JOHN A. SIMMS
An identification of many years with the business interests of Riverside and a mental endowment peculiarly qualifying
him for extensive participation in finances, form the substantial basis upon which Mr Simms has risen to a commanding
position in the financial circles of Southern California and especially in that portion thereof included within
the boundaries of Riverside county. As president of the Riverside Savings Bank & Trust Company, vice president
of the First National Bank and also as president of the Riverside Title & Trust Company, his influence is wide
and his prominence unquestioned. In the management of the funds entrusted to the various institutions with which
he has connection he displays a judgment rarely at fault and a conservative spirit that shuns all hazardous investments,
however promising they may appear to the casual observer An era of encouraging progress has characterized the concerns
of his upbuilding and confidence has marked their relations with depositors and customers, who regard them as invaluable
factors in the civic prosperity.
A son of Albert G. and Mary Simms and a native of Henry county, Ky., born September 20, 1851, John A. Simms accompanied
his parents to Indiana at an early age and settled with them on a farm near Brookston, White county, where he received
a common school education. Upon leaving school he began to give his entire attention to the home farm and for five
years he continued to assist his father in agricultural operations. The call of the west then led him to Southern
California, where he joined an uncle, Dr. Ball, at Riverside, and soon be secured employment in the Russell nurseries.
At the expiration of three years in the nursery business he embarked in buying and selling real estate and this
proved a profitable enterprise. During the year 1887 he entered the nursery business with L. C. Waite, investing
all of his capital in the undertaking, and here, as in previous connections, he has prospered, his retirement in
1895 enabling him to enjoy in leisure and comfort the fruits of his profitable industry. However, idleness was
uncongenial to his tastes and after a lapse of eleven years he again became connected with civic enterprises, this
time entering the arena of finance as an officer in institutions of large capital and expanding resources.
The family of Mr. Simms consists of his wife, formerly Miss Jennie Patton, whom he married in Riverside August
7, 1879, and their two sons - twins - La Roy and La Monte, who were students in Heald's Business College at Riverside
and now employed in the First National Bank of this city. While not a partisan and at no time a candidate for official
honors, Mr. Simms maintains a warm interest in all public affairs of importance and gives his support to Republican
principles. He was elected a member of the board of freeholders that framed the new city charter and served as
a member of the council four years. During his term in office the municipal electric light plant and system were
installed. In local affairs he supports those officials who in their administrations emphasize economy and system.
Public service, in his opinion, should be elevated to a high place and the keenest minds should be retained so
that good government may be promoted. Various fraternal organizations have received the benefit of his energy and
ability, among these being the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order
of Foresters, also the lodge, chapter and commandery of the Masonic order.
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912
Riverside County, CA
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