JOHN C. SIMPSON. A native of South Carolina, born and reared in Chester county of that state, John C. Simpson is the scion of an old and honored family of the southland, which was founded many generations ago in Scotland. He has spent the greater portion of his life in Southern Illinois, a resident of Sparta for the most part, and in the practice of the dental profession has become widely and favorably known of all men. He is now retired from professional labors, but is still an active member of Sparta's most representative business set, and many and important are the public positions which he has filled and is still filling.
John C. Simpson, born December 3, 1845, in Chester county, South Carolina, is the son of Hugh Simpson, also a native of Chester county, born there on January 24, 1815. His mother was Janet (Lyle) Simpson, a native of Ireland, and born on that island January 20, 1820. Both parents were of the Covenanter faith, and were of Scotch-Irish descent. The maternal grandfather of John C. Simpson came to South Carolina from Ireland, accompanied by his family, in the old Colonial days, and for his services in the young colonies, then under British rule, he was granted a tract of land in South Carolina aggregating eight hundred acres, the title deeds being signed by King George III. The descendants of the Lyle family still live on the old plantation. No cloud against this title has ever been established or
recorded, excepting deeds to the immediate family in the settlement of the estate.
The education of Mr. Simpson was most complete and comprehensive. As a boy he was trained in private schools, and while in his teens he was a student in a military academy at Columbia, South Carolina. His professional studies were pursued in a Baltimore dental college, after his graduation from which he settled in Sparta and practiced his profession in that city until the time of his retirement. His practice in that city is now carried on by his nephew, Dr. William Simpson Wallace, who was so fortunate as to receive some practical training and instructions in his uncle's office before he was actually launched in his profession. Dr. Simpson has ever been an earnest and conscientious citizen. His interest in matters appertaining to the welfare of the community wherein he made his home for so many years is almost paternal in its intensity. He has served his city in many important offices, always with credit and honor to himself and the community. He was mayor of Sparta during two terms; he has six times been elected to the board of aldermen of his city, aggregating twelve years of continuous service in that capacity; he has been a member of the board of education for three terms, being treasurer of the board at the same time. Aside from his civic duties he has always been prominent in business organizations, and he is now and has been for some time president of the Sparta State Bank, as well as a member of its directorate. He is also president of the Sparta Building & Loan Association, and has in various ways been a factor in the up-building of the city in a material way, as well as with reference to its civic betterment.
On November 19, 1868, Dr. Simpson married Mary A. Gray, of Sparta. She was a daughter of John Gray and was born in Canada, where her father, man of Scottish birth, had settled in early life. The mother of Mrs. Simpson was a native of Ireland. No children have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Simpson.
Dr. Simpson is prominent in local Masonry, being a member of Hope Lodge, No. 162, A. F. & A. M., Staley Chapter, No. 103, R. A. M., and a member of Peoria Consistory, Scottish Rite Masonry, at Peoria, Illinois. He was master of Hope Lodge, No. 162, for two terms and secretary of the same for a number of years. Politically Dr. Simpson is an independent Democrat and votes accordingly. He is a member of the First Presbyterian church of Sparta.