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The subject of this sketch was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, January 6, 1880, his parents being James M. and Mary Durrett Simms. While a child his parents moved to Missouri and his education was received in the schools of that state. In September, 1900, he went to St. Louis, studied shorthand there, accepted a position in a law office in February, 1901, and took up the study of law, attending the lectures of the Benton College of Law at night. In June, 1902, he was admitted to the bar in the city of St. Louis. He resided in St. Louis until December, 1908, when he moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma. In 1914 he formed a law partnership with Grant Foreman, under the firm name of Foreman & Simms, succeeding the firm of Thomas & Foreman. Since that time his firm has been connected with much important litigation both in the state and the federal courts, and he has been quite successful in handling matters involving the Indians of the Creek tribe, before the departments at Washington.
On August 6, 1906, he was married to Miss Claire Brewer of Cincinnati, Ohio. They have three children, Wesley D., Margaret and James B. In politics he is nominally a Republican, believing in the principles of that party, but is too independent in thought and character to give his support to one who in his judgment is unworthy of public confidence. He confines his party work to the support of those men whose records are such that he can consistently defend them. He is a member of the Muskogee Town and Country Club and of the Sequoyah Club. He is at present one of the trustees of Phillips University and a member of the executive committee of that institution.