James R. Simpson was born on September 13, 1849 at Bugsworth, Derbyshire, England, a son of John and Margarett Cresswell Simpson.
He married Ellen Shaw in Melor, Derbyshire, England, on April 26, 1876 and the following children were born to them: James R., Elizabeth, John William, Margarett, Samuel Shaw, Heber Chase, Mary and Isaac.
They came to the United States about 1876 and resided in Henefer, Utah for about a year. Then traveling by oxen, they established permanently in Grouse Creek, western Box Elder County, Utah.
He died in 1888 after having been ill for some time and was buried in the Grouse Creek, Utah cemetery.
The following was taken from the Standard newspaper:
A Strange Suicide
A Grouse Creek Stone Mason While Insane Jumps Down a Well.
Yesterday, the 19th inst., a sad affair occurred in this settlement which has cast a gloom over the inhabitants. James R. Simpson was found dead in the Tithing office well.
On the 21st of April last he left here and went to Oakley, in Idaho to build a rock store. While there he was taken sick and became insane and attempted suicide.
He was brought home on the twenty-fourth day of August last and was watched and cared for night and day by the brethren here, two of whom at a time stayed with him.
But of late he has appeared much better and has gotten up some wood and had made two or three trips to the mill or elsewhere.
Last week he engaged to build a rock wall for Messrs. Parsons, Eager, & Co, and yesterday morning started before daylight (as believed by his wife) to go to work. But arriving at the Tithing office he tied his horse he was riding at he rear of thereof and must have jumped into the well nearby.
After dark last night Brother D. H. Toyn arrived at Messrs. Parsons, Eager, & Co.’s place and not seeing Simpson, inquired for him. Suspicion was immediately aroused that something was wrong, and with Mr. Edgar, with some of his hired servants, took a lantern and started in search of him, with the above result.
James R. Simpson leaves a wife and eight small children, two of twins but a few weeks old, to mourn his untimely death.
They are in poor circumstances: there are also in the family two small boys who are motherless, and belong to his (Simpson’s) brother, who, I believe, is a stone mason in Salt Lake City.