Leo Simms Obituary

IMG_5760Simms burial plot – Saint Dominic Cemetery, Washington County, Kentucky

The News-Leader, Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Wednesday, March 17, 1909

Community Grieved By The Death of Leo Simms – One of the Brightest and Most Popular Boys of Springfield

Schoolmates Pall Bearers

After an illness of two weeks, Leo Simms died at Hendersonville, North Carolina, Friday morning at 3:30 o’clock.  The first indications of a physical breakdown occurred in the autumn of 1907 while he was a student at Central University at Danville, Kentucky, because of which he was forced to leave the school.  In an effort to recover his health he went to Hendersonville, North Carolina.  Upon his arrival there he assumed the principalship of a school and because of his splendid training, his intellectual vigor and his ambition, he established for it, in a limited time, a reputation rivaling that of older institutions of learning in that section of the state.  After three months in this position, however, his health again began to fail and his physicians peremptorily commanded that he should cease to teach.  Against his will he complied and was apparently improving until about three weeks ago, when his parents were notified of his illness.  His mother left at once for his bedside and shortly thereafter his father and brothers.  The boy’s time was limited, however, as he was suffering from paralysis of the brain, which neither the skill of science nor the devotion of loved ones could thwart.


Ben F. Simms, 1856-1918.  His wife, Charlotte Wall, 1858-1927.

Leo Simms was the son of Ben F. and Mrs. Lottie Simms, a representation of two of the oldest families of the county.  He was a grandson of Mr. Thomas W. Simms, Sr., one of the best known men of this county.  He would have reached his majority on the 15th day of next July.  He completed his course in the Springfield High School in 1907, where he established a record for scholarship and oratory second to none.  It was after leaving here that he entered Central University, one of the great institutions of the South, and made good while there.


Leo Godfrey Simms, 1888-1909

The deceased was a boy of splendid intellectual attainments and fine character.  His was a disposition that won and retained friends.  No one was more ambitious.  It was his idea to study law and the fond hope of his parents was to educate and equip him thoroughly for his chosen profession.  With his intellectual endowment and his great ambition he promised to be a joy to his friends and loved ones, an ornament to society and an honor to his profession.

When one is taken away when but facing life, one whose future is that of promise we can but think of the beautiful words of Ingersoll as he stood by the grave of his beloved young brother.  He but voiced the sentiment of those who knew and cared for Leo Simms when he said:  “He had not passed on life’s highway the stone that marks the highest point, but being weary for a moment, lay down by the wayside, and using his burden for a pillow, fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down the eyelids still.  While yet in love with life and raptured with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust.”

The funeral services were conducted Monday morning at St. Dominic’s Church.

The following schoolmates acted as pallbearers:  Harry Schultz, Joe Polin, John S. McElroy, Jr., Richard Spalding, Wathen Simms and Will Waters, active, and Professor George Colvin, Professor Walter Hume, Joe Wycoff and Ollie Barber, honorary.

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