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SIMPSON, FRIENCH

SIMPSON, FRIENCH (1848–1923). Friench Simpson, businessman, author, and public official, son of James Hendley and Emily (Dye) Simpson, was born in Fairfax County, Virginia, on February 13, 1848. His early training was at the Leesburg Academy. He arrived in Texas in 1862 and continued his education in the common schools of the state. In 1865 he enlisted as a private in Company A, Thirteenth Texas Volunteer Infantry. He subsequently returned to his family's home in Lavaca County and engaged in farming and planting from 1866 to 1873. In 1874–75 he served as a member of the Texas State Geological Survey (see GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS OF TEXAS). In 1877 he was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law. He married Jennie Harbert of Columbus on February 11, 1877. In 1888 Simpson became a banker at the Simpson Bank of Columbus, founded by his father fifteen years earlier, and upon his father's death in 1889, he assumed ownership of the establishment with partner Carey Shaw. Simpson also helped organize the First National Bank of Hallettsville, where he remained a cashier for twenty-five years. A slump in the local economy in 1913 placed the Simpson Bank in an unsound financial position, and it was forced into bankruptcy and closure in October 1914. The Simpson Ranch in Lavaca County was sold by the bank's trustees in partial satisfaction of creditors. In 1884 Simpson was elected mayor of Columbus. He represented District Eighteen, which comprised Lavaca, Colorado, and Fayette counties, in the Senate of the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Texas legislatures, 1893–95. He was a devout Methodist, director of the Masonic Orphans' Home in Fort Worth from 1890 to 1900, and grand treasurer of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas in 1900. In the same year he published a volume called A Study of Nature and Other Poems (1900) and later published A Paraphrase of the Quatrains of Omar Khayyam (1909). From 1917 to 1919 he served as chairman of the Lavaca County Selective Service Board. Simpson died at his home in Hallettsville on March 23, 1923.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Colorado County Historical Commission, Colorado County Chronicles from the Beginning to 1923 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1986). Davis Foute Eagleton, comp. and ed., Writers and Writings of Texas (New York: Broadway, 1913). Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: Texas Legislature, 1939). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.

Charles Christopher Jackson

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Charles Christopher Jackson, "SIMPSON, FRIENCH," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsi20), accessed July 11, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.