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RG3435.AM:  Sim Family

Papers:  1856-1880

Camp Creek, Otoe County, Neb.:  Pioneer family

Size:  1 reel of microfilm and 1 folder


Francis Sim (1821-1907) and Sarah Sim (1824-1880) of Middletown, Connecticut, moved to Nebraska territory in 1856 where they settled at Camp Creek, Nebraska, about eight miles south and two miles east of Nebraska City. They came west with three children, Helen, Willis, and a blind child, Phillip.

The rigors of pioneer life were hard on Sarah. During the first winter in Nebraska, two-year old Willis died and Francis was unable to do much work because of bad health. In the face of these hardships, Sarah lapsed into a deep melancholia which worried Francis for months. Before the second winter, Sarah’s health improved and things began to look better for the Sims. They had six more children in the next several years, but in the first decade on the prairie, five of them died.

Francis Sim was quite active in the community. He held various positions in Otoe county government and later served in the Nebraska legislature.

In November of 1879, Sarah became ill with breast cancer. Se was nursed in her last months by her sister, Mrs. Wealthy Hathaway, of New Haven, Connecticut. Sarah died on April 11, 1880, and was survived by her husband, Francis, and her four sons, Phillip, William, John, and Charles.

Francis Sim remarried in December of 1880, and died in Nebraska City on August 13, 1907, at age 86.


This collection consists of material relating to the pioneer life of the Francis and Sarah Sim family in Otoe County, Nebraska, and is arranged in two series: 1) Correspondence, 1856-1880, and 2) Genealogy chart, 1824-1880.

Approximately half of Series 1 consists of letters written by Francis and Sarah Sim to Sarah’s family in Connecticut. The other half consists of letters written in 1880 during Sarah’s illness by Wealthy and Eugenie Hathaway to James Hathaway. Wealthy Hathaway was Sarah Sim’s sister and Eugenie was Wealthy’s daughter. Together they nursed Sarah during her illness. These letters provide an excellent description of pioneer life in Nebraska. Events of great historical significance are discussed, including the expansion of the railroads through the area and achievement of Nebraska statehood in 1867.

Series 2 contains a genealogy chart that lists the children of Daniel and Wealthy Clark (parents of Sarah Sim) and the children of Francis and Sarah Sim.

This collection was loaned for microfilming in 1976.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1856-1880

Reel 1

Correspondence, 1856-1880


Letter transcriptions [not on microfilm]

Series 2 – Genealogy Chart, 1824-1880

Reel 1

Genealogy chart, 1824-1880

Note:  Material used for publication must be accompanied by an acknowledgement to the donor, Elizabeth N. Shor.



Camp Creek (Neb.) — History


Frontier and pioneer life — Nebraska — Otoe County


Hathaway, Eugenie

Hathaway, Wealthy


Nebraska City (Neb.) — History

Otoe County (Neb.) — History

Pioneers — Nebraska

Railroads — History

Railroads — Nebraska

Sime family

Sim, Francis, 1821-1907

Sim, Sarah, 1824-1880

Statehood (American Politics)

Women — Diseases

Women — Health and hygiene

Women pioneers


Revised 08-03-2009   TMM