SIMS, GEORGE WASHINGTON, a successful truck gardener living at 1261 West Jefferson Street, Springfield, Ill., owns a fine house and two lots there. He is a native of Muskingum County, Ohio, born March 17, 1838, son of James and Lucy Ann (Shackelford) Sims, both born in Virginia, the father in 1811 and the mother in 1815. James Sims was a farmer and shingle maker, and he and his wife located six miles west of Springfield in 1865, living there until their deaths. The father died in 1887, and the mother in 1891, and both are buried in the United Brethren Cemetery west of Springfield. James Sims enlisted in 1862, and served in the Union Army. He had two sons who also served in the war and one of them was captured by the enemy and held eight months in Libby Prison. Thirteen children were born to Mr. Sims and his wife, seven now living besides G. W. - George, John, James, Austin, Angelina, Nancy and Lucy Ann.
George Washington Sims received his education in an old log schoolhouse in his native State where the seats were hand made slabs. He remained with his father on the farm until he was nineteen years old, then worked a year at the trade of cooper, after which he took up farming as an occupation and also made rails and posts. He was an active and vigorous young man and has cut from the stump and corded up five cords of wood in one day; and remembers cutting one tree on Spring Creek from which he made fourteen cords of wood. He remembers Abraham Lincoln very well, having visited his home a number of times. He has been active in the interests of the Democratic party and in 1894, was elected Road Commissioner, serving three years. He is a member of the Union Baptist Church and is interested in its good work. He is a public-spirited and enterprising citizen and has always given his support to measures which he thought would be of public benefit. He has lived in Sangamon County about fifty-five years and is well known as an upright, honest citizen. He has won success as a farmer through industry and perseverance and has always worked hard.
Mr. Sims was married, in Springfield, January 1, 1870, to Mrs. Rachel (Cowell) Fox, daughter of William and Rachel Cowell of Monroe County, Ill. Mrs. Cowell died in 1848, and Mr. Cowell in 1855. Rachel Cowell married (first), William Fox, by whom she had two sons and one daughter: Sarah, John W. and Charles E., all living in Sangamon County. Mr. Sims and his wife became parents of five children, namely: Austen M., a fruit farmer near Springfield; Maud, wife of Fred Spangler in the employ of A. C. Brown: Franklin, a cement finisher of Springfield; Jessie, wife of Marion Hibbs, a cement worker and finisher of Springfield. Mr. Sims has had fifteen grandchildren of whom eleven survive, and Mrs. Sims has three great-grandchildren. Mrs. Sims is one of a family of fourteen children, and was born July 10, 1848. Both she and her husband are active and enjoy good health and take great pleasure in the society of their descendants.