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Lewis J. SIMPSON was born in Johnson County, IL on Oct. 9, 1826, to William and Kezia (PARMALEE) SIMPSON.  Kezia was the second wife of William.  Lewis came primarily
from farming stock, but he became a Presbyterian minister.  He and Martha Ann THOMAS were married on March 17, 1846 and became parents of six children.  Martha was born
in 1828 in Calloway County, Kentucky.

Nearing the age of 36, he enlisted in the 120th Regiment, Company K, of the Illinois Volunteers at Vienna, IL on Aug. 14,1862, to fight in the Civil War.  He was mustered into the
Union army as a private on Oct. 29, 1862 at Camp Butler, IL.  He was promoted to chaplain on Nov. 15, 1862, being commissioned by the "War Governor", Richard Yates.   He was
one of the nearly 200,000 men the state of Illinois sent into this devastating war between the states.  After approximately 3 years in the army, he was discharged on Sept. 18, 1865.  Two
of the Simpson sons, John Bunyan and Andrew, also served in this war.

 While serving in the army, he requested leave from his commanding officer to return home to Johnson County for a time to attend to church affairs and to obtain much needed supplies
for the men in his Company, and it was granted.  Although not in good health following the war due to the privations he experienced during this period, Lewis lived to the age of 54, when
he died on Nov. 29, 1880.  He is buried in the Gilead Cumberland Church Cemetery, north of Vienna, along with a number of other Simpson family members.            

written and contributed by Gerry Sawyer

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