Obituary of Estus Pete Simmons

Estus D. “Pete” Simmons died March 14 1960 at Sheridan, Washintgon, Louisiana.

Estus D. Simmons Dies at Sheridan

Estus D. Simmons of Sheridan died at 6:30 this morning at the family residence in Sheridan. He was 52.

The funeral party will leave the residence at 4 p.m. tomorrow for the Simmons Cemetery, where graveside rites will be conducted by the Rev. J. W. Magee and the Rev. J. B. Rocko. The Brown Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Simmons is survived by his wife, Mrs. Genieva Simmons; a son, Denman Simmons, serving in the Air Force at Clovis Air Force Base, N.M.; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lucius Simmons of Sheridan; three brothers, Ezra of Slidell, Lloyd of Freeport, Texas, and Jim of Sheridan; and two sisters, Mrs. Ethel Hennesey of Camden, Ark., and Mrs. Fannie Lee Foil of Franklinton.

Lucius Theodore Simmons and Annie Knight

Lucius Theodore SIMMONS and Annie KNIGHT

Lucius (also given as Lucious) Theodore SIMMONS was born 29 Dec 1883 in Franklinton, Washington Parish, LA to Murdock Middleton SIMMONS and Louisa Clarinda (Thigpen) SIMMONS. He was the the 1st son and 2nd child of 9 born to Middleton and Louisa.

Lucius married Annie KNIGHT, b. 22 Feb 1888 at Sheridan, LA., daughter of Marian (Marion) Isaac KNIGHT and Frances A. BRELAND. The two were married at the home of her parents. Molly BRELAND and Dan COOPER are given as having been attendants.

Lucius and Annie had 7 children:

  • Ethel Lorena SIMMONS b. Feb. 14 1904, married Esmond Edward HENNESY.
  • Estus “Pete” SIMMONS b. 13 Dec. 1908 at Washington Parish, LA., died 14 March 1960, married Genieva.
  • Ezra “Jodi” Williams SIMMONS, b. 8 Feb. 1913, Washington Parish, LA., died 28 Jan. 1978, Sidell, LA., married Juanita CRAIN.
  • Lloyd SIMMONS b. 20 Sept. 1916, Washington Parish, LA., d. 24 April 1964, married Willie Mae HUSSER. SOURCE: US Gen Web archives for Simmons/Pope Cemetery in Washington Parish, LA. Located in Ward 5, Washington Parish, LA., in the Sheridan Community, north of the Franklinton-Bogalusa Hwy. Off Hwy. 10 on the Pope Road. (Bob Ann BRELAND instead gives as born 20 Sept 1915, marrying Willie May CROCKETT. That they had no children.)
  • Desera “George” SIMMONS, b. 1917 at Washington Parish LA., died 1939 at Washington Parish, LA. (Bob Ann BRELAND gives him as Wilbur Desere, born Dec. 1909, died 24 Sept 1939. Married Rosalee ADAMS.
  • Living
  • Living

Ethel (Simmons) HENNESY wrote of Lucius that he was a farmer and carpenter and that he owed and operated a saw mill.

Lucius Simmons is described as a “farmer, miller” by Jean Kearns, a granddaughter.

“I respected (almost feared) Grandpa Simmons, but I never really felt a love for him like I did Grandpa Hennesy. He was a very good man, very religious and very stern, who enjoyed sitting on the front porch with his Chihuahua in his lap arguing political or religious issues with some of his cronies. I never saw him express or demonstrate affection toward his family. He was uneducated but very intelligent, was a hard worker, and Daddy says he was a persuasive orator in labor meetings at the paper mill in Bogalusa where they both worked at one time. He was generous, giving land to whomever of his children wanted to build near him. He was too generous with two of his sons, giving them money over and over again to get back on their feet after they had lost their jobs because of drinking. I’m sure his generosity was his way of expressing love. They would always use it to buy more alcohol! He seemed to never learn. Their drinking was a burden to the whole family.

