James Bradley Sims, Jr. (and his four wives)
AND 
James Bradley and Jemima N. Elizabeth Collins Sims, Sr.
Pictures & stories of my mother's parents & grandparents
Jackie

The picture below is one that Swann Ray Lake Buckles shared with me, because it was her home as she was growing up.  Swann, Ruth & James were children of Grace Sims Ray, who was a sister of my mother's dad, James Bradley Sims, Jr.  Swann said she thought that was James Bradley Sims, Sr. in front of the house wearing the hat, but that has not been confirmed.
 

The Ray Home 
 Early 1900's

The Ray Home 
Late 1990's After
Ruth Ray Hunt Renovated It 

The reason for these graphics is that Swan Ray Lake Buckles told me that she remembered the family moving in the early 1900's from Arkansas to Oklahoma during the land rush,  in a covered wagon.   Here, on the left is the only picture I have of James Bradley Sims, Sr.  Per the 1920 Federal Census, he was a night watchman.  I had also heard that from one of mother's first cousins, James Ray   This census does not help me in tracking and documenting his parents, with it showing James Sims, Sr.'s parents being born in the "United States."

 

The picture to the right is James Bradley Sims, Sr.'s wife, Jemima Elizabeth N. (Bettie) Collins Sims, and it is the only one I have of her also.  They reared my mother for several years in Idabel, OK.  Mother really loved the years that she spent with them and talked much about them.

 

 

The picture to the left is mother's dad, on the left, Brad, and his brother, Tom, and sisters, Dixie and Vera.  The eldest sister, Grace, and brother, Henry, were grown and gone at this time.  We are assuming that the picture was taken about 1895-1899 since Brad was born in 1885 and he looks to be about 12 or 13 in this picture.  Brad in this picture is James Bradley Sims, Jr., son of James Bradley Sims, Sr. above.

Shirley Jean is my first cousin; her dad was Lloyd Jean, son of Zula Baker Jean, who married James Bradley Sims, Jr., <second husband for her> my granddad.  Shirley said that granddad Sims, Jr. was strict, especially at the table.  Plates had to be turned over until grace was said and you had to say "please pass the beans" or whatever. He had a model A and Juanita and Shirley rode in the rumble seat. 

Brad was a very kind person and had a bag of candy in his back pocket for Shirley all the time. Shirley said that Lloyd told her that in Idabel, granddad Sims, James Bradley Sims, Jr. ran the ferry and Indians came to ride the ferry and they would go to the other side and get all drunked up and come back to the ferry and make a lot of noise and wake up Brad to take them back to the other side.

One time, there was a cyclone coming in Mooringsport and they had to run down into the storm cellar very quickly - and Shirley said it sounded as if the world was coming to an end.

Photos of Cleo Sims Josey's parents: James Bradley (Brad) and Zula Baker Sims, Jr.:


James Bradley Sims, Jr.

Zula Baker Jean Sims

James Bradley (Brad) Sims, Jr. was born in Locksburg, AR on January 19, 1885 and died December 28, 1943 in Shreveport, and buried in Vivian, LA in Pine Park Cemetery.  He was one of three sons and three daughters in the James Bradley and Jemima N. Elizabeth (Bettie) Collins Sims, Sr. family.  Brad grew up in Arkansas and Louisiana, and worked mainly in Louisiana, from what we have determined at this point.  We were told over the many years that he worked for Gulf Oil, but they have no record from that far back.

James Bradley Sims, Jr. had married Coila Hardy, about 1905 and she died quite young.  That also has some convoluted stories.  A 104 year old black lady told me in the 1980's that Coila had such bad morning sickness that she just sat in the rocking chair and rocked and rocked and could not keep food down at all.  She finally died of dehydration, and malnutrition, they said.  Others have said that she died in childbirth. Coila was born February 12, 1886 and died March 28, 1907.  She is buried in Hicks Cemetery, in Wilton, Little River County, AR

At any rate, after Coila's death, Brad married Zula Baker Jean who was divorced from Will Jean.  Zula had a son (Lloyd Jean) by her marriage with Will Jean.  Zula and Brad married in 1911, and they had mother in 1913.  Mother was only a few months old when Zula was breast feeding her one day and a black widow or a tarantula spider crawled up and bit Zula on the chest as someone came in and grabbed mother.  Blood poisoning set in and Zula died shortly thereafter, so the story goes.  Zula was born August 17, 1887 and died about 1913 and is buried in Denison Cemetery, Idabel, OK.  One more strange thing is that they have on Zula's headstone a death date of 1912.

