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Eliza Sims and Two Libraries
by Clinton F. Cross
N. P. Sims and O. E. Dunlap founded the Nicholas P. Sims Library in Waxahachie, Texas. Samuel Meriwether Dunlap, Jr. founded the Samuel M. Dunlap Memorial Library in Italy, Texas. Both the Sims and the Dunlap libraries have copies of the Harlan book referred to in the preceding paragraph.
Hopefully, this paper will remind the reader that we are all connected to each other in many different ways, and also to the past.
The Texas Migration
In 1848 Frances Sims Daniel, youngest daughter of William Sims and Judy Cross, moved from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Texas with her eight children, slaves and relatives, making a party of thirty-one. They camped on what is at present the Southern Methodist University (SMU) campus. In time, Frances purchased a total of two thousand one hundred acres in what is now University Park and North Dallas. P.C. Sims may have been a member of the party. In any case, P.C. Sims purchased land in what is now Ellis County, Texas from Archibald Greathouse around 1850. At the time, Texas was a part of the American frontier. The United States had just waged a war with Mexico that established the Rio Grande River as the boundary between the two countries. The region was sparsely settled. There were numerous Indians living in the Dallas-Waxahachie area (“Waxahachie” is, incidentally, an Indian name), and the Indians constituted a potential threat to the new-comers. It is believed Nicholas P. Sims arrived shortly after his Aunt Daniel. Nicholas built a mill on Greathouse Creek (Texas) around 1851.
Judge Brack, married to Lucy P. Sims, Nicholas’ sister, also built his house near what is now the Greathouse Cemetery.