Shelby Huggins Simmons

Shelby Huggins Simmons -

Shelby Huggins Simmons was born in White county, Tennessee on September 8th, 1831 to James and Margaret (Plumlee) Simmons.  About the time Shelby was 10 years old, the family moved to Carroll county, Arkansas, I believe in the Berryville area. In 1854 Shelby married Darlutha Jane Daughtery and the couple headed west.

Shelby and Darlutha Simmons - abt 1855

Their oldest daughter, Truckee Margaret was born on the trip while they were in Truckee, California.  She is the baby in the picture above.  I remember my grandfather talking about his Aunt Truckee when I was small and telling us the story of her name.  Here is a note that Aunt Truckee wrote herself and some wonderful person shared on

On April 15, 1855, Darlutha not yet ninteen but married and five months pregnant and her husband, Shelby N. Simmons, left Carroll County, Arkansas for California.  From the D.A.R. Pioneer records we learn that Darlutha delivered her baby en route:

 “I was born at Truckee August 19, 1855, in a covered wagon as my parents, Mr.  and Mrs. Shelby Simmons, were coming from Arkansas to California with my grandfather, Capt. Hill Daugherty, at the head of the party.” ~Mrs. Truckee Rose 

The Simmons were in Millville, California in Shasta county for a number of years.  Six more children were born to the family before Darlutha passed away in 1874 at the age of 38.  The couple had been married for 20 years.


Darlutha is buried in the Millville, California cemetery.

Shelby Huggins Simmons

Three years later, at the age of 46, Shelby married Nancy Jane Newton who became my 2nd great-grandmother.

Nancy Jane Newton

Shelby and Nancy had seven more children. My great grandfather Clay Taylor Simmons was born in Millville in 1882.  Sometime between 1886 and 1890, the family moved to Harney county, Oregon to an area known as The Narrows and raised stock.  Shelby was listed as a Farmer in all census’ between the years of 1860 and 1880.

Simmons, Shelby and Nancy Headstone - Burns Oregon

Shelby Huggins Simmons died on November 26th, 1898 at the age of 67.  Nancy continued to raise their stock on the farm until her own death in 1907 of stomach cancer.  They are buried side by side in the cemetery in Burns, Oregon.

“Not Lost, But Gone Before”


From An Illustrated History of Baker, Grant, Malheur, and Harney Counties

“He grew to manhood in Butte county and there on September 18th, 1883, he was married to Miss Sadie E., daughter of Shelby and Darlutha (Daughtrey) Simmons.  Mr. and Mrs. Simmons were pioneers from Arkansas to that county in 1850, crossing the plains with ox teams. ”


(Shelby is my 2nd great-grandfather.  He and Nancy are the parents of Clay Taylor Simmons.)

Shelby Huggins Simmons Line


Darius Weaver

Darius Weaver

Darius Weaver was born about 1821 in Laurel county, Kentucky.  His parents were Hezekiah and Sarah “Sally” (Box) Weaver.  When Darius was 25 years old he married Sarah Anna Morris on March 5th, 1846 in Kentucky.  In 1848, their first daughter, Margaret, was born.  In the following years, other children joined the family until 1865 when my own great-great grandfather was born.  In all of the census’ from 1850 to 1880, Darius was listed as a farmer but there are some notes that a descendant of Darius shared on that mention that he was known as a “Mountain Preacher” with a fiery temper.  (Those notes will be included below.)  In 1878, after Sarah had passed away, the family moved to Wallowa county, Oregon.   Darius lived to be 73 years old.  He died on August 14th, 1894 and is buried in the Alder Slope Cemetery in Wallowa, Oregon.  It’s said that not long before Darius passed away, he hid gold in the walls of his daughters house. It has never been found.

Darius Weaver Headstone - Alder Slope Cemetery Wallowa Oregon

There is some confusion as to Darius’ name.  Some people have him listed as Darius Daniel, but Daniel was actually a brother.  The confusion seems to come in because of his headstone.   Here is what is written on a website called “Find A Grave” about it:

“According to Richard Brock who placed this headstone, he made an error and put the “Daniel” on, and attempted to scratch it off when realizing it. Daniel was actually Darius brother. Darius sister, after marrying a Brock, apparently named her son after her two brothers, Daniel and Darius resulting in Daniel Darius Brock, which possibly resulted in the name error.”