“Grandpa built a church on some of his property across the highway from their home because there was not a church nearby and he would preach there when they were without a preacher. The church still stands and my Uncle Jim and his family are active members there. There is a Simmons cemetery on some of his land where his mother, father, uncles, aunts, both Grandma and Grandpa and their four sons and two grandsons are buried.”

MY PERSONAL PROFILE AND FAMILY OF ORIGIN, by Jean (Hennesy) Kearns, November 20, 1991.

Jean says Lucius believed women shouldn’t be schooled and didn’t permit Ethel to continue in school past the 8th grade. He hid her schoolbooks.

Though some of the sons had problems with alcohol, Jean says they were also the most “fun” of the family. Would take them to buy treats etc.

Annie was about 17 and Lucius was about 22 when Ethel was born.
Annie was 20 and Lucius was 25 when Estus was born.
Annie was 25 and Lucius was 30 when Ezra was born.
Annie was 27 and Lucius was 32 when Lloyd was born.
Annie was 29 and Lucius was 34 when George was born.
Annie was 32 and Lucius was 37 when their sixth child was born.
Annie was 35 and Lucius was 40 when their seventh child was born.

Annie Knight is also given as having been born in the Franklinton area. The Sheridan siting as the place of birth is from the Foil/Simmons Genealogy.

Jean Kearns writes of Annie (Knight) SIMMONS:

“I remember Grandma Simmons as being sad, seldom laughing, very self-giving. I loved her. I felt sorry for her. Her life seemed so hard, but my mother says she never complained about anything and never said a bad word about anyone. I often wondered if she was grieving over the death of George, her son, who died in his early twenties from a tick bite. I know she worried about her two sons who literally drank their lives away. And, there was always an undercurrent of tension between Grandma and her father. Grandpa Knight, her father, was a very successful, well-to-do farmer, and my mother feels that he almost disowned Grandma when she married Grandpa Simmons, a poor man…

“I looked forward to going to Louisiana every summer so I could spend time there with Grandma, after whom I was named, and my mother’s youngest brother and sister, Jim and “Cooter.” There seemed to always be children my age there too. They must have been great nieces and nephews who lived nearby and came to visit when we were there. I really don’t remember who they were. I do remember playing in the pastures, drinking water from the spring down in the woods, drawing water from the well on Grandma’s back porch, and going to the creek every afternoon for the coldest swim in the world. We would walk to the store at least twice a day to buy some candy or a drink. At that time I had no idea that the store had once belonged to Grandpa Hennesy.

“I loved the days at Grandma’s, which began with hot buttered biscuits covered with huckleberry preserves and thick, rich cream which she made especially for me, she said. But I dreaded for night to come. The house was large, with four bedrooms, but there were never enough beds for the children, so we slept on pallets on the living room floor. That was fun, until all the lights were out and everyone went to sleep. Then the strange noises (snoring, wheezing and outdoor farm noises) would begin and I would lie there in the dark knowing that I would never live to see another huckleberry biscuit.

“I always wondered why Daddy never stayed with us at Grandma and Grandpa Simmons’ house. He would visit for a short while and then say he had to go on to Franklinton to visit his family. I remember that Mom would get irritated with him about this sometimes. As I gathered information for this paper, Daddy, now 88 years old, told me that he never felt that Grandpa Simmons liked him or wanted him around. In fact, Grandpa had wanted Mom to marry Uncle Jewel, Daddy’s brother, rather than Daddy, and he never really accepted Daddy as part of the family. I find it ironic that it was Daddy who bought Grandpa’s farm to help them live comfortably in their old age with the guarantee that it was their home as long as they lived. I wonder if Grandpa ever realized what a wonderful man Daddy was..”

MY PERSONAL PROFILE AND FAMILY OF ORIGIN, by Jean Kearns, November 20, 1991.

