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 Anna Rebecca <I>Johnson</I> Simmons

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Anna Rebecca Johnson Simmons

Birth
Ohio, USA
Death
23 May 1936 (aged 87)
Davison County, South Dakota, USA
Burial
Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota, USA
Plot
Section Elm- Plot # 67
Memorial ID
46133834 View Source

Anna R Simmons of South Dakota:

I have been working for eighteen years in the WCTU. It took two winters of legislative work to convince me of the need of the ballot. I am glad I see it at last. I went to Pierre with another woman to work against certain legislation proposed in the interest of the liquor business. I found that we might as well go out, we two women, and try to dam the Mississippi or the Missouri River with our bare hands. Another thing I found out was that it does not pay to go to the Legislature and ask for suffrage as WCTU women, because they think you only want it as an anti liquor measure; whereas every true women wants it for many other things .We asked for the ballot as WCTU women and failed by one vote. If we had gone as representatives of the Equal Suffrage Association it would have carried.
Good work for equal suffrage is going on all over South Dakota. I never did any organizing for the WSA till last spring. I had a very pleasant trip through the Black Hills and found that equal suffrage will certainly carry there when submitted to the voters. Next I visited four towns in Nebraska, and found a good sentiment there; and then I went down to Missouri and found it a delightful State and white for the harvest. I visited seventeen towns in Missouri, and had a most warm-hearted reception everywhere.

SOURCE -The Hand Book of the National American Woman Suffrage ..., Volumes 26-30 By National American Woman Suffrage Association

===============================================

Excerpts From- History of Women's Suffrage in SD up to 1904.

As the school suffrage possessed by women applied only to trustees and did not include the important offices of state and county superintendents as it was held that the franchise for this purpose could be secured only by a constitutional amendment, it was decided to ask for this. Through the efforts of Mrs. Anna R. Simmons and Mrs. Emma A. Cranmer, officers of the state association, a bill for this purpose was secured from the legislature of 1893.

As there seemed to be no objection to women voting for school trustees, it was not supposed that there would be any to extending the privilege for the other school officers. It was submitted at the regular election in November, 1894, and defeated 17,010 ayes, 22,682 noes, an opposing majority of 5,672.

In 1897 the above ladies made one more effort and secured from the legislature the submission again of an amendment conferring the full suffrage on women. The campaign was managed almost entirely by Mrs. Simmons and Mrs. Cranmer. The national association assisted to the extent of sending a lecturer, Mrs. Laura A. Gregg, of Kansas, who remained for two months preceding the election and one hundred dollars' worth of literature also was furnished for distribution. The Dakota women raised about one thousand five hundred dollars, and every possible influence was exerted upon the voters. The returns of the election in November, 1898, gave for the amendment 19,698; against 22,983; adverse majority, 3,285.

In 1894 Mrs. Anna R. Simmons was elected president (State Suffrage Association) and continued in office for six years. This year one hundred dollars was sent to aid the Kansas campaign. During 1894 and 1895 she made twenty public addresses and held ten parlor meetings. At the convention in Pierre in September, 1905, she was able to report fifty clubs organized, with seven hundred members. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, chairman of the national organization committee, was present at this convention.

SOURCE- "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. I (1904), pages 597-604.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MRS. ANNA R. SIMMONS was born in Nashville, Ohio, and came with her parents to Muscatine, Iowa. Later her home was in Tipton, Iowa, where she resided a number of years. She was educated at Cornell college, Iowa and ranked among the foremost as a student.

In 1873 she was united in marriage with Rev. Thomas Simmons, an honored member of the South Dakota Annual Conference and Methodist Episcopal church. No woman who ever lived or worked in South Dakota is more widely known or more thoroughly respected than Mrs. Simmons, who for six years was president of the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association, and for nine years vice president of the South Dakota Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

For more than twenty-five years, she has labored in reform work, ever seconding her husbands efforts in his ministerial labors, toiling unceasingly for the betterment of humanity. She has rendered South Dakota most valuable service in legislative work. The passage of the equal suffrage amendment by the state legislature in 1898 was
largely due to her efforts. As a speaker she is earnest and convincing, always impressing her hearers with her honesty of purpose and nobility of soul.

