Marion Isaac Hennesy – letter 1944

Here is the text of a letter written by Marion to his nephew, Esmond Edward HENNESY, 28 March, 1944:

Houston 11 Texas,
March 28th, 1944

Mr. E. E. Hennesy and Family:-

Dear Folks:- Please pardon me for not writing sooner, we were very glad indeed to hear from you, for we often think of you.

We are well as usual, I am well of my broken hip, but am very in (sic) the side that is parilysed (sic), I guess it will get worse as I get older, also my eyes, are failing fast, the Drs. say that it caused by high blood pressure, and there is no chance for improvement. so I guess they will go like your Papas did, maybe they will hold out as long as I live without going out.

Well we have had a bad winter here, not much cold but cloudy a and rain, but it is nice now.

This good spring weather makes me want to go, we have been thinking about a trip to La. but we think maybe some off (sic) the children might come, Vanda came last month and stayed about ten days.

Kirby is still in Aberdeen, is Asst. Yard Master in the Rail Road yards, he likes it very much.

Clarences boy and Levys boys are in the Navy, we are expecting them to get J.D. later this year, hes (sic) at San Diego Calf.

We stay in most of the time, and dont learn anything, as we no (sic) nothing to write, Nettie Wood was in the Hospital for an operation, she wrote me that she was improving, I think Etta is very well satisfied with married live (sic), our bunch are all well, Levy is here he is the only one we see very often.

I think Truman was drafted, and went march 21st, Nannie is getting along very well.

I hope you and your family are all getting along alright. I never hear from Jewell and Zoe, or Lucille, if you know where she is, please let me know.

If we go to La. we will not go to Franklinton as it so hard for me to ride a bus, and the gasoline is so scarce.

Well as my eyes are failing, I will have to quit, Write when you feel like it.

Love to all the Family.

We are as ever your Uncle and Aunt.

Photo Albert Winston Lang and Narcissus Simmons Lang, with Evie and Iva, circa 1894

Albert Winston LANG and Narcissus SIMMONS LANG
1869-1959; 1870-1944

Narcis and Albert are seen here with their two oldest children. Narcis is holding Evie (Knight), b. 1893; Albert is holding Iva, b. 1891. Photo would be circa 1894.

Image courtesy of Bob Ann Breland.

Perry Lang and Sons Photo

William Perry Lang and his sons

Perry Lang and sons, retouched

Bob Ann Breland writes, “A distant cousin in Huntsville, Al, found this photo among her late aunt’s things and sent Bob Ann Breland a copy. It is a photo of William Perry Lang and his four sons. Shown in front, Albert Winston Lang (Bob Ann’s grandfather), William Perry Lang and Charles F. Lang. In back are William Lucien ‘Will’ Lang and Oscar L. Lang.”

The ages of the men seem to would have it taken at a later date than this photo which is perhaps circa 1898. I’m going to go with about 1905 though I’ve no idea of the date of this photo.

Image courtesy of Bob Ann Breland.

Ezra “Jodi” Simmons, Stalag 2B POW

Ezra on base

Ezra on base, retouched

Ezra on base

Ezra on base, with background brought out

I attempted to bring out the writing on the back of the photo but am still unable to read it.

Ezra “Jodi” Simmons
Photos from Ethel Simmons Hennesy collection.

Ezra “Jodi” SIMMONS, 2nd son of Lucius Theodore SIMMONS and Annie (Knight) SIMMONS , was born 8 Feb 1913 at Washington Parish, LA.

Ezra served in WWII. He was in the 509th Parachute Infantry Batallion, which was the first American Unit to parachute into combat in Nov. 42. On Feb 29 19– he was taken prisoner and was a POW at the infamous Stalag 2B, where treatment was worse than at any other camp in Germany.


EVACUATION & LIBERATION: On 28 January 1945, POW received German instructions to be ready to evacuate camp at 0800 hours the following morning. Upon receipt of these instructions, the MOC set up a plan of organization based on 25-man groups and 200 man companies with NCOs in charge. On the day of the evacuation, however, POW were moved out of camp in such a manner that the original plan was (of) little assistance. German guards ordered POW to fall out of the barracks. When 1200 men had assembled on the road, the remaining 500 were allowed to stay in the barracks. A disorganized column of 1200 marched out into the cold and snow. The guards were considerate, and Red Cross food was available. After the first day, the column was broken down into three groups of 400 men each, with NCOs in charge of each group.

For the next three months, the column was on the move, marching an average of 22 kilometers a day 6 days a week. German rations were neither regular nor adequate. At almost every stop Sgt McMahan bartered coffee, cigarettes or chocolate for potatoes which he issued to the men. Bread the most important item, was not issued regularly. When it was needed most it was never available. The soup was, as a rule, typical, watery German soup, but several times POW got a good, thick dried-pea soup. Through the activity of some of the key NCO’s, Red Cross food was obtained from POW camps passed; by the column on the march. Without it, it is doubtful that the majority of men could have finished the march. The ability of the men to steal helped a lot. The weather was atrocious. It always seemed to be either bitter cold or raining or snowing. Quarters were usually unheated barns and stables. Sometimes they slept unsheltered on the ground; and sometimes they were fortunate enough to find a heated barn.

Except for one period when Red Cross food was exhausted and guards became surly, morale of the men remained at a high level. Practically all the men shaved at every opportunity and kept their appearance as neat as possible under the circumstances.

From time to time weak POW would drop out of the column and wait to be picked up by other columns which were on the move. Thus at Dahlen on 6 & 7 March, the column dwindled to some 900 American POW. On 19 March at Tramm, 800 men were sent to work on Kommandos, leaving only 133 POW who were joined a week later by the Large Kommando Company from Lauenberg. On 13 April the column was strafed by 4 Spitfires near Dannenberg. Ten POW were killed. The rest of the column proceeded to Marlag 10C, Westertimke, where they met the men they had left behind at Stalag IIB who had left on 18 February, reached Stalag 10B after an easy 3 day trip, and then moved adjacent Marlag 10C on 16 April. Westertimke was liberated by the British on 28 April 1945.

