Ora C. Simpson

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Northwestern New Jersey, A History: Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties

by A. Van Doren Honeyman | (1927) | page 53


As county clerk of Sussex County, and now as justice of the peace for the town of Newton, New Jersey, Ora C. SIMPSON has rendered many years of invaluable service to his fell ow-citizens, and is one of the most popular and well known men of this section.

William SIMPSON, father of Newton’s capable public official, was a native of Sussex County, where he was born in the 1832, son of William and Nancy (SMITH) SIMPSON, the latter having been a daughter of Nathan SMITH, and granddaughter of William SMITH, who married Caroline HAMILTON, a daughter of General Benjamin HAMILTON and a sister to Colonel Robert HAMILTON, who was a member of Congress from the Fourth District of New Jersey. William SMITH, who was an influential factor in the councils of the Democratic party, was a member of the State Legislature from the year 1856 until 1858 inclusive, was born in Sussex County and was a successful farmer of that locality. William SIMPSON operated a large general merchandising business from 1856 until April 11, 1890, the time of his demise, and was, as has since been his son, Ora C., most prominent in local political affairs, having been chosen to occupy every public office within the bestowal power of his fellows. He married Frances A. SMITH, a native of Sussex County, where she was born in the year 1833.

Ora C. SIMPSON, son of William and Frances A. (SMITH) SIMPSON, was born in McAfee, Sussex County, New Jersey, on December 1, 1854. Until he had attained the age of fourteen years, the lad was a student in the schools of this district. Following completion of his education, he became associated with the merchandising establishment of which his father was proprietor, and served therein with the duties of clerk until he was in the twenty-first year of his age, at which time he acquired a financial interest in the business, which was thereafter conducted under the firm style of William Simpson & Son, dealers in general merchandise. Subsequent to the death of his father, Mr. SIMPSON continued to operate the business as an individual proprietor until 1892, in which year he accepted the proffered office of county clerk of Sussex County for a term of five years. So efficient was he in the discharge of his official duties that Mr. SIMPSON was re-elected, in 1897, to a second term, and afterward for one additional term, having occupied that important office, in all for a period of fifteen years until 1907. In 1921 the people of Newton having decided to secure the presence in office of a new justice of the peace, Mr. Simpson was requested to become a candidate for election therefor, which he accordingly was, and the voters of the community placed him in the office, to which he has continuoulsy been re-elected to the present time (1927). Mr. Simpson is widely recognized outside of his offical achievements, being the owner of much valuable property in Newton and vincinity, including his large residence, the aforementioned store, a hotel and business block at McAfee, also various other structures at Newton or elsewhere. Taking great pleasure in the social communication with his many friends, Mr. Simpson is a member of Harmony Lodge, No. 8, Free and Accepted Masons; Baldwin Chapter, No. 17, Royal Arch Masons; DeMolay Commandery, Knights Templar; Salaam Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

Ora C. SIMPSON was united in marriage, June 30, 1885 to Magdalena B. MABEE, a native o Warwick, Orange County, New York State, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (BODINE) MABEE, of that community. To this union was born son, Harold M., whose birth occurred at McAfee in 1886. He was educated in the Newton public schools, Newton English and Classical School, Princeton and Lehigh Universities, studied law under the able preceptorship of the Hon. Theodore SIMONSON of Newton, and was admitted to practice at the bar of Sussex County in 1913. He has since been in active practice; the other child of Ora C. and Magdalena B. (MABEE) SIMPSON is a daughter, Elizabeth B., wife of Raymond B. HOTCHKISS, living in New York City. Mrs. SIMPSON is prominent in the affairs of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mr. SIMPSON maintains a hospitable residen at No. 15 Halsted Street, and his offices are situated at No. 116 Spring Street, Newton, New Jersey.