A few years ago Miss Susan B. Anthony invited Mrs. Simmons to address the franchise committee of the United States senate. No address before the committee was better received or called forth more enthusiastic applause. Mrs. Simmons'
lecture at Lake Madison Chautauqua was pronounced strong and logical. Her services have been in demand not only in this, but in every state of the Union.

While Mrs. Simmons has been wonderfully successful as a reformer, there are few who would undergo the personal sacrifice and hardship which have come to her. She has more than once tested the truthfulness of the words, "no loneliness is more lonely, no separation more absolute, no tears more hot and bitter than is experienced in the lot of those who would change the world's destiny, heal
its sores and quiet its pains," but believing she was doing the Master's service, she has gone forward with steadfastness of purpose and unfaltering faith.

Rev. and Mrs. Simmons came to Dakota in 1884, and their work in this state has been a benediction to many lives.

Long may this gentle comrade live to work and pray!

"For the cause that lacks assistance,

For the wrongs that need resistence,

For the future in the distance,

And the good that she can do."

Author: Mrs. A. M. A. Pickler

From:
HISTORY OF
FAULK COUNTY
SOUTH DAKOTA
1909
CAPTAIN C. H. ELLIS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anna Rebecca (Johnson) Simmons was among the most prominent activists in the woman suffrage movement in South Dakota. Known as "a lady of high ability, a powerful and entertaining speaker," observers heralded her "very strong influence on South Dakota politics." She served in many offices, including president of the South Dakota Woman Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) and president of the state's Equal Suffrage Association (E.S.A.). The height of Simmons's advocacy for woman suffrage occurred in the 1890s. She led two (failed) campaigns, the first in 1894 to increase women's school suffrage rights by allowing them to vote for all school officers and the second, in 1898 to grant women full enfranchisement. Simmons worked for additional progressive causes. Notably, in 1900, Simmons served as the secretary of an investigation into malpractice at South Dakota's asylum in Yankton. She spent time living in the asylum to personally observe the conditions of patients and gave a glowing review of the facilities.

Anna R. Simmons was born in Nashville, Ohio on 7 October 1848. She moved to Iowa with her parents and earned a degree from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where she likely met her husband Thomas Simmons, also born in Ohio, eight years her senior. They married in 1873 and moved to a farm near Faulkton, Dakota Territory, around 1884, where their friends and fellow suffrage advocates Alice M. A. Pickler and John A. Pickler lived. The Dakota Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church appointed Simmons's husband "missionary for Faulk County" in 1885. As a result of a new assignment as a Methodist elder, the Simmonses moved to Huron in 1893, where they lived for six years. The two also spent some period of time in Mitchell. The Simmonses had one child, Corwin, when Anna was about 42 years old; an 1885 Iowa census lists two additional children in the household, Ethel age five and Everett age one.

The earliest reference to Simmons's advocacy places her at the 1884 W.C.T.U. national meeting in St. Louis; she held the office of Superintendent of Juvenile Work for the Dakotas. In 1894, Simmons became the state president of the Union and served in official roles for six years, during which time she simultaneously served as president of the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association. Simmons worked tirelessly from 1893 to 1900 on behalf of woman suffrage, lobbying members of the state's legislature and speaking across the state. Simmons noted the "empty treasury," twenty public addresses, few local clubs, and overall low state membership of the E.S.A. in the first year of her presidency and the rise, by 1896, to some sixty equal suffrage clubs with a membership of 700 and almost $300 raised and spent that year on the promotion of woman suffrage. She also organized clubs and spoke on behalf of suffrage in Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa.

At the 1896 National American Woman Suffrage Association (N.A.W.S.A.) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Simmons spoke before the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives. At the same meeting, Simmons and Charlotte Perkins Stetson offered (failed) amendments on the controversial proposed resolution to disavow connection with Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "so-called 'Woman's Bible,' or any theological publication." Simmons voted with the majority for the resolution, despite "a long and animated discussion" and a plea from the president of NAWSA. against the censorious resolution. At the 1898 annual NASAW convention a confident Simmons "presented the case of South Dakota," while Carrie Chapman Catt moved that the national organization raise $5,000 to support the state's referendum campaign that year.