Now are you ready for all the good stuff?  When I’m able to find stories and little memories of someone, that’s where the magic happens.  This is where we get to catch a little glimpse of who our ancestors were, not just names and dates.  Sit back and enjoy these little tidbits about the “Fiery Mountain Preacher” who was my ancestor.


(These notes where shared on by a man named Richard Carpenter. I thank him, and Ann Weaver Adair for giving us this glimpse into who Darius was!)

1. Records of Ann Weaver Adair (1990-2000). [In Papa’s notes, he is listed as “mountain preacher,” and as having a very strong temper. Once he tried to use his belt on his son, Bill, who apparently had a temper equally as strong, and who knocked him down. Darius went for his gun, then came to himself and replaced it].


2. Records of Ann Weaver Adair (1990-2000). [In Oregon, the youngest son of Darius, killed a Black Bear and sent the claw back to Arkansas. Darius urged my grandfather, Russell Weaver (his nephew) to join him in Oregon and offered to send money for the trip].


3. Records of Ann Weaver Adair (1990-2000). [On the way to Oregon, Darius hid his money in the coupling part of the wagon. It was believed that he had a good sum of money when he died, although the the children could never find it].


4. Records of Ann Weaver Adair (1990-2000). [Darius (age 91), his sister, Mrs. Brock (93) and their older brother, Daniel (94), spent their last days together. “The History of Wallowa County Oregon” is published by the County Museum Board and has information on the Weavers and Sassers].


5. Adair, Ann Weaver. Texas. (1996-2000). [Darius is mentioned as a Deacon of the Providence Church on pg. 12 of the “History of Laurel River Association of Missionary Baptist.” Darius made the trip to Oregon in 1878, starting from Arkansas on a trip that would take 6 months].

Obituary of Charlotte Weaver, his daughter:

1. Records of Ann Weaver Adair (1990-2000). [Obituary of Charlotte Weaver, daughter || A clipping from the ‘Stockman Enterprise.’ of Alder, Oregon, reporting the death of Charlotte Maccormick, daughter of Darius Weaver… “Charlotte Weaver was born in Laurel County, Kentucky, Nov 9, 1862, the daughter of Darius and Sally (Morris) Weaver. Her mother passed away when Charlotte was nine years old. In 1878, her father came to Oregon and settled in Alder, and the next year sent for his unmarried children. Charlotte and her two older brothers made the trip by wagon, entering the Valley over the old Smith Mountain Road.”]


Travelling back from Kentucky by train after selling the last of his landholdings there, Darius carried with him $5000 in gold pieces and the family bible.  Upon arriving at the end of the line ill, his daughter picked him up and took him to her home.  His belongings were set in an unfinished wall.  He died there, and was buried at Alder Slope Cemetery.  Years later, the old home was torn down, the family bible found inside the wall and returned.  The gold of course, was never found.


Oh wow.  Darius Weaver, Kentucky mountain Baptist preacher with a fiery temper. One of these days I will definitely be visiting those hills where he preached his fire and brimstone.

(Darius Weaver is my 3rd great-grandfather.  He is the father of Elijah Daniel Weaver.)

Darius Weaver Line








George Washington Carper Photo

Georeg Washington Carper

George Washington Carper was born in 1831 West Virginia and lived to be 78 years old.  He’s buried in Promise, Oregon.

If you want to learn more about George, keep a watch on this site.  His story will be coming soon.

(George is my 3rd great-grandfather.  He is the father of Eliza Ann Carper, who married William Isaac Sannar.)



Nancy Jane (Newton) Simmons

Nancy Jane Newton

Nancy Jane Newton was born on January 4th, 1845 to William and Nancy (Haley) Newton.  I believe she was born in Mississippi.  By 1850, the census found the family living in War Eagle, Arkansas.  Nancy married Shelby Huggins Simmons.  The couple lived in Millville, California for a number of years where my great-grandfather, Clay Taylor Simmons was born in 1882.  About 1890, the family moved to Harney County, Oregon where they farmed and raised stock in an area that was known as The Narrows.  Nancy passed away on May 11th, 1907 from cancer at the age of 62.  She is buried in the cemetery in Burns, Oregon next to her husband, Shelby.