More on Stalag 2B can be found at the following links:

Ezra received a Purple Heart.

He did not discuss his time as a POW, at least not with his family, and suffered for years with PTSD. He married a nurse, Juanita CRAIN, and settled down to fishing and alligator trapping in the bayou.

Juanita and Ezra had one child, Charles William Simmons, born 1946 Dec 20, who tragically died in Oct of 1965 in a work related accident.

Ezra is described as the fun uncle by nephews (sons of Jean Kearns) who visited him.

Ezra’s military enlistment:

Name: Ezra W Simmons
Birth Year: 1913
Race: White, citizen (White)

Enlistment Date: 27 Jan 1942
Enlistment State: Florida
Enlistment City: Fort Lauderdale
Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life

Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: Job Pressman (Printing press operator, job press. ) or Casting Machine Operator
Marital Status: Married
Height: 70
Weight: 166

Ezra’s POW citation:

Provided by David R. BERRY at the Genforum WWII Genealogy Forum, 23 Feb 2004.

GRADE PFC Private First Class
PARENT UNIT TYPE Battalion/Training Battalion Combat/Special Troops
AREA 98 North African Theatre: Italy
SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. View
STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated View
CAMP Stalag 2B Hammerstein (99 work camps in vicinity of Koslin & Stolp) West Prussia 53-17

David Berry notes: “Note that he was a member of the 509th PARACHUTE INFANTRY BATTALION about which I think you will be able to find a bit more history. This was the first American unit to parachute into combat (NOV42).”

* * * * * *

Name: Ezra W Simmons
Race: White
Residence State: 44

Report Date: 29 Feb 1944
Latest Report Date: 11 Jul 1945

Grade: Private First Class
Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman
Service Branch: Army
Arm or Service: Infantry
Arm or Service Code: Infantry
Organization Type: Parachute Infantry
Parent Unit Type: Battalion/Training Battalion Combat/Special Troops
Area Served: North African Theatre: Italy
Detaining Country: Germany
Camp: 003
Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

The below photos of Ezra and his wife would have been taken at the time of a Hennesy reunion held in the 1970s.

Estus “Pete” Simmons

Estus Simmons, tinted

Estus Simmons, original

Estus (Pete) Simmons
13 Dec 1908 – 14 Mar 1960

No indication of photographer, place or date. I would estimate 1930s. I added a touch of quick hazy color for definition. There are several rusted cans on the porch rail and I believe through the window one can see a bed with a metal frame.

Estus “Pete” SIMMONS, son of Lucius Theodore SIMMONS and Annie (Knight) SIMMONS was born 13 Dec 1908 at Washington Parish, LA. Estus married Genieva. They had one son, Denman. Estus was a carpenter. He died of tuberculosis 14 March 1960 at 52. He is buried at the Simmons Pope Cemetery in Washington Parish, LA.

Estus’ obituary.

The Story of Will Smith

The Smith family history as descended through Narcissus “Narcis” Simmons Lang, daughter of Robert “Reuben” Simmons and Frances Smith, and Narcissus’ son Seldon Albert Lang. Related by Bob Ann Breland.

“Seldon Lang remembers that he was told by his mother that Ward Smith’s father (Will Smith) was an Indian fighter. He had been reared by the Indians and could speak their language, so he could talk with them and knew how to track them.

“When Indian marauders burned down the town of Roanoke, VA., there were only two people who survived. He became the tracker for a party of soldiers who tracked down the marauders. When the soldiers were in pursuit, they came upon the home of settlers burned by the same Indians, and the remains of the house still smoking.

“The story is told that a Cherokee Indian girl in her teens was out behind the place, standing on a stump picking green peaches. The soldiers and their tracker, who was Ward Smith’s father, took the girl with them when they left. Smith took her for his wife and they had a family, which included Ward Smith. This is where the Indian line of the family comes in.

“Apparently, this family ancestor was quite a character. He had a dog for years to help him in his tracking, and when the dog died he put him in a box and buried him in the human cemetery which was illegal. He evidently did many things which were unusual, which often caused him to get into trouble.”

SOURCE: Bob Ann Breland

An Alternate Smith history descended through Mary Ann Simmons, daughter of Reuben and Francis Simmons thru Mary Ann Simmons, daughter of Rueben and Francis SIMMONS, and was transmitted from Kermit Reeves to Bob Ann Breland.

John C. Smith and his family lived in Virginia where he was in the Cavalry. So was his son, Ward Smith. After one of the raids on the Indian camps, John thought all the Indians were dead, but he found an Indian girl under a pile of wood. She was young and he did not want to kill her. He carried her home and raised her.

When she grew up, his son Ward married her and they moved to Kentucky and raised a family of two sons and three daughters. One of the daughters married Robert Reuben Simmons, who moved to Alabama and then on to Pike County Miss where he raised a family, five sons and two daughters. Mary Ann married James “Jim” Lang and Narcis “Dink” married Albert Winston Lang. Both Albert and Jim after starting a family moved to Sheridan LA. Albert and Narcis had sons Iva, Leslie, Norman, Narvil and Seldon and daughters, Fannie, Evie and Lillian.

Jim and Mary Ann had two sons, Monroe and Esco, and their daughters were Fannie, who married and moved back to Kentucky, but the others, Mattie, Della, Marjorie and Maud all lived in Washington Parish, married and had large families.

We know that Ward Smith married Easter Everidge and that she wasn’t discovered under a wood pile but there are other details that are interesting. Such as the idea of “moving back to Kentucky”. Though the alternate story of Will Smith indicates the family coming from Virginia, and the census (not always correct) says South Carolina, the detail of “moving back to Kentucky” suggests someone had a tie with that state.



Bob Ann Breland

On September 13, 1892, twelve of God’s consecrated ones joined themselves together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and formed Union Baptist Church. Those members were: W.A. Phelps and wife L.J. Phelps, I.M. Phelps and wife Anna A. Phelps, Albert W. Lang ,and wife Narcissus Lang, Jim M. Simmons and wife Mary P. Simmons, John C. Lang and wife Ruby A. Lang, Will P. Lang, and I.E. Phelps. From these, W.A. Phelps, J.M. Simmons, and W.P. Lang were appointed to prepare rules of decorum and an abstract of faith. Rev. Isaiah Allmand and Rev. J.M. Hutson acted as moderator and clerk.

