Some dates in the chronology are obviously in error. The entries from the Cambria county Cyclopedia have overlaps. Until additional data is available, however, the dates are entered as listed. In particular the implied movement between Arnett, Frugality and St Clair in the late 1860's and 1870's is suspect.
Nov. 25, 1839 Born in Palmersheim, Rheinland, Prussia, German Empire Alt. May 1841
Circa April 1844 Left Prussia, through the port of Rotterdam, for the USA at age 4 with parents and 4 siblings
April 27, 1844 Sister Mary born at sea according to 1900 Census for Sullivan Co., Pa.. ship was the Garrone out of Rotterdam.
June 6, 1844 Landed in the port of New York, USA
June 9, 1844 Sister Mary baptized at St Johns RC church in Pottsville, Schuylkill Co., Pa..
1850 Havenít found census record. Would be age 10. Possibly in the James Stilton family of New Castle, Schuylkill Co., Pa
circa 1850 Started mining at age 10
16 Nov 1859 Married Emma Kay Gradwell in the St. Boneface RC Church in St Clair, Schuylkill Co., Pa.. This was the next to last recorded marriage in 1859. Reverend Sommes pastor.
1860 Haven't found census listing. Not listed in Schuylkill Co. 1860 census. Apparently left Schuylkill shortly after marrying in 1859. Did, however, find Emma Gradwell listed with family in St Clair in the 1860 Census. Just raises more questions.
15 Oct 1861 Son George Bernard born in Schuylkill Co., Pa. according to George's Death Certificate with brother Charles as informant on Death Certificate.
??? 1863 Estimated birth of daughter Emma I. Emma I may have been born before George since she is listed first in the Cambria County Cyclopedia. The 1860 Federal census would clear this up.
July 1865 Daughter Margaretta born
25 Dec 1867 Son William H. born in Shenandoah, Schuylkill Co., Pa. according to Death Certificate with William H's wife Mary as informant on the Death Certificate.
1868 Became mine boss in Schuylkill mines
15 Oct 1868 Daughter Catharine born in (Est) Schuylkill Co., Pa.
1870 Estimated birth of son Frank
1870 Canít find in census. Not in Schuylkill Co. census. Would be age 30.
July 1872 Son Joseph born in Est Frugality, Cambria Co. Pa.
1872 Moved to Sullivan Co. as Mine Boss. Probably with Nicholas and Mary Cunningham
1873 Estimated birth of son Harry
15 Jan, 1876 Daughter Abbie born in Arnot, Tioga Co., Pa.. according to Death Certificate with son Oliver Ball as informant.
1877 Estimated birth of son Michael
1878 Birth of daughter Emma II
circa 1879 Moved to Pittston, Luzerne Co., Pa. to run the Rough & Ready Mine for about 5 years.
1880 Margaretta married William Hall
4 Jun 1880 Located in Marcy Twp, Luzerne Co., Pa. in1880 census. Occupation was mine boss at age 39.
22 Jul 1880 Son Charles Laurence born in Pittston, Luzerne Co., Pa. according to Death Certificate with Charles' son William L. Simmers as informant on the Death Certificate.
Jan 1882 Son Thomas born (Est) Frugality, Cambria Co., Pa.
circa 1882 Moved to Bradford Co., Pa.., Mined on his own.
16 Oct 1884 Daughter Mary born in Barnesboro Pa.
circa 1884 Moved back to Bradford Co. Pa.
8 Aug 1885 Son James Joseph born in (Est) Bradford, Co., Pa.
25 Oct 1886 Marriage of Catharine to Matthias Falsey in (Est) Frugality, Cambria Co., Pa.
circa 1886 Moved to Arnett, Tioga Co. Pa. as Mine Superintendent
Sep 1889 Moved to Frugality, Cambria Co. Pa. as Mine Superintendent
10 Nov 1890 William H. married Mary (Mayme) Russell in Towanda, Bradford Co., Pa.
15 Dec 1892 Son George B. married Jennie Patterson in Frugality, Cambria Co., Pa. according to Marriage Certificate.
30 Dec 1893 Wife Emma Kay died at home in Frugality at 11:00 pm from inflamation of the bowels
18 May 1895 Son Joseph married first cousin Annie Wurm in Ashville, Cambria Co., Pa. according to Marriage Certificate.
Circa 1895 Cambria County Cyclopedia published
23 Dec 1896 William married Mary Rachford in Ebensburg, Pa.
17 Aug 1897 Daughter Abbie married Charles Ball in Frugality, Cambria Co., Pa. according to Marriage Certificate
2 Jun 1900 Located in Reade Twp, Cambria Co., Pa. in Federal Census for 1900. Coal miner.
6 Jan 1907 Son Charles Lawrence married Magdlena Stroup in Blandburg, Cambria Co., Pa.
26 Sep 1907 William died in Frugality, Cambria Co. according to Death Certificate with sister Mary Cunningham as informant on the Death Certificate. Listed as William Simmers Sr.
