E. F. Simmons is actively connected with a profession which has important bearing upon the progress and stable
prosperity of every community and one which has long been considered as conserving the ends of justice and maintaining
individual rights. He entered upon the practice of law in Fairfield in 1885 and in the intervening period, covering
more than a quarter of a century, has built up a reputation such as is gained only by individual merit and ability
attested in the actual work of the courts.
Mr. Simmons is one of Jefferson county's native sons, his birth having occurred near Brookville, March to, 1855.
His parents were W. L. S. and Sarah (Weaver) Simmons, both natives of Clermont county, Ohio, the former born January
to, 1822, and the latter January 31, 1825. On the 1st of May, 1842, Mr. Simmons arrived in Jefferson county, Iowa,
long prior to the admission of the state into the Union. entering land in Locust Grove township, after which he
returned to his native state and in Clermont county married Sarah Weaver. The return journey to Ohio was made on
horseback and the winter was passed in Illinois. He had to work untiringly and diligently in order to get enough
capital with which to establish his home and make a start in life. The marriage of the parents was celebrated in
1849, after which they journeyed westward to Iowa. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made on the
place when it came into possession of Mr. Simmons but with untiring energy he undertook the task of breaking the
sod and converting the wild lands into fields. He resided upon the farm near Brookville until April, 1861, when
he again went to Clermont county, Ohio, where he remained until the spring of 1863. Once more he came to Jefferson
county and was thereafter actively engaged in farming until 1896, when, with a comfortable competence acquired
through years of earnest and persistent toil, he retired from business life to take up his abode in Fairfield,
where his death occurred July 5, 1901. He had been more or less prominent in the public life of the community and
in 1875 had been elected to represent his district in the state legislature as the candidate of the republican
party. He held membership in the Methodist church and his influence was ever on the side of right, progress, reform
and improvement. Not only did he witness a remarkable transformation in the county from the period of his first
arrival until his death but was also an active participant in the labors and changes that brought the county up
to a leading position among the foremost counties of this great commonwealth. Unto him and his wife were born seven
children: E. F.; C. W., living in Plateau City, Colorado; Sarah B., a resident of Utah; Nancy W., of Chicago, and
three that died in infancy.
E. F. Simmons has spent his entire life in Jefferson county with the exception of the brief period from 1861 until
1863, when the family were living in Ohio. His youthful days were spent upon the home farm and here he became familiar
with the task of cultivating the fields and caring for the crops. After his public school education supplemented
by study in Iowa Wesleyan University at Mount Pleasant, he took up the study of law in the office and under the
direction of Leggett & McKemey, attorneys of Fairfield, who directed his reading until he was admitted to practice
on the 9th of December, 1885, by the supreme court of the State of Iowa. In December, 1896, he formed a partnership
with his preceptor, J. S. McKemey, which continued four years, after which he contracted a partnership with H.
C. Raney that continued until Mr. Raney's death in 1910. He is well versed in the principles of law and is seldom
if ever at fault in the application of a legal principle or in the citation of a precedent. He prepares his cases
with great thoroughness and skill and marshals the evidence with the precision of a military commander, never losing
sight of any point that bears upon the case and at the same time always keeping to the fore the important point
upon which every question finally turns. He has filled the office of county attorney for four years, having been
first elected in 1895. On the 1st of January, 1896, he became city solicitor and filled that office four years,
at the end of which time his record received public indorsement in his reelection in the spring of 1911.
On the 12th of August, 1891, Mr. Simmons was married to Miss Geneva M. McCoid, of Logan, Iowa, a daughter of James
McCoid, and they now have five children, Beverly F., James M. and William W., twins, Edgar L. and Margaret. Mr.
Simmons is giving his children good educational privileges and is a warm friend of the public schools. He has served
for three terms, or nine years, as a member of the school board and has done much to advance the standard of education
in Fairfield. His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. His life has been well spent and his
record is as an open book which all may read. The comrades of his youth remain the friends of his manhood and the
circle of his friendship continually broadens as the circle of his acquaintance is extended.
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Jefferson County, IA
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