Simmons stepped down from the presidency of South Dakota's E.S.A. in 1900, but she continued to hold office in the W.C.T.U., an organization she had supported since 1878. She became president again in 1909 and held that position most years through 1917. Simmons advocated for a "bone dry" policy in South Dakota, that is, for laws to prohibit "the right of any person to keep even a limited supply of liquor in his possession for beverage use." She continued to advocate for both suffrage and temperance, though she had long struggled to separate the reform issues. After failing both to stop legislation favorable to "the liquor business" and to advance a women's ballot measure by only one vote, she said "[we] might as well go out . . . and try to dam the Mississippi or the Missouri River with our bare hands." She thought that the state legislators assumed that W.C.T.U. women wanted suffrage only to advance prohibition but she insisted that "true women" wanted suffrage for many reasons. Tellingly, in 1898, Simmons reported to NAWSA., "Our State Association is determined that our work shall be carried on separate form all other issues." In 1909, she helped quell ultimately "groundless" fears of potential "friction between the members of the W.C.T.U. and the Equal Suffrage Association." In 1914, she announced the W.C.T.U. annual meeting would feature "the start of a statewide campaign for woman suffrage," as the state's voters prepared to promote a fourth (failed) referendum on woman suffrage. Simmons' dual commitments to woman suffrage and prohibition represented a common pattern for the woman suffrage movement on the Northern Great Plains. Plainswomen often came to the suffrage cause first through W.C.T.U. Enfranchise Departments and unlike some national suffragists, such as Susan B. Anthony, continued to believe their support of temperance and prohibition attracted as many votes as it repelled others from the woman suffrage cause.

Soon after South Dakota approved woman suffrage in 1918, Simmons wrote of her weariness, but she joined the League of Women Voters and when the South Dakota state legislature ratified the Nineteenth Amendment on December 4, 1919, she appeared at the capitol in Pierre to celebrate with her colleagues. Already around 72 years old, Simmons seems to have spent the majority of her remaining long life quietly. Anna Rebecca Simmons died 23 May 1936 in Davison County, probably in Mitchell. She was buried next to her husband at Woodlawn Cemetery, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

SOURCE- Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1010596371

==================================

Her parent's biographies are included in this of her brother Silas:

Source: History of Muscatine County Iowa, Volume II, Biographical, 1911, page 150

SILAS L. JOHNSON. Silas L. Johnson, cashier of the German-American Savings bank of Muscatine, has made for himself a creditable position in financial circles, and his energy, systematic methods and careful management in the work entrusted to him have constituted an important element in the growth of the bank's busimess. A native of Iowa, he was born at Tipton, Cedar county, on the 22d of January, 1863, and is a son of Paul W. and Sarah ( Wiggins ) Johnson, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father was a son of William Griffith Johnson, and he, too, was born in Ohio. He married Miss Drake, and on leaving the Buckeye state, removed to Iowa, settling in Cedar county, where he died at the ripe old age of seventy-three years. throughout the greater part of his life he followed school-teaching, and his labors were an element in educational development of this state. His family included Paul S., Silas D., Timothy, Eliza, Miranda and Matilda. The maternal grandfather of Silas Johnson was William Wiggins, a native of Maryland and of Quaker lineage. He made farming his life occupation and became a pioneer resident of Cedar county, Iowa, contributing in substantial measure to the early development and progress of that part of the state. He died there when eighty-eight years of age. His family numbered fifteen children, eight of whom reached years of maturity, Bazil, Mrs. Hester Glass, Mrs. Elizabeth Bagley, Mrs. Minerva McFarland, and four others who have long passed away.
Paul W. Johnson became a school teacher in early manhood but afterward turned his attention to the occupation of farming. He dated his residence in Muscatine county from the fall of 1852, and through that winter was employed as a teacher in the school north of the city. He afterward removed to Cedar county, settling on a farm near Tipton, where his remaining days were passed, with the exception of two months spent in Wilton, where he died in 1884 at the age of sixty-three years. His wife survived until 1888 (grave stone states 1890), and passed away at the age of sixty-six years. Both were members of the Methodist church,and their well spent lives gained for them the high regard of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. Johnson served as township assessor of Center township, Cedar county, for seven consecutive terms, and also held various school offices the cause of education finding in him a warm friend. Unto him and his wife were born seven children, three sons, and four daughters, namely: Harriet J., the deceased wife of E. C. Rigby; John C., who has passed away; Anna, the wife of Rev. Thomas Simmons, of Faulkton, South Dakota; William G., living in Wilton; Martha B., the wife of Thomas Glass of Lewiston, Idaho; Silas L., of this city; and Minnie M., the wife of Frank Pangborn (sic) [Pangburn], of Faulkton, South Dakota.