18 Feb 1916 Son George B. died in Frugality, Cambria Co., Pa. according to ????
15 Aug 1923 Son William H. died in Nanty Glo, Cambria Co., Pa. according to Death Certificate with wife Mary as informant on the Death Certificate.
20 Aug 1946 Son Charles Lawrence died Mountaindale, Pa.
23 Feb 1948 Daughter Catharine died Dysart, Pa.
11 Dec, 1953 Daughter Abbie died in Colver Pa. according to Death Certificate with son Oliver Ball as informant on the Death Certificate.
25 Sept 1957 Son James Joseph died in Johnstown, Pa. according to Death Certificate with Mrs. William Smith as informant.
Rough & Ready listed as Post Office for Mahantango Twp in 1860 Schuylkill census.
- Federal Census of 1850
Haven't found yet. Was 8 years old and, I'm reasonably certain, living in Schuylkill Co.
- Federal Census of 1860
Haven't found yet, but I believe he started his travels to Sullivan, Bradford and Tioga Cos. after 1861.
- Federal Census of 1870
Haven't found yet.
- Federal Census of 1880 for Marcy Twp., Luzerne Co., Pa., pg 3, sd 5, ed 141, sh 346. Taken on the 4th of June 1880. Listed in the index as Summers.
Listed as William Simmers, white male, age 39, married, occupation mine boss. Wife Emma and 7 children listed; George age 18; Margaret age 16; William age 14; Kate age 12; Joseph age 8; Abbey age 5; and Emma age 2.
- Federal Census of 1900 for Reade Twp., Cambria Co., Pa.., pg 165, sd 234, ed 155. Taken on the 2nd of June 1900.
Listed as William Simmers, head of household, white male, born in May 1841, age 59, married 3 years. Listed as born in Pennsylvania (an error), and both parents born in Germany. Can read, write and speak English. Fully occupied for the year as a coal miner. It's interesting to note that no entries were made in the Citizenship columns. Apparently someone gave the census taker incorrect information regarding Williams place of birth resulting in no additional immigration data. Wife listed is now Mary. Four children are listed: Charles age 19; Thomas age 18; Mary age 15; and James age 14. The dates for both Mary and James were written over with the originals being 16 and 15 respectively.
- Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Cambria County (published in approximately 1895). (This is copied verbatim)
William Simmers, superintendent of mines of Frugality, this county, is a son of James Simmers and Catharine (Rudolph) Simmers and was born in Prussia, German Empire, in 1841. His father, James Simmers, also a native of Prussia was a carpenter by trade, and followed the occupation while in the land of his nativity. He also served six years in the German army, as is required of all male citizens of that country. In 1842 he emigrated with his family to America, and located at St. Clair, Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, where he worked at his trade of a carpenter all his life. His marriage with Catharine Rudolph, of Prussia, the mother of our subject, resulted in the birth of nine children, four sons and five daughters: Margaret deceased, was the wife of John Wis(c)her, of Schuylkill county; Catharine, deceased, who was the wife of George Schetzer [sic Schatzle], of Schuylkill county; Charles who was a soldier in the late Civil War; Joseph, deceased, was also a soldier in the Civil War; William; Catharine, the widow of John Youmer (sic Jommes), of Pottsville, Pennsylvania; Mary, the widow of Nicholas Cunningham; Harry, a section boss in the State of Texas, also served his country in the late war; and Elizabeth of Latrobe, Pa.. Mr. Simmers with his family was identified with the Roman Catholic church, of which he was a devout member. William Simmers came to America with his parents when but a child. He received a limited education in the public schools of Schuylkill county, and when but ten years old was employed in the Schuylkill county mines, where by perseverance and close application to business he arose from one position to another until at the age of twenty-seven years he became mine boss. He has worked all through the anthracite coal region, occupying various responsible positions. As mine boss he has been unusually successful in avoiding the terrible accidents incident to mining. In 1872 he removed to Sullivan county, where he was employed as a boss throughout the semi-anthracite region until 1882. In the latter year he removed to Bradford county, Pennsylvania, and engaged in mining coal on his own account for a few years, and then returned to the hard coal region, where he took charge of the Rough and Ready shaft at Pittston, now known as the Phoenix colliery. After remaining there five years he returned to Bradford county for a few years and then located in Arnett, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, where he accepted a position as mine superintendent. After an experience of three years in this field he removed in September, 1889, to his present home in Frugality, this county, and became superintendent of mines. The company had opened but one colliery when he took the position; since then four others have been opened, and all are in operation, employing about two hundred and seventy-five men. Mr Simmers has explored about all the coal land under the control of his company, extending over an area of five thousand acres. In politics he is a staunch republican, and in religious faith is a member of the Roman Catholic church. In 1859 he celebrated his marriage with Miss Emma Grad(e)well (a native of England), of Schuylkill county. Their marriage has resulted in the birth of the following children: Emma, deceased; George, a mine boss of Frugality; Margaretta, the wife of William Hall, of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania; William, a miner of Frugality; Catherine, the wife of Mathias Falsey, of Frugality; Frank and Harry, both deceased; Abbie, at home; Michael, deceased; Joseph, a blacksmith, of Frugality; Emma, at home; Charles, Thomas, Mary and James.
