JAMES FREDERICK SIMS
Dawson Masonic Lodge
1891 & 1892
James Frederick Sims…Fred… was born at the community of Mt Pleasant, Maury Co. Tennessee 1854. He was a son of Augustus Charles Sims and Evalina Morgan. Both Augustus and Evalina had parents associated with the military. Augustus was the son of Col. Thomas Sims who had married Mary Winn, daughter of Gen. Richard Winn. Evalina was a daughter of Capt. Joseph
Morgan. Both families had migrated from Virginia to Tennessee.
Margaret Adney Sims, an older sister of Fred married Joseph Calvin Matthews in 1861. He enlisted with the Confederate Army, was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia and
sent home to recuperate. Later, he was captured, but when the Union forces realized his weakened condition, he was released. He and several of his neighbors formed a wagon
train in 1869 and headed for Navarro Co Texas to begin a new life.
James Frederick Sims came to Navarro Co Texas in 1874. The
Texas & Pacific Railroad had completed a line to Dallas and Fred was able to ride the trains from his home in Tennessee to that point. He once recalled that he was stunned at having to buy
water to drink when he arrived in Dallas.
His sister and her husband had purchased two “Farm Lots” at
Spring Hill and constructed a residence. Fred lived with them
for some time after his arrival in Texas.
Fred Sims and other members of his family appeared to have had some mechanical and engineering skills. Fred was said to have operated a “Wagon Shop” at Spring Hill for five years. A cotton gin was constructed on the banks of Treadwell Branch and it is possible that Fred and, perhaps, a brother who came later, were responsible for the construction of that gin.
Meanwhile, The “Crews Wagon Train” had left Hurricane Switch and
Culeoka in Maury Co Tennessee bringing members of the Crews, Murphy, and other families and headed for Spring Hill, Texas. When they arrived at Spring Hill, Wesley Crews, probably, needed some repairs for his wagon…and Fred Sims was waiting to serve his needs. Lue Crews, who was not yet sixteen, may have gone with her Father. Lue was pretty, had a keen mind, went regularly to church …and Fred Sims lost no time getting
acquainted or proposing.
Lue Crews, born 1860, married James Frederick Sims, November 12,
1876. The wedding was at the “Old White Church.” The “Old
White Church,” probably, replaced the famous “Buffalo Hide
Church” that had served as a church and school in the early
years of Spring Hill.
Three children would be born at Spring Hill.
Cora Ella Sims was born in 1878. She was four when she died in
Eva Gussie Sims was born in 1880. married Edward Waker who died
in 1920. They had two sons…Gary Walker……Fred Walker became a
preacher and died in Missouri…She remarried William Bascom
Chauncy and lived at Hubbard
Mossie Clyde “Skinny” Sims was born in 1884, married Elizabeth
Turner, had a son Clyde Turner Sims, and operated a grocery on
the west side of Dawson's Main Street with his partner, Jim
Garner. The two were known in Dawson for years as “Jimmy &
Skinny..The Quality Cranks!”
A Baby Girl was born in 1886, but lived only a brief time.
Freddie Lois Sims was born in 1888. She would spend sixty-six years of her life preparing for and being a great and respected teacher. Then…she married Dr. Robert Robinson…and they lived happily.
Audie Rufus was born in 1882, but died in 1893 at Spring Hill
Fred and one of his brothers did build a cotton gin in Dawson, probably in the mid 1890’s. The gin was located behind a house that Fred built on South Main Street for his family. There
was a large screen porch on the south side and to the rear of the house and it was there that “Aunt Lue” cooked large meals and fed the farmers lunch when they brought cotton to the gin. Traces of the old gin were still in evidence in the
Jessie Aubie Sims was born 1897, would marry Rufus Floyd Price,
live at Coleman, Texas, and raise two boys and a daughter.
Emma Sims was born 1893 and married Wince Lancaster who had come with his family from Corinth MS as a small boy. He was a
barber by profession, an avid hunter by instinct, a philosopher of sorts, and a guidance counselor to teenage boys who sat in his barber chair. Emma played the piano at the Methodist church longer than most can remember Three daughters blessed this
home…Dorothy Ann, Ruth, and Audrey.
Annie Sims was born 1896. She began to follow in the path of
her older sister who had become a teacher and taught at the Dawson school. She had grown up with Charles Lowrimore, a son of the Methodist Circuit Rider in the area. Annie was pretty,
Charles handsome…their marriage ended her teaching career. Instead, she became Mother…to Mary Louise, Lois, Charlene, and Sue Ellen.
Fred and Lue were staunch Presbyterians and were an integral part of the church that sat on the Northwest corner of North Main and 4th Street. When the church disbanded in 1920, the entire Sims family moved immediately to the Methodist
Church located just a block from the Sims home.