Silas L. Johnson was reared upon the home farm in Cedar county, Iowa, and began his education in the district schools, while later he attended the Tipton high school and the Wilton academy. Liberal education thus qualified him for life's practical and responsible duties. He afterward turned his attention to the stock and grain business in which he continued in Wilton for ten years. He was then called to public office, being elected county treasurer, which caused his removal to Muscatine in 1894. His fidelity, capability and trustworthiness in office are indicated in the fact that he served for three terms as county treasurer, being chose to the position by the vote of his fellow citizens. He then became one of the organizers of the German-American Savings Bank and has continuously been its cashier. His business enterprise and unfaltering determination are elements in the success of the institution that has come to be regarded as one of the most safe and substantial financial concerns of the county.

In September, 1885, occurred the marriage of Mr. Johnson and Miss Evanella Bell, a native of Scott county, Iowa, and a daughter of Thomas and Mary J. ( Burch ) Bell. Her father was born in Ohio, and the mother, a native of Canada, removed to New York when a small child. They became early settlers of Scott county, Iowa, and later removed to Cedar county, while subsequently they became residents of Wilton, Muscatine county, and lastly went to Storm Lake, Iowa, where the father died when about eighty years of age. The mother is still living. In their family were seven children: James S., Mrs. Nancy J McClintock, Mrs. Carrie Anspach, Mrs. Luella Russell, Mrs. Bertha Venard, Thomas H., and Evanella, the wife of Silas L. Johnson. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born five children: Raymond E., Bessie L., Walter G., Mildred L., and Margaret. The eldest son is now filling the position of county treasurer and is mentioned elsewhere in this volume.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and their upright lives have gained for them the warm friendship of many with whom they have come in contact. Mr. Johnson belongs to Iowa Lodge No. 2, A. F. & A. M., of which he is secretary. He is also secretary of Washington Chapter, No. 4, R. A. M. He likewise belongs to Webb Council, No. 18, R. & S. M., Zarephath Consistory of Davenport and Kaaba Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He likewise holds membership with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and he gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He resides at No. 312 Walnut street, where he has made his home for ten years. Honored and respected by all, no man in Muscatine enjoys a more enviable position in commercial and financial circles than Silas L. Johnson, not alone by reason of the success he has achieved but also owing to the straightforward business policy he has ever followed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Name: Annie R. Johnson
Gender: Female
Marriage Date: 15 Jun 1871
Marriage Place: Cedar Co., Iowa
Spouse: Thomas Simmons
FHL Film Number: 0986805
Reference ID: 2:3RBR7WN

SOURCE- Iowa, Select Marriages Index

=================================

Children:

Earnest P Simmons
1874–1881

Ethel M "Esther" Simmons
1879–

Everett Lee Simmons Dr
1883–1965

Corwin J "Doc" Simmons DDS
1889–1974

SOURCE- Garner Family Tree plus connected families

==================================

Name: Annie A Simmons
Age: 49
Birth Date: Sep 1850
Birthplace: Ohio, USA
Home in 1900: Mitchell, Davison, South Dakota
Ward of City: 1st
Sheet Number: 2
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation: 14
Family Number: 14
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital status: Married
Spouse's name: Thomas Simmons
Marriage Year: 1870
Years Married: 30
Father's Birthplace: Pennsylvania, USA
Mother's Birthplace: Pennsylvania, USA
Mother: Number of Living Children: 3
Mother: How Many Children: 4
Can Read: Yes
Can Write: Yes
Can Speak English: Yes

Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Simmons 59
Annie A Simmons 49
Esther M Simmons 20
Everett L Simmons 16
Corwin J Simmons 11
May Cornwell 19 (servant)

SOURCE- 1900 United States Federal Census

================================

Name: Anna R Simmons
Death Date: 23 May 1936
Death Place: Davison, South Dakota, USA
Certificate Number: 169278
Page Number: 692