The Lord blessed this group with two acres of land for a church building and cemetery given by J.M. Simmons. Construction soon began on a one room structure made of rough lumber given by church members. Windows were wooden shutters. Slab benches, made by members, kerosene lamps, and a wood heater provided comfort for these early Christians. The church began with a revival preached by J.M. Hutson. Twelve members were added to the services of the Lord as a result of this meeting.

Even though they were off to a good start, circumstances kept meetings to once a month. The first pastor, Rev. E.M. Schillings, was elected in 1892 for one year and his salary was set at $40.00 per year. The first deacon elected was W.A. Phelps, already an ordained deacon from another church. Elected in 1893 were the first clerk, John C. Lang, and the first treasurer, John B. Simmons.

In 1895, the first Sunday School was organized with John Lang as superintendent. Two deacons, John Lang and J.M. Simmons, were ordained. Prayer meetings also began this year with the meetings held on Thursday nights. It was a service for young men only. These meetings resulted in seven men feeling the call to preach. They were the following: Martin, Lewis, Jasper, and Collie Alford, Charles Schultz (all Methodist), Frank Hutson, and Van Walker (Baptist).

Many people recall early years of the church without any musical instruments; however, beautiful voices sang the first song, “I’ll Go With Him All The Way”, led by the first song leader, John Lang. Later in 1905, an organ was purchased by the church, and Bettie Simmons Page became the first organist. The church became known as a singing church and many singing schools and singing conventions were held at the church from 1927 to 1940. A.A. Lang served as choir director during this time from 1920 to 1942.

A W.M.U. program was organized in 1925, with the encouragement of the pastor’s wife, Mrs. A.D. Muse. The first president was Mrs. Dudley (Sophia) Simmons followed by Mrs. C.F. (Aunt Rosa) Lang who was also mother of the church. Mrs. Amon (Emma) Lang, Vert Simmons, Julia Rebold, and Ella Stafford were faithful members. Later, Mrs. Dudley (Aunt Mamie) Simmons served as secretary for twenty-four years.

1892 E.M. Schilling
1895 Jim R. Reeves
1896 J.M. Hutson
1900 J.M. Cook
1902 J.E. Thigpen
1905 1907 Isaiah Allmand
1909 L.F. May
1910 C.S. Calendar
1913 R.L. Bunyard
1914 A.D. Muse
1920 W.R. Haynie
1921 Van C. Walker
1923 A.F. Davis
1926 W.A. Gill
1927 J.B. Hemphill
1928 V.C. Walker
1947 W.E. Sloan
Nov. 1948 Landrum Leavell
June 1951 A.V. Epperly
Aug. 1952 Carroll Bowman
Sep. 1955 Paul Brown
June 1956 Hollis Todd
Jan. 1957 Billy Ray Simmons (Associate)
July 1957 John 0. Hemphill
Nov. 1961 E.M. Fleming
Oct. 1964 Bobbie Hill Belcher
Sep. 1966 Fred Bookter (Interim)
June 1967 Wilmer Goodwin
Mar. 1969 Marvin Magee (Interim)
May 1969 Cecil Hubbard
Dec. 1972 Wayne Hart
Apr. 1975 Joe Jackson (Interim)
May 1975 Roger Wilkins
June 1981 Wilmer Goodwin (Interim)
Oct. 1981 Terry Blair
Dec. 1983 Ed Campbell (Interim)
Apr. 1984 Dale Wilson
July 1988 Farris W. Smith (Interim)
Apr. 1990 Charles D. Grant, Jr.

Sept.1892 John C. Lang (deceased)
Aug. 1895 Jim Simmons (deceased)
Aug. 1895 J.E. Lang (deceased)
1905 C.C. Johnston (deceased)
1908 A.A.Lang (deceased)
Mar. 1933 R.U. Stogner (deceased)
mar. 1933 Dudley Simmons (deceased)
Mar. 1933 C.W. Lang, Sr. (deceased)
June 1939 Alton Lang (deceased)
June 1939 Joe Purl (deceased)
June 1939 E.P. Jenkins (deceased)
Jan. 1948 Frank Johnson (deceased)
Jan. 1948 Hollis T. Lang
Nov. 1949 Therrell Simmons (deceased)
Nov. 1949 Eugene Simmons (deceased)
May 1952 Malcolm Simmons (deceased)
Feb. 1965 Dardanelle Durham (deceased)
Feb. 1965 Elmo Allmand (deceased)
Feb. 1965 Britt Simmons
Feb. 1970 Virgil Hamilton (deceased)
Feb …1970 Roy Lang (moved)
Oct.1, 1978 Carl McDaniel (deceased)
James Hucabee
Harold “Snuffy” Smith
James Frank Williamson
Wayne Skipper (moved)
June: 1991 Billy Morgan

1895 John C. Lang
1920 A.A. Lang
1942 Alton Lang Jones
1954 Alton Lang
1957 Malcolm Simmons
1966 Roy Lang
1968 Britt Simmons
1971 Imogene Hubbard
1972 Hollis Lang

1933 Emmett O’Quin
1934 E.L. Helton
1935 Discontinued
1955 Byrant Hucabee
l957 Dardanelle Durham
1958 Alton Lang
1959 Robert Earl Allen
1960 Elmo Allmand
1961 Lavada Allen
1964 Patsy Simmons
1965 Annie Allen
1966 Byrant Hucabee
1968 Nancy Rowley
1971 Holiis Lang
1972 Dorothy Parsons
1976 Iris Hucabee
1982 Ozzie Ford
1986 Dorothy Parsons
1989 Jim Waller
1990 Billy Morgan
1991 Joan Waller

