Michael Troutman Simmons

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About Michael Troutman Simmons

Michael Troutman Simmons, one of the first white settlers North of the Columbia River in the Sate of Washington. He settled Tumwater, at Newmarket, near Olympia, Washington, The Capital of the State. Michael T. Simmons came over the Oregon Trail in 1844. The Clan holