John F. Simmons
John F. Simmons, keeper of a first-class livery at Weatherford, was born June 26, 1857, in Alabama, and at the age of twelve years came to Texas with his father, locating first in Bosque County and afterward in Comanche County, where they engaged in the livestock business. In 1872 the children were sent to Emporia, Kansas, for an education. John spent the winter of 1872-73 in Colorado, with stock, and, returning to Kansas, attended school there.
The Indians got to ranging upon the territory so much that Mr. Simmons had to remove to the eastward. There were no fights with these savages, but they ran by, stealing a great deal of livestock. In the spring of 1875, Mr. Simmons went to southern Texas and purchased more cattle, came north and moved his stock to Kansas. From 1872 to 1878 he handled cattle on the trail, and in the latter year he located a ranch in Palo Pinto County, where he remained until 1881, with his stock. In 1883 he moved to Parker County. In 1880 he married, and in coming to this county he settled upon a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1890, when he moved into Weatherford and engaged at first in the dairy business, next in the grain trade, and finally in the livery business, in which he is now prospering, as he has a good stock and understands well the need of his customers, treating them according to the stock and understands well the need of his customers, treating them according to the principles of business and honesty.
His parents were Dr. A. S. and Martha (Garrett) Simmons, of Alabama. In the spring of 1872, his father discontinued practice and engaged fully in the livestock business. In 1886 he went to Mexico, where he engaged in the same occupation a year, and then returned to Parker County and dealt in cattle here and in the Territory until 1892, since which time he has been in the livery business at Denison, Texas. He had five children, all sons, two of whom died young. Of the living, the subject of this sketch is the eldest; Daniel died at the age of seventeen years; and James L. died in 1892, leaving a wife and one child. The mother of these children died in 1889, and their father has again married.
Mr. John F. Simmons married Miss Flora Barthold, a daughter of Charles Barthold, who is a prominent merchant of Weatherford. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons have one child, Fred, who is now nine years of age.
Mr. Simmons takes an active interest in public affairs, sympathizing with the views of the Democratic party, and he is a member of the order of Knights of Honor. He has seen much of the rough side of life in Texas, and has by his own energies and strict principles arisen from the humble position of cow-boy to his present eviable station in life, wherein he is prominently identified with the best interests of Weatherford and seems well and comfortably settled for the remainder of his days.
[Source: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Tarrant and Parker Counties (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1895), pp. 255–256.]