Lucius SIMMONS Died 9 Sept 1963 in Bogalusa, LA. He was abt. 80. Annie died 1 Sept 1961 in New Orleans, LA. She was abt. 73. Bob Ann Breland gives them as buried in the Lang Simmons Cemetery at Sheridan which was on part of their property; it is now behind what used to be their old homestead. US Gen Web archives has Lucius and Annie as buried at the Simmons/Pope Cemetery in Washington Parish, LA. Located in Ward 5, Washington Parish, LA., in the Sheridan Community, north of the Franklinton-Bogalusa Hwy. Off Hwy. 10 on the Pope Road.

Jean Kearns
Ethel Simmons Hennesy
Bob Ann Breland
Cemetery records


pg. 8B
340/340 SIMMONS Lucius own 36 b. MS parents b. MS farmer
Annie 31 b. LA parents b. LA
Ethel 14 b. LA
Estus 12
Izra or Ingra son 10
Esra 6
Loyd 3 and 5/12
341/341 SIMMONS Murdock own 59 b. MS father b. AL mother b. AL
Opha 49 b. MS parents b. MS
James 17 b. LA parents b. MS
POPE Maxie daughter 16 b. MS parents b MS

Lucius and his family are living next to his brother John Benjamin SIMMONS.

State of LA
County: Washington
Township or other division of Country: Police Jury Ward 5 (part of)
Enumeration District No. 59-15
Supervisor’s District No. 8
Enumerated on 13 April 1930
Enumerator, Mazie Bateman
Sheet no. 8A
138/142 NOBLES T. C. rent 21 married b. parents b. LA farm laborer
Bertha 16 married
139/143 SIMMONS John B. Head O lives on farm mw 37 md 24 can read and write b. LA, Salesmn at Filling Station, (unable to tell if wage or owns), working, WWI vet, farm #122
Daisy wife fm 31 md. 20 can read and write b. LA parents b. LA parents b. LA, Teacher at Public School, wage, working
Quinton wm son 10 sg. school can read and write b. LA parents b. LA
Kermit wm son 9 sg. school b. LA parents b. LA
Clay wm son 6 sg. school b. LA parents b. LA
140/144 SIMMONS Lucious T. Head O lives on farm wm 46 md 21 can read and write b. MS parents b. MS, Farmer of General Farm, Owns, not a veteran, farm #123
Annie wife wf 42 md 17 can read and write b. LA parents b. LS
Ezra son wm 17 sg can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA, Farm Laborer on General Farm, wage, working
Loyd son wm 14 sg school can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Fannie Lee daughter wf 10 sg school can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Jimmie son wm 7 sg school b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
140/145 SIMMONS Desre Head R $2 wm 20 md 19 can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA, Factory worker at Box Factory, wage, working
Vergie wife wf 17 md 16 can read and write b. LA parents b. LA
141/146 PASSMAN Oscar Head R, wm 45 md 31, can read and write, b. LA, parents b. LA, carpenter, carpenting, wage, working, not a veteran, farm #124
Francis Wife wf 34 md. 21 can read and write b. LA parents b. MS
Emilea Daughter wf sg. 11 school can read and write b. LA
Johnnie Son wm 8 sg. school b. LA
Margurite Daughter wf 6 sg not in school b. LA
Lerue Son wm 3 sg not in school b. LA
Janice K. Daughter wf 7/12 sg. not in school b. LA
142/147 LANG Ivy Head Owns wm 39 md 18 can read and write b. MS parents b. MS farmer on General Farm, Owns, not a veteran, farm #125
Dellia Wife wf 37 md 16 can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Alton Son wm 19 sg can read and write b. LA Farm Laborer on General Farm, no pay
Vernal Son wm 17 sg school can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Alfred Son wm 15 sg school can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Lora Daughter wf 11 sg school can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Kenneth Son wm 10 sg school can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Odie Daughter wf 8 sg school b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Wyman Son wm 6 sg not in school b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
Masel Daughter wf 4 and 6/12 sg not in school b. LA father b. MS mother b. LA
143/148 CRAIN Calvin 50 married at 19
Tina 47 married at 16
J. L 18
Katie 13
144/149 O’QUINN Latimore
Curtis D.
CRAIN Hezzie
145/150 KNIGHT James W. Head own wm 73 married at 23 can read and write, b. LA father b. LA mother b. MS farmer on General Farm, owns, working, not a veteran, farm #128
Canonizer Wife wf 68 married at 18, can read and write b. LA father b. LA mother b. MS