Simmons, Shelby and Nancy Headstone - Burns Oregon

The inscription on the headstone says, “Not lost but gone before”


(From the local newspaper, The Times-Herald)

~Died – at her home in this city at 2:30 am today, Mrs. Nancy J. Simmons, aged 62 years.  She had been suffering from cancer of the stomach for several months and her death was not unexpected.  The funeral will take place from the Presbyterian Church tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock.  Reverend A.B. Minake will conduct the services.  Deceased was a highly respected pioneer lady of this section.  She was the mother of seven children, all of whom survive her and all have been with her during her last days getting as much aide and comfort as possible.  Her husband died eight years ago.  The children are Mrs. J.V. Cawlfield, Mrs. F.J. Cawlfield, Mrs. W.C. Brown, Mrs. Fred Scott, Miss Maude Simmons, Geo W. Simmons, and C.T. Simmons.  Four step-children James Simmons, H.S. Simmons, Mrs. C.M. Como, and Mrs. S.C. Johnson.  Geo Newton, now residing here, is a brother to Mrs. Simmons.  The Times-Herald regrets its inability to publish an obituary at this late hour, but will give it attention next week.


(Nancy is my 2nd great grandmother.  She is the mother of Clay Taylor Simmons.)

Corner Market – Elgin, Oregon

Corner Market in Elgin, Oregon

The Corner Market is a piece of my childhood.  It sits on Main Street in Elgin, Oregon and was a place that my mom would send me with a few dollars to get a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk, whatever it was she needed to finish making dinner.  There would always be a few extra cents and I loved to get a 5 cent lollipop with it.  It truly was an old time, small town grocery store complete with butcher block even though it’s a tiny little store.

When I was a teenager, mom worked here for a bit. (Janice Simmons Sannar)  Sometimes during lunch break from school, I would walk down to the store to see her or catch a ride home after school.  I can close my eyes and still, all these years later, walk through the doors of that store to the same sights and smells.

Abijah M. Hulse Family Photo

Abijiah Hulse Family - Seated Abijah and Mary (Harris) Hulse - standing Mary Pearl Hulse (Weaver) and unknown boy

Seated:  Abijah M. Hulse and Mary Elizabeth (Harris) Hulse                                                               Standing:  Mary Pearl (Hulse) Weaver and unknown boy (possibly Edgar Herbert Hulse)

What a handsome family.  They always looked so stern in these old photo’s and I know that some of that was simply because they had to be still for so long in order for the picture to not be blurry.  It’s fantastic that these old pictures even still exist when so many things could have happened to them over the years.  If anyone knows who the boy is, please let us know!

One of the beautiful things about digging into your family history is connecting or reconnecting with cousins along the way and being able to share in the memories, photo’s and stories that they have tucked away.  This photo was sent to me by my 2nd cousin, once removed, Shannon Weaver Erm.  Thank you so much, Shannon, for sharing this incredible picture of our shared ancestors!  It’s amazing to be able to put faces to the names that we’ve heard for so many years.

(Abijah and Mary Elizabeth are my 3rd great grandparents.  Mary Pearl is my 2nd great grandmother.  She is the mother of Edna Weaver, who is the mother of my grandmother, Shirley (Kennison) Sannar.)


Ward Beacher Hescock

Ward Beecher Hescock - Dixie WA

Ward Beacher Hescock was born on June 3rd, 1867 to Austin Clarence and Harriet Elisabeth (Hurlburt) Hescock in Bristolville, Ohio.  Like many families of this era, the Hescocks had a large family.  Ward was the second oldest of eleven children and their father, Austin, was a farmer.  Sometime in the 1870’s, the family moved to Prairie Farm, Wisconsin where Ward’s dad worked in a store as a clerk.

At the age of 23, on the 4th of July, 1890, Ward married Ida June Goodsell.  They had a baby son in October of 1891 who died at birth.  The couple was living in Portage, Ohio and welcomed three daughters while living in Ohio.  (One who would later be my great grandmother, Adah Gertrude.)  Sometime between 1900 and 1902, the family moved to Dixie, Washington where Ida passed away at the age of 34, leaving Ward a widower.

A year and a half later, in August of 1903, Ward married Mary Anne Swearingen in Walla Walla, Washington.  In 1909, Ward and Mary Anne welcomed a son, Wilbur, born in Promise, Oregon.  Ward had found his way to Wallowa county and the Promise area where he was listed in the 1910 and 1920 census’ as a farmer.