SOURCE- South Dakota, Death Index

====================================

Anna R Simmons of South Dakota:

I have been working for eighteen years in the WCTU. It took two winters of legislative work to convince me of the need of the ballot. I am glad I see it at last. I went to Pierre with another woman to work against certain legislation proposed in the interest of the liquor business. I found that we might as well go out, we two women, and try to dam the Mississippi or the Missouri River with our bare hands. Another thing I found out was that it does not pay to go to the Legislature and ask for suffrage as WCTU women, because they think you only want it as an anti liquor measure; whereas every true women wants it for many other things .We asked for the ballot as WCTU women and failed by one vote. If we had gone as representatives of the Equal Suffrage Association it would have carried.
Good work for equal suffrage is going on all over South Dakota. I never did any organizing for the WSA till last spring. I had a very pleasant trip through the Black Hills and found that equal suffrage will certainly carry there when submitted to the voters. Next I visited four towns in Nebraska, and found a good sentiment there; and then I went down to Missouri and found it a delightful State and white for the harvest. I visited seventeen towns in Missouri, and had a most warm-hearted reception everywhere.

SOURCE -The Hand Book of the National American Woman Suffrage ..., Volumes 26-30 By National American Woman Suffrage Association

===============================================

Excerpts From- History of Women's Suffrage in SD up to 1904.

As the school suffrage possessed by women applied only to trustees and did not include the important offices of state and county superintendents as it was held that the franchise for this purpose could be secured only by a constitutional amendment, it was decided to ask for this. Through the efforts of Mrs. Anna R. Simmons and Mrs. Emma A. Cranmer, officers of the state association, a bill for this purpose was secured from the legislature of 1893.

As there seemed to be no objection to women voting for school trustees, it was not supposed that there would be any to extending the privilege for the other school officers. It was submitted at the regular election in November, 1894, and defeated 17,010 ayes, 22,682 noes, an opposing majority of 5,672.

In 1897 the above ladies made one more effort and secured from the legislature the submission again of an amendment conferring the full suffrage on women. The campaign was managed almost entirely by Mrs. Simmons and Mrs. Cranmer. The national association assisted to the extent of sending a lecturer, Mrs. Laura A. Gregg, of Kansas, who remained for two months preceding the election and one hundred dollars' worth of literature also was furnished for distribution. The Dakota women raised about one thousand five hundred dollars, and every possible influence was exerted upon the voters. The returns of the election in November, 1898, gave for the amendment 19,698; against 22,983; adverse majority, 3,285.

In 1894 Mrs. Anna R. Simmons was elected president (State Suffrage Association) and continued in office for six years. This year one hundred dollars was sent to aid the Kansas campaign. During 1894 and 1895 she made twenty public addresses and held ten parlor meetings. At the convention in Pierre in September, 1905, she was able to report fifty clubs organized, with seven hundred members. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, chairman of the national organization committee, was present at this convention.

SOURCE- "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. I (1904), pages 597-604.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MRS. ANNA R. SIMMONS was born in Nashville, Ohio, and came with her parents to Muscatine, Iowa. Later her home was in Tipton, Iowa, where she resided a number of years. She was educated at Cornell college, Iowa and ranked among the foremost as a student.

In 1873 she was united in marriage with Rev. Thomas Simmons, an honored member of the South Dakota Annual Conference and Methodist Episcopal church. No woman who ever lived or worked in South Dakota is more widely known or more thoroughly respected than Mrs. Simmons, who for six years was president of the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association, and for nine years vice president of the South Dakota Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

For more than twenty-five years, she has labored in reform work, ever seconding her husbands efforts in his ministerial labors, toiling unceasingly for the betterment of humanity. She has rendered South Dakota most valuable service in legislative work. The passage of the equal suffrage amendment by the state legislature in 1898 was
largely due to her efforts. As a speaker she is earnest and convincing, always impressing her hearers with her honesty of purpose and nobility of soul.

A few years ago Miss Susan B. Anthony invited Mrs. Simmons to address the franchise committee of the United States senate. No address before the committee was better received or called forth more enthusiastic applause. Mrs. Simmons'
lecture at Lake Madison Chautauqua was pronounced strong and logical. Her services have been in demand not only in this, but in every state of the Union.

