From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Simpson, Melissa

(born: 1817  -  died: 1901) Melissa Simpson was the founder of the Rock Valley A.M.E. Church in Clinton, KS. Born in Logan County, KY, she had been a slave. She was taken out west when she was 16 years old and sold to W. H. Bradley in Warrenburg, Johnson County, MO. While there, she married Patrick Simpson and the couple had 11 children. They were all free when they were living in Eudora, KS in 1865 [source: Kansas State Census], and Melissa had had another child. They would move on to Clinton, Kansas in 1866. Melissa worked as a farm hand on the Petefish Farm in Clinton; she did whatever was required, from making rails to keeping house. She was considered fairly well-off for a married woman and the mother of 10 children (two had died), six of whom were still living when Simpson died on July 3, 1901. She had kept her own money and at the time of her death had acquired between six and seven thousand dollars. Melissa's husband, Patrick Simpson, who was also born around 1817 in Kentucky, he was the son of Persilla Simpson who lived with the family [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. Patrick and Melissa had married in 1840 in Missouri. They owned their farm in Clinton, KS. The family is also listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. For more see "Mrs. Melissa Simpson..," Plaindealer, 07/12/1901, p. 4.

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NKAA Source: Plaindealer, The (newspaper) (Topeka)

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“Simpson, Melissa,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2019-02-14 21:47:41