500 History of Wake Forest College
case, he came to the conclusion to make teaching his life-work and
entered upon that long career which with no interruption, except that
enforced by the condition of the country during the war, ended only
when, one year before his death he was completely disabled by
His record for close attention to college duties and punctual at-
tendance upon the same for a third of a century is perhaps
unparalleled. The aggregate of absences would hardly amount to a
month. He made his time private business, personal habits and social
and domestic arrangements all yield to the demands of duty. And he
served with equal fidelity when put upon a meagre salary and when
enjoying one more adequate. Nor did he either spare himself or
consult his individual taste for special kinds of work, or do grudgingly
anything which the interests of the College and the exigencies of the
moment demanded, however far removed it may be from the circle of
his own proper work.
The records of the College show that from first to last the pressure
of emergencies in its history brought him to the rescue in almost
every point in the curriculum. . . . As an instructor he was noted for
the careful preparation and perfect mastery of the subject of each
lesson or lecture. He seldom used the textbook in the recitation-room.
His comments and lectures were delivered in language chaste and
pertinent and in sentences well-balanced, neat and luminous.
Careless and hurried preparation on the student's part found no
favor with him, while the lazy evasion of necessarily hard work was
at a decided discount. He counted upon diligence and application and
showed that he expected them.
His power of work, endurance, pains-taking and financiering (for he
collected and disbursed) were tested to the utmost. It is needless to
trace further the course of events in the life of Professor Simmons so
far as they stand related to his connection with the College after the
war as a professor. Suffice it to say that after twenty-odd years of hard
toil in several departments we find him at last occupying a well
defined field of labor, the School of Physics and Applied mathe-
matics. This occurred in 1887. Shortly afterwards he had attacks of
that disease which soon rendered active labor in any direction im-
From 1877 to 1888 lie was Treasurer of the College. This office he
managed on strictly business principles and wholly in the interest of
his employer. His books were kept upon the most approved plan and
always revealed the financial status of the College. . . . He appreciated
highly the appointment as a member of the State Board of Health
tendered him by Governor Jarvis. The Board had consisted
Previous Page Next Page