06-29-2004 - NOTE:  A strange discovery today!!!  I found a Zula Simms listed on the 1930 Caddo Parish, LA census, on Ancestry.com.  She was born in 1878 (our Zula Baker Jeans Sims was supposed to have been born about 1888).  This Zula was in Caddo Parish, LA, where our family is from and she was living in a Foster household as a lodger.  I honestly do not know what to make of this twist.  It seems highly unlikely that there could be two Zula Simms the same age within one year and she just happens to be in my hometown.  My mother (Cleo) was living in Idabel, OK in her aunt and uncle Leon and Nellie Dixie Sims Hardy's household, listed as a cousin in the same census.  I truly would love to know if this is just a fluke.  The name was spelled Sims/Simms on many documents.  I called the LA State Archives and they have no record of Zula's death.  Yet another mystery.

Brad, having been married twice upon the death of Zula, then sent off for a mail order bride, according to mother.  He got a response from a school teacher, in North Carolina, mother said.  Her name was Minnie Ray and she came to Arkansas to marry Brad.  The timeline must have been about 1920, because I found James Bradley and Minnie Sims on the 1920 Federal Census in Caddo Parish, LA.  They never had any children that I knew of.  Per all of the stories, Minnie was in and out of the mental sanitarium at Pineville for many years.  She finally died while an inmate there and is buried there.  I have called there and they have no records left of that period except that Minnie had been registered there. I have spent many hours looking for more info on Minnie Ray Sims, and can only find a Minnie L. Ray in 4-WD Durham 7-Pct. Durham, North Carolina in the 1910 Federal Census at the age of 7.  If she is the one, she would have been only 17 when she married Brad in AR or LA, since Brad was living with a Minnie in the 1920 census.  That 1920 census stated that Minnie was born in North Carolina, so I am hoping that she is the right one. 

I am assuming that Minnie died before 1928-1930, because Brad married for a fourth time to a Vera Mae Murphy (see all of her info below.)  That is about as far as I have gotten with this line.  I grew up all of my childhood years thinking that Gladys and Juanita were children by Tom Bross, but per other records, they were by my granddad, Brad Sims or he adopted them and gave him his name.  I have talked with Gladys' daughter and she said that her mother was not sure of Brad being her dad, so that is yet another mystery.  If you look at Juanita's name below, it is listed as Juanita Barnett Sims.  That leads me to more questions - was Juanita a daughter of a Barnett?

However, if these were Brad's daughters, that meant that my mother had two half sisters that I never had straight.  I always thought mother had only the one half brother, Lloyd Jean, who's mother was Zula Baker Jean Sims.  I am sure your heads are spinning about now.

I have put the lineage from the first Sims that I THINK is ours on down to our James Bradley Sims, Jr. at the end of this page.  I am still researching this line, so it is not in concrete.


Date: 05/16/2000
From: vsims@ghg.net (Virgil Sims)
To: JACQUEL384@aol.com

In 1968, six ladies published a quarterly in Union Co AR. It was
entitled Murphy - Perry - Perdue and Allied Families. There was a
yearly reunion with people from all these and allied families
attending. During the the first twenty years, they had a big
attendance. As the old folks died and the younger ones leaving, the
thing died in 1991. That was the only one I attended.

The genealogy was done with a whole lot of time and effort. Interviews,
cemetery searches, trip to the Dallas library, and Arkansas archives,
going through court house records and a whole lot more went into the
data in these books. I am fortunate enough to have one and I have added
a lot to it. The story of Vera came from these books.