Sept.1892 John C. Lang
Oct. 1893 Robert “Babe’ Simmons
Jan. 1897 W.F. Hutson
Oct. 1900 A.A.Lang
1915 I.W. Lang
1920 N.C. Reabold
1921 D.I. Reeves
1923 Alton Lang
1924 Eugene Simmons
Frank Johnson
1926 Byron Lang
1928 Ella Stafford
1929 Ellis Simmons
1932 Eugene Simmons
1935 Ethel O’Quin
1936-1945 Hollis Lang
1946 Elizabeth Lang
1947 Ray Lang
1949 Gladys Simmons
1950 Houston Rebold
1954-1965 Therrell Simmons
1965 Joyce Allmand
1969-1976 Clara Simmons
1976- Wyleene Williamson

Oct. 1892 John B. Simmons
1920 D.I. Reeves
1921 Sam T. Simmons
1924 Ella Stafford
1925 Dudley Simmons
1928 R.U. Stogner
1932 E.L. Helton
1933 D.I. Reeves
1934 Dudley Simmons
1938 Milton Simmons
1940 Ollie Simmons
1943 Dorothy O’Quin
1944-1974 Hollis Lang
1974-1988 Patsy Skipper
1988- Sue Smith

Nov. 1906 Betty Simmons
1907 Mollie Lang
1923 Irene Lang
1925 Vivian Reeves
1930 Myra D. Stogner
1933 Vivian Reeves
1934 Myra D. Stogner
1948 Ora Johnson
1954 Mary Nell Simmons
1957 Patsy Skipper
1964 Kitty Fleming (organist)
1964 Cheryl Jo Allmand (organist)
1965 Patsy Skipper (organist)
1965 Mary Simmons (pianist)
1965 Mary Anne Simmons (assit.)
1966 Mary Anne Simmons
1966 Clara Simmons (assit. organist & pianist)
1987 Joan Waller (assit. organist & pianist)

Nov. 1895 John C. Lang
1920 A.A. Lang
1942 Alton Lang
1965 Hollis Lang
1968 Lonnie Wascom (paid)
1969 John Hemphill
1972 Billy-Ray. Simmons (paid)
1974 Alton Lang
1974 Roy Lang
1976 Gary Miller
Hollis Lang
1981 Kathern Miller
1982 Hollis Lang
1984 Carl McDaniel
1989 Philip Alford (paid)
1990 Danny Creel (paid)
1991 Janis Grant (paid)

Some notes from Bob Ann Breland: My Dad, Seldon Lang, was very disappointed that he didn’t find out about the 100th anniversary of the Union church until it was over. His parents, Albert W. Lang and Narcis Simmons Lang, had been charter members. He would dearly have liked to have been there, he found out a week too late. One of his cousins sent him a copy of the church history and these notes have been scanned from that copy. It is interesting to note the many Langs, Phelps’ and Simmons’ who have been involved in the history of this church.

Robert Reuben Simmons and Frances Smith

Robert “Reuben” SIMMONS was born about 1820 to William Seldon SIMMONS. He is believed to have been born in NC, but he is also given as born in AL in the census, and Delores Tousineau reports that his son Middleton’s death certificate gives both Robert Reuben SIMMONS and Frances SMITH being born in West Virginia. James Madison’s death certificate states that his father was born in NC. (Source for James Madison info, posting by Betty at Rootsweb MSPIKE-L. 17 Feb 2001)

Delores Tousineau writes that her aunts say Robert married Frances SMITH in 1844 in Lowndes Co. AL. Frances SMITH was the daughter of Ward SMITH and Easter EVERIDGE. Ward SMITH’s mother was Cherokee.

Bob Ann Breland notes, “His birthdate on his tomb is 1819, which is incorrect. His name is also incorrect. There has never been any reference to him as Robert Simmons, but always as Reuben Simmons. We shall refer to him as both, however, since that is what is indicated on his tomb. (The tombstone was placed there many years after his death by his grandson, I.O. Lang, the son of Albert W. Lang and Reuben’s youngest daughter, Narcis Simmons Lang.)”

Bob Ann Breland further notes, “Descendants claim his father was William Seldon Simmons. The 1880 census gives Reuben’s father as having been born in North Carolina. Descendants claim he went to Georgia from North Carolina, then to Coffee County, Alabama. His parents have really been hard to track down, since Reuben was apparently the youngest child of an older couple, and courthouses in Alabama have been flooded and records destroyed…Frances Smith was the daughter of Ward Smith and Easter Everidge Smith, who came to Pike County along with her parents and the Murdock Wilson family. Murdock married Martha Smith, sister of Frances Smith Simmons, wife of Reuben. The Murdock Wilson and the Reuben Simmons’ families settled close to the Mississippi line in Pike County. Easter Everidge Smith was known as ‘Granny Ward’. Granny Ward had been crippled by a broken leg when she was thrown from a horse, and had to crawl to get around.”

Frances and Reuben had seven children:

  • James Madison “Red Jim” SIMMONS was b. 20 July 1845 in AL and died 18 Feb 1913 in Pike Co. MS. He married, 22 Dec. 1864, Mary E. PHELPS b. 9 Nov 1841 in Coffee Co. AL and died 8 Dec 1925 in MS. She was a daughter of Marshall and Caroline (Parker) PHELPS. Her sister, Sarah, married William Perry LANG when she was 14 years of age. Sarah and William were parents of Albert Winston who married Narcissus SIMMONS, a sister of James Madison.

    James is buried in the Union Baptist Church Cemetery. Mary’s burial site is not known. James served in the Civil War in Forrest Cavalry, 4th Mississippi Regiment. Mary applied for a pension in 1923, at the age of 81. The following data is had on the pension application at Jackson, MS:

    Mary E. Simmons, Pike County, Miss., wife of J. M. Simmons made application for pension on her husband’s Civil War record. She and J. M. Simmons were married in Pike County on Dec. 22, 1864. Her husband enlisted in Pike County in Forrest’s Cavalry, Miss. Regiment.

    An earlier application was filed in 1916 when Mary was 64, in which she reported herself as born in MS and was living in Pike Co., a widow of J. M. Simmons whom she married Dec. 22 1864. He resided in Newton County, MS when he enlisted in Forrest’s 4th Mississippi Regiment. He died in Magnolia, Pike Co., MS on 18 Feb 1913. He was living with his youngest son when he died.

