William H. Simpson
b. 22 March 1856, d. 21 July 1929
- Father: Thomas Simpson b. circa 8 January 1833, d. 12 November 1907
- Mother: Jennett Brown b. 16 June 1834, d. 23 April 1908
- William H. Simpson appeared in the New York state census of 1 June 1915.
- He was born on 22 March 1856 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
- Apparently the Simpson family resided for a short time in Canada around 1860 (after living in Pittsburgh and before taking up residence in Buffalo), based on the stated birthplace of son James and the apparent absence of the family from the 1860 US census.
- Thomas Simpson and Jennett Brown appeared in the New York state census of 1 June 1865 in Erie County, New York. Other members of the household included William H. Simpson, Thomas R. Simpson, James Laurel Simpson, Arthur Simpson and Jean Craig.
- Thomas Simpson and Jennett Brown, appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, and it appears that Jean Craig Simpson has been identified as Jennett Brown (?).. Other members of the household included William H. Simpson, Thomas R. Simpson, James Laurel Simpson, John L. Simpson and Jean Craig Simpson.
- He married Mary Cannon circa 1875.
- Thomas Simpson and Jennett Brown appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, at 470 Bouck (later Lafayette). Other members of the household included William H. Simpson, Thomas R. Simpson, James Laurel Simpson, John L. Simpson, Jean Craig Simpson, Arthur Burtis Simpson, Alexander Burtis Simpson, Mary Cannon and William Richard Simpson. Son Thomas also was enumerated in Cattaraugus County with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Jessie. Also, son William and wife and child are enumerated in both places.
- William H. Simpson and Mary Cannon appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Olean, Cattaraugus County, New York. Other members of the household included William Richard Simpson and James L. Wilson. The family also was enumerated in the household of William's father in Buffalo.
- He was a plumber, according to the 1880 census.
- From a History of the Town of Olean, published in 1893: W. H. Simpson was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. His early life was spent in Buffalo, where he learned the plumbing business, with particular reference to sanitation. He came to Olean in 1879 and established business, which increased as the town grew, and in which he has been very successful. He has been an active man in town affairs, was excise commissioner one term, an officer of the fire department nine years, and was four years its chief engineer. The present efficiency of the department is largely due to Mr. Simpson's efforts and he still takes an active interest in the affairs of the firemen.
- The Simpson family lived for years at 638 Bouck Avenue in Buffalo (photograph by Elsa Vorwerk and Bill Wood, August 2000). The street was renamed Lafayette Avenue in 1896 in honor of the Lafayette Presbyterian Church, which had recently relocated from Lafayette Square to the corner of Bouck and Elmwood Avenue, amid the pastures and farm lands of the northern section of the city.
- William H. Simpson and Mary Cannon appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Olean, Cattaraugus County, New York, at 235 North Second Street. Other members of the household included Walter Howard Simpson and Adah Violet Simpson.
- He was a plumber, according to the 1900 census.
- In November 1907, in Erie County, New York, Thomas Simpson's estate was probated, naming his heirs at law and next of kin surviving: Janet Simpson (age 73, Wife, Buffalo, New York), Thomas Simpson (age 52, Son, Pine Valley, New York), William Simpson (age 50, Son, Olean, New York), James Simpson (age 47, Son, Pine Grove, West Virginia), John Simpson (age 42, Son, Chicago, Illinois), Arthur Simpson (age 36, Son, Long Island City, New York), Jennie S. Dunn (age 38, Daughter, Buffalo, New York), Alexander Simpson (age 34, Son, Jamaica, New York).
- In April 1908, in Erie County, New York, Janet Simpson's estate was probated, naming his heirs at law and next of kin surviving: Thomas Simpson (age 52, Son, South Dayton, New York), William Simpson (age 50, Son, Olean, New York), James Simpson (age 48, Son, Pine Grove, West Virginia), John Simpson (age 46, Son, Chicago, Illinois), Arthur Simpson (age 41, Son, Long Island City, New York), Jennie S. Dunn (age 39, Daughter, Buffalo, New York), Alexander Simpson (age 34, Son, Jamaica, New York).
- In December 1909, he observed his twentieth anniversary as Chief of the Olean Fire Department.
- William H. Simpson and Mary Cannon appeared in the US federal census of 15 April 1910 in Olean, New York, at 235 North Second Street. Other members of the household included Adah Violet Simpson.
