Transcribed by Pat Stubbs


April 15, 1954






     The oldest man in Macon County lacks only eight months being 105 years of age, and from all outward appearances he'll probably reach the mark with flying colors this coming December 22.


     Nick Simon, who lives by himself in a little home about a mile off Highway 52 in the Siloam community, will tell you he is 98, but a daughter-in-law of the thin, bearded old man, says he was born December 22, 1849.


     The father of 16 children, of whom only three are still living, the white-haired oldster is still remarkably active despite his age.  He manages his own housekeeping, talks very sensibly and even his hearing is impaired but very little.


     His parents immigrated from Germany, Mr. Simon said, although he doesn't know the date of their arrival.   He was born in Madison, Indiana, and came to Tennessee a few years later.


     "I married when I was nineteen," he related, "and I remember my mother asking me why I couldn't have waited until I was 20."  He laughed as his memory ran back over the years.  He was married twice.  When asked how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren he had, he state "Oh, about 500, I guess."


     He started work before he was 20 at the "cotton factory" in Gallatin and he said he worked there until the owner "went down to Memphis, got shot by a nigger, died, and never came back."


     Later, he ran a store near his home, neighbors of the man reported


     Mr. Simon's father served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  "I was too young to go to the war (Civil) and too old for the next one (First World War.)"


     The aged man struck a sad chord, the first of our visit, when he began talking of his dead children.  "I've got'em buried all over this part of the country.  I'm an old man."


     But despite his statement, you feel that here is a man who will never be actually old, a modern-day methuselah.  It was a peaceful scene as we turned to get one more glance at the man, sitting on the porch of the little home with the soft, warm spring breeze blowing across his weathered face.