David Marshall Simpson (Apr. 1814-Oct.1903) and Susan Jane Hamilton Simpson (Feb. 1815-May 1891) migrated to Boydsville, Clay County, Arkansas in 1878 from Farmington, Kentucky where they had resided for about 10 years after moving there from Tennessee. David M. and his sons farmed and had considerable land holdings, including part ownership in Mayfield Woolen Mills in Mayfield, Kentucky.
The Simpsons’ were originally from Humphreys Co., Ky. where David M. was a well-known planter. David was born in Tennessee in 1814, and his wife was born in Nashville, Davidson Co., Indiana in 1815. They were married in the mid 1830’s and had 10 children live to adulthood. The children were Mary Jane, Louisa Frances, William H., Martha Jane, Ellen Isabel, David M. Jr., Sarah Emma, John Sylvester, Jesse F., and James DeSoto Simpson. David Marshall and Susan are buried in the Salem Cemetery, one and half miles south of Boydsville. They are on the 1880 Clay County Census.
Mary Jane Simpson (1836-1885), daughter of David M. and Susan, was born in May?eld, Ky. and died in Boydsville. Ark. She married Norman Gibbons in Tennessee, and had ?ve children before being widowed in 1870. Mary Jane and three children, George, Susie, and Emma, then moved to Boydsville to be near her parents. Mary Jane is buried in the Salem Cemetery with no marker.
Louisa Frances Simpson (1838-after 1910), daughter of David M. and Susan, was born in Humphrey Co., Tenn. and married Jesse Owens and William H. Watts. She and her second husband, a Civil War veteran, came to Boydsville and are listed on the 1880 Clay Co., Census with daughter Cordelia, 11, William H., 8, Albert I, 2, and sister, Margaret E, 24.
William H. Simpson (1840-1874), son of David and Susan. was born in Humphreys Co., Tenn. and died in Graves Co., Ky. He was married to Nancy J. and had ?ve children. Thomas, Cora, and Leticia came to Boydsville.
Martha Jane Simpson (1841-1915, daughter of David and Susan, was born in Humphreys Co., Tenn. and died in Louisburg, Mo. She married Jerry Cunningham, William Ethredge Bowen, and Lewis Green.
Ellen Isabel Simpson (1843-1931) was born in Humphreys Co., Tenn. and died at McDougal, Ark. She married Lewis Clark McKeel, a Tenn. Civil War Veteran, and had Marshall who died young, Hester, John, Will, Lon, and Jess. Ellen and Lewis are buried in the Salem Cemetery. David Marshall Simpson, Jr. (1845-1885), son of David and Susan, married Rebecca Anne Norman and moved to Boydsville as early as 1876. They had ten children, and of those ten, Jesse, Charley, and Claude resided in Clay County for many years.
David M., Jr. died while on a trip to May?eld, Ky., about 1885.
Sarah Emma Simpson (1848- ), daughter of David and Susan, married Powhatten Pullen in Kentucky before coming to Arkansas in 1870. She and “Tan” had ?ve children. After a divorce, Emma and the children lived in Memphis where she married Jack Turlington. Her death date is unknown.
John Sylvester Simpson (1851- 1931), son of David and Susan, married JoAnna Tinsley after his ?rst wife, Janie Townsend, died. Two of John’s three children, Lois and John M., grew up in Clay County. John S. served as Clay County Judge in 1931 and was buried in Woodland Heights Cemetery.
Jesse F. Simpson (1854-1873) died at the age of 19 and is buried n Harmony Cemetery near Farmington, Kentucky.
James DeSoto Simpson (1856—1930), the last child of David and Susan. married Fannie and had a son. Clarence. They lived brie?y in Rector in the early 1890’s. They moved back to Kentucky and then on to St. Louis, Mo., where James ran his own shirt manufacturing company. He died in Ironton. Mo. where he had retired.
During the 25 years that David M. Sr. lived in Arkansas, he and his family amassed a considerable amount of land in both Clay and Greene Counties and set up business interests in Rector. This family truly was a part of the early formative years of Clay County. Pioneers David M. and Susan died near the turn of the century, Susan in 1891 and David M. in 1903. They were both buried in the family cemetery, Salem Cemetery.
(Note: This column is credited to Barbara McKeel who shared her Simpson information with me several years ago when we found we were both searching Simpson lines that turned out not to be connected. Barbara is the great, great granddaughter of David M. Simpson, Sr.)