James Nelson Simkins

b. October 1824, d. 1 May 1904
  • James Nelson Simkins was born in October 1824 in Ulster County, New York.
  • Jesse Lorenzo Simkins and Nancy Bloomer appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1850 in Murray, Orleans County, New York. Other members of the household included James Nelson Simkins, Silas Simkins and Mary Ann Simkins. Also in the household was Fidelia Hall (age 20). Silas Simkins (age 72) in Orleans County 1850 may have been Jesse's father.
  • The following appeared on 8 March 1876 in the Niagara Falls Gazette: A rumor is current that the Rev. J. N. Simkins, pastor of the Riverside church at Black Rock, is to be married at an early day to a Lockport lady named Miss Poyfair, a teacher in the Lockport public school.
  • He married Frances Elizabeth Poyfair, daughter of Jeremiah Poyfair and Ellen Flynn, on 31 July 1876 in Lockport, Niagara County, New York, at the Clinton Street M. E. Church, with Rev. S. C. Smith, D.D., officiating, assisted by Rev. S. C. Smith.
  • The following appeared on 31 July 1876 in the Lockport Daily Journal: [Married] In this city, on the 31st instant, in the Clinton St. M. E. Church, by Rev. S. Hunt, D. D., assisted by Rev. S. C. Smith, Rev. J. N. Simkins, of Buffalo, and Miss Frances E. Poyfair, of Lockport.
  • James Nelson Simkins and Frances Elizabeth Poyfair appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, at 389 Elk Street. Other members of the household included Helen May Simkins, Everett Chambers Simkins and Edward Nelson Simkins. Also in the household was one female servant.
  • He was a minister, according to the 1880 census.
  • James Nelson Simkins and Frances Elizabeth Poyfair appeared in the New York state census of 16 February 1892 in Niagara, Niagara County, New York. Other members of the household included Edward Nelson Simkins, Everett Chambers Simkins, Helen May Simkins and Julia Simkins.
  • The following appeared on 10 July 1894 in the Buffalo Evening News: (Niagara Falls, July 10) Rev. J. N. Simkins of this city married Mr. H. R. Foster and Miss Alice Poyfair on Saturday.
  • James Nelson Simkins and Frances Elizabeth Poyfair appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York, at 554 Fifth Street. Other members of the household included Helen May Simkins, Everett Chambers Simkins, Edward Nelson Simkins and Julia Simkins.
  • He was a preacher, according to the 1900 census.
  • The following appeared in the Niagara Falls Gazette: The Rev. and Mrs. J. N. Simkins of No. 564 Fifth Street, announce the engagement of their daughter, Helen May, to George Frederick Nussbaum, the wedding to take place in St. Paul's M. E. church, Wednesday, October 28.
  • James Nelson Simkins died on 1 May 1904 at age 79 in Niagara Falls, New York, at 554 Fifth Street at his residence.
  • The following appeared on 2 May 1904 in the Niagara Falls Gazette: The Rev. James N. Simkins, the oldest clergyman in this section of the State, passed away very peacefully at his home No. 554 Fifth Street at 10:30 oclock yesterday morning. The end has been expected for some time as the deceased was growing feebler day by day. He himself knew that he was rapidly approaching the grave and he faced the inevitable with that calm resignation that comes of a clear conscience and a knowledge of a life well spent and a duty well done.
         Since Thursday last the Rev. Mr. Simkins failed rapidly. He was attacked with fainting spells and each was longer in duration than its predecessor. Yesterday morning he arose early and seemed a little brighter. Several members of his family went to their morning devotions, leaving only Mrs. Simpkins and Edward, a son, at home. Suddenly at 10 oclock he was taken with a fainting spell but managed, with the assistance of his wife and son, to get back to his bed. He never recovered consciousness and passed away a half hour later.
         The deceased was 79 years old last October. He attended the Geneseo conference held in Olean in that same month and listened to the reading of his semi-centennial sermon which his clear mind enabled him to prepare but which his frail body forbade him to deliver. That occasion marked his 50th year in the ministry. He was born in Ulster County, this State, and was graduated from the Lima Seminary. Forty years ago he was first assigned to the pastorate of St. Paul's M. E. Church of this city. The members of the congregation at that time worshipped in a building where stands at present the Elbe jewelry store on Falls Street. After preaching here two years he was transferred to another charge but a few years later he was returned again to St. Paul's church and preached to the congregation for three years when he was again transferred to another pastorate. Fourteen years ago he was again returned to this charge of St. Paul's church and he practically made his home in the city ever since that time. He preached in the church for five years, his family occupying the parsonage next the church on First Street. At the conclusion of five years of service he was transferred to the LaSalle charge, his family still remaining here, and after spending five years there he was sent to Lockport where he preached the word of God for two years. The condition of his health then forced him to relinquish his work in the ministry and since that time he has been living quietly at home.
