Thursday, October 12, 2006

S. M. Simons (1817 -1893)

The Rev S. M. Simons was the puzzle in my search for pre-Civil War Universalist ministers. I've been unable to find out a thing about him, he wasn't mentioned in Father Clayton's autobiography - he wasn't famous like N. P. Walker or J. A. Chapman; or a writer and circuit rider like Allen Fuller - and unlike J. Mullikin, he wasn't even in the census ....

While actually, he was in the census.... But between Census takers getting his name wrong and Universalist Almanac getting his name in a non-traditional spelling, I couldn't find him. Earlier this week, I found his full name, his burial site, and a beginning of information about him.

Silas Milton Simons (1817-1893) was born in South Carolina and spent most of his life in what is now Aiken County (it had been both Lexington and Orangeburg County while he was there), near Black Creek and Steedman's. He, like so many southerners, went by his middle name. His wife was Susan Simons. In 1843, he was ordained an Universalist minister. He maintained those work until his death in 1893. Sometime between 1881 and 1888, he and his family and sons and daughters moved to Ramsey, Arkansas. Where he is burred in a family cemetery.
After his death, some tragedy (I assume viral) took the life of his two sons and a daughter in just a week in 1913.

At this time, I don't know what kind of person Rev Simons was. The 1880 census has him listed as a farmer (not surprising, all ministers living on a farm in SC are listed in that census as farmers); I don't know is doctrine, or his passions, I don't know what sort of person he was. But I do know he preached and believed in the Universal Reconciliation of man and God. And he preached that in rural South Carolina for 40 years.
Today inbetween Steedman and the Black Creek is the ( a small u) universalist Pauline Church of Christ. While I have no idea how much their other beliefs and the Rev Simons beliefs coincide, and I don't want to suggest that Simons had anything to do with their church - other than to say that he helped tilled the soil that they are now weeding. And I suspect that Rev Simons would be appreciative of knowing that preaching of God's eventual reconciliation with all mankind continues in his backyard.


boyinthebands said...

Ha! Scott is my middle name.

Jehovahsfitness said...

Somewhat off topic, but do you know if there was a Universalist church in Charleston?

SC Universalist said...

Scott: we know you're just a good ole southerner - this just gives it away!