    James and Mary SIMMONS joined the Bala Chitto Baptist Church in 1873.

    James and Mary had 9 children: William F., Austin, Robert T. “Babe”, James Marshall, David, Dudley, Samuel, Emma and Mary Elizabeth.

  • William S. SIMMONS
  • Mary Ann “Daught” SIMMONS, b. 5 Sept 1848, d. 10 Feb 1910. Married James J. LANG b. 1854, d. 1936.

    James J. LANG was a son of James Jefferson LANG and thus a brother to William Perry LANG, a daughter of whose married James Madison SIMMMONS above.

    Mary Ann is buried in the Lang-Simmons Cemetery at Sheridan LA. James J. LANG is buried in the Union Baptist Church Cemetery at Magnolia. They had 6 children: Fannie, Monroe, Esco, Della, Mattie and Marjorie.

  • Charles Monroe SIMMONS b. 12 July 1857, d. 24 March 1925. Married Abi Jane SANDIFER b. 15 Feb. 1861, d. 7 Dec. 1939, daughter of John W. Sandifer and Jane G. STRICKLAND. Abi was also reportedly of Cherokee descent through the STRICKLANDS (of NC and GA) and her ggrandmother Elizabeth HUNT b. abt. 1736 Barnwell Co., SC September 08, 1815 Wayne Co., GA. Abi and Charles are buried in the Ponemah Cemetery at Bogalusa, LA. Their six children were: Willie Arnold, Mary Ida, Beulah Jane, Illey Arthur, Charlie Ada and Sidney Albert.
  • John B. SIMMONS b. 16 June 1862, d. 25 Feb 1946, married Lula “Lou” BROWN b. 2 July 1873, d. 5 Dec. 1940. Lou was a sister to Julia Brown Simmons, the wife of John B.’s nephew, William F. “Blow Gun” Simmons.) John B. and Lou ran a store in the Union community in Pike County, Miss. and “Uncle John” was one of the more prosperous members of the family. (Their large home across the road from the store was remembered by my father, Seldon Lang, as quite handsome for the time. The house burned several years after the death of John B. and Lou, but the old store building still stands on the corner, overgrown with weeds and trees in 1991.) The children of John B. and Lou Simmons were: Helmer, Alice, Jewell and Prentis.
  • Murdock Middleton “Steve” SIMMONS b. 1863 married Louisa Clarinda THIGPEN.<.li>

  • Narcissus “Narcis” “Dink” SIMMONS b. 5 Jan 1870 d. Sept 1944, married Albert Winston LANG, b. 20 Oct 1869, d. Feb. 1959. They are buried in the Lang-Simmons Cemetery at Sheridan. Their 9 children were: Iva O., Evie, Lillian and Leslie (twins), Norman and Narvel (twins), Fannie Frances, Clyde, Seldon.

Robert is said to have had land in Alabama that he lost. Jean Kearns had heard a story that he was gotten drunk and signed away the land that Birmingham, AL is on. Delores Tousineau writes that her aunts had heard a story he once had land around Birmingham.

The family has thus far been located on the following censuses:

NOTE: There are numerous SIMMONS and SMITHS and WILSONS in this Coffee County census. I will give a number of them.

3. George WILLSON 50 NC
Harriet 30
Nancy Ann 13 GA
Giles P. 10 AL
Joseph T 5
Michael M 3
John D 1

14. William PETTIT 61 NC
Eliabeth 64
Samuel 29
15. John I. WILSON 40 NC
Nancy A. 34 GA
Frances A. 13
Mary J. 11
John S. 9
Georgia Ann 7 AL
Caroline 6
Elizabeth A. 4
Josephine 3
Alabama 6 mo.

20. Alfred SIMMONS 29 NC
Elizabeth 26 AL
James J. 4
Elizabeth 2
Martha C. 2
Isaiah JORDEN 24 GA
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland notes this Alfred married an Elizabeth BYRD in Pike Co. 19 Sept. 1844.

119/119 Bartholomew GIDEON 34 NC
Milly 23 GA
Frances A. 9 AL
Thomas SIMMONS 13 AL
Darcas SIMMONS 18 AL
George W. 2 AL
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland notes that Milly is Amelia MALONE and that a Darcas ELLIS was living as a domestic servant in the home of a Thomas W. SIMMONS in 1880. She notes Thomas SIMMONS as being a son of John SIMMONS at household 121.

121/121 John SIMMONS 40 NC
Keran 30 GA
William 12 AL
Jason 6
Mason 11 mo.
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted that Thomas SIMMONS in household 119 was a son of this John SIMMONS. She reported she didn’t know his parents, siblings or wife’s maiden name.
122. Andrew J. SIMMONS 29 NC
Mahala 21 AL
Elizabeth 3
William LZT 1
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted Mahala was Mahala HUTCHINSON, daughter of William Jason HUTCHINSON. He is given as probably a son of Levi SIMMONS at household 124. “In 1840 he had 2 sons in this age category.”
… 124. Levi SIMMONS 53 NC
Mary 40
Martha 16 AL
Alzeda 14
Levi 12
Emeline 8
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted that Andrew J. SIMMONS (household 122) who married Mahala HUTCHINSON is likely a son of Levi. Thomas W. in household 126 is also given as a son. Levi is given as likely being the Levi in Dale Co. in 1840 and Pike Co. in 1830.
125. Isaac HURST 41 SC
Jane 45
Lewis 14 AL
Pherobie 13
Thomas 11
King J. 9
Isaac C. 6
John T. 4
Quintillian 2 m.
Elizabeth McMATHAN 16
126. Thomas W. SIMMONS 21
Emeline 20
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted Thomas is a son of Levi in household 124. Ann is given as probably being a sister.
162. William H. SMITH 37 GA
Tabitha A. 27 SC
John T. 9 AL
James J. 6
Susan E. 4
William I. 2
Frances C. 9 mo. f
Stephen WILLIAMS 57 NC
Susan B. 52 NC
Stephen J. 15 GA
… 202. Stephen CARLTON 45 NC
Sarah 36
Mallisee 17 GA
Mary E. 15
Martha J. 10
Nancy 8
Susan 6
Thomas 5
John 3
Rebecca 1
Moses SIMMONS 17

