From my archives: On May 23, 1999 some of the descendants of Silas and Janet "Jenny" Freeman Simmons gathered at a small church in New Augusta, Mississippi. They joined together in a ceremony to celebrate the new grave markers placed on the burial site of ancestor Silas Simmons and his wife Janet "Jenny" Freeman, and their son Thomas Simmons who died young. Mr. Howard Simmons, a long-time Simmons researcher, was the featured speaker. He spoke of the history of Silas and his family who migrated to Mississippi from South Carolina. Guest speakers, Paul and Elizabeth Simmons Grimes, talked about the decision made to place new grave markers on the burial site and the efforts of those who contributed the necessary funds to make the event real. The event was also captured on video which was sent to those interested.
Mr. Howard Simmons
Paul & Elizabeth Simmons Grimes
Each member of the Simmons Family stood and gave a
brief introduction of himself or herself and their family line.
Left to right: Miriam Simmons (wife of the late Willie Simmons) and
Paul & Liz Simmons Grimes take a moment to chat. Miriam Simmons
has been a State Representative for Mississippi District 100 for
several years. Paul and Liz Grimes are both retired and spend a
great deal of time doing research on their family lines. They
traveled from their residence in Georgia to be a part of this event.
Mr. Howard Simmons, one of the eldest members of the Simmons
family, enjoys sharing some of the information he has gathered for years
on the descendants of Silas Simmons. He is shown here with Polly Simmons Allen.
John E. Simmons came from Sugarland, Texas to be at this special event.
He is shown here with Mr. Howard Simmons. John organized the dedication
ceremony service and introduced the speakers.
After the ceremony, many of the family members and guests enjoyed
refreshments and conversation in the fellowship hall of the church.
Polly Simmons Allen and her daughter, Robin Allen Lambert, traveled
from Gulfport, Mississippi to attend the ceremony. They are shown here
browsing through old photos of family members collected by Emmitt Simmons Jr.
Will Simmons and his father Stephen look over some information on
Simmons descendants. They are from Columbia, Mississippi.
Emmitt Simmons Sr enjoyed a cup of coffee and chat with Miriam Simmons.
Emmitt and his wife Margie traveled from Pascagoula, Mississippi to attend
the dedication ceremony.
Left to right: Reverend Joseph Drew, Emmitt Simmons Jr & Barney Neal Simmons
enjoy some refreshments. Rev. Drew is the Pastor of Old Enon Baptist Church and
officiated the dedication ceremony. Emmitt Simmons Jr and his wife Wanda traveled
from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to attend the ceremony. Neal Simmons drove from his
residence in Bossier City, Louisiana to attend.
John E. Simmons (left) gave a brief interview for Channel 7 News.
A clipping of the ceremony was featured on the 10:00 news in Hattiesburg,
Mississippi that same night (WDAM- Channel 7).
Irene Simmons Fite, Dell Simmons Parsley and Dwayne Stringer
Family members mingled outdoors for a little while
Front row, left to right: Emmitt Simmons Sr and wife Margie, Barney "Neal"
Simmons, Wanda and Emmitt Simmons Jr, Ila Simmons, Bertha Simmons and
Irene Simmons Fite. Back row: Dwayne Stringer, Will Simmons, Dell Simmons
Parsley, Stephen and Celia Simmons.
Front row, left to right: Ila Simmons, Bertha Simmons, Celia Simmons,
Margie Simmons, Wanda Simmons, Miriam Simmons, Howard Simmons
and Robin Allen Lambert. Back row: Susan Bourgoyne, Emmitt Simmons Sr,
Emmitt Simmons Jr, Dell Simmons Parsley, Will Simmons, Dwayne Stringer,
Stephen Simmons, Irene Simmons Fite, Barney "Neal" Simmons, Polly Simmons
Allen, Paul Grimes and Lula Sue Simmons Powell.