Nancy Hines Simpson
Birth 21 Jun 1819 in , Adair, Kentucky, USA
Death 14 Aug 1921 in Bloodland, Pulaski, Missouri, USA

James Adkins (1815 – 1903)
Name: James Adkins Spouse: Nancy Simpson Marriage Date: 13 Jan 1839 Officiator: William Staton, J. P. Carroll County, Missouri, Marriage Records, 1833-1856

Known Children
Susan Margaret Adkins (1840 – 1921)
Mary C Adkins (1842 – 1855)
John William Adkins (1845 – 1862)
James Lycurges Naismith Adkins (1848 – 1922)
Samuel Simpson Adkins (1851 – 1853)
Lydia Ellen Adkins (1854 – 1922)
William Adkins (1857 – 1870)
Sarah Jane Adkins (1859 – 1947)
Amariah Simpson Adkins (1861 – 1940)
Q:Castena L Adkins (1862 – )


Roberta Haney Gilbert
re: Nancy Simpson Adkins from my Aunt’s records:
this article was written by Nancy Adkins for the Carrollton, Missouri Democrat Newspaper. She wrote this article in August 1907.

In the Twenties
Bloodland, Pulaski County, Missouri
At the request of Clark and Hattie McElwee, I write this letter giving my recollection of the early days in Carroll County. I was born June 21, 1819, in Adair County, Kentucky. I am a daughter of John and Lydia Simpson.
In those days, people had to card and spin and weave cloth to clothe the family except their Sunday suits. They raised flax, wool and cotton, out of which to make their clothing. They cooked on a fireplace in pots, ovens, and skillets. The plates they used were made of pewter, and long handled gourds were raised for dippers. All of the vessels were made of wood and put together with wooden hoops. We made our own sugar from sap of sugar trees; caught the water in troughs, cooked down and made sugar. We bought but very little, never saw any canned goods, and raised everything on the farm.
Children went bare foot all summer and never wore shoes til Christmas, never drank any coffee. Men plowed bare foot and women went bare foot visiting and took their knitting or sewing and worked while they visited. Men made their own shoes, leather tanned with bark off of Spanish Oak trees. The plows they broke their ground with had mould boards made of wood. They cultivated their farms with shovels and hoes.
Men would get up as soon as it was daylight and go out to work. Women would spin and weave until eight o’clock, when breakfast was served. Wheat and tobacco were extensively raised. When the wheat was ripe, it was harvested with cradles and the women assisted the men in cutting and shocking the grain. When the wheat was dry, a yard was cleaned off and made smooth on which the wheat was spread and horses rode over it until the grain was trampled out. The straw was raked off and the wheat fanned out b the use of a sheet. In the winter men would build flat boats and pressed their tobacco into hands.
In the spring when the ice broke up they shipped the tobacco to New Orleans Salt sold for one dollar per bushel and men worked for 25 cents per day.
In 1829 my father moved his family in ox wagon to Madison, Illinois, and in 1832 he moved to Carroll County Missouri which at that time was a part of Ray County. He stopped at what was known as the Old Jimpson Patch, near where Thomas Gray now lives. That Fall, he built where Edward Wilson now lives.
At that time game was plenty, prairie chickens, all kinds of wild fowls, deer and turkeys. Men would hitch up a yoke of oxen to a wagon, take their guns, axes and clubs and be gone a day and a night, come home loaded with honey and game. We had to beat the most of our meal. There was mill for grinding corn, and a little store where De Witt now stands. We would exchange furs, deers, skins, bees wax for goods at the store.
There were no houses where Carrollton now stands. We went to Richmond for a doctor and for our mail. We paid 25 cents for a letter. A man by the name of Louis Rees started the first store in Carrollton in a log house. Then Jack and Morgan put up a log shanty and sold whiskey. Then Dr. Folger settled there.
My father entered land joining the widow Thomas, cleared the land; built a house, lived there until the death of his mother.
In 1839 13 January, I was married to James Adkins by William Stanton, justice of the peace. My husband was dressed in white shirt, white necktie, white Marseilles vest, black and brown striped cashmere pants, blue broadcloth coat and fine boots. I was dressed in what was called painted muslin, white stockings, pink slippers, green scarf with white border and tea green gloves.
Next morning my husband took me home and we went to work. We didn’t have any honeymoon these days; it was all work and no play. When I was twenty-three years old I united with Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was baptized by Abbot Hancock in Big Creek, between Rail Holler and Bosworth, Missouri.
I am the mother of eight children, four boys and four girls, of whom three girls and two boys are still living. In 1870 we moved to Pulaski County, Missouri and settled on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres. This was 4 miles north of Bloodland and a mile and one fourth west of Bloodland, a place called Lilly Pond.
In 1901 my husband fell and broke his hip, which rendered him helpless until the date of his death, October 23, 1903. At the age of eighty-eight years and three months, I am living on the old farm, keeping house, doing my own cooking, and go to town to do my own trading. I still go church, but often think of change has come about since my childhood. Pride and aristocracy are driving religion from men’s hearts and from the pulpit. They are grabbing reaching out for the mighty dollar instead of thanking God for many blessings He has bestowed upon us. Nancy Adkins

Another item about Nancy Adkins. She dropped a stick of wood on top of her foot and gangrene set in. The doctor came to her home for five days and stripped the skin off, one strip each day and scraped from flesh of someone, members of family, each day for five days. There was no antiseptic and someone had to hold her during this process. She recovered from this and could walk without a cane to the age of 102 years. She also could see people and know who they were until her death. She had a perfect memory. She smoked a clay pipe with crimpled dried Wahoo blossoms in it for asthma in the fall of the year. She was a very tiny person barely five feet tall and weighed around eighty five pounds.

When Nancy was a year old, John & Lydia Simpson went by ox cart from KY to Madison Co, Ill.(abt 1820) They moved to MO in 1832, to Carroll Co (part of Ray County then). Nancy Simpson and family went back to Madison Co, Ill to get away from southern Missouri until Civil War over, and then moved back to Missouri.

I have a picture of Nancy at age 102 yrs


You’re probably wondering why I posted today about Nancy as apposed to her husband James.  There are questions surrounding which William sired James.  The more documents we can get our hands on, from other family members, can help to fit the piece back together again. Sometimes, its better to shift the focus on the family, to see the others they encountered everyday and the places they were tied to. Its also wonderful to read a story such as the one she wrote about her family and growing up. Women tend to share far more than men, so in researching his wife, you can get some insight into his home.

I want to thank Roberta for her sharing a part of her family history with us. What a wonder piece of memory to own. Hopefully, this will bring us all a little closer to our past and those that came before.

As always,
Thanks for your comment and Welcome to the Family,
Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

Where would the gardener be if there were no more weeds? Chuang Tzu