Francis, Simeon

Born: 1796-05-08 Connecticut

Died: 1872-10-25 Portland, Oregon

Flourished: 1831-1859 Sangamon County, Illinois

After spending his early life in his native state, Simeon Francis moved to Buffalo, New York, where he published the Buffalo Emporium until 1828. A Mason, he fled the region due to the rising influence of the Anti-Masons. In 1831, Francis settled in Springfield, Illinois. He published the Whig-oriented Sangamo Journal (later the Illinois Journal) and became a close friend of Abraham Lincoln. It was Francis who encouraged Abraham and Mary Todd to reconcile after their first engagement failed. Lincoln attempted to secure a patronage position for Francis in Oregon following Zachary Taylor's election in 1848, but was denied. Nevertheless, Francis moved to Portland in 1859, and began publishing the Oregon Farmer. As President, Lincoln commissioned Francis as the paymaster at Fort Vancouver in the Washington Territory.

Gravestone, River View Cemetery, Portland, OR; Mark E. Neely, Jr., "Francis, Simeon" in The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: DaCapo, 1982), 116-17.