James Leon Hennesy and Lucy Virginia Myles

James Leon HENNESY AND (1) Lucy Virginia MYLES, (2) Lucinda POUNDS, (3) Della NOBLES

James Leon HENNESY was born 4 May 1873 at Franklinton, Washington Parish, LA, the 2nd son and 4th child of 9 born to James HENNESY (of GA) and Nancy Caroline WELCH (of Washington Parish).

In 1898, at the age of about 25, James married Lucy Virginia MYLES, daughter of John William Edward MYLES and Sarena MILLER. She was born 1875 or 18 January 1871 or 28 January 1871.

Between 1899 and 1906, James and Lucy had 5 children:

  • Zula HENNESY b. 1899 Washington Parish, LA, d. 1925 Washington Parish, LA at about 26. Married Wilbur KNIGHT b. 22 Oct. 1892, Franklinton Area, LA., died Jan 1970, Franklinton LA at about 78.
  • Jewel HENNESY b. 25 Oct. 1901 or Dec. 25 1901, Washinton Parish, LA., died 9 April 1979 at Bogalusa LA at about 78. He married Heloise MCGUIRT and a woman named Maidie.
  • Esmond Edward HENNESY b. 1903 June 1 married Ethel Lorena Simmons
  • Zoe HENNESY was born 1905 at Washington Parish, LA and died about 1989 at Washington Parish, LA. She married Ray MIDDLETON.
  • Zeta HENNESY was born 26 May 1906 at Washington Parish, LA. She died 24 July 1906 at two months. Her mother died two days beforehand.

LOUISIANA GENEALOGICAL AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY, BE IT KNOWN AND REMEMBERED Volume Two Bible Records 1961: Pages 1 – 60 Bible of Samanthy Lewis, gives 28 January 1871 as Lucy MYLE’s date of birth.


“Died – Mrs. Leon Hennessy of Aurora, La., died at her home Sunday morning, July 22nd at 10 o’clock. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Myles. Mrs. Hennessy had _____ children. Funeral services were conducted Monday at 11 o’clock am and the body was laid to rest near the home.”

James Leon HENNESY was named for his father, James. He was a farmer, miller and merchant. His daughter, Ethel HENNESY, wrote of him, “James Leon owned and operated a sawmill, cotton gin and grist mill on the Tangipahoa River…apparently operated restaurants, stores and post office as well.”

Jean Hennesy Kearns, a granddaughter, writes:

“I don’t remember when Grandpa Hennesy died, but I can remember being held in his lap as he sat in a large chair in his living room in Bogalusa, Louisiana. His name was James Leon Hennesy. I remember him as being a gentle, loving man. We visited him only once a year when Daddy had his two week vacation. I always thought that we were going to Uncle Jewel’s house, but found out only this year that the home was Grandpa Hennesy’s. When Uncle Jewel’s first wife died, he and his children made their home with Grandpa. Then when Grandpa died, the house became Uncle Jewel’s.

“He had a hard life…

“Grandpa Hennesy tried farming during his early adult years, but determined that ‘there was a better way to make a living’ and began operating a mill on the Tangipahoa River, which my father says was unique in that it was not only a saw mill but also a corn mill. Daddy tells of Grandpa building a house down by the mill so he could look after the children during the day. At night they would return to their home. He continued with the mill until he bought a country store on the Bogalusa-Franklinton highway, which he operated for many years. Grandpa married Lucinda Pounds after my father and Uncle Jewel were grown and they had one daughter, Lucille, before the death of Lucinda. His last marriage, in his later years, was to Della Nobles.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the connections between the families of my mother and father. The country store Grandpa Hennesy bought was a short distance down the highway from the farm owned by Lucious and Annie Simmons…In fact, Grandpa Simmons’ land bordered the store property. Last month, as I talked with my father, he told me about his father and my mother’s father working together. It seems that Grandpa Simmons owned a sawmill at one time, also, and Grandpa Hennesy’s store was the ‘company store’ where the mill employees got all of their supplies. Once a month Grandpa Simmons would reimburse Grandpa Hennesy for purchases made by his employees. Daddy said the first $100 bill he ever saw was one my Grandfather Simmons gave his daddy to pay off their monthly balance.”
From MY PERSONAL PROFILE AND FAMILY OF ORIGIN by Jean (Hennesy) Kearns, November 20, 1991.

