The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 282
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
or a more challenging subject. Simkins was one of the most
picturesque and colorful persons ever to teach at the Univer-
sity. He is a part of the traditions of the University and a part of
the Texas heritage.
The colonel made many permanent contributions to the Uni-
versity: Peregrinus, "Jackass lawyers," pungent phraseology, and
the like. Few persons who heard him tell how as a student in the
Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, he had fired upon the
Star of the West as it entered Charleston harbor, ever doubted
that he fired the opening shot of the Civil War. Picturesque and
dramatic as he was, those qualities never really obscured his great
and abiding scholarship.
Jones did not follow the path of least resistance in preparing his
paper. With all the instincts of a real research scholar he set
out to get all possible documentary evidence regarding Colonel
Simkins. What was easily available in Austin was not enough.
Jones followed a trail of correspondence to Washington, D. C.,
and down to Florida where he learned the colonel had spent
several years after 1865.
Finally he got in contact with a niece of Colonel Simkins, Isabel
Stewart Mays, 3523 Boone Park, Jacksonville, Florida, who, with
fine appreciation for the values of the past, had preserved a num-
ber of documents important to the colonel's career. Among these
was Simkins' commission in the Confederate Army where he was
commissioned a first lieutenant to date from March, 1862. The
document was sent to the enterprising young student who in turn
placed it with the Association. It will be permanently housed in
the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center where it may be
viewed with reverence by hundreds of former students of the
colonel and by other appreciative Texans.
Mrs. R. E. Harding, 793 South Tenth Street, Raymondville,
Texas, writes that a group in Willacy County is preparing a his-
tory of the county. Mrs. Harding and her associates are attempt-
ing to collect all possible materials having to do with Willacy
County and the surrounding area. These materials will be depos-
ited in Reber Memorial Library at Raymondville. Any member
of the Association having historical material on Willacy County
is invited to correspond with Mrs. Harding.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/327/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.