William and Emma are buried in the Ashville cemetery. Directions are: Go over Buckhorn on route 36. Just as you come down the hill the cemetery is on the left about 1 mile outside Ashville on the Altoona side. You can see it just off route 36. It comes out close to the road. As you enter the cemetery on the right side about 50' in, is a Simmers pillar about 6 ft tall. 1x2 block lists: Emma, Wm#1, Also are 2 little markers for Joseph. Behind are Ball & Wurm.
Will of William Simmers subscribed to on December 7 1907.
The following is the content of the will
STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA County of Cambria
Before me Arthur Griffith Registre of the Probate of Wills and granting Letters of Administration in and for said County, personally came W O Keffer who, being duly sworn according to law, doth dispose and say that William Simmers, late of White Township, in said County, died on or about the 26 day of September, 1907, at or about 11:30 o'clock AM.
Sworn and subscribed this 7th day of October A.D. 1907 Arthur Griffith
I William Simmers, of White Township County of Cambria and state of Pennsylvania, being of sound mind, memory and understanding, do make and publish this, my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and making void all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made.
I direct in the event of my death after payment of all debts that my beloved wife Mary Simmers shal(l) receive two-thousand dollars and all the furniture in her bedroom and to have said house as long as she may live. And I further direct that my daughter Mary Jackson and son James Simmers shal(l) have my farm in said township. And the remainder of my estate shal(l) be divided equal(l)y between my other sons and daughters share and share alike.
More About Wilhelm Zimmer: Date born 2: May 1841, Prussia.4540 Burial: 29 Sep 1907, Ashville. Cambria Co. Pa., St. Thomas Aquinas cemetary along rte 36. Census 1: 1850, Possibly the James Stilton in New Castle.4541 Census 2: 1860, Possibly the James Simmons in St. Clair, N. Wd, Schuylkill Co., Pa.4542 Census 3: 1870, Can't find as of 7/31/2003. Census 4: 1880, Listed as William Summers, Marcy, Luzerne, Pa.4543 Census 5: 1900, Reade twp, Cambria Co., Pa.4544 Occupation 1: Superintendant of mines.4545 Occupation 2: 1880, Mine Boss.4546 Will: 07 Oct 1907, Cambria Co., Courthouse.4547
More About Wilhelm Zimmer and Emma Kay Gradwell: Marriage: 15 Nov 1859, St Boniface RC Church, St Clair, Schuylkill Co, Pa..4548
Marriage Notes for Wilhelm Zimmer and Emma Kay Gradwell: Their wedding is recorded in the "Liber Matrimoniarum" Vol I on page with date 1859-60 on the top of the page.
The entry is in latin but says that William Simmers is marrying Emma Kay, 'coram festibus' of William Gradwell and Catherine Sim(m)er on November 15, 1859.
This record as of August 1995 is held at the Rectory of St. Marys RC church in St Clair, Schuylkill County, Pa.. Reverand is listed as Rev. Sommer Pastor.
The entry as recorded to the best of my ability copied from the original.
"Martimonia conjunxi 15 November 1859 Wilhelmum Simmers et Emmam Kay coram festibus Wilhelmo Gradwell et Catharina Simers. Rev. Sommer Pastor"
It should be noted that William Gradwell is Emma Kay's brother, and Catherine Simer is William Simmers mother.
More About Wilhelm Zimmer and Mary Rachford: Marriage: 23 Dec 1896, Ebensburg, Cambria Co., Pa..4549
Children of Wilhelm Zimmer and Emma Kay Gradwell are: