The William Simmons and William Wenzel Families

Compiled by Ann Simmons Eldredge

The William Simmons family outside their Union Township home.
From left: unidentified, E.J., William, Laura Belle (Caldwell),
Margaret Belle (in her mother’s arms), Margaret (Henry) Simmons
and unidentified.

William S. Simmons (1815-1889) was the second child and only son of Samuel Simmons and Elizabeth Matthews. Born in Allegheny County, William became a carpenter and, in 1837, married Margaret Henry (1816-1885). For a time, they resided in Birmingham (now the South Side).

William and Margaret relocated to Union Township (now Banksville) after Margaret’s father, James Henry, gave her 12 acres of her grandfather John Henry‘s land. This land was probably located around Potomac Avenue between what is now Banksville and Greentree roads. Sometime around 1870, William and Margaret and several other members of MLEPC congregation moved to Christian County, Illinois, settling on land purchased by former MLEPC pastor Rev. Joseph Clokey. William and Margaret, however, did not stay long and returned to Union Township, where they remained until their deaths. William and Margaret had seven children of whom three died young including Jane C. (1845-1849). The others were: Emma MargaretWilliam Edward Johnson; Samuel Henry and Addison Henry. Samuel, and Addison both lived in Banksville, working as a blacksmith and carpenter respectively. Samuel’s wife Maggie is buried here; Addison, his wife, Hannah Glenn Snodgrass, (a granddaughter of James Glenn) and children are buried at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery.

During the Civil War, Samuel Henry Simmons served in the Pennsylvania 22nd Calvary Regiment, known as Patton’s Regiment. He enrolled October 15, 1862, in Washington, Pennsylvania. He was 37 years old. His records report he wassick for November and December 1962; taken prisioner February 16, 1863; MIA in March 1863 in Romney, Virginia; and in the general hospital in July 1863. After being wounded, he was honorably discharged on October 24, 1865, and returned to Union Township. He was six forr three and had grey eyes and a dark complection, His enlistment papers list him as a farmer.

Samuel and Maggie had two daughters-Sarah Ann Simmons and Sadie Emma Simmons (1870-1944).

Sadie Emma married William H. Wenzel, the son of Henry (1840-1920) and Phoebe Wenzel (1846-1885). The Wenzel family owned a farm on what is now Wenzel Avenue (between West Liberty Avenue and Banksville Road. The 1880 census has several Wenzel families all living next door to one another). William’s sisters were Phoebe and Margaret E. William later left the farm and became the assistant stable boss for Crucible Mine in Crucible, Pennsylvania. It is believed that Sadie’s cousin, Charles Edward Simmons, the paymaster for the mine, helped William obtain the position.

Oil painting of the Simmons farm. Lower right is a saw mill located on the Run. The painting currently hangs in the Ohio home of the great-great grandson of William Simmons.

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