(photo of residence)
Jerry Simpson is no longer a member of congress, but it is not to be inferred from this that he is a "statesman out of a job," by any manner of means.
A visit to his stock ranch last week convinced the writer that with looking after his ranch and cattle through the day, and playing checkers with Mrs. Simpson in the evening, he has very little time to indulge in dreams of the past or visions of the future.
Mr. Simpson's farm or ranch, as it is styled in western parlance, is located on the Antelope Flats, six miles due east from Medicine Lodge. His home place comprises a half section or 320 acres of land, 230 of which is under cultivation. In addition to which he owns detached bodies of 880 acres, making his total belongings in landed estate 1200 acres. Aside from this he leases extensively of non-resident owners for pasturage.
Of course politics are to cut no figure in this article, but there can be no harm in our saying that whatever may be thought of Mr. Simpson as a public man, or the principles he espoused, no one conversant with the truth, but will concur with us in commending the good judgment with which he has invested whatever surplus earnings have come to him, the thrift, economy and industry he has exercised in building a home and surrounding it with those comforts so pleasing to contemplate, as one's own handiwork when the years wane, the strength of manhood fails and gives way to the weakness of old age.
There will be no denial of the fact that Mr. Simpson's estate is situated in one of the most favored localities of Barber county, combining to a greater extent than almost any other the advantages of a prolific soil, plentiful pasturage and an unfailing supply of running water.
Mr. Simpson has supplemented this with extensive corrals, through which a brook of spring water runs, cold in summer and seldom forming ice in winter, 300 feet of shedding, granaries, shelter for wagons and farm implements, a stable to accommodate 18 head of horses, costing $200, Jerry himself doing all the work with the exception of putting on the roof.
His residence is one of the Queen Ann style of architecture, a very handsome structure, which no one would ever dream of as having been built piece by piece, as he had time and means to construct it. But it is a fact and Mrs. Simpson told us that when they first moved there 13 years ago, they lived in a 10x14 room with a lean-to for a kitchen and that for a full year had to crawl through a window, or [a] place cut for one, to get from one room to the other, before she could get Jerry to put in a door. But all things come to an end. Now they have a very handsome home of nine rooms, including the bath room, supplied with hot and cold water. The inside furnishings and adornments are in excellent taste and elegantly arranged, for which we suspect Mrs. Simpson should have the credit. She is a very pleasant lady, exceedingly entertaining as a hostess. We are under particular obligations to her for giving us the cold storage room for our sleeping apartment, as a safeguard against our becoming inoculated with any of her husband's political heresies.
The family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Simpson and their son Lester, a young man of twenty-two, who in features favors his mother, and with the help of a hired hand does the heavy work of the farm. Mr. Simpson himself is somewhat afflicted with dyspepsia and will be as long as he retains his appetite for mince pie.
For this winter, Mr. Simpson is holding a herd of 350 head of grade Herefords and Shorthorns. About 250 of them are cows which he grazes through the day, feeding Kaffir corn night and morning. The remaining 100 are calves and held at the corrals and given the same feed, a ration of Indian corn being given to the younger ones. They are all in excellent condition and will bring a pot of money when put upon the market. At least we hope so.
Remembering "Sockless" Jerry Simpson, a biography by Tom McNeal.
Jerry Simpson, biography from Official Congressional Directory By United States Congress, published 1897.
A Biographical Congressional Directory, 1774-1903 by O. M. Enyart, United States Congress - 1903. This biography mentions that Jerry Simpson was a Civil War veteran: "During the early part of the Civil War served for a time in Company A, Twelfth Illinois Infantry, but contracting a disease he left the service."
Thanks to Ellen (Knowles) Bisson for finding, transcribing and contributing the above Medicine Lodge Cresset article to this web site!
It is one of a series of articles published together on 2 March 1900 under the title of Barber County Profiles: Men Who Have Taken a Prominent Part in Developing the Stock Industry in Barber County.
It was transcribed from Kansas State Historical Society microfilm reel #M 870. If a photo is indicated in the above text, the microfilm itself has a photo of the individual or property.
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