Martha Ann Moore was born March 04, 1868 in Tunnel Hill, Johnson County, Illinois. She was the first child of Gardner Moore and Mary Elizabeth Stonum Moore. She was named for her maternal grandmother Martha Ann McGee Stonum Miles. She died February 10, 1919 in Tunnel Hill, Johnson County, Illinois. She married William Nimrod Simmons February 24, 1887 in Tunnel Hill, Johnson County, Illinois, son of Samuel Harrison Simmons and Nancy Jane Webb. He was born July 12, 1868 in Tunnel Hill, Johnson County, Illinois, and died 1922 in Williamson County, Illinois. Nimrod Simmons was Sheriff and Justice of the Peace of Johnson County, and his son Ira Nimrod Simmons (known as "Fuzzy" or "Buster") was born in jail!
"A History of Johnson County" by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, page 66, reads: "The jail that did duty for the county before the present one was built, stood near the corner of Fourth and Locust streets (in Vienna, Illinois) and not a great distance from the site of the present one. It was built of logs, and had two stories and an outside stairway, similar, no doubt, to the first one. This county was without a jail for some time and prisoners were kept in adjoining county jails. The present brick jail was erected in 1887, at a cost of $5,000.00. There is also a dwelling adjoining it where the jailor lived." Other children were James Floyd Simmons, Arlie Simmons, and Mary Helen Simmons Points Paline.
Ira Nimrod Simmons (July 27, 1903 – October 2, 1985) married on November 29, 1929 Lillie Marie Hollis (July 28, 1910 – September 13, 1995). Lillie was the daughter of Louis Burton Hollis (born August 5, 1861 in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana and died February 9, 1923 in Marion, Williamson County, Illinois) and Onnia R. Weathers (born about 1870 near Big Springs, Crawford County, Indiana and died May 31, 1942 at Marion, Illinois). Their children are Shirley Dean Simmons Fitzpatrick (August 12, 1929), Ira Nimrod "Buzzy" Simmons, Jr. (December 11, 1930), William Louis "Billy" Simmons (February 7, 1935), Samuel Ray "Sammy Ray" Simmons (November 25, 1937), and Richard Allen Simmons (August 13, 1941). Most of their descendants still live in the area.
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Nancy Jane Moore Jackson Carter was born July 13, 1873 in Tunnel Hill, Johnson County, Illinois, and died February 27, 1949 in Tunnel Hill. She was the daughter of Gardner Moore and Mary Elizabeth Stonum Moore.
James B. "Jim" Jackson (said to have been born in Indiana) married Nancy Jane Moore on March 05, 1908 in Johnson County, Illinois. They were married by William Nimrod Simmons, Nancy’s brother-in-law who was Justice of the Peace at that time. We do not know Jackson's parents or the name of his first wife, but there were two children with him when he married Nancy, Fritz J. Jackson and Catherine L. Jackson. As the story goes, Jim Jackson went out to gather eggs one day and was never heard from again, and we don't know what became of his children. Nancy went home to live with Gardner, Mary, and her brother, Loyd Coleman Moore’s family after Jackson's disappearance.
She later married William Henry Carter son of Daniel Carter and Eliza Jane Smith on February 12, 1920 in Vienna, Johnson County, Illinois, and lived with him in Puss Town (so named for Priscilla "Puss" Waters). Heady Sanders wrote in his book "Growing up in Puss Town," that in 1915 Henry Carter and his family came to Puss Town (from Sikeston, Missouri) and moved into the house north of the Hunter McBride place where a baby was thrown into the well and drowned (not Henry's). This baby's death and the unhappiness that led to it may explain why the house had paranormal activity, if you believe in ghosts. On page 15, Heady wrote, "Allen Veach bought the Hunter McBride house and the house north of it. He had the latter one torn down. He moved the other house to the lot south of well that the baby was thrown into. Willis Gatlin then remodeled the house. He had two men helping him. They also built a large barn east of the house."
On page 4 of "Growing Up in Puss Town" Heady writes there "was a fine two story house called the Burnett place. A strange thing happened there. They moved leaving the table just like they had finished eating breakfast. The beds were not made and no one knows what ever happened or where they went. Several families lived in the house, but they didn't stay over a week at the longest. Everyone began to think that it was haunted, and no one lived in it until Henry Carter bought it. He said that strange things would happen by day as well as by night."
The children of William Henry and Grace Pearl Carter raised by Nancy Jane were Marvin Earl Carter and Marie Ellen "Dimple" Carter. Marvin was a fabulous guitarist, carpenter, and a wonderful man with children who always spoke to them like adults and listened patiently and carefully to all manner of childish chit-chat as if the little one’s banter was great oratory.
Nancy Jane Moore Jackson Carter was laid to rest in Webb Cemetery where the earliest Moore ancestors are buried. He niece, Shirley Dean Simmons Fitzpatrick, brought armfuls of flowers to her grave. The Moores remember Nancy Jane as a caring woman whose life was devoted to children, none of them her own.

Contributed by Lynn Dalian Moore with permission Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved

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