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Audrain County, Missouri

"History of Northeast Missouri" Edited by Walter Williams,
Published by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago Illinois 1913 Three Volumes, page 1675

ORRIS B. SIMS, who for nearly half a century has resided on the same farm, a tract lying on the south branch of the Salt River, twelve miles southeast of Mexico, Missouri, is one of the old and honored residents of Audrain county, where he has seen the country grow and flourish from a wild waste of prairie land to a center of commercial, agricultural and industrial
activity. As one who has done his share in bringing about the wonderful changes that have taken place during the last fifty years, Mr. SIMS takes prominent rank among his county's citizens, and is known as a man who has at all times labored for the good of the community in which he has resided, and where his friends are legion, so numerous are they. Orris B. SIMS was
born May 26, 1837, eight miles west of Fulton, in Callaway county, Missouri, and is a son of James and Hannah (BARNES) SIMS. James SIMS was a brother of Garland SIMS, father of Judge J. E. SIMS.


William SIMS, the grandfather of Orris B. SIMS, was a native of Madison county, Kentucky, and an early settler of Missouri. He settled in the eastern part of Boone county, where he carried on farming up to the time of his death in 1855 or 1856, being about eighty years of age and one of the prominent and influential men of his day and locality. Hannah BARNES was
the daughter of Phil BARNES, also of Madison county, Kentucky, who was the butcher in old Franklin fort, and also settled on the east side of Two Mile Prairie in Boone county. Thus James SIMS and Hannah BARNES grew to maturity together, knew and loved each other, and were married in Callaway county. Mrs. SIMS died some time previous to the war, but her husband
survived her a number of years, reaching an advanced age of eighty-eight years. Mr. SIMS carried on general farming with slave labor prior to the war, and was one of the his community's prominent citizens and a leader in the Primitive Baptist church in Callaway county. He and his wife had the following children: Orris B.; Lycurgus, who is engaged in farming in Audrain county; Rohanizan, who married Thomas HUDSON, of Boone county, and died at Centralia at the age of seventy-six years; Mrs. Francis STEWARD, living with her children; Mary, who married Harris O. SIMS and lives on the old homestead of her father; and Parlee, the widow of Dave LITTLE, of Callaway county.

In 1864 Orris B. SIMS was married to Lucinda MAXWELL, of eight miles west of Columbia, a daughter of John and Jane (ANDERSON) MAXWELL. She was born on the MAXWELL homestead in Boone county, and was twenty-one years of age at the time of her marriage. During the same year Mr. and Mrs. SIMS came to Mr. SIMS present property on the south branch of the Salt River, then only a tract of sixty-six acres, for which he spent his entire capital of $1,000, although since that time he has paid as high as $20 per acre for land. He continued to add to his holdings from time to time until he had 500 acres of land, on which there were substantial, modern buildings, all the latest improvements, and large herds of cattle, horses, hogs and sheep, and although he has give away a great deal of property, he still has 226 acres of old homestead. Mr. SIMS carried on every branch of farming and also operated sawmills and threshing machines in season, and his high abilities and tireless industry made all of his ventures successful ones.


He can look back without a shade of regret over a long and well spent life, back to the days of his early youth when he was allowed to accompany his uncle, William SIMS on a trip to Mexico, where he beheld the first railroad train that ever reached that point. His career has been without stain or blemish, and he can comfort himself in his declining years with the thought that when he has passed away he will not only have left his children comfortable competencies in a material way, but also has bequeathed to them the heritage of an honorable and honored name. In political matters, Mr. SIMS is a Democrat, but he has never been an office seeker. He and his wife are consistent and liberal members of the Primitive Baptist Church of Mount Tabor, or Salt Run.


