Simms, Jere H. 1924

Review, Thursday, July 24, 1924

Jere H. Simms Funeral To Be Held Saturday

Services for Veteran Printer-Publisher Will Be Held from Home

Friends May View Remains on Friday

Rev. Isaac L. Wood Will Have Charge of Final Rites

Funeral services for Jere H. Simms, veteran printer, author and publisher, who died at his home in Second and Market streets at o o’clock yesterday morning, will be held Saturday morning at the home shortly after 10 o’clock. Rev. Isaac L. Wood, pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church will officiate at the service and interment will be made in Riverview cemetery.

The widely known and life-long resident who founded The Morning Tribune, succumbed to dropsy and heart disease after an eight months battle against the maladies. Arrangements have been made to permit friends to view the remains Friday afternoon and evening.

Mr. Simms was born on West Second street, this city, in 1851, a son of Claiborn and Deborah Hickman Simms. His father was a native of Wheeling, but the family removed to East Liverpool, then known as Fawcettstown, when he was but 12 years of age. Here Claiborn received an education in a log school.

The elder Mr. Simms acquired a large tract of land, which included the Simms addition. He followed the trade of a farmer, tilling land on which East Liverpool now stands. In later years he entered the coal business and for a while furnished clay to potteries in this section and “peddled ware” through the rural districts by wagon.

J. H. Simms was one of seven children, four of whom died —- After attending the public schools here in 1868, at the age of 17 years he entered the employment of W. G. Foster, who at that time published the East Liverpool Record, a Republican weekly, and the Wellsville Union, which also was issued each week. The Record maintained its plant on the second floor of a frame building which stood on the site of the present McKinley hotel, next to the C. & I. railroad station.

Serving his apprenticeship here, he went to Pittsburgh two years later where he secured a position in the job printing establishment of W. G. Johnson & Company, where he also worked for two years. The next four years were spent in Cleveland, Chicago and St. Paul where he worked at the printing trade.

Mr. Simms returned to East Liverpool in September, 1876, where he was united in marriage to Miss Donia Harker, a daughter of Benjamin Harker. He and his bride were preparing to return to St. Paul when he purchased an interest in the East Liverpool Democrat, a Democratic weekly which was published in Bradshaw’s hall in Broadway. Mr. Simms and T. R. Bradshaw then bought out the interests of Enoch Bradshaw and began publication of the weekly Tribune, a Republican paper in the Dare property, next to the old Albion house in Second street.

A year later Mr. Simms became the sole owner of the paper when he purchased Mr. Bradshaw’s interests. Later, the newspaper plant was removed to the W. L. Thompson Music store, which was then located in the building at the corner of Third street and Broadway, now the Thompson house. Here the paper was published for a few years. In 1885 it moved to the basement of the building now occupied by the Croxall Chemical & Supply company at the intersection of Fourth and Union streets and Broadway. The first floor of the building at that time was the home of the Potters’ National bank.

In this location, Mr. Simms continued the publication of the Weekley Tribune and also launched another paper known as the Columbiana County Zeitung, a German weekly, of which Joseph Betz, now president of the Chamber of Commerce, was editor. This paper he published until 1898.

The Weekly Tribune was published for 26 years as a weekly with the exception of a few weeks prior to the presidential election in 1884, when Grover Cleveland, Democratic nominee, defeated James G. Blaine, the Republican candidate, for president. During this campaign, one of the most lively in the history of the country, Mr. Simms, a staunch Republican, published his paper daily.

In 1902, Mr. Simms moved his paper to its new home in lower Market street and on Labor Day, September 1, 1902, The Morning Tribune, a daily publication, made its debut. He continued in the newspaper publishing business until about 1910, when he disposed the newspaper rights to his son, George Simms, J. Will Davidson and Arthur Falconer, who remained in charge until November, 1911, when the paper was sold to a stock company made up of East Liverpool and Chester capitol.

Even after disposing of his interest in the newspaper, Mr. Simms continued to operate a job printing plant. He was actively engaged in this work until last November, when failing health compelled him to retire. He disposed of his printing business on January 28, to Alex Wilson, who had been in his employ for about 35 years, and Gordon Brick.

The Morning Tribune continued publication in the Simms building until January, 1921, when it was purchased by the East Liverpool Publishing company.

Mr. Simms wrote and published two books, one entitled “The Last Days of General John Morgan, the Raider,” dealing with the raid and capture of the Rebel leader on the Crubaugh farm, near West Point, and another dealing with the pottery industry.

He was always interested in the pottery industry and took an active part in the industrial expansion of the city. He was a member of the old Boosters’ Club, which existed here many years ago, and has been identified with the Chamber of Commerce since its organization.

Despite his advanced years, Mr. Simms was regarded as an authority on historic events regarding East Liverpool. He was an active worker in the East Liverpool Historical Society, being largely responsible for the large collection of articles of historical value so far as East Liverpool is concerned, now kept on the second floor of the Carnegie Library building.

At the request of members of the East Liverpool Historical Society, Mr. Simms a few months ago began chronicling a “History of East Liverpool: in which he planned with the assistance of business people, to take up every — of life and organization which entered into the making of the city. Much of the data which Mr. Simms had planned to have included in the official history had been submitted and was being edited when illness compelled him to lay down his pen.

The deceased was a life long member of the First Methodist Episcopal church and was also affiliated with Riddle Lodge No. 315 F. & A. M., East Liverpool Chapter No. 350? Arch Masons, Keramos Council No. 95, R. & S. M. Pilgrim Commandery No. 55, Knights Templar, and the Shriners.

He was a member of the Chicago Typographical Union while actively engaged in the printer’s trade and held an honorary withdrawal card from that organization. In view of his interest and activity in the growth of the pottery industry, he was an honorary member of the United States Potters’ Association. He was also identified with the National Editorial Association, an organization of newspaper publishers.

To Mr. Simms’ first union, one son, George Simms, now engaged in newspaper work at Victoria, Virginia, was born. The son is confined to his home with an attack of rheumatism and will be unable to attend his father’s funeral. The first Mrs. Simms died on January 10, 1908.

On July 12, 1909, Mr. Simms was again united in marriage to Miss Virginia Dare Shriver, of this city, who, with three children, Richard, 13, William, 12, and Virginia Marian, 8, survive him.

Mr. Simms was the last surviving member of his family. The late Heck Simms, formerly of East Liverpool, and Martin Simms, of Steubenville, were his half brothers.