James Leon married second Lucinda POUNDS who was a cousin, daughter of George Washington Pounds and Amanda. Their daughter was Lucille HENNESY, born 19 July 1920 at Washington Parish, LA and died Nov. 10 1999 at about the age of 79. She married Tom FARLEY, a widower with several children.

Lucinda, born about 1886 in Louisiana, must have died shortly after Lucille’s birth.

James married third, Della NOBLES. ABSTRACT ARTICLES FROM WASHINGTON PARISH’S ERA LEADER IN FRANKLINTON, LOUISIANA 1921-1930 BY: BONNIE DIER, FRANKLINTON, LA. 70438 gives their marriage license as having been taken out April 17, 1924.

James Leon died at the age of 65 in 1938. James Leon HENNESY, Lucy Virginia MYLES HENNESY, and Zeta HENNESY are all buried at the Hennesy Cemetery, located On The banks Of the Tchefuncte River, below Mt. Hermon.

C. Hennesy
Jean Hennesy Kearns
Ethel Simmons Hennesy
Nancy Caroline Welch Hennesy’s bible

Census info:

1900 Ward 1, Washington, Louisiana

187/193 HENNESY Leon Head wm May 1872 28 md 0 yr b. LA parents b. LA merchant. 0 months not employed, can read and write. Owns home, Not mortgaged (appears to be), Farm, farm #178;
Lucy Wife wf Jan or June 1872 28 md 0 yr 0 children b. LA parents b. LA, can read and write

1910 Louisiana, Washington Parish, Ward 1
pg. 11
64/67 POUNDS Wanda 47
Mary L. 23
William A. 21
John W. 19
Leon J. 17
Millie J. 15

68/74 HENNESY Merida B. 33 md 7 years b. LA parents b. LA Farmer
Lula A 27? 4 children 2 surviving
Idie N? daughter
Lubie Daughter
69/75 HENNESY Marion H. 37? md 8 years Farmer
Maude E. 35 7 children 6 surviving
Clarence C. 16
Myrtie S. 14
Elbert I. 13
Curtis M. 7
Levi M. 5
Kirby H. 3
Jetti? D. 1
CORKERN John C. father-in-law 71
Lourainey mother-in-law 59 6 children 6 surviving

75/81 HENNESY J. Leon 35? wd Farmer General farm
Zula H? 8
Jewell J. 7
E…. son 6

77/83 CROW Henry B. 33 md 10 years farmer general farm
Malissa ? md 10 years 4 children 4 surviving
Ethel E. 7
Eva A. 5
Pinkney E. 3
Jewel W. 1
John W. father 60
Adrine D. mother 55 9 children 8 surviving

122/129 CARPENTER Willie J. 30 md 6 years Farmer General Farm
Effie J. 25 3 children, 3 surviving
Bessie 5
E? 3
Leo 1

(several pages over)
28 of 34 at
illegible numbers MYLES Thomas I. 41 md. 18 years Farmer General Farm
Lucy? 38 5 children 3 surviving
Ambus 12
Earley E. 8?

