The subject stands as the exponent of one of the extensive noteworthy
enterprises of the city, where he maintains a real estate business, which is
preeminent in the honorable bearing and careful methods employed, and in the
discriminating delicacy of treatment which the nature of the business
renders expedient, and he has thus retained as his own the respect and
confidence of the community, even as has his noble father, the latter having
likewise assumed a position of priority in the business and social life of
Marion county, where he still resides at an advanced age.
George B. Simcox was born in Kentucky in 1864, the son of W. K. Simcox, now living at Patoka, Illinois, a native of Pennsylvania, who migrated from the old Keystone state to Illinois in 1866, locating at Patoka, where he has since resided. He was in the mercantile business of which he made a success, but he is now living retired, having reached the advanced age of eighty-three, and his good wife that of seventy-eight. They are held in high esteem in their neighborhood where their latter years have been so honorably and happily spent. Twelve children were born to them, seven of whom are still living. They are: Anna M., the widow of Dr. T. N. Livesay, and she makes her home near Patoka; Robert A., of Patoka; John L., also of Patoka: Bettie, the wife of Dr. NV. W. Murfin, of Patoka; Mary A., the wife of A. T. Eaglin, of Henton, Oklahoma; Joseph W., of Patoka; George B., whose name appears at the head of this review.
Mr. Simcox spent his boyhood in Patoka, Illinois, where he received a common school education, having applied himself closely to his books. When about eighteen years old he went to railroading and was subsequently in the employ of various roads. Longing for more varied experiences than could be gained at home, he went to the Southwest and his rise in the railroad business was rapid there owing to his natural ability, carefulness and personal address, consequently he soon became conductor on the Mexican National Railroad in Old Mexico, holding this responsible position to the satisfaction of the superior officials when only twenty-one years old.
After following the railroad business for ten years he returned to Salem, Illinois, in 1895, and has been in Marion county ever since. He first launched in the mercantile business in Patoka, where he was doing nicely and building up an excellent trade, when he lost heavily by fire after two years in this line. Then he went into the real estate and newspaper business at Patoka, in which he made a success and became known as the moulder of public thought and opinion. Being thus able and popular with his fellow voters, he was soon slated for local political offices, and held every township office in that township. He was appointed Deputy Sheriff in 1902 and served with great credit for a period of four years. Indeed, all his duties in an official capacity were attended to with the greatest alacrity and good judgment. He was nominated by the Democrats in 1906 as a candidate for sheriff, but was defeated.
In 1906 Mr. Simcox went into the hardware business in Salem, in which he remained for eight months, when he sold out to C. W. Vensell, and since then he has been interested in the real estate business, making a specialty of city lots and booming special sales, and his efforts have been crowned with gratifying success, for he has the confidence of the public and conducts his business along safe and conservative lines.
Mr. Simcox was united in marriage May 24, 1896, to Florence Wasem, of Patoka, the cultured and refined daughter of Jacob E. Wasem, a well-known citizen of Patoka. Two bright and interesting children have been born to this union, namely: Maude Ellen, whose date of birth occurred August 13, 1897, and Minnie May, who was born November 24, 1903.
Our subject in his fraternal relations belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Centralia Lodge No. 493 also the Marion Lodge No. 525, Knights of Pythias; also the Modern Woodmen of America No. 761, of Patoka. He also belongs to the Order of Railway Telegraphers.
Our subject has always taken a great interest in political matters and public affairs, and he was chairman of the Democratic Central Committee during two campaigns, and he is now a member of the County Executive Democratic Committee of Marion county. In public office he has been found most loyal to the public good, and in his business affairs he is ever straightforward and trustworthy.
Extracted 03 Nov 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 125-126.