The Sims/Price Legacy
In the very old section of Union Campground Cemetery a stone box grave reveals the name of Fanny Sims. At the time of her burial the name was scratched onto the surface of the stone. The census of Greene County in 1840 lists the name of Fanny Sims, age 60-70, with a male 50-60 in the household, along with three children.
The Sims family migrated to Missouri from Tennessee in 1832. Numerous aunts and uncles followed in 1837. They came by wagons pulled by oxen and felt fortunate to travel as much as ten miles per day. When the family reached what is now Greene County the area was sparsely populated and almost a wilderness. A stopover was made southwest of Springfield to visit the Rountrees before continuing on through what is now the public square, wagons and oxen cautiously dodging trees and stumps along the way. Progress was slow as they lumbered toward the community of Hickory Barren, some 10 to 12 miles north of the village of Springfield and well to the north of what was later to become Union Campground Cemetery.
They settled in a rustic home, and the story is told about how the beds were checked each night for the presence of rattlesnakes. After almost 12 years the family moved to a larger hone south of Pleasant Horne Church and were living at this location at the outbreak of the Civil War. Worried about his family and better to protect them from the possibility of marauding soldiers, Mr. Sims had notches carved into the windowsills of the upstairs rooms. These notches would hold rifles, if and when the occasion demanded.
Nancy Ann Sims Price, niece of Fanny Sims, often mentioned about an upsetting time during the years of conflict when her husband, Terry Griffin Price, failed to return home from a trip into town. People knew the troops of both sides were ever present because evidence of campsites had been found in the nearby woods. When neighbors heard of his disappearance they set out to find him. Just about a mile from the house he was found, left for dead. None of his belongings were near him and he was carried home. He was alive and soon recovered from a terrible beating. He could only recall the immediate capture and the extreme pain he endured before losing consciousness. Nancy Ann would speak of the dreaded sound of the cannons to the south and murmur, ••It was a terrible, feaarful time.” And she would tap her cane and softly hum a hymn of reassurance.
Excerpts from an interview with Vera Kathleen Price Chandler, August 12, 1996. Interview conducted by Jean Gaffga Rayl, member of the Greene County Historical Society.