Simonds family. (1836-2003) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Samuel Simonds (1836-1890) was born in Peterborough, England. He was married to Millicent Sawyer Simonds (1844-1918). Thomas Willard Simonds, the fifth oldest of their nine children, came to America ca. 1893, in search of his brother and never returned home.
Thomas Willard Simonds (1874-1941) first settled in the town of Sparta, Illinois, where he established a general store. He married Ida May Jamison (1872-1911), who bore three children before her death in 1911. Thomas then went on to marry Zuma Etta Crain and the couple added five more children to the family.
While retaining the family interests in Sparta, a move to Carbondale was made in 1935. In 1946, Eugene Thurlow Simonds (1915-1989), the fourth child of Thomas, established the E.T. Simonds Construction Company. The booming post-war development in the southern Illinois with major road construction projects and the huge expansion of Southern Illinois University created an ideal environment for the company which is still an active business and a major local employer.