WILLIAM SIMPSON was a Cpl. in Company E, 9th Tennessee Calvary, Bennett's Regiment, Morgan's Brigade. William returned home safely. While a member of Morgan's Brigade, he met Marion Jasper Brizendine. When they returned home, Marion introduced William to his sister, Emily and they were married on August 3, 1865. (See photo of Emily Jane Brizendine Simpson.)
It is believed that William built a log cabin on his father's property in 1865 and later bought the land from Aaron Sanford. There are copies of the original deeds for the purchase of 113 acres in 1869 and 50 acres in 1871 from Aaron Sanford. Later, 20 acres were bought from J. M. Rippy in 1877 and 9 acres from R. I. Beasley in 1906. The cabin still stands today and the exciting news is that Phil and Bev Pritchard, my daughter and son-in-law, are in the process of purchasing 77 acres of the original property. The cabin is in need of repair, but hopefully, we will be able to preserve it for a few more years. This was the beginning of the legacy that has passed down for four generations to the descendants today.
Emily died on May 16, 1868, cause unknown. There was no known record of the place of Emily's burial. In 1994, a group of Brizendine family members were cleaning the old Brizendine Family Cemetery near Portland, Tennessee and found the broken marker for Emily. She had been buried with her parents. A new marker was purchased for Emily.
My grandfather, ROBERT LEE SIMPSON, was born on September 15, 1866 and was the only child born to William and Emily. (See Robert Lee Simpson biography written by Edith Martin Young.)
William was married the second time to Mary Equals on November 26, 1868. Mary and William had six children:
Again, after Mary died, William did not spend much time without a wife. No doubt this was out of necessity since there were so many children. On March 20, 1881, he married Leona Alice Doss. (See photo of William and Leona Alice Doss Simpson.) To this union were born five children.
William was known for his ability as a carpenter and blacksmith. Charles Ray Durham tells that his mother, Aunt Mattie Durham, remembered exactly where the blacksmith shop stood on the property down by the creek. There were rooms at each end of the big porch that had been added to the front of the house. Aunt Mattie told stories of sleeping in one of the rooms. Methodist Circuit Riders often used one of the rooms for overnight lodging. People came for miles around for his services as a blacksmith.
I have two hickory bottomed chairs that Grandpa made for my mother, Gertrude Simpson, when she and Daddy married. Dewey Holmes, a great grandson, remembered that William made all of the original pews for Mt. Vernon Church. Two of those pews are at Heritage Acres, my farm home.
Edna Gray Reddick remembers visiting in the Simpson home as a young girl and sitting on the big front porch, one of the many additions to the original log cabin. Additions made to the cabin have long since deteriorated and been torn down. I remember visiting the O'Neals who owned the property when I was a teenager. At that time, the kitchen and porch on the back of the house were usable and in good condition. The cabin still stands, sturdy and determined to speak of an era long gone. What joy it is to be a part of Phil's and Bev's purchase of the property that is so meaningful to so many people. Bev is William's great, great granddaughter.
William died on January 7, 1909 and is buried in the Mt. Vernon Cemetery. He was a long time member of Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church having joined and was baptized in 1887. He was a most respected person in the community. Alice died on July 16, 1932 and is buried in Mt. Vernon Cemetery.