While Mrs. Simmons has been wonderfully successful as a reformer, there are few who would undergo the personal sacrifice and hardship which have come to her. She has more than once tested the truthfulness of the words, "no loneliness is more lonely, no separation more absolute, no tears more hot and bitter than is experienced in the lot of those who would change the world's destiny, heal
its sores and quiet its pains," but believing she was doing the Master's service, she has gone forward with steadfastness of purpose and unfaltering faith.

Rev. and Mrs. Simmons came to Dakota in 1884, and their work in this state has been a benediction to many lives.

Long may this gentle comrade live to work and pray!

"For the cause that lacks assistance,

For the wrongs that need resistence,

For the future in the distance,

And the good that she can do."

Author: Mrs. A. M. A. Pickler

From:
HISTORY OF
FAULK COUNTY
SOUTH DAKOTA
1909
CAPTAIN C. H. ELLIS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anna Rebecca (Johnson) Simmons was among the most prominent activists in the woman suffrage movement in South Dakota. Known as "a lady of high ability, a powerful and entertaining speaker," observers heralded her "very strong influence on South Dakota politics." She served in many offices, including president of the South Dakota Woman Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) and president of the state's Equal Suffrage Association (E.S.A.). The height of Simmons's advocacy for woman suffrage occurred in the 1890s. She led two (failed) campaigns, the first in 1894 to increase women's school suffrage rights by allowing them to vote for all school officers and the second, in 1898 to grant women full enfranchisement. Simmons worked for additional progressive causes. Notably, in 1900, Simmons served as the secretary of an investigation into malpractice at South Dakota's asylum in Yankton. She spent time living in the asylum to personally observe the conditions of patients and gave a glowing review of the facilities.

Anna R. Simmons was born in Nashville, Ohio on 7 October 1848. She moved to Iowa with her parents and earned a degree from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where she likely met her husband Thomas Simmons, also born in Ohio, eight years her senior. They married in 1873 and moved to a farm near Faulkton, Dakota Territory, around 1884, where their friends and fellow suffrage advocates Alice M. A. Pickler and John A. Pickler lived. The Dakota Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church appointed Simmons's husband "missionary for Faulk County" in 1885. As a result of a new assignment as a Methodist elder, the Simmonses moved to Huron in 1893, where they lived for six years. The two also spent some period of time in Mitchell. The Simmonses had one child, Corwin, when Anna was about 42 years old; an 1885 Iowa census lists two additional children in the household, Ethel age five and Everett age one.

The earliest reference to Simmons's advocacy places her at the 1884 W.C.T.U. national meeting in St. Louis; she held the office of Superintendent of Juvenile Work for the Dakotas. In 1894, Simmons became the state president of the Union and served in official roles for six years, during which time she simultaneously served as president of the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association. Simmons worked tirelessly from 1893 to 1900 on behalf of woman suffrage, lobbying members of the state's legislature and speaking across the state. Simmons noted the "empty treasury," twenty public addresses, few local clubs, and overall low state membership of the E.S.A. in the first year of her presidency and the rise, by 1896, to some sixty equal suffrage clubs with a membership of 700 and almost $300 raised and spent that year on the promotion of woman suffrage. She also organized clubs and spoke on behalf of suffrage in Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa.

At the 1896 National American Woman Suffrage Association (N.A.W.S.A.) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Simmons spoke before the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives. At the same meeting, Simmons and Charlotte Perkins Stetson offered (failed) amendments on the controversial proposed resolution to disavow connection with Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "so-called 'Woman's Bible,' or any theological publication." Simmons voted with the majority for the resolution, despite "a long and animated discussion" and a plea from the president of NAWSA. against the censorious resolution. At the 1898 annual NASAW convention a confident Simmons "presented the case of South Dakota," while Carrie Chapman Catt moved that the national organization raise $5,000 to support the state's referendum campaign that year.