The ladies that did most of the leg work were, Kathryn Yarbrough (decd),
Fannie Bell Currie (decd) Lillian McGowen Craig (my good friend) Marie
Murphy (ill) Una Murphy Waddell (ill, twin of Marie) and Eunice Murphy
Russell (decd). They gathered data that would be impossible to get
now. This is where I got my data.

VERA MAE MURPHY

1. Vera Mae MURPHY b. 15-Oct-1898, Sandyland, Ouachita Co, AR, (daughter of George Quinney MURPHY and Mattie ARMER) m. (1) divorced, Charles Lee HEARIN, b. 1 Mar 1889, El Dorado, Union Co, AR, d. 18 Oct 1965, buried: Rest Haven Memorial Gardens, Union Co AR, m. (2) in Union Co AR, divorced, James Bradley SIMS Jr, b. 1886, d. 1943, m. (3) 19 Dec 1944, in Bossier City LA, Tom BROSS, b. 9 Mar 1882, Capsia Greece, d. 28 Jun 1959, buried: Shreveport LA. Vera died 25-Jun-1964, buried: Chapel Memorial Gardens, Vivian LA. Tom: Tom Bross was born Tom Scontrianos. He came from Athens Greece to New York on Mar 15, 1900 at age 18. He was naturalized Nov 22, 1928.
Children by Charles Lee HEARIN:
2. i Doris Marbelle HEARIN b. 13 May 1916, Sandyland, Ouachita Co, AR, m. David Merritt SHELTON, b. 23 Aug 1915, El Dorado, Union Co, AR. Doris died 26 Aug 1992, Oxnard CA, buried: Rest Haven Memorial Gardens, Union Co AR.
+ 3. ii Audrey Lee HEARIN b. 17 Jul 1918.
4. iii Bobby Quincy HEARIN b. 21 Feb 1923, Sandyland, Ouachita Co, AR, m. Shirlene JACKSON, b. 18 Mar 1929. Bobby died 11 Feb 1998, Little Rock, Palaski Co, AR, buried: Rest Haven Memorial Gardens, Union Co AR.
+ 5. iv Charles Wallace HEARIN b. 13 Feb 1925.
Children by James Bradley SIMS Jr: with Vera Mae Murphy: Hearin Sims:
+ 6. v Gladys SIMS b. 24 Aug 1927.
+ 7. vi Juanita Barnett SIMS b. 13 Jun 1930.


El Dorado News Times 05/02/1996 

The ancestors & siblings (listed below in red) of James Bradley Sims, Jr.

I THINK!!

