Author: John Outcalt (1925)
GEORGE K. SIMPSON
Well known as a successful farmer and vineyardist, George K. Simpson is counted among the energetic agriculturists of the Livingston section of Merced
County. A native son of Merced County, he has witnessed its almost marvelous development and progress, and has well performed his part in those transformation scenes that have changed the wild and uncultivated tracts of land into waving fields of grain, productive vineyards and fruitful orchards. A son
of Thomas Jefferson Simpson, he was born on December 7, 1871, in Merced County, within one mile of the town of Livingston.
A native of Tennessee, Thomas Jefferson Simpson located in Texas while still a young man and was there married to Miss Rebecca Hardy, a native of Virginia, but reared in Texas. During the Mexican War, when only sixteen, he volunteered his services, but the war was over before he reached the front. Then he helped an uncle who had a contract to furnish horses to the United States government; this was a hazardous undertaking, fraught with hardships and dangers, but was accomplished without serious mishap. He came to California via Panama in 1852, and engaged in mining for a time; returning to Texas he was married, and in 1858, with his wife and eldest son, returned to California via the Isthmus of Panama. He again engaged in mining, then conducted a store at Don Pedro, Tuolumne County; later he removed with his family to Snelling and engaged in ranching. He next purchased 214 acres near Livingston, on the Merced River, where the Central Pacific Railroad built a bridge across that stream. It is related that Thomas Jefferson Simpson was the only farmer in this vicinity who ever received money from the railroad company for a right-of-way; but it was accomplished by force, even resorting to carrying a shotgun and forcing from the company's agents and employees, pay for the right-of-way. Five children blessed this union: Ben, the eldest, born in Texas, is now an employee of the Sugar Pine Lumber Company at Sugar Pine, Cal.; Otis, a rancher, lives across the road from our subject; Virginia, married John Gardner and is deceased; Thomas Jefferson, Jr., deceased; and George K. is the subject of this sketch. The mother of our subject passed away when he was only fourteen years old; the father lived to be fifty-eight years old.
George K. Simpson attended the district school near his father's farm and at an early age went to work for Hammatt and Crowell on their ranch near Livingston. In 1920 he located on his present home place, which consists of forty acres owned jointly by himself and William T. White. When Mr. Simpson
located on this place it was wholly unimproved. In the spring of 1920 he made his first plantings of Thompson seedless grapes; this was before there was any irrigation project and he pumped the water and watered his newly planted vineyard by hand. This section is ideal for raisin culture and now the land is
irrigated by the Merced Irrigation District and soon the vineyard will be in full bearing.
In 1914 Mr. Simpson was married to Miss Alice De Neves, a daughter of M. J. De Neves, a prominent rancher and fruit grower of Atwater, Cal., who died April 1, 1925. Mr. and Mrs. Simpson are the parents of three children: George K. Jr., Virginia Alice, and Hauleymay Elizabeth. Mr. Simpson is a consistent Democrat and pays due attention to principles and qualifications of candidates.
The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been
Identified with Its Growth and Development
from the Early Days to the Present
ILLUSTRATED COMPLETE IN ONE VOLUME
HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
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