Joshua Simmons III
The following is an excerpt from Durant’s History of Oakland County, 1811 to 1877, and serves as the resume of Joshua and Hannah’s lives:
Mr. Simmons was a natural mechanic and had brought a few tools with him to the west and these served him a good turn in the support of his family. A day of mechanical labor would then command two days of unskilled labor on farm or in forest, and Mr. Simmons turned all his skills to the best account. He built the first frame barn in the town of Plymouth, this being on the farm of Erastus Starkweather, erected in 1827. In his own Township of Livonia, he also built the first barn of that description upon his own farm in 1829. He hewed the timber for the first mill of Plymouth, and also for the first one in the Township of Farmington, this being the mill of Edward Steel on the stream above Farmington Village.
The first election Mr. Simmons participated in was held somewhere in the town of Dearborn and to reach the polls he, in company with a neighbor, started before daylight on foot following a line of ‘blazed trees’ many miles through the forest. His vote for supervisor was cast for Rev. Marcus Swift, who was competing for honors of that office with Mr. TenEyck, of hotel notoriety. Mr. Swift was elected by a majority of two. In politics Mr. Simmons had always been a democrat of the Jacksonian school, and in religious faith a Universalist.
By the most persistent and unremitting toil, Mr. Simmons cleared his land and gave it a thorough cultivation. In due time, the old log cabin was demolished and in its place in the year 1841 he erected a new residence, which at that time was universally acknowledged to be the finest farm house in the county. Mr. S.P. Lyon of Farmington was architect and builder.
From his farm and his other enterprises he had amassed an ample fortune, and about eight years after retiring from all active business, resolved to spend the remnant of his days in ease and quiet with the partner of his youth, and with the children who delight to do him honor.
Joshua died on his eighty-first birthday, April 12, 1882. His wife Hannah went to live with her daughter, Mary Sprague, at whose home she died May 31, 1884. She was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, April 19, 1807, daughter of Joshua and Mary Macomber.