Biography of Arthur Joseph Simmers

From History of Klamath County, Oregon : its resources and its people, illustrated
by Rachel Applegate Good, Klamath Falls, OR; 1941

Page 97

Few Klamath County citizens have had as much adventure in various parts of the West as Arthur Joseph Simmers now living east of Klamath Falls on what was the old John Hunsaker ranch, which he purchased in 1907. This ranch consisted of 240 acres, lying along South Sixth Street near the junction of the Klamath and Merrill Highway, which he has subdivided into small tracts and sold to settlers. He still owns over seventy acres of hill land besides the old home place where he lives. He has brought more than half a hundred families to "Simmers Acres" and has been very successful in his sales ot them. Arthur Joseph Simmers was born April 6, 1862, near New Philadelphia, Ohio, a son of Jesse and Elizabeth (Engler) Simmers who reared five children, three of whom live in Klamath County, Mrs. Carrie Tipton, Mrs. Belle McClellan and Arthur Joseph. The mother died in December, 1910, aged 75 years. Jesse Simmers was born in 1828 near Port Washington, Ohio, but spent his boyhood in Virginia. Returning to Ohio in young manhood he settled in the town of Trenton, now Tuscarawas, and conducted a general store until he secured work on the Ohio River as tugboat captain. In 1870 he made a trip to Kansas and homesteaded near Abilene, farming there until his death in 1877. His wife was born in old Trenton in 1838. Mr. Simmers farmed from boyhood, attended the public schools of his home community near New Philadelphia, until eight years old, and near Abilene after that. When he was 21 he began farming on his own account, also operated a threshing machine there for ten years and in 1893 came still further west and settled on Vashon Island, near Seattle, Washington. He worked on the dry dock there doing painting and other work on vessels that came to that harbor. Among some of the vessels he worked on were the City of Everett, which was called the "Whaleback," it being a vessel brought around the horn from Lake Michigan which was used to carry provisions to Russia during the time of the famine in that country. He also worked on the S. S. Cleveland in the Alaskan trade. In 1904 he went back to Kansas and remained there for three years before again coming West, this time he stopped in Klamath County and purchased the ranch where he now lives. He then returned to Washington and made his home until settling on his property here in 1921. He farmed for a number of years, then decided to subdivide the property and sell in small tracts and this he has continued up to the present time.

Arthur Joseph Simmers has been married twice, his first wife being Fanny Baker, whom he married in September, 1887, in Abilene, Kansas. She was born in Ohio in 1864, a daughter of Silas and Della Baker, both members of prominent families of Northern Ohio, but who had emigrated to Kansas in 1879. Of this union four children were born: Robert, born in Kansas, December 26, 1890, and died in Klamath Falls in 1910; Chester I., also born in Kansas, August 30, 1892, married Letha Rhodes and they have two children, Robert C. and Beulah Anna; Edith E., born on Vashon island, August 1, 1894, married Earl J. Hisner and has two children, Anabel A., and Glenda; Anabel, also born on Vashon Island, march 16, 1896, married Lenn J. Smith and they have four sons, Dale L., Melvin, Lennard A., and Lee J. The mother died April 20, 1904, in Washington. The second marriage of Mr. Simmers united him with Anna Eleanor (Hamaker) Adams and was celebrated June 24, 1924, at Kelso, Washington. She was born in Nemaha County, Nebraska, May 4, 1876, daughter of Jacob and Almeda Jane (Maginnis) Hamaker. Mr. Hamaker was born in White Cloud, Nebraska, moved to Missouri and died in Woodlake, Nebraska in 1926. He was a farmer and stockman. His wife was born in Missouri and died there in 1924. By a former marriage with John H. Jardine, Anna E. Hamaker became the mother of six children, two of whom are living: Leon H. Jardine, of Klamath Falls; and John M., of Eugene, Oregon. He married Muriel Stansby and they have three children, Betty Lou, John M., Jr., and Maryellen. By a second marriage with Edward Hixson one son was born, Edward J. Hixson who married Violet Brown and they have three children, Roberta M., Janet, and Gerald. Mrs. Simmers has been of great assistance to her husband in his work here and they both have won a large circle of friends in the Klamath Basin country. A. J. Simmers has traveled widely, living in various places, but he has found Klamath County an ideal place for a home and security, and by cooperating in all matters for the upbuilding of this part of the State has made many friends.