1882, he served as deputy county auditor. Upon the death of the auditor in the latter date, Mr. Simeral was appointed to fill the unexpired term of one year. In the fall of 1883, he was again elected to the office and he was re-elected in the fall of 1886. In September, 1887, he entered upon his present term, which will expire in September, 1890. Mr. Simeral was married December 30, 1847, to Nancy Davis, who was born in Knox county, Ohio, April 19, 1826, being the daughter of John and Ann (Carter) Davis, who were natives of Virginia. Mr. Simeral and wife have had a family of seven children, all of whom are living and grown. Their names are: Luella M., John A., James M., William S., George E., Jessie F. and Eva C. Mr. and Mrs. Simeral are members of the Presbuterian church. The former has been a member of the Masonic lodge since 1851, and he has been a Knight Templar since January 28, 1867. In politics he was formerly a whig, casting his first presidential vote for Henry Clay in 1844. Since 1856 he has been a devoted member of the republican party. From his long experience in public office he has become known to nearly every man in the county, and his record, both as an official and as a private citizen, has been most honorable and well worthy of emulation. A notable coincidence in the family history of Mr. Simeral is that both he and his father had seven children, and in each case the family was composed of four boys and three girls, all of whom lived to maturity.

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