1908 Crawford County Iowa Map

Biography of Jacob Sims

Jacob Sims, of Denison, is an able representative of the legal fraternity and has built up an enviable and distinctively representative clientage. His birth occurred in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, on the 30th of November, 1850, his parents being James and Ann (Harris) Sims, both of whom were natives of Cornwall, England. His paternal grandfather, who was likewise born in Cornwall, England, worked in the tin mines there and passed away in that country in middle life. Among his children were the following named : James, John, William and Thomas. Simsbury, Connecticut, now a large manufacturing town, was founded by and named in honor of a representative of the family. The maternal grandfather of our subject, who spent his entire life in England, worked as a tin miner and passed away in middle life. He was the father of a large family of children, including Ann, Elizabeth, John, William, Samuel, Mark, Joseph and Jacob.

James Sims, the father of Jacob Sims, was a Methodist minister and a pioneer preacher in Wisconsin. The year 1845 witnessed his emigration to America and it was at Dodgeville, Wisconsin, that he first took up his abode. He was an itinerant preacher, riding horseback and carrying his saddlebags while a circuit rider among the pioneers. He had a number of charges in Wisconsin and was a member of the West Wisconsin Conference from the time of its organization, while previously he had been connected with the Wisconsin Conference, spending thirty-six years altogether in the active ministry in that state. Coming to Iowa in 1890, he spent the remainder of his life in Council Bluffs, passing away in 1909 at the age of eighty-six years. His wife was called to her final rest on the 12th of October, 1910, when in the eighty-fifth year of her age. Unto them were born ten children, three sons and seven daughters, as follows: Jacob, of this review; Mary A., the widow of W. E. Bainbridge, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Susan, the wife of F. D. Hamilton, of Minneapolis^ Minnesota; Jennie, who is a resident of Council Bluffs; Sadie, who is deceased; Cora, the wife of George Bell, of Montfort, Wisconsin; May, who is a teacher in the public schools of Council Bluffs; Lena, the wife of J. M. Sylvester, of Washington, D. C.; and two who died in early childhood.

Jacob Sims remained under the parental roof until about twenty years of age and obtained his more advanced education in Lawrence University of Appleton, Wisconsin, from which institution he was graduated in 1874. Becoming identified with educational interests, he acted as a high school principal at Oconto, Wisconsin, for one year and then went to Milwaukee, where he had editorial charge of the Christian Statesman for a short time. In October, 1875, he removed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and purchased the Citizen, a weekly journal which he published for two and a half years. On the expiration of that period he went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and took up the study of law, being admitted to the bar on the 4th of January, 1879. At Council Bluffs he followed his profession successfully until January, 1908, when he came to Denison, where he has resided continuously since, enjoying a lucrative and growing practice. For a number of years prior to his removal here he had been coming to Denison on legal business. His success in a professional way affords the best evidence of his capabilities in this line. He is a strong advocate with the jury and concise in his appeals before the court. Much of the success which has attended him in. his professional career is undoubtedly due to the fact that in no instance will he permit himself to go into court with a case unless he has absolute confidence in the justice of his client’s cause. Basing his efforts on this principle, from which there are far too many lapses in professional ranks, it naturally follows that he seldom loses a case in whose support he is enlisted.

On the nth of January, 1887, Mr. Sims was united in marriage to Miss Anna H. Squire, a native of Rockford, Illinois, and a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Keeling) Squire. Their children are five in number, namely: James D., Mariana, Katharine, Marjorie and John Alan Sims. The three older children are students in the university at Iowa City, while the two younger ones are attending the high school at Denison.

Mr. Sims is a republican in politics and has served as a member of the school board. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, having joined the order at Council Bluffs about twenty years ago. Both he and his wife were reared in the Methodist faith but are now members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Sims is a man of many friends, his genial manner, unfailing courtesy and” unfeigned cordiality gaining him the high regard of those with whom he is. brought in contact.


Meyers , F. W. History of Crawford County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1911.

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