Vol. IV, No. 2, Fall 1990

Nancy Ann Simms Price, 1826-1928


(Cover Photograph)

The portrait of Nancy Ann Simms Price was taken at her home northeast of Springfield, Missouri on her 100th birthday. Just before her death an article about her appeared in the St. Louis Globe Democrat. The following is excerpted from that article:

John Quincy Adams was just completing his term as sixth President of the United States when Nancy Ann Sims was bom at East, McMinn County, Tennessee. Nancy Ann was eleven years old when her father, George Washington Sims, decided that he would take his family and go West. So he purchased a wagon of the familiar prairie schooner type, hitched a team of oxen to it, loaded all his worldly possessions on it, including his family of ten, and headed west.

"It was anything but an easy trip," recalled Mrs. Price. "The roads, when there were any at all, were mere trails through the woods; and sometimes we were held up for days while father built a crude pontoon on which we could cross a river. We thought we were doing great when we made ten miles a day.

"After many weeks enroute we finally came to the Mississippi River at some point below St. Louis. We crossed on a ferryboat, and then father decided to investigate the iron regions in Southeast Missouri, around what is now Flat River. So we put in a few more weeks of discomfort and finally found ourselves in Greene County. Springfield, in those days, was a tiny village. There were a few stores and I remember distinctly that when we arrived at the town, father had to drive very carefully to dodge the tree stumps that were sticking up on the spot that is now the city square. Land sold for $1.25 an acre in Springfield in those days."

Simms purchased a tract of land about nine miles northeast of Springfield; there he started farming, a precarious occupation in those days. Nancy Ann was married on December 14, 1848 to Terry Griffin Price.

Quite naturally one wonders what a woman who has passed the century mark thinks about the present generation and if she has any rules of health or conduct which are responsible for her long life.

"1 have always tried to keep interested in something, "she said. "Until recently I have read the papers. They tell me all I want to know about flappers and divorces and murder and channel swimmers and the like. I'm old fashioned and all that, but I don't think the present generation is all wrong. I don't approve of girls smoking and I think the short skirts are immodest, but with it all I suppose times have changed and they should be permitted to do as they wish. That is, if they are always good girls, and I think most of them are. Good fun enjoyed in the right way will hurt no one.

"Rules of health? Well, let's see. First of all, I would say, don't worry. It kills. Eat wholesome and substantial food. A slice of bacon and a piece of cornbread are better than a dozen cream puffs.

"Drink plenty of good water, and the best water in the world is right down here in the Ozarks.

"Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up in time to enjoy the early morning air. There's a lot in this beauty-sleep business.

"Never use tobacco and under all circumstances avoid the use of intoxicating liquor.

"Last of all, read the Bible every day and try to practice what it preaches."

The picture of Mrs. Price and the above information was provided to OzarksWatch through the courtesy of Mrs. Vera Price Chandler.


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