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Simon Folsom, one of the first elders of the Forest Presbyterian Church is now one of the oldest living representatives of the slavery period. Nancy Brashears, his third and present wife, enjoys the distinction of having been the most influential of the early leaders in effecting the organization of that Church. He became an elder in 1887. After twenty-six years of faithful service under very unfavorable circumstances, he is still trying “to hold up for the faith.”
In 1901 he enjoyed the privilege of being one of the commissioners of the Presbytery of Kiamichi, and attended the meeting of the General Assembly in Philadelphia. Many of the good things heard and fine impressions received on that occasion, have never been forgotten, and they have furnished him interesting themes, for many subsequent addresses. Though unable to read, he quotes the Bible as one very familiar with that sacred book. He inherited a good memory, that serves him well in public address, and he is always happy and ready when it comes his turn to “speak in meeting.” His messages are always notes of joy and gladness, and the ebb and flow of his voice in prayer often seem like the chanting of a sacred melody.
He was an ardent supporter of the Oak Hill school and two of his sons, Samuel and David, both now deceased, were among the brightest and most promising, that have attended that institution. He has been for many years the coffin maker, for the people of his community, and both of these boys became skilled carpenters. Samuel, after completing the grammar course at Oak Hill, spent two years 1903-5 at Biddle University and served one year as a teacher at Oak Hill. His skill as a workman and ability to serve as a foreman of the carpenters, made it possible for the superintendent in 1910, to erect Elliott Hall by the labor of the students and patrons of the Academy. Both worked faithfully on this building and died soon after its completion, during the early months of 1912. Both were members and Samuel an elder of the Oak Hill Church.1
Simon died May 17, 1914. ↩