204. Robert P. BROOKS 31 GA etc.
205. Elizabeth BROOKS 50 GA etc.
206. James M. SMITH 38 SC
Mary 28 AL
Richard 6
Elizabeth 4
Washington 1

213. John A. SMITH 26 NC
Catharine 20 AL
Elizabeth 3 GA
214. Blake CARLTON 22
Mary 22
Shadrack CARLTON 70 NC
Catharine 65
John S. 24
S? 20 m GA
Catharine 16

218. James BAKER 60 NC
Fanny 45
Calvin SMITH 17 GA
Council BAKER 13
Mahala 8 AL
219. James AKRIDGE 39 GA
Sarah 26
Elbert 5 AL
James 4
Mary A. 1

231. David WILLSON 45 NC
?? 35 f
Johnathon 7 AL
William 5
Elizabeth 4
Caroline 1

233. Amelia BAKER 44 NC etc.

300. Stephen SMITH 44 SC
Margaret 34
David 15 GA
William 11 AL
Eliza 7 FL
Mary 5
Josephine 4 AL
William BROOKS 34 GA
301. Henry SMITH 55 SC
Sebella 62
John A. 34
302. William FREEMAN 43. GA
Sylvesta 38 etc.
303. Calvin H. YORK 43 SC
Elizabeth E. 27
Patrick H. 11 GA
Francis B. 8 AL
Matilda J. 4 FL
Richard J. 3 AL
Mary E. 1
Mary Ann SMITH 64 NC
304. Benjamin FREEMAN 39 TN etc.

316. Nicholas WILSON 25 GA
Teresa 27
William A. 3 FL
Rebecca 56 GA

420. G. T. SYLVESTER 33 SC
Martha G. 27 GA
William G. 9 AL
Frances V. 7
Narcissa E. 2

472. John SIMMONS 57 NC
Lydia 43
Sarah A. 16 AL
Mary J. 14
Thomas J. 10
Francis A. 7 f
Amanda R. 4
William I. 2
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted this SIMMONS is probably observed in the Elba District of Dallas Co. in 1840, the children’s ages matching. …
511. Harvy B. MILLER 52 SC etc.
512. John SMITH 30 GA
Dorca A. 22 AL
Delissa 14 GA
Melvanna 12
William 3 mo. AL
513. Lemuel FLANINGHAM 46 SC
Elmer 52
Winney 15 AL
Celia 13
William 11
Iven BROOKS 14
515. David DONALSON 54 SC etc.
516. Mary E. SMITH 37 SC
Synthia A. 18 AL
John 16
Jackson A. 9
Minor J. m
Stephen A. 4

588. Charles WARD 55 NC
Mary 45
Roselle 16
Benjamin C. 14
Ann 9 AL
William H. 7
588. Wiley WILKERSON 30 GA
Emily J. 25 AL
William 4
Adam 2
Francis M. SMITH 21

594. Mary WARD 40 GA
James M. 19 AL
Michael W. 14
Millberry J. 11
595. James WARD 38 NC
Eliza 25 AL
John J. 10
Mary J. 8
William E. 7
Hezekiah 3

628. Samuel W. SIMMONS 29 AL
Susannah 30 GA
Samuel M. 4 AL
James J. 3
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted that he is a son of Isaac SIMMONS in household 643. He married Susannah STEWART 13 August 1844 in Pike Co. In 1860 they were in Holmes Co. FL.
629. C. H. KYSER 31 SC
Nancy 21 AL
Sarah E. 1
James BELL 15 GA
Jackson RICE 22 SC
630. Bazel BUZZBEE 29 SC
Elizabeth 27
Emmanuel 5 AL
Joshua 4
Newton 2