By the 1930 census, Ward was working at the sawmill in Wallowa as a log scaler.  As a log scaler, he would have measured the volume of the cut tree and determined the grade of the wood to be sold.

By the 1940 census, Ward had again changed professions and is now listed as a Warden for the Department of Forestry in Wallowa county.


From the July  14th, 1943 Wallowa County Cheiftan 

WALLOWA – Ward Hescock, Tad McCrae, Wilfred Royster and Joe Roush will serve as fire wardens during this season for the state department of forestry. The following lookouts took up their duties this past week: Kitty Minor, Tope Creek; Dorothy Conner, Howard Butte; and Ed Carper, Acres.


Ward Beecher Hescock

Ward lived a long life, passing away at the age of 90 on May 14th, 1958.

Ward Hescock Headstone - Washington

He is buried in the Milton-Freewater IOOF Cemetery in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.

(Ward is my 2nd great-grandfather.  He is the father of Adah Gertrude (Hescock) Sannar who is the mother of my grandfather, Charles Alvin Sannar.)


“I remember Grandad. He was living in a house by my Grandma Sannar’s. I was always told not to bother him, but I just had to run down the sidewalk to his house. I loved talking to him., cause he laughed with me. I was pretty young so I don’t remember much.” ~ Kathleen (Sannar) Tannahill

“I remember him and grandma . He was grandma Sannar’s father and, I think,  she was her stepmom. They moved to Milton after Grandpa Sannar bought the property at Milton. We have a picture on the old home movie’s of him chopping wood at Milton. They had a little house that sat on the right side after you crossed the little wooden bridge.  They had to tear the house down when the dike went in.  Uncle Harry (Kennison) worked under him (when he was in high school) building forest service trails in Wallowa county.  Harry says Grandpa Hescock was in his 70’s then and a spry old fellow.  He couldn’t keep up with him going up and down those hills.  I remember Grandpa Hescock talking about their house in Promise, how in the winter you could step out the second story window into the snow.” ~ Tom Sannar

“When Ward Hescock married Mary Ann (Annie) Swearingen Griffith, it was the uniting of two widows. Each had lost one of four children and their spouse. Annie said that she would marry Ward if he would build her a house big enough to hold all of their children and then some. So he did, milling every piece of lumber himself right there only a few feet from the homestead. He gave it to her as a wedding present. One hundred and three years later it would still be standing with a lilac bush off the front porch.”  ~ a note added on Family Search from Karen Reade

Joseph Grafton Hovey II


Joseph Grafton Hovey was born on June 8th, 1839 in Quincy, Illinois to Joseph Grafton Hovey and Martha Ann (Webster) Hovey, later living in Nauvoo, Illinois where many of the LDS faith settled, until they were driven out of Illinois for their religious belief’s. The family moved on to Omaha, Nebraska for a time where two little sisters were born and died, along with Joseph’s mother, Mary, when he was eight years old.  The family later moved on to Utah, settling in Millville where Joseph lived out the rest of his life.  At the age of 27, on June 8th, 1866, (his birthday!), Joseph married Mary Ann Hulse.  The following year, in 1867, the couple welcomed their first daughter, Martha A., the first of thirteen children.  Joseph and Mary’s 10th child, Amy Mae became my great-grandmother.  Joseph was active in his church and community throughout his life.  He passed away at the age of 68 on April 14th, 1908, the cause listed as “acute dilated heart caused by old age.”



Joseph and Mary are both buried in the Millville, Utah city cemetery.


From Millville Memories, A history of Millville, Utah, From 1860 to 1990                           by The Cache County Historic and Preservation Commission.

Joseph Grafton Hovey, II was the son of Joseph Grafton Hovey and Martha Ann Webster. He was born at Pike County, Illinois. His parents moved to Nauvoo, Illinois and lived in a tent for two months until his father could build a log cabin. They suffered the persecution heaped upon the Saints (Mormons); and after they were driven out, they gathered at Winter Quarters (Omaha, Nebraska), where his mother died when Joseph was eight years old. He came to Millville in 1860 and assisted in the establishment of this community. On January 8, 1866, he married Mary Ann Hulse, the daughter of Charles Wesley and Ann Smith Hulse. She was born November 26, 1848, at Manchester, England, and came to Millville in 1864. Joseph made his living by farming. He and Mary Ann were the parents of: Martha Ann (Joseph Perry), Joseph Grafton (Sarah Catherine Jessop), Hyrum Alonzo (Elizabeth Wilcox), May Amelia, Sarah Elizabeth (John Arthur Hen rie), Lillian Vilate (Emil Brandt), Frances (Charles Taylor), Amy (Walter Clark Dallas), Bert (Fontella Williams), Mary (Louis Noel), Hazel (Percy Chandler) and Nesta.

