William Sims, another old settler and prominent man of the county, has been a resident of Morgan County for fifty-two years. He was born in Franklin County, Tenn., in 1816, and is the son of James and Rachel (McGarity) Sims, both natives of South Carolina, and both of Irish descent. The father was a soldier in the War of 1812 (a sketch of him appears elsewhere in this volume). William Sims came to Missouri with his father in 1820. His father settled in Cooper County, eight miles north of Tipton, entered eighty acres of land and resided there until 1836, when he moved to Morgan County, Mo., and settled on Section 18, where William Sims now lives. At the age of twenty William Sims volunteered in the Mormon War, as he was a soldier in the State Militia, and was out eleven days. He remained with his father until twenty-three years of age, and March 18, 1841, he married Miss Elizabeth Estes, a native of Cooper County, Mo., born in 1821, and the daughter of John and Susanna (Kelley) Estes. Mr. Estes was a native of Tennessee, as was also the mother, and he was a soldier in the War of 1812. He moved to Cooper County, Mo., in 1819, lived there until 1833, when he moved to Morgan County, and there died April 2, 1841, at the age of seventy years. The mother died seven years later, at the age of sixty-five years. Both were members of the Baptist Church. Their daughter, who married Mr. Sims, had quite an experience in her childhood. Her aunt, who lived but half a mile away, and for whom she was named, called at her mother's and took Mrs. Sims, who was but three years of age, home with her. The child remained one night, but the next day, when her aunt had left the house for a short time, she started out on her own accord, and was not found until the third day, when her uncles, Archibald Woods and William J. Kelley, who were well known throughout the State of Missouri, by that time found her, nearly exhausted from hunger and exposure. All the neighbors and half the country were out searching for her. After marriage Mr. Sims entered eighty acres of land in what is now Mill Creek Township, began improving his farm and added to the same until he owned 320 acres. Here he remained until 1866, when he sold out and bought the old home farm. He now has 325 acres of excellent land. To his marriage were born these children: Nancy, wife of John Muir, of Versailles; John E., a farmer of this county; Martha A., died at the age of twelve years; James M., a farmer in Polk County, Mo.; Malinda J.; Samira W., deceased; Rachel, at home; Mary F.; William B., a farmer in Moreau Township; Susanna, wife of P. B. Young, a farmer of Morgan County; Thomas B., died when a child. Mr. and Mrs. Sims are members of the Baptist Church, she having joined in 1842 and he in 1844, and he has not failed to attend a meeting for over forty years, except on account of sickness. He was ordained a deacon in 1845, and his family are all members with the exception of two. Mr. Sims has been liberal in his contributions to church work. He has always taken an active part in politics, but he has never been a candidate for office. Although starting out in life in poor circumstances, financially, he has succeeded in an admirable manner, all the result of earnest, honest work. He was quite an expert hunter in his youthful days, and his rifle brought down many a deer. Although his educational advantages were limited to the subscription schools, Mr. Sims is a great reader, and is well posted on all subjects, and has a fine library; is also well informed in some of the sciences. He is well known throughout Morgan County, and is universally respected.
History of Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Miller, Maries and Osage Counties, Missouri, Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.