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Good Mourning Augusta! 10/31/19

"Ms. Penelopy Simmons"

When we were going threw some of the paperwork used to file "Crescent Hill Cemetery" on the National Historic Register we came across Ms. Penelopy Simmons but, all that we had was that she operated Augusta's fist hotel and that her's was the oldest known marker in the cemetery.

So, we reached out to Ms. June and Mr. Burl Simmons to see what they knew.

Ms. Penelope Simmons - Crescent Hill / Augusta Memorial Park


Ms. June was kind enough to send us the following family research of her niece, Ms. Jana Simmons O'Dell.

By: Ms. Jana Simmons O'Dell

Penelopy's maiden name was O'Neal and she married Anthony Simmons. Looks like she had 1 son named Fordice Simmons (dad's name not listed). Fordice had 2 wives, 5 children, was a farmer, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Humboldt Cali where he is buried in Sunrise Cemetery.

Fordice Simmons


He was born in North Carolina. Lived in Taylor's Bay Township and Bayou Cache Township both in Jackson, AR; Washington Township in Independence AR and then moved to Humboldt, Cali. Born 1829, died 11/10/1910.

Fordice Simmons - Burial Site "Sunrise Cemetery", Humboldt, CA

UPDATE: By Arthur Bowie

Penelope O’Neal Simmons born about 1816 in North Carolina, died Augusta, Ark 21 August 1852 and is buried Section A, Augusta Memorial Park, oldest known burial.

She first married Anthony Simmons who died in 1834, will probated Gibson County Tennessee, Apparently she was at least his second marriage since children listed in 1850 census are too old to be her children. William Gregory was one who also signed bond in 1834 probate.

Penelope’s second marriage was 8 April 1835 in Gibson County, Tennessee to Edward Jeffreys who apparently died before the 1850 census. Their son Octavious E Jeffries born 4 Oct 1836 and died 25 Nov 1885 is buried Jeffries Family Cemetery near Patterson.

In 1850, she is listed as Penelope Jeffries age 34 with four Simmons : Joseph age 23, Fordyce 20, Anthony 19, and Octavius 12, all in a hotel with 5 other not related. On the Slave Schedule she has two male and one female slave, all teenagers. On both census and slave schedule, her neighbors are Thomas Hough and her older brother Samuel O’Neal. Brother Samuel was first married to Mary Gregory who died shortly after the marriage.

Probate of estate of Penelope Simmons filed Jackson County Sept? 1852, page 107

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