Mr. and Mrs. SIMS have had eight children, namely: James Oliver; Mettie Ann, the widow of John BROWN, Centralia; Elizabeth Jane, who married George BROWN, a farmer near the old SIMS homestead; Amanda Catherine, who married Lee WILCOX, of Audrain county; Sallie Lee, who married Benjamin A. BROWN, a farmer near the SIMS homestead; Mary Florence, who married Victor WAYNE, of Moberly, Missouri; and John Milton and Orris Reuben. The three BROWN boys, John, George and Benjamin A., are brothers, and are the sons of Jack BROWN.    Top

"History of Northeast Missouri" Edited by Walter Williams,
Published by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago Illinois 1913 Three Volumes, page 1572

CHARLES L. STEWART. For a period of over forty years Mr. STEWART has been closely identified with those activities which constitute the business and civic life of a community and which in the aggregate have made Audrain one of the most progressive counties in Northeastern Missouri. Mr. STEWART may well be termed one of the builders of his present home town of Rush Hill, since he was there when it was nothing more than a country settlement and has lent his influence and energies to every subsequent phase of its improvement.

Charles L. STEWART came to Audrain county in 1870 from Indiana, his native state. He was born in Cambridge City in Wayne County, August 13, 1845, but was reared from the age of nine months, at which time his mother died, in Ohio county, Indiana, where he remained until he was sixteen years old. The war then came on and he was one of the boys who so largely composed the army of Union defenders. He enlisted in Company C of the Seventh Indiana Infantry, and going to Virginia, served successfully under General SHIELDS, MCDOWELL and POPE, June 9, 1862, at the battle of Port Republic, he was captured and for three months was confined in a southern prison at Lynchburg, and Belle Isle, Virginia. He was then paroled, and
later joined BURNSIDE's army and participated in the battles of Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania and many minor engagements of the Army of the Potomac. Through it all he passed unwounded. On rejoining his command after his capture he found his regiment with the second brigade of the first division of the first army corps. When GRANT took the chief command in the Spring of 1864 and reorganized the Army of the Potomac, the first corps was broken up, and the Seventh Indiana was placed in the fifth corps with the celebrated Iron Brigade, composed wholly of western troops, from Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, and commanded by General BRAGG of Wisconsin. In this command he remained until his term of service expired in September, 1864. He was mustered out at Indianapolis after having given three years and twenty days of his young life to the stern duties of fighting for the Union. He was still under twenty when he returned home a veteran.

After living at home in Ohio county for a year, he began trading along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, going as far as New Orleans. This experience, says Mr. STEWART, was considered an essential part of a young man's training in those days. During the next three years he made up for the interruptions to his earlier schooling by attending normal schools in Jefferson county, Indiana, and at Lebanon, Ohio. In 1870 he came to Missouri, spending the first year in Callaway county, and in 1871 took charge of a school south of Farber in Audrain county, where he remained four years. The next two years were spent in teaching in Audrain and Montgomery counties, and then for six years he taught school near the present site of Rush Hill. 

When Mr. STEWART took up his permanent abode at Rush Hill in 1884, the town was composed of only several houses. He had been commissioned a notary in 1878 and also began writing insurance the same year, having an office open on Saturdays and during school vacations. By 1884 his business had increased to such an extent that he gave up educational work, and has been a resident and business man of Rush Hill ever since. He has done considerable business in real estate, though somewhat incidentally to his other work, and has bought on his own account various farms and at the present time owns more than three hundred acres, which he rents, and also some town property. At one time he has charge of three thousand acres in
this vicinity for non resident owners. In 1905 Mr. STEWART was one of the active organizers of the Bank of Rush Hill, being one of the first board of directors, and is now president of this solid institution.

Mr. STEWART was married in Audrain county, October 2, 1878, to Miss Emma V. LOFTON. She died after a little more than one year of wedded companionship, on December 19, 1879. On October 18, 1898, Mr. STEWART married Mrs. Robert Hale GREER, of Callaway county. They are the parents of one daughter, Mary Stewart, born August 13, 1899, and Mrs. STEWART has one daughter by her former marriage, Beulah GREER, who was born January 13, 1894. Politically Mr. STEWART is an independent Democrat. He became a charter member of the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 359 organized at Wellsville, Missouri, and is also a member of the Royal Arch chapter in the same city.

He is an elder and a trustee of the Rush Hill Christian church; also clerk and treasurer of the Rush Hill School board for seven years last past.  

SIMS, Orris B                     STEWART, Charles L