Simmons & Leadbeater

City: Saint Louis

County: Saint Louis

State: Missouri

Edward Simmons and Frank C. Leadbeater partnered by early 1856 as the forwarding and commission merchant firm of Simmons & Leadbeater. The firm was initially based in Kansas City, Missouri, where they had a warehouse and acted as shipping and receiving agents, intending especially to assist in receiving shipments for residents and settlers in Kansas Territory. In March 1856, Leadbeater protested when local officials did nothing to prevent pro-slavery vigilantes from opening shipping crates in search of arms being sent to Free Soil settlers. By May of that year, the firm had relocated to St. Louis where they continued to support Free Soil emigrants to Kansas with shipping services and travel advice. The firm was also affiliated with the National Kansas Committee. In 1859, the partners worked to establish a flour mill in Valparaiso, Chile. They remained in business in St. Louis through about 1860.

The Kansas Herald of Freedom (Lawrence, KS Terr.), 9 February 1856, 2:2; 29 March 1856, 2:6; 22 November 1856, 4:5; 6 December 1856, 2:3; Daily Missouri Republican (St. Louis), 24 May 1856, 2:8; 17 May 1859, 8:3; Robert V. Kennedy, comp., Kennedy’s Saint Louis City Directory for the Year 1857 (St. Louis: R. V. Kennedy, 1857), 132, 203; Lawrence Republican (KS Terr.), 26 August 1858, 3:1; St. Louis Directory 1859 (St. Louis: R. V. Kennedy, 1859), 289, 434; The Saint Joseph Weekly Free Democrat (MO), 7 April 1860, 3:5.