John F. Simpson was born December, 1824, in Prince William County, Virginia, the son of J. W. Simpson, of Bardstown, Kentucky, who is now ninety-two years of age. John F. came to Kentucky at the age of twelve, and was educated at the public schools. After a residence of some ten years in Louisville, he moved to Eufaula in the Creek Nation (in 1872), and in the year following embarked in the hide and fur business, which he continues until the present day. In 1870, Mr. Simpson, while in Arkansas, met Miss Susan Crabtree, daughter of the late Mr. William Crabtree, a prominent citizen of the Creek Nation, and they were married the same year in that State. Soon after coming to Eufaula he commenced improving land, and now owns 60 acres close to town, as well as 115 acres two miles further out. Mr. Simpson and his father-in-law were the first who ever grew cotton in the Creek Nation, having hauled a wagon load of the seed from a gin in Texas, situated on the spot where now stands the City of Texarkana. The first crop was a complete failure, owing to an early September frost. This occurred in 1873. Afterwards Mr. Simpson bought and shipped the first bale of cotton ever ginned in the Creek country. The subject of this sketch has seen some active service under General Taylor in the Mexican war. He joined the first regiment that enlisted for a twelve months’ service on that occasion, which regiment was the First Kentucky, under Colonel Ormsby. During these twelve months he served at the battle of Monterey, and other engagements of lesser note. Mr. Simpson has a family of six children, Hattie, aged eighteen years; Robert Lee, aged seventeen years; John, aged fourteen years; Kate, aged twelve years; Mary, aged ten years, and James, aged eight years.
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