Descendants of William SIMS

1 William SIMS d: February 17, 1725/26
....... 2 Edward SIMS b: 1683 in James City, VA d: Aft. 1757 in Hanover County, VA
........... +Mary SHERWOOD
................. 3 Bruster SIMS b: in Hanover County, VA d: Bef. 1765
..................... +Mary BRUSTER
........................... 4 William SIMS b: May 07, 1751 d: 1815 in Maury County, TN
............................... +Mary GREEN
.................................... 5 William SIMS b: Bet. 1780 - 1790
........................................ +Judith CROSS d: June 10, 1841 in Maury County, TN
.............................................. 6 William J. SIMS b: 1818 in TN
.................................................. +Elizabeth W. BROWN b: 1821 in TN m: 1835 in TN
........................................................ 7 Thomas H. SIMS b: 1836
........................................................ 7 William J. A. SIMS b: 1838 in TN d: Aft. 1883 in Wilson County, TN
............................................................ +Sarah "Jane" SINGLETON b: 1838 in Rutherford County, TN m: 1858 in Wilson County, TN d: 1905 in Bryan County, IT?
.................................................................. 8 Hattie SIMS b: 1861
...................................................................... +William G. VAUGHN b: 1860 d: Aft. 1891
.................................................................. 8 John R. SIMS b: 1864
...................................................................... +Susan SIMS b: Abt. 1865
.................................................................. 8 William (Jr) SIMS b: 1878
.................................................................. 8 Lucinda Laura SIMS b: February 28, 1880 d: February 25, 1928
...................................................................... +Samuel Joseph BACON b: August 25, 1868
.................................................................. 8 Dollie SIMS b: 1883 d: 1918
........................................................ 7 Jonathan S. SIMS b: 1840 in TN
........................................................ 7 Mary J. SIMS b: 1842 in TN
........................................................ 7 Susan E. SIMS b: 1845 in TN
........................................................ 7 Harriet SIMS b: 1846 in TN
........................................................ 7 A.J.H. SIMS b: 1850 in TN
........................................................ 7 James Bradley SIMS, SR b: September 1853 in TN d: Abt. 1933 in Buried in Denison Cemetery, Idabel, OK
............................................................ +Jemima Elizabeth N. (Bettie) COLLINS b: March 14, 1857 in MS m: March 16, 1881 in Sevier County, AR d: January 17, 1924 in Buried in Denison Cemetery, Idabel, OK.
.................................................................. 8 Grace Collins SIMS b: January 12, 1882 in Wilton, AR d: June 02, 1969 in (Buried in Idabel, Denison Cemetery) OK
...................................................................... +Walter Lee RAY b: March 25, 1887 in DeQueen, AR m: December 26, 1900 in Wilton, ARk. R d: April 19, 1918 in Colorado Springs,(Buried in Idabel, Denison Cemetery) OK
.................................................................. 8 Henry Augustus SIMS b: January 30,
1883 in Sevier Cty, AR d: June 30, 1959 in Texarkana, (Buried in East Memorial Gardens Cemetery Texarkana Tex. Hwy 67)
...................................................................... +Bertha B. TURNER b: October 26, 1883 in Spring Hill, AR m: March 31, 1906 in Spring Hill, AR d: January 19, 1968 in Ashdown, AR Buried in East Memorial Gardens Cemetery
.................................................................. 8 James Bradley SIMS, JR. b: January 19, 1885 in Locksburg, (Sevier County) AR d: December 28, 1943 in Shreveport, (Buried in Vivian, LA. Pine Park Cem.)LA
...................................................................... +Coila HARDY b: February 12, 1886 in TX m: Abt. 1905 d: March 28, 1907 in Wilton (Buried Hicks Cemetery, in Little River County) AR
.................................................................. *2nd Wife of James Bradley SIMS, JR.:
...................................................................... +Zula (Zulie) BAKER b: August 17, 1887 in Sevier County, AR m: August 17, 1911 in Locksburg, AR d: Abt. 1913 in Idabel, OK
.................................................................. *3rd Wife of James Bradley SIMS, JR.:
...................................................................... +Minnie RAY b: in NC or SC m: Abt. 1920 in Shreveport (Caddo Parish), LA

.................................................................. *4th Wife of James Bradley SIMS, JR.:
...................................................................... +Vera Mae MURPHY BERNETT b: October 15, 1898 in Sandyland, Ouachita County, AR m: Abt. 1928 in Possibly in Ouachita or Union County, AR d: June 25, 1964 in Vivian (Buried in Chapelwood Memorial Gardens,) LA:
.................................................................. 8 Thomas Milton SIMS b: December 23, 1886 in Locksburg, AR d: September 07, 1965 in Shreveport, P&S Hospital (Buried in Forest Park Cemetery, LA
...................................................................... +Winifred Winnie Betty Elizabeth POOLE b: April 18, 1889 in Locksburg, AR m: May 26, 1911 in Ashdown, AR d: September 10, 1929 in Mooringsport, (Buried in Horatio,AR) Milwee Cemetery near DeQueen) ,AR
.................................................................. *2nd Wife of Thomas Milton SIMS:
...................................................................... +Vera Elizabeth NANCE b: December 07, 1910 in Atoka, OK m: Abt. 1932 in Bossier City(Old Benton Courthouse that burned down) LA d: October 27, 1994 in Shreveport, (Buried in Forest Park Cemetery) LA