Supervisor’s Dist No. 6
Enumeration District No (repeatedly crossedout)
16 day of Jan 1920
Washinton Collon?
Page 13 A
(Trans. note: 25 at
196/206 WARD Vernon
197/207 HARWELL John
198/208 HENNESY James Head (owns or rents is not given, some other illegible marking) mw 47 md can read and write b. LA father b. GA mother b. LA Clerk Grocery wage worker
POUNDS Lucy Cousin fw 34 md can read and write b. LA father parents b. LA
HENNESY Jule Son mw 18 sg school can read and write b. LA parents b. LA
Elzy Son mw 16 sg school can read and write b. LA parents b. LA
(Trans. note: John HARWELL, 38, at 197, is a merchant grocer and James’ employer. Lemus WARD, who lives in household 196, is also a worker at the grocery.)

1930 Bogalusa, Washington, Louisiana
630 456 548 HENNESY James L. head owns $2500 doesn’t live on farm mw 56 md 26 when first married, can read and write b. LS parents b. LA, salesman for wholesale co., wage earner, not at work day before or last working day, not a veteran;
Della wife 49 md first md at 14, can read and write b. LA father b. MS mother b. TN;
Lucille daughter fw 10 sg. attends school can read and write b. LA parents b. LA;
NOBLES Willis stepson 12 sg can read and write b. LA parents b. LA.

Early 1970s Hennesy Reunion

Hennesy Reunion

From left to right, James “Jim” Simmons b. 1923, Fannie Lee “Cooter” Simmons Foil b. 1920, Ezra “Jodi” Simmons b. 1913, an Ethel Lorena Simmons b. 1906, all children of Lucius Theodore Simmons and Annie Clarinda Knight Simmons. The other three children, Estus, Desera and Lloyd were deceased prior this reunion which I believe took place at the home of Ethel in Natchez, Mississippi–but I could be wrong on that! Fashion styles spread at different speeds not only geographically but even within a community so it’s difficult for me to apply a date other than “Early 1970s”.

It’s easy enough to pick out the siblings in the below photo. Ethel’s husband, Esmond Edward Hennesy is the elder gentleman seated to the right with the couple of children in his lap. Aside from Esmond, I’ve not a clue who anyone else is and no one else has been identified for me. I believe I recognize Jim’s wife from a 1954 reunion picture, she’s standing to the left of him at the far right. The woman in the blue shirt standing to the left of Ethel (back, a little left of center) is Juanita Simmons, Jodi’s wife.

If you have further info, let me know.

Hennesy Reunion

Two other photos of Ezra and his wife, Juanita, taken at the same reunion can be viewed here.

Wedding Photo of Jack and Jean Kearns

Photoshopped. Removed some of the damage. Feel like I took it too dark at the edges but did so to camouflage some of the intense damage that couldn’t be comfortably corrected without altering the photo. Susie’s dress was too damaged for me to comfortably correct without rebuilding it, which I am usually disinclined to do.


Jean Hennesy and Jack Kearns were married 1950 Aug 25 at the First Baptist Church of Mobile, Alabama.

Shown in the photo are Martin Madison “Oscar” Drummond (Jack’s stepfather), Susie Crabtree Kearns Drummond (Jack’s mother), Jack and Jean Kearns, Ethel Hennesy Simmons (Jean’s mother), Esmond Edward Hennesy (Jean’s father).

Photo of E. E. and Ethel Hennesy circa 1936

There are enough images of Esmond Hennesy beside cars that I’m inclined to think he must have been fairly fond of autos. This time he’s with his wife Ethel and he looks cockily dressed to the nines with a fancy hat and tie and striped socks. Perhaps they were out for a Sunday drive.

I’ve looked through images of Fords from the 30s and there seems to be a major design change that happens between 1934 and 1936 to a more rounded form, and based on images of cars I’ve seen from that time period I’m inclined to date this about 1936. A person who really has some knowledge of autos may correct me on this.

In 1936, Ezzie would have been about 33 and Ethel about 30.

Esmond Hennesy and Ethel Hennesy at Party

Esmond and Ethel Hennesy at a party. In the top picture, the left couple is unknown. In the bottom picture, Esmond is on the right.

What were they celebrating? As Ethel is wearing the corsage an Esmond is wearing a carnation, they appear to be the couple being celebrated. Was it a wedding anniversary? Based on the attire, I would imagine it was the mid 1950s.