638. John KYSER 83 SC
Barbery 65
Jacob 22 AL
Mary 17
Daniel 15
Elizabeth RICE 20
(GENFORUM KYSER posting by Amy Bryant gives as a daughter of John and Barbery, Clarissa Harlow KYSER who married Green Berry Wilbur BAILEY. Had a son Green Berry BAILEY. John and Barbery also had Philip KYSER who is shown at household 650 in the census. She gives her great grandmother as Carrie Bell KYSER-DRIGGERS whose father was Wylie DRIGGERS, a horse trader. Mother was Itella.)
NOTES: Ann Hood wrote in a 4 Jan 2001 posting that the KYSERS in the census at that time are one of her family lines; that she wasn’t exactly sure how the RICE family fit in but she suspected “John KYSER (KISER)’S daughter oldest (sic) daughter may have married a RICE.” An Alfred BOYD was close to the family and she notes that the idea that “Alf was a Boyd leads me to believe that Reuben may have been part of William B. Simmons family, another group of Simmons, possibly related, who were in Dale County 1850 census, but moved to the other end of Coffee County, around Elba, by 1860. Someone in their family married a Boyd. They were a more ‘educated’ ground of Simmons and had a lot to do with the development of the town of Elba.”
639. W. B. BOYETTE 35 SC
Julia 22
Benjamin ENGLISH 3 AL
NOTE: A Bennett BOYETTE lives a couple house away from Ward SMITH and Frances SIMMONS (daughter of Reuben in the next household) in the 1850 Covington County Census. He was married to a Fatama UNDERWOOD. has “Bennett J. Boyett born 1818 in Georgia. Died June 29, 1862 in Winn Parish, LA. Killed by a man named Mad Dog Smith.
640. Reuben SIMMONS 28 NC
Frances 26 AL
James M. 5
William S. 2
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted that Reuben had 60 acres of land listed in Coffee County.
641. John SMITH 46 SC
Nancy 30
William 15 AL
John 12
Amanda 10
Eliza 6
Duncan 4
Neal 2
642. Thomas DAVIS 25 SC
Martha 34
William RICE 26
James WALKER 22 GA
643. Isaac SIMMONS 57 NC
Lydia 60
NOTE: Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted that Isaac SIMMONS was in Dallas Co. AL in 1830 and then in Pike Col AL in 1846. He had a wife and 2 son in both censuses. Gardner B. (household 644) and Samuel W. SIMMONS are his sons.
644. Gardner B. SIMMONS 25 AL
Margaret 23 SC
Malissa 7 AL
Rebecca 4
Lydia 2
(NOTE: Parents of Gardner were Lydia NEELY b. 1803 Elba Coffee Co. AL m. Isaac SIMMONS in 1824, Elba, Coffee Co. AL.) Ann Hood 1993 communication to Bob Ann Breland noted that Gardner was a son of Isaac in household 643, and that in 1860 he was in Holmes Co. FL.
645. George BODIFORD 40 NC
Elizabeth 18 GA
646. Loveless SMITH 44 m SC
Sarah Ann 25 GA
Joanna 9 AL
James H. 6
John S. 5
(NOTE: Sarah Ann was Sarah Ann EDWARDS b. 1822-23, daughter of James Harvey EDWARDS and Sinai MCMICHAEL. Sarah and Loveless were married Sept.27,1839 according to Rena (email message 23 Nov 2002). Parents of John Harvey EDWARDS were David EDWARDS Dinwiddle Co. VA m. Elizabeth SPEARS. Rena writes that Loveless SMITH was born in SC to a John and an Elizabeth(?) and that John and Elizabeth had about 13 children. John is 80 and living with Loveless in the 1850 census. Loveless was later married to a Martha, possibly Johnson.)
647. Eliz. H. SMITH 80 SC
Caroline RICE 18 AL
Adaline 16
Irvin 16
648. Ashfield JOHNSON 52 GA etc.
NOTES: b. Greene Co. GA. married Elizabeth ASHFIELD.
649 Thomas SESSIONS 35 SC
Frances 30 NC
Mary 12 GA
Milly 6 AL
650. Philip KYSER 24 AL
Vastia 24 GA.
Narcissa 1 AL.
(NOTE: Genforum KYSER posting by Amy Bryant gives Philip as a son of John and Barbary KYSER, who live on the other side of Reuben SIMMONS. Philip married Vastia DAVIS. Gives Philip as b. abt. 1826 KY.)
651 Samuel SMITH 51 SC
Martha 39 GA
Asia 20 m. AL
Catharine 15
Martha 15
Alfred 10
Edmond 8
Zylphia 5
652. Frederick BUZBEE 58 SC
Sarah 48
Elizabeth 23 GA.
Hulda 22
Lucinda 20
Frederick 17
Thomas J. 15
Elizabeth 78 NC
Louisa 4 GA
(NOTE: Genforum postings by Jackie Buzbee Davis gives Frederick as born possibly in Edgefield Co. A brother was William b. 1795 Lexington Co. Parents were Elisha BUZBEE b. abt. 1765 in Johnston Co. NC and Elizabeth. Amy Bryant gives her great grandfather’s sister, Eula KYSER, marrying a Franklin Walker BUZBEE. August 14 1999 GENFORUM posting.)

811. Nicholas SMITH 41 GA
Jane 40
Alfred 17 AL
John 13
Jane 10
Sampson 7
Nicholas 3
Alvinia 1 mo.

Pg. 656 “High Hill”
821/844 R. SIMMONS 37 farmer no real estate personal estate was $260 NC
Francis 35 AL
James M. 14
Mary A. 8
Charles M. 4 MS
Murdock M. 6/12
822/849 Robert GREEN 31 farmer b. NC $400 $120 NC
Winne 23 b. GA
William C. 10
Enoch T. 8
Sarah J. 6
Mary C. 4 b. MS
John S. 8/12
D. A. HENDERSON 24 farmer b. MS
NOTE: On the next page is a Joseph Morrow 58 b. SC with family born in AL. from the age of a 22 year old child. And an A. J. SMITH 28 b. SC with wife Elizabeth 24 and Margaret 2 and Marth A. 6/12 b. MS.
823/850 W. A. WATKINS 34 farmer personal value $416 b. NC
Sarah 40 b. AL James 14 b. MS Mary A 12 Malcolm 9 Roxanna 4 Andrew J 1
824/851 G. (or J.) M. WILSON 38 farmer real estate $800 personal $1174 b. AL
Hannah C. 39 SC
John M. 10 b. MS
Andrew J. 6
Mary A. J. 4
Anderson WATKINS 16 farmer
NOTES: John Mills WILSON married Hannah CARTER. John MILLS WILSON’s mother is Jennet NELSON WILSON. John’s sister, Sarah Ann married a WATKINS (see household 823). 825/852 Jennet WILSON 69 housekeeper $200 $5210 SC
A. J. WILSON 33 farmer $460 or $260 and $1660 AL
826/853 W. P. SANDERS 52 $4800 $7332 GA
Margaret and family

