Biography of V. Simpson
Winona County, MN Biographies

V. SIMPSON, real estate and loan office, room No. 5, Simpson's block. Mr. Simpson is the son of B. F. and Eliza Simpson, of Lowell, Massachusetts, both of whom are now living; one aged eighty three and the other eighty two, after fifty six years of married life. V. Simpson was born in Windham, and after some experience in dry goods business came west to Dubuque in 1852, and three years later to Winona, the date of his arrival here being April 12, 1855. On the 12th day of the following August he opened a general merchandising business in a building he had erected on thee site of his present block, fronting on Center street. Continued in trade one year, and sold out, that he might devote all his attention to his agencies for freight and storage, which he held for all the transportation companies doing business on the river. In the spring of 1852 he connected the supply of provisions with his freightage and storage business, and so continued until two years after the great fire of 1862, which swept away his property, entailing a loss of $60, 000 and leaving him thoroughly cleaned out. In that year, 1864, he sold out his business to F. A. Seavey and established a real estate and loan agency. The Simpson block, built just after the great fire of 1862, is a solid three-story and basement structure, 68 x 120 feet, brick walls, stone foundations and basement, and cost $16, 000. January 13, 1877, this block was destroyed by fire, and immediately rebuilt at a cost of $15,000; loss about covered by insurance. In 1872 Mr. Simpson erected the Ely block, just across Center Street from the Simpson block. This is also a three-story and basement and brick, solid stone foundations and basement, iron cornice fronts, eighty feet on Second street and 140 on Center, and cost $45,000. Mr. Simpson is very largely interested in city property, and his books show a tenantry numbering 132. He has also quite extensive investments in farming lands in this county, and owns one stock farm of 400 acres in Dodge county. Mr. Simpson has served one term as alderman of his ward, was mayor of the city during the years 1876-7-8-9, holds stock shares in several of the manufacturing companies of the city, and is always interested in city improvements. He is married and has three children: one son, a civil engineer in the United States service, on duty with the Missouri river improvement corps; one daughter married to E. G. Nevins, of this city; one daughter now attending Winona high school.


FROM:
The History of Winona County
Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc.
BY: A. T. Andreas
H. H. Hill and Company, Publishers
Chicago 1883.

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