Simmons, Col. O. B., was born in Harrisburg, Pa., April 28, 1842. He is the third son of George W. Simmons, who was one of the oldest and most honored citizens of Harrisburg. He died April 5, 1889. He was a lineal descendant of Colonel Whitley and Capt. Mike Ward of Paxtang Valley, who were of Scotch-Irish origin, and were noted officers in the war of 1812.
Colonel Simmons received his education in the common schools of Harrisburg. At the age of nineteen, he was one of the first to respond to the call for troops at the breaking out of the Civil War. He enlisted April 18, 1861, as a private soldier, in the Lochiel Grays. During his service in the army he was promoted, at different times, for the only qualities that entitle a soldier to promotion, discipline and gallantry on the field of battle. His last promotion was to the rank of brevet colonel. He served in the Eastern and Western armies, until January 18, 1866, when he received an honorable discharge, having given to his country five of the best years of his life.
After his return to Harrisburg he became deputy warden of the county prison, which position he held for ten years. Since that time he has been engaged in various business ventures. He finally located in the eastern part of the city, and engaged in plumbing and gas-fitting, being senior partner of the firm of O. B. Simmons & Son.
Colonel Simmons represented the Ninth ward of the city in common council, and is also president of the board of health, and chairman of the joint sanitary committee. He has always taken an active interest in city and State politics, and is a strong adherent to Republican principles. He is a charter member of Post 58, G. A. R. He withdrew from the charter membership of Knights of Pythias.
He was first married in Baton Rouge, La., in 1865, and had three children, George W., in business with his father; Charles K., and Gertrude, a trained nurse of Philadelphia. He was again married in 1895, to Miss Harriet Mahaney, a prominent teacher in the city schools. Mrs. Simmons is a member of Bethel church, and Colonel Simmons attends the same church.
Simmons, Col. O. B., p. 313
Transcribed by Gwen Bixler Drivon at GGDGEN@aol.com for the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project - http://maley.net/transcription
6 Nov. 2000
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