While walking around Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland, I ran into the graves of some distant relatives. Below is the tombstone for Paul D. Simpson and his wife Ada W. I also found several other realtive buried in the general proximity. Reviewed the family tree and it appears that Paul Dittmar Simpson (1896-1982) was the son of Ridgely D. Simpson and Annie F. Albaugh. Ridgely was the son of Basil J.F. Simpson and Laura Nusbaum. The handsome Simpson marker is what first caught my attention.
Basil John Fletcher Simpson was the son of Francis Simpson and Catherine Gardiner. He was named after the first ancestor, Basil J.F. Simpson who emigrated from Edinburgh Scotland in the 1730’s. He was born in 1830 in Unity, Montgomery County, Maryland. He and his family resided in the small village of New London, Maryland. In 1858 he married Laura J. Nusbaum (1841-1914) and together they had 6 children – all but one reaching the age of maturity. Basil J.F. as he was know, was a pious and faithful servant of the Lord. He was the superintendent and teacher of the Central United Methodist Church in New London.
Basil worked as a blacksmith, wheelwright and also a cabinet maker, building coffins during the civil war. He passed away at a relatively early age in the comfort of his home. He is resting in peace at the Central Church Cemetery. The following is a copy of his obituary which appered in the Frederick News on 18 FEB 1899. It is interesting to note that all the newspapers state the year of his death and 1899, but his tombstone states he died in the year 1900. I would assume that the paper is correct as several of the family tombstones contain errors, mostly misspellings.
THE WORK OF DEATH
Basil J. F. Simpson
Mr. Basil J. F. Simpson, whose death at New London was briefly mentioned was aged 68 years, 11 months and 13 days. Death ensued from grip, the first atttack being about twelve years ago. Mr. Simpson was an honored citizen of New London for about forty years and a lifelong member of Central church, ofwhich he was a class leader for many years. His wife and four children survivehim. The children are Messrs.Ridgely, of near Frederick, Allen B., of Fort Seneca, Ohio, Mrs. John H. Albaugh, of Libertytown, and Mrs. Nelson Jones, of Montgomery county. The funeral took place last Saturday morning from, his late home, Rev.G. F. Farring officiating. Interment was made at Central chapel graveyard.
An interesting article appeared in the Frederick Examiner on 28 OCT 1858 that lends a little insight to the strong character and values that Basil possessed. It reads:
On the evening of Thursday, 7th inst., at New London, in New Market district, John H. Bevans, while laboring under an access of Mania a polu attempted to kill Mrs. P. Riggs, an aged lady, by cutting her throat. It seems that Bevans, excited by drink to madness, had previously assailed several persons with a drawn knife, out they managed to escape to places of safety, and upon coming to the house of Mrs. Rigss, he broke open the door chased out the family, consisting of females, and catching the old lady in the street, threw her down attempted to pinion her her hands under his knee, made one cut across her throat and was in the act of repeating his murderous blow when, when he was struck in the head with a stone thrown by Mr. Basil Simpson. He was immediately secured. Mrs. Riggs’ wound was dressed by Dr. T.W. Simpson of Liberty; but at last accounts was in a very critical condition. Bevans we learn, has been placed in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Philadelphia.
To the right is an 1858 map of New London, MD. You can see from the map and the Riggs, and the Bevans (Beavans) were neighbors. Basil Simpson’s inlaws, the Nusbaum’s also live on the same street. On the 1850 census, Daniel Nusbaum, Basil’s father in-law listed his occupation as a wheelwright. It is a natural assumption that Daniel taught Basil the same trade.