pg. 125
27/27 LEGGET John 39 farmer $4000 $1670 b. MS and Mary and family
SIMMONS Robert F. 22 student b. MS
28/28 LEA Mingo 55 (b) farmhand b. GA
Catherine 25 (b)
Delilah 17 (b) domestic servant wife b. MS
29/29 LEA Alexander 27 (b) farmhand b. MS
Gormelia 22 (b)
Jefferson 2 (b)
infant 3/12 (b)
30/30 JAMES Philip 34 (b) farmhand
Louisa 40 (b)
and family
31/31 JAMES Letty 28 (b) laborer and family
31/32 SIBLY Joseph 24 (b) farmhand
32/33 SIMMON Reuben 49 farmhand $100 personal prop. b. AL
Frances 45
Mary 16 b. MS
Charles 13 b. MS
Stephen 11 b. MS
John 7 b. MS
infant 7/12 b. MS
33/34 SIMMONS James 26 farmhand $300 personal prop. b. AL
Mary 22 b. AL
James 5 b. MS
John 2 b. MS
34/35 WARD Mary 37 b. MS
? 15 (female)
Joseph 9
35/36 FRIED David W. 59 and Matilda and family farmer b. TN
36/37 MCCLENDON Charles 55 (b) (and Mourning (b) and family) farmhand $15- b. VA
37/38 ? John (b) (and Charlotte and family) farmhand $150 b. MS
38/39 SIMMONS Miriam 34 farming $300 $200 b. MS
Nancy 9
Mary 7
John 4
Martha 3
Benjamin 15
39/40 SIMMONS William 40 farmer $2500 $1220 b. MS
Martha J. 33
William 17
Wright 15
James 9
Fanny 8
Alexander 7
Angeline 5
Thomas 4
Elizabeth 3
Willis 7/12
REEVES ? Nancy 14
George 17
40/41 BRUMFIELD Richard 27 (b) farmhand
41/42 SIMMONS Thomas 33 farmer personal value $350 b. MS
Sarah 21 b. LA
John T. 3 b. MS
Richard 2
Mary 10/12
SANF? Dicy 23 laborer
42/43 SIMMONS John R. 55 farmer $775 ? b. MS
Margaret 49
Richard J. 17
Jesse 15
Margaret 12
Haman 10
43/44 CHENY Philip 37 (b) farmhand (and family)
44/45 SIMMONS John D. 29 farmer RE value $100 personal $700 b. MS
Margaret B. 29
Sarah 8
Benjamin F. 6
Margaret 4
Julia J. 2
WOOD Mary E. 15
pg. 127 B 58/61 WILSON Robert farmhand 25 $100 b. AL
Sarah 23 b. MS
Laura 2
? 2
Murdock 7/12
(Note to self: I only went through a portion of the census, pages 170-188 of 298)

pg. 339 (page 15 at
125/126 SMITH William 37 farmer b. AL father b. SC mother b. GA
Josephine 30 can’t read or write b. MS. father b. GA mother b. MS
Adaline 10 can’t read or write, been in school b. MS
Henry 8 been in school
Minnie 6
Lethaann 5
Francis (male) 3
Willie or Wallie b. Jan.
126/127 SIMMONS Reuben 60 Farmer can’t read or write b. NC parents b. NC
Frances 59 can’t write b. AL father b. SC mother b. GA
John 16 Farm hand can’t read or write b. MS father b. NC mother b. AL
Narcissus 10 maimed or crippled, can’t read or write b. MS
127/128 SMITH Ward 81 Farming b. SC parents b. SC
Easter 77 can’t read or write, b. GA, parents b. GA
128/129 SIMMONS Steve 22 farmer b. MS father b. NC mother b. AL
Clarinda 22 b. MS parents b. MS
Esco 7/12 b. NOV

Robert and Frances are buried at the Union Baptist Church Cemetery in Pike Co., MS. Frances was the first person buried there and has the oldest date of birth of anyone buried there. (Source: Delores Tousineau) The Union Baptist Church Cemetery is 5 miles 3ast of Magnolia. The tombstone data reads: Robert SIMMONS, 1819-1903; Frances SIMMONS, 1820-1898.

Bob Ann Breland relates:

Incidently, I don’t know where the name Robert (for Reuben) came from, but my father’s oldest brother, Iva Lang, had the tombstones made. He was the oldest child in my Daddy’s family, so he might have known something Daddy didn’t know about Reuben’s name. I’m sure he knew his grandfather, even though he would have probably been a child when Reuben died. I’m also pretty sure he didn’t just draw that name out of a hat. He was a pretty concise fellow. But everything I have ever found names him as Reuben.

I don’t know if it is included in any of the material that you have but there is a pretty funny story about my grandmother and her daddy.

Reuben traveled about a good deal visiting with his children. At the time, my grandmother and grandfather (Narcis and Albert) were living in Pike County. Reuben came to Sheridan to visit with his son Murdock “Steve” and while he was here, Reuben died. Murdock and others of the family who lived here buried him up at the Nobles Cemetery at Pine. It was freezing cold, and soon after the burial, the ground froze.

Meanwhile my grandmother, up in Mississippi, who was definitely a daddy’s girl and the baby of her family, was grieving herself to death. She was pregnant with a set of twins (I don’t know if it was the first set or the second set, but dates will tell us) and she couldn’t come. She cried day and night until my grandfather came to Louisiana with a wagon to bring him back to Pike County.

They had to build a fire on top of the frozen grave to thaw the ground so they could dig him up. They then transported him back to Pike County where he was buried in the Union Baptist Church Cemetery.

This was probably as illegal then as it is now, but it apparently made my grandmother happy to bring him back home.

1820 – 1898

Photo contributed by Delores Bateman Tousinau

1819 – 1903

Photo contributed by Delores Bateman Tousinau

East Union Baptist location of graves of Frances and Robert SIMMONS

Census data
Bob Ann Breland
Delores Tousineau

Photo of Frances Smith Simmons

Frances Smith Simmons

Frances Smith Simmons
1820 to 18 Oct 1898

Greatgrandmother of Ethel Simmons Hennesy, wife of Robert Reuben Simmons. Frances’ father, Ward Smith, was 1/2 Cherokee through his mother. It’s believed by some that she may have been also Chatha (Choctaw) through her mother’s mother’s side of the family.

So many early photos were portraits made at the time of a person’s marriage, I’ll assume this was the same for the Simmons. However, as they were married about 1844 it seems like an early date.

Note that clothing and jewelry has been sketched in over the original attire.

Image courtesy of Bob Ann Breland

Fun fooling around with the image.

Frances Simmons, tinted

Photo of Robert Reuben Simmons

Robert Reuben Simmons

Robert Reuben Simmons
abt. 1820 – 1903

Robert Reuben was the greatgrandfather of Ethel Simmons Hennesy, husband of Frances Smith Simmons.

This is the photocopy off which I was to work in reconstructing an image of Robert Simmons.

Image courtesy of Bob Ann Breland. I played with it a little below.

So many early photos were portraits made at the time of a person’s marriage, I’ll assume this was the same for the Simmons. However, as they were married about 1844 it seems like an early date.

See this photo of George and Martha Knight and one of James “Jockey Jim” Knight for the same drawn in clothing.