Simmons stepped down from the presidency of South Dakota's E.S.A. in 1900, but she continued to hold office in the W.C.T.U., an organization she had supported since 1878. She became president again in 1909 and held that position most years through 1917. Simmons advocated for a "bone dry" policy in South Dakota, that is, for laws to prohibit "the right of any person to keep even a limited supply of liquor in his possession for beverage use." She continued to advocate for both suffrage and temperance, though she had long struggled to separate the reform issues. After failing both to stop legislation favorable to "the liquor business" and to advance a women's ballot measure by only one vote, she said "[we] might as well go out . . . and try to dam the Mississippi or the Missouri River with our bare hands." She thought that the state legislators assumed that W.C.T.U. women wanted suffrage only to advance prohibition but she insisted that "true women" wanted suffrage for many reasons. Tellingly, in 1898, Simmons reported to NAWSA., "Our State Association is determined that our work shall be carried on separate form all other issues." In 1909, she helped quell ultimately "groundless" fears of potential "friction between the members of the W.C.T.U. and the Equal Suffrage Association." In 1914, she announced the W.C.T.U. annual meeting would feature "the start of a statewide campaign for woman suffrage," as the state's voters prepared to promote a fourth (failed) referendum on woman suffrage. Simmons' dual commitments to woman suffrage and prohibition represented a common pattern for the woman suffrage movement on the Northern Great Plains. Plainswomen often came to the suffrage cause first through W.C.T.U. Enfranchise Departments and unlike some national suffragists, such as Susan B. Anthony, continued to believe their support of temperance and prohibition attracted as many votes as it repelled others from the woman suffrage cause.

Soon after South Dakota approved woman suffrage in 1918, Simmons wrote of her weariness, but she joined the League of Women Voters and when the South Dakota state legislature ratified the Nineteenth Amendment on December 4, 1919, she appeared at the capitol in Pierre to celebrate with her colleagues. Already around 72 years old, Simmons seems to have spent the majority of her remaining long life quietly. Anna Rebecca Simmons died 23 May 1936 in Davison County, probably in Mitchell. She was buried next to her husband at Woodlawn Cemetery, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

SOURCE- Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1010596371

==================================

Her parent's biographies are included in this of her brother Silas:

Source: History of Muscatine County Iowa, Volume II, Biographical, 1911, page 150

SILAS L. JOHNSON. Silas L. Johnson, cashier of the German-American Savings bank of Muscatine, has made for himself a creditable position in financial circles, and his energy, systematic methods and careful management in the work entrusted to him have constituted an important element in the growth of the bank's busimess. A native of Iowa, he was born at Tipton, Cedar county, on the 22d of January, 1863, and is a son of Paul W. and Sarah ( Wiggins ) Johnson, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Pennsylvania. The father was a son of William Griffith Johnson, and he, too, was born in Ohio. He married Miss Drake, and on leaving the Buckeye state, removed to Iowa, settling in Cedar county, where he died at the ripe old age of seventy-three years. throughout the greater part of his life he followed school-teaching, and his labors were an element in educational development of this state. His family included Paul S., Silas D., Timothy, Eliza, Miranda and Matilda. The maternal grandfather of Silas Johnson was William Wiggins, a native of Maryland and of Quaker lineage. He made farming his life occupation and became a pioneer resident of Cedar county, Iowa, contributing in substantial measure to the early development and progress of that part of the state. He died there when eighty-eight years of age. His family numbered fifteen children, eight of whom reached years of maturity, Bazil, Mrs. Hester Glass, Mrs. Elizabeth Bagley, Mrs. Minerva McFarland, and four others who have long passed away.
Paul W. Johnson became a school teacher in early manhood but afterward turned his attention to the occupation of farming. He dated his residence in Muscatine county from the fall of 1852, and through that winter was employed as a teacher in the school north of the city. He afterward removed to Cedar county, settling on a farm near Tipton, where his remaining days were passed, with the exception of two months spent in Wilton, where he died in 1884 at the age of sixty-three years. His wife survived until 1888 (grave stone states 1890), and passed away at the age of sixty-six years. Both were members of the Methodist church,and their well spent lives gained for them the high regard of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. Johnson served as township assessor of Center township, Cedar county, for seven consecutive terms, and also held various school offices the cause of education finding in him a warm friend. Unto him and his wife were born seven children, three sons, and four daughters, namely: Harriet J., the deceased wife of E. C. Rigby; John C., who has passed away; Anna, the wife of Rev. Thomas Simmons, of Faulkton, South Dakota; William G., living in Wilton; Martha B., the wife of Thomas Glass of Lewiston, Idaho; Silas L., of this city; and Minnie M., the wife of Frank Pangborn (sic) [Pangburn], of Faulkton, South Dakota.