(This is an excerpt from diaries of Joseph Hovey, Sr.  I have included just a short passage here that references Joseph Hovey II as driving his father’s wagon.  The full text is very long. It is typed out as it was written, spelling and all.)

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

Source of Trail Excerpt:
Hovey, Joseph Grafton, Reminiscences and journals 1845-1856, vol. 1, 130-75.

Tuesday Noon May 9th 1848 Started from Winterquarters for the Valley in the Mountains with My Wife Sarah and Joseph an Elizebeth and old Mage the dog, 3 Yoake of Cattle 2 Cows of my own and 2 waggons[.] My famley waggon 19 hundred[,] on baggage waggon 27 hundred[,] 20 hundred for Br. Heber [Chase Kimball]. We being all in a torable degre[e] of health notwith standing we being some what beat out Labouring so Excessively to get a way according to the Command of Br. Heber[.] we being only 7½[.] days in getting reddy[.] the quickest fit out that I know any one have done for I <we> did work from morning til knight as fast as we could spring and Br Heber said I was a first rate fellow & had done well[.] we arived at the stoping place about sun two hours high to gether with Br Heber 5 wagons and Br Jacobs Company 13 wagons[.] in all 20 waggons[.] Campt beside a Run of water[.] our waggons all in a row making a fence on one cide[side] and the run of water on the other[.] this making a yard for our Cattle by Cuting some treas round to keep the Cattle [from] getting mired. I Could not do much for I Cut my hand just before I started with a syth[,] the hole wet [width] of my hand. Josep[h] drove my family wagg[on] and I the Bagag [Baggage.] I was Called on to Pray By Sister [Priscinda] Buel[l] and Daniel in the Evening[.] said that I being Apointed By Br. Heber I should be Cinder a father[.] so asembled and prayed and thanked God that he had prospered us as that we have got started to the Vally &c
May 10 I arose[.] the morning it thretning rain[.] went see a bout the cattle[.] it being showry and vary windy[.] Camp 7 Miles from Winter Quarters (1848)

Br. William started for home this Morning[.] he Came up with us in two horse Buggy together with Br Brigham [Young] and Br Hyde[.] Br Heber was quite unwell having a Chill the night before an[d] he did not deam it wisdom to Come this knight & I tuck [took] forepart of the watch untill one Oclock for we are oblige to keep four gards out on account of the Lamnites taking our Cattle

the Eleventh[.] this morning it was quite plesant but Cool[.] I went out with the Cattle after Breakfast[.] finished a letter for my Wife Sarah to her Brothers and Sister to Low[e]ll Mass. Stating her Thankes for the[i]r belevenan [benevolence] for sending on ten dollars By Br Benson and also to send on some more if they felt disposed and God would bless them.


Our dear great grandfather gave so much to the latter day saints group. Too bad they treated him so shoddy when he finally gave his special property to them.
Did you know Brigham Young then ordered the family to be shunned? That is why Grandma Amy Hovey (Dallas) left at 18 to go to Wyoming. Grandma Leoma (Dallas) Simmons told me this story many times while I was growing up.  ~ Marvalene Simmons


(Joseph Grafton Hovey II is my 2nd great-grandfather.  He is the father of Amy Mae Hovey, who is the mother of my grandmother, Leoma Nesta (Dallas) Simmons.)


Mary Pearl Hulse (Weaver) Photo


Mary Pearl Hulse (Weaver) is the daughter of Abijah M. and and Mary Elizabeth (Harris) Hulse.  She was born in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1879. She married Elijah Weaver in 1899 and lived out the rest of her life in the Wallowa valley of Oregon.

(Mary Pearl is my 2nd great-grandmother.  She is the mother of Edna Winifred Weaver (Kennison). )