Pioneers of Ellis County
Raleigh G. Sims
[Source: Memorial and Biographical History of Ellis County, Texas. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1892]
Raleigh G. Sims, prosperous farmer of Ellis County, was born November 6, 1836, son of Sterling Sims, and grandson of John Sims, a native of Virginia.
The youngest of ten children, Raleigh came to Texas in 1856, locating in Ellis County. He worked as a farm hand until 1860, when he was elected Assessor and Tax Collector and moved to Waxahachie.
In February, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, Nineteenth Texas Cavalry, and served in Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri. He was in many battles, and at one time had his horse shot from under him, but was never wounded or captured. He remained in service until the close of the War, and at the time of the surrender , the command, then in Polk County, Texas, disbanded in May, 1865.
Sims then worked as a farm hand until elected Assessor and Tax Collector, and held that office until the reconstruction period when he resigned - not being able to take the oath required - and returned to farming.
A few of recollections of his early days in Texas: The winter of 1856 was unusually warm; vegetation started up early, but on the 5th of April a heavy frost came. The wheat at that time was headed out, and corn had been worked over, and the former fell and the latter was cut to the ground. Again on the 11th of the same month, a heavy snow fell, which smashed the wheat into the ground, and there was no rain fell until July 23, but by some means the wheat sprouted up and an average crop was harvested. Another instance was an encounter with a bear. while working at his brother's farm. While looking after his brother's hogs, he discovered a large bear making his way toward the hogs.. He at once began calling the dogs, four large mastiffs, and the bear went up a tree twelve or fifteen feet, and after apparently viewing the situation, came down and began the fight. For a time it was hard to determine which would be victorious, but at one time when the bear was on his back, Sims hit him on the head with a pole, which renewed the courage of the dogs, and they soon killed the bear.
In February 1867, Raleigh Sims married to Miss Mary Parks, a daughter of Thomas Parks, native of Tennessee. She died June 28, 1876, and his second marriage (Jan. 1, 1878) was to Miss Laura Wilson, a daughter of Daniel Wilson, a native of North Carolina. The latter had moved to Mississippi and in 1869 to Texas where he died March 1877.
Mr. and Mrs. Sims had no children of their own, but helped educate two young ladies and one young man, as well as an orphan, Juanita Sims, and have now taken an orphan girl,
Mr. Sims was a Mason and a Democrat and he and his wife are members of the Baptist Church.
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