.................................................................. 8 Nellie Dixie SIMS b: January 29, 1889 in Wilton-Little River, AR d: 1956 in Idabel, (Buried in Denison Cemetery)OK
...................................................................... +Ira Leon HARDY b: February 20, 1884 in TX m: January 27, 1908 in Wilton, ( Little River County)AR d: 1960 in Idabel (Buried in Denison Cemetery) OK
.................................................................. 8 Vera Elizabeth SIMS b: December 27, 1896 in Wilton City, AR d: October 27, 1958 in Texarkana,(Buried in Denison Cemetery, Idabel, OK) TX
...................................................................... +George Calvin CLINE b: April 26, 1884 in NC d: January 30, 1963 in Idabel, (Buried in Denison Cemetery) OK

........................................................ 7 E. R. SIMS b: 1854 in TN
........................................................ 7 Margaret A. SIMS b: 1856 in TN
........................................................ 7 A. M. SIMS b: 1860 in TN
.............................................. 6 Margaret E. SIMS b: Bet. 1815 - 1820
.................................................. +Hugh A. G. LEE
.................................... 5 John SIMS b: Bet. 1775 - 1795
........................................ +Sarah SIMS b: Bet. 1775 - 1795
  

Jackie-left & other James Bradley & Elizabeth Collins Sims Jr. descendants holding 
Jackie's "Sims genealogy" printout
June 21, 1991 - Idabel, OK
Pictured below are some of Cleo Sims Josey's cousins she grew up with.
Ruth Ray Hunt - Swann Ray Lake Buckles - James Ray 
Children of Grace Sims Ray - Sister of James Bradley Sims, Jr.
Elizabeth Louise "Rags" Sims Wood
Daughter of Henry Sims - Brother of James Bradley Sims, Jr. 

Jackie-Chuck-Swann-Ruth
1997 - Ruth Ray Hunt's Home
Dallas, TX

Ruth Ray Hunt
1997 - Dallas, TX

James and Mavis Ray
1997 - Idabel, OK

James and Mavis Ray
1997 - Idabel, OK

James and Mavis Ray
1997 - Idabel, OK
 

Elizabeth Louise (Rags) SIMS WOOD'S home
1997 - DeQueeen, AR

Rags & painting of her home  
1997 - DeQueen, AR
 
*SIMS/BAKER/COLLINS/CLINE/RAY/HARDY/WOOD INFO

These are notes that I took from Swann's life story.  Swann was a first cousin of my mother, Cleo Sims Josey, and they grew up together:

" Swann Ray Lake Buckles Short Story of Her Life"

"Walter Ray and Grace Sims were a product of the territory near Wilton (De Queen), Arkansas. After a time of courtship, they were married - rented a little farm house and began farming like most people were doing in those days. They married in the spring of 1900. They leased a little farm and worked it as best they could raising vegetables, cows, pigs, etc.

Walter and Grace lost a little boy before he was born. Then in 1903, came along a little tow headed girl they named Swann Maurine a little time passed and another little boy came to the household -- they named him Patrick Henry, named for a general - friend of Grandpa Ray's that he knew in the Civil War, General Patrick Henry. He was called Pat.

Then, came talk about the government turning he Indian Territory into a state. Walter and Grace and about five other couples packed all their belongings on to a wagon and headed for the now Oklahoma line. A black man, helper on the farm, drove the wagon and in front of it was a one seated buggy and a horse carrying Walter, Grace and two small children - Swann - three years old and Pat - 1 .

They traveled about 60 miles, which was a full day's travel - they landed in what is now called Idabel (named for a couple of Indian girls - Ida and Bell). Indians were everywhere - this Indian territory was to become Mc Curtain County and there had to be officers to hold the county jobs. Walter Ray was a very compassionate and loving person, loved the Indians and they knew it. His efficiency and knowledge became known to the proper persons and he became the first county clerk in Mc Curtain County. then Berton came along. Then, James was born, and then Billy.

Daddy was a steward in the Methodist Church. Grandma Sims (Bettie Elizabeth Collins Sims)  was with us at church one night and she began to shout - I had never seen anyone shout in my life, and it scared us; she was laughing out loud and clapping her hands and dancing all at the same time. It was precious to see her so happy. Grandma Sims was such a Godly person, she and daddy loved to talk about characters in the bibles as if they were their best friends. They were very close. I have another very vivid picture of Grandma Sims - sitting at her picture window in her house on "the little river' road reading her bible by the little round oak table, with an oil lamp burning. She taught me to memorize the 23rd Psalm

Daddy acquired a great deal of land around the new house. He thought of his mother and father in De Queen, wanted to give them about ten (10) acres and have them build a residence across the field just back of us and he would do the same for Grandpa and Grandpa Sims. They both eventually moved into their little new houses on the "Little River Road" adjoining our property. Then Ruth was born."

