514 History of Wake Forest College
ing to the material needs of the students, Mrs. Simmons' greatest con-
tribution to the life of the College was not material but personal and
spiritual, as those students whose good fortune it was to know her
well all with one voice would testify. For many years she had student
lodgers in the upper stories of her spacious home, among them many
since distinguished in many walks of life. Her genial and gracious
influence got hold of all in a quickening way. The polished and city-
bred, the rustic and uncouth, the timid and the bold. the pious and the
non-pious, all responded to her manifest expectation that they must
and could be gentlemen. Her unassuming good-breeding, her
modesty, her wisdom, her genuine Christian goodness, her
sympathetic spirit, made a silent but most powerful appeal to the
chivalrous heart of youth. And how unfeignedly good and kind she
was! Who that was ever sick under her roof can forget the delicate
touch of her gentle hand on his fevered brow, her cheering words, the
little dainties brought to satisfy his appetite during convalescence?
She was an elect lady. The formative influence she exercised is potent
today in the lives of men who are serving God and man in every
station in life in almost every country in the world.
When we come to consider other qualities, what especially
characterized Mrs. Simmons was her great fund of information. This
embraced not only current events and current literature, but politics,
several branches of science, law and medicine. She knew the
technical terminology of these subjects and could use it in
conversation without any semblance of display.
It remains to say a few words of the home life of Mrs. Simmons. Of
her beautiful devotion to her husband we have the advantage of the
view of a contemporary, Dr. William Royall, in his sketch of Dr.
Simmons which appeared in the Wake Forest Student of June, 1889.
He says:
"She was a helpmeet indeed, one whose devotion to their common
interest and to him through all the vicissitudes of a married life of
thirty-six years was so marked as to have elicited favorable comment
from all who witnessed it. Intrusion into the sacred precincts of home
is not usually warrantable. But it may not be unbecoming to say that
as a guardian angel she watched his going out and his coming in,
anticipating his wants and needs, both personal and official, lived to
smooth his pathway and strove for him
To chase the clouds of life's tempestuous hours,
To strew its short but weary way with flowers,
New hopes to raise, new feelings to impart,
And pour celestial balsam on the heart.
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