- He was a plumber employed by the city, according to the 1910 census.
- In November 1913, he was elected Mayor of Olean.
- William H. Simpson and Mary Cannon appeared in the US federal census of 1 January 1920 in Olean, New York, at 235 North Second Street. Other members of the household included Adah Violet Simpson and Charles Webster Stackhouse.
- He was proprietor of a plumbing shop, according to the 1920 census.
- The following appeared in a local newspaper: [Died] In Buffalo, July 30, 1928, Jeannie Simpson Dunn, beloved wife of the late Howard J. Dunn; mother of Warren T., Ralph J., Howard T. and the late Theodore S. Dunn; sister of William H. Simpson of Olean, NY, Alexander Simpson of Hollis, LI, Arthur Simpson of Clarksburg, WVa, and John L. Simpson of Chicago, Ill. The funeral will take place from the family residence, 503 West Delavan avenue on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. Friends are invited to attend.
- In August 1928, William H. Simpson celebrated his fiftieth anniversary in the plumbing and heating business in Olean.
- William H. Simpson died on 21 July 1929 at age 73 in Buffalo, New York.
- Mary Cannon became a widow at his death.
- He was interred at Mount View Cemetery, Olean, Cattaraugus County, New York.
- The following appeared on 21 July 1929 in the Olean Democrat: The community mourns the passing of William H. Simpson, pioneer Olean business man and former mayor, in Buffalo following a lengthy illness.
- The following appeared on 24 July 1929 in The Olean Evening Times: Resolutions mourning the death of the late William H. Simpson were adopted at a special meeting of the City Club held in the clubhouse on North Street, this afternoon at two o'clock.
Mr. Simpson, who passed away in Buffalo, Sunday, was a charter member of the organization. The resolutions as adopted follow:
RESOLVED, That it is fitting and desirable that this club inscribe in its record a permanent tribute of respect to one of its charter members, Mr. William H. Simpson, who died at six o'clock Sunday morning, July 21, 1929, after having been in impaired health for some time past.
. . .
Mr. Simpson was born March 22, 1856, in Pittsburgh, Penna. He came to Olean in 1878, and opened a plumbing shop on what is now the location of the larger Kresge store. He built up a large business in plumbing and heating. Quality and honest work were the platform on which he stood, and which brought about the present substantial house of W. H. Simpaon and Company.
. . .
We therefore reaffirm our regret at the passing of so substantial a man and club member as Mr. Simpson, and with sincerity extend our sympathies to his widow and daughter and sons.
We move the adoption of the above.
- The following appeared on 2 August 1929 in The Daily Argus: (Olean) William H. Simpson, 73, who once fired John J. McGraw, manager of the New York Giants, from a team in the old Pennsylvania-New York league, died recently. In 1890, Simpson was manager of the Olean team in the ancient league and hired McGraw, then sixteen years of age, to play shortstop at $40 a month. In the final game of the series the future Giants manager made nine errors and was given his walking papers, according to Simpson.
- The following appeared on 8 February 1941 in the Olean Times-Herald: Mrs. Mary Cannon Simpson, widow of the late W. H. Simpson who served as Mayor of Olean during 1914 and 1915 and who for many years was a business and civic leader of this city, died suddenly at her home, 235 North Second Street, Friday night at eleven o'clock.
Mrs. Simpson had not recently been in poor health and death was unexpected.
Born at Port Colborne, Ont., Canada, Mrs. Simpson had lived in this city for the past sixty-three years. Although prominently known, her activities were limited to the interests of her family and her only public office was that of vice-president of the firm of W. H. Simpson, Inc., which post she held at the time of her death.
Mr. Simpson, founder of the firm and one of Olean's pioneer business leaders passed away July 1, [sic] 1929. Three sons born to Mr. and Mrs. Simpson have also all passed away.
Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. C. W. Stackhouse, this city; two grandsons, T. Hayes Simpson, Tulsa, Okla., and W. Richard Simpson, Wellsville, and a niece, Mrs. Joseph Reeb, Port Colborne, Ont.
Funeral services will be held at the home Monday afternoon at two-thirty o'clock. The Very Rev. Joseph Groves, rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Mount View Cemetery.
- Last Edited: 18 May 2015