         He is survived by a wife, two sons, Edward and Everett, and two daughters, Mrs. George Nussbaum and Miss Julia Simkins, all of this city. His only brother died last fall.
         Funeral services over the remains will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 oclock from the family home on Fifth Street and at 3 oclock from St. Paul's M. E. Church. The pastor, the Rev. O. C. Poland, will conduct the services and he will be assisted by the Rev. R. C. Brownlee, a former pastor, and several Buffalo clergymen.
  • The following appeared on 13 August 1923 in the Niagara Falls Gazette:
         Remarkable Achievement in Church History of Niagara Falls. St. Paul's M. E. Church. . . .
         Choir and Organ. . . . The following organists presided up to time of sale: Helen Simkins (Mrs. Geo. Nussbaum). . .
         Later Ministers of St. Paul's. . . . Of the pastors we have known we begin with Rev. J. N. Simkins in 1892, then in the midst of his third term with this charge. We have many delightful memories of him, a man dearly beloved, gentle, kind and true. It was during his ministry that the value of Niagara's power began to be made manifest by the great hydro-electric development that has since so transformed our industrial life. It was then that we came to know and love St. Paul's. The continued helpful presence of Mrs. Simkins still with us and the fine service of their daughter (Mrs. Nussbaum) as our organist for so many years have served to knit us all closer together. . . .
  • The following appeared on 15 June 1948 in the Niagara Falls Gazette: Mrs. Frances Simkins Green, 95, one of this city's oldest residents and prominent in church and social work for a number of years, died today at her home, 554 Fifth street.
         Born at Lockport, Mrs. Green had been a resident of this city for the last 59 years.
         Her first husband was the late Rev. J. N. Simkins, who was pastor of St. Paul's Methodist church. He died in 1924 [sic] and in 1928 [sic] she married the late Dr. S. S. Green.
         Until recent years, Mrs. Green maintained an active interest in church affairs. She was a former president of the Women's Missionary society at St. Paul's church, and at one time was organist at the church.
         Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Peter Kain, Philadelphia, Pa; two sons, Everett C. and Edward N. Simkins, both of this city; five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
         The Rev. John A. Redmond will conduct funeral services at the home on Thursday at 2 p.m. Interment will be in Oakwood cemetery. Friends may pay their respects after noon tomorrow.
  • A single grave marker identifies the graves of James Nelson Simkins and Frances Elizabeth Poyfair and Everett Chambers Simkins.
  • The following appeared on 27 October 1951 in the Niagara Falls Gazette: Installation of six additional new stained glass glass windows in St. Paul's Methodist church has been completed, bringing the total to 22 out of 24, the church reported today. All six windows are clerestory. Two on the south side of the nave are disciples. Matthew and James were given by Julia Simkins Kain and Edward Nelson Simkins in memory of the Rev. James Nelson Simkins and his wife, Frances. The Rev. Mr. Simkins was one of the pastors of the old St. Paul's. . . .
  • The following appeared on 19 November 1955 in the Niagara Falls Gazette:
         St. Paul's Methodist Church will dedicate its new north transept Nativity window at the worship service at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
         The art window is in honor of all ministers who have served St. Paul's since its organization in 1835. It has been given by the Temple family in memory of the late Dr. and Mrs. Sterling Temple. . . .
         The names of 48 ministers of St. Paul's appear on the stained-glass window. They are, with the years of their service: . . . J. N. Simkins, 1856-57, 1858-59, and 1889-94. . . .
          Special invitations have been extended to descendants of these ministers who reside in this city and area, many of whom have been active in the life of the church. . . .
         Descendants of the Rev. Mr. Simkins include his son, Edward Simkins; a granddaughter, Mrs. John H. Chapin; two grandsons, Nelson G. Nussbaum and Dr. George F. Nussbaum, Tonawanda; and great grandchildren, Barbara and Peter Chapin, Gayle and Jean Nussbaum, in this city, and Gretchen, Virginia, Frederick and Paul Nussbaum, Tonawanda. The Rev. Mr. Simkins' daughter, Mrs. Peter H. Kain, resides in Pennsylvania.
  • Last Edited: 20 Aug 2013

Family: Frances Elizabeth Poyfair b. May 1853, d. 15 June 1948