Simon Nichols my second great-grandfather was born on December 14, 1827, in Dry Ridge, Grant, Kentucky. His parents were Reuben Nichols and Mary Nancy Skirvin. He was their first child. His others siblings were James Harvey 1829, Mary Jane 1831, John “Jackson” Clayton 1834, William Henry 1836, George Thomas 1839, Frances Marion 1841, Rebecca Margaret 1843, Louisa Susan 1846, Nancy Ann 1849 and Sarah Elizabeth 1851.
From the time Simon was born until they landed at a permanent residence they lived in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, Quincy, Illinois and then to Williamstown, Clarke, Missouri. It was in Williamstown that they settled in as a lifetime resident.
At the age of twenty-five years old, he married Mary Frances Noel on July 9, 1853, in Clarke County, Missouri. They started their family by having a son, William Reuben in 1854, other siblings followed, John Clayton 1855, Nancy Eleanor 1856, Mary A 1859, Alvira “Ella” 1861 and Emma E 1864. All were born in or around Lewis and Clarke counties. It is not known the cause of death of Mary Frances but on December 21, 1871, she died leaving a grieving family. She was only thirty-nine years old and was buried in the family cemetery in Clarke County, Missouri.
Simon was now a widower with children to raise by himself. He married for the second time to Sarah Frances “Sallie” Douglas on January 26, 1873, in Clarke County, he was now forty-five and she was twenty years old. Quite an age difference even for back in those days.
Simon and Sallie started their family by having a girl Lorena R in 1873 soon to follow were Lilly F 1876, Gertrude Wilburn (my great-grandmother) 1878, Addie 1880, Robert Lee 1882 and Simon Leonard Nichols 1884. Addie was a baby when she died in 1881 and it was a tragic loss to a family that my great-grandmother Gertrude carried with her the rest of her life. Addie was buried in the family cemetery as well on the family farm.
Diseases such as Cholera, Malaria, Diphtheria and Typhoid Fever were rampant during this time so it is likely Simon died of one of these on May 26, 1884, at the age of fifty-six years old. What was even worse was that Sallie was pregnant at the of Simon’s death and she gave birth to a son on June 7, 1884. He was named after his deceased father.
Simon was buried in the family cemetery with Addie and Mary Frances along with his parents on the Clarke and Lewis County line. Over the years other people have owned the farm and as time went on so did the cemetery. It was plowed over and forgotten about for many years. Family and county people who remembered the little cemetery obtained the permission of the owners of the farm to resurrect the cemetery and headstones. The project took a while to complete but my aunt Shirley Ann Brumley Stevens was present when they dedicated the cemetery.
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