  • Name: Abraham (Abram) COLLINS
  • Given Name: Abraham (Abram)
  • Surname: Collins
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 18 Aug 1824 in Conecuh Co, Alabama
  • Death: 1 Jul 1879 in Sevier Co, Arkansas 1
  • Burial: Brownstown Cemetery, Sevier Co, AR 2
  • Religion: Baptist
  • Change Date: 23 Nov 2003
  • Note:
    Abram Collins (age 27 AL) with parents Isaac (65 GA) and Jemima (60 SC), brother McLendon (16 AL), and Mary (4 MS) on pg 111 of 1850 Pontotoc Co, MS Census.
    -
    Abraham Collins (age 34 AL) with wife Pamelia (23 SC), ? A (U MS) - probably Clara Antoinette, Walter H (6 MS), Margret A (4 MS), Elizabeth (3 MS), Martha A (2 MS), William J (3/12 AR) on pg 18 of 1860 Sevier Co, AR Census, Washington
    Township.
    -
    Abraham, "Amelia", Clara, Henry W, Margaret A, Elizabeth N, Dilia, William J, Mary C, Gertrude, John M, Robert A, Thomas on pg 300 of 1870 Sevier Co, AR Census, Washington Township.
    -
    1 (Monroe's) Arksansas Cavalry, Company D. Sergeant. Confederate. Civil War.
    -
    Migration/Bio of Abram Collins:
    Father born in Cherokee Co, GA, Mother born in SC
    1824 born in Conecuh Co, AL
    1845 moved to MS, settled near Tupelo after Lee or Itawamba
    1847-1848 military service Mexican War, enrolled in Pontotoc Co, MS
    1850 Pontotoc Co, MS Census, living with parents
    1851 commissioned Justice of the Peace in Pontotoc Co, MS
    1852 married Pamelia Adeline Horan in Lee Co, MS
    1853 signed father's application for pension for War of 1812, MS
    1854-1857 children born in MS (including Walter Henry Collins)
    1858 joined Masonic Order in MS
    1860-1875 children born in AR
    1860 Washington Township, Sevier Co, AR Census, with 5-6 children
    1860-1861 purchased land in Sevier Co, AR
    1862-1865 served in Confederate States of America, Civil War, AR 1st Cav
    1870s County and Chancery Judge, Sevier Co
    1874 chairman of the delegates from Sevier Co to form new state constitution
    1879 died and buried in Sevier Co, AR (Brownstown Cemetery)

 

I just wonder about these Sims and Collins and the relationship - Anyone know?

39  555  528 Sims  Jacob 32   M         Farmer 3,000     16,000    S.Carolina
 40  555  528 Sims   C.H.           30   F                                            Arkansas

Census:1860  State: Arkansas County:  Sevier  Division:  Blue Bayou Township 

REEL NO:  M653-51  PAGE NO:  75
REFERENCE:  P.O. Center Point 19th July 1860 by N.J. Temple

    1   555  528 Russy*         Josephine      4    F                                            Arkansas
  2   555  528 Sims           Mary           18   F                                            Arkansas
    3   555  528 Carr           Mary           68   F                                            Tennessee
           4   556  528 Collins        Sarah          45   F         Farmer         200       500       N.York
  5   556  529 Collins        J.W.           15   M                                            Missouri
  6   556  529 Collins        P.E.           10   F                                            Arkansas
   7   556  529 Collins        J.M.           10   F                                            Arkansas
 8   556  529 Collins        E.L.           7    F                                            Missouri
   9   556  529 Collins        F.A.G.         7    F                                            Missouri
 


Graphics by:
pattical@computerhut.net
Music-Oklahoma Medley