Biography - John Simon

JOHN SIMON. Among those of foreign birth who are closely associated with the farming interests of Montgomery County, and who are early settlers of the same, we should not fail to present an outline of the career of Mr. Simon, for he has fully borne out the reputation of that class of industrious, energetic and thrifty men of German nativity who have risen to prominence in different portions of this country. There are sterling qualities about the nationality that particularly fit them for almost any occupation, and they have done excellent work in helping to develop the various resources of the country. Therefore it is with genuine pleasure that we include his sketch in this work, for he is not only one of the pioneers of this county, but a man whose honesty, uprightness and sociability have won for him the esteem of all.
Born in Germany, near Frankfort, October 24, 1823, our subject is the son of George and Elizabeth Simon, natives of the Fatherland, where they remained until 1829. At that early date they emigrated to the "Land of the free," and settled in Maryland, where they passed the remainder of their days. The following children were born to their union: John, Catherine, Caroline, Theodore, Mary, Louisa, Matilda and Huldah. Our subject was reared in Maryland, and received but a limited education in his youth, his advantages being very inferior to those of the present day. Being a great reader and a man of more than ordinary intelligence, he is mainly self-educated, and is as well informed as many who have had much better advantages.
On the 5th of September, 1844, Mr. Simon was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Peck, a native of Pennsylvania, born in Somerset County, March 4, 1825. She is the daughter of Henry and Eva Peck, natives of the Keystone State, and of German descent. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Peck were as follows: John; Catherine, Mrs. Simon; Jacob, Elizabeth, Samuel, Sally, Susan and Henry. The four last named died after reaching mature years.
Of the children born to our subject and his wife, the following now survive: Elizabeth, Susan, Sarah. Savilla, Louisa, Catherine, Lucinda, Julia, Alice, Jonas and George. Seven children are deceased, five sons and two daughters. In the fall of 1866, our subject with his family removed to the Prairie State and located first in Macoupin County, but in the spring of 1867, came to Montgomery County and settled on a farm in Bois D'Arc Township, where he has resided since.
Mr. Simon has acquired about one hundred and fifty-five acres of land, upon which he has since closely applied himself to farming and stock-raising, and with what success may be inferred from a glance at his farm. His estimable wife has been a helpmate indeed, and has aided him in every effort. They settled on the raw prairie land, and Mr. Simon turned the first furrow on the place. He is a self-made man, and he and Mrs. Simon have reason to be proud of their energy and perseverance in gathering around them so many of the comforts and conveniences of life. They have witnessed almost the entire growth of the county, have contributed their share toward its development and progress, and are citizens of whom any community might be proud. Both are worthy members of the German Baptist Church, and Mr. Simon is a Deacon in the same. During her girlhood Mrs. Simon attended a subscription school, and, although she had limited educational advantages, she is a thoughtful reader and observer, and an intelligent conversationalist. They are honorable and useful citizens, and an ornament to their community.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 290-291.

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