Silas L. Johnson was reared upon the home farm in Cedar county, Iowa, and began his education in the district schools, while later he attended the Tipton high school and the Wilton academy. Liberal education thus qualified him for life's practical and responsible duties. He afterward turned his attention to the stock and grain business in which he continued in Wilton for ten years. He was then called to public office, being elected county treasurer, which caused his removal to Muscatine in 1894. His fidelity, capability and trustworthiness in office are indicated in the fact that he served for three terms as county treasurer, being chose to the position by the vote of his fellow citizens. He then became one of the organizers of the German-American Savings Bank and has continuously been its cashier. His business enterprise and unfaltering determination are elements in the success of the institution that has come to be regarded as one of the most safe and substantial financial concerns of the county.

In September, 1885, occurred the marriage of Mr. Johnson and Miss Evanella Bell, a native of Scott county, Iowa, and a daughter of Thomas and Mary J. ( Burch ) Bell. Her father was born in Ohio, and the mother, a native of Canada, removed to New York when a small child. They became early settlers of Scott county, Iowa, and later removed to Cedar county, while subsequently they became residents of Wilton, Muscatine county, and lastly went to Storm Lake, Iowa, where the father died when about eighty years of age. The mother is still living. In their family were seven children: James S., Mrs. Nancy J McClintock, Mrs. Carrie Anspach, Mrs. Luella Russell, Mrs. Bertha Venard, Thomas H., and Evanella, the wife of Silas L. Johnson. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been born five children: Raymond E., Bessie L., Walter G., Mildred L., and Margaret. The eldest son is now filling the position of county treasurer and is mentioned elsewhere in this volume.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and their upright lives have gained for them the warm friendship of many with whom they have come in contact. Mr. Johnson belongs to Iowa Lodge No. 2, A. F. & A. M., of which he is secretary. He is also secretary of Washington Chapter, No. 4, R. A. M. He likewise belongs to Webb Council, No. 18, R. & S. M., Zarephath Consistory of Davenport and Kaaba Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He likewise holds membership with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and he gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He resides at No. 312 Walnut street, where he has made his home for ten years. Honored and respected by all, no man in Muscatine enjoys a more enviable position in commercial and financial circles than Silas L. Johnson, not alone by reason of the success he has achieved but also owing to the straightforward business policy he has ever followed.

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Name: Annie R. Johnson
Gender: Female
Marriage Date: 15 Jun 1871
Marriage Place: Cedar Co., Iowa
Spouse: Thomas Simmons
FHL Film Number: 0986805
Reference ID: 2:3RBR7WN

SOURCE- Iowa, Select Marriages Index

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Children:

Earnest P Simmons
1874–1881

Ethel M "Esther" Simmons
1879–

Everett Lee Simmons Dr
1883–1965

Corwin J "Doc" Simmons DDS
1889–1974

SOURCE- Garner Family Tree plus connected families

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Name: Annie A Simmons
Age: 49
Birth Date: Sep 1850
Birthplace: Ohio, USA
Home in 1900: Mitchell, Davison, South Dakota
Ward of City: 1st
Sheet Number: 2
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation: 14
Family Number: 14
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital status: Married
Spouse's name: Thomas Simmons
Marriage Year: 1870
Years Married: 30
Father's Birthplace: Pennsylvania, USA
Mother's Birthplace: Pennsylvania, USA
Mother: Number of Living Children: 3
Mother: How Many Children: 4
Can Read: Yes
Can Write: Yes
Can Speak English: Yes

Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Simmons 59
Annie A Simmons 49
Esther M Simmons 20
Everett L Simmons 16
Corwin J Simmons 11
May Cornwell 19 (servant)

SOURCE- 1900 United States Federal Census

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Name: Anna R Simmons
Death Date: 23 May 1936
Death Place: Davison, South Dakota, USA
Certificate Number: 169278
Page Number: 692

SOURCE- South Dakota, Death Index

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Gravesite Details

Funeral Service Wood Lawn Record- 05-26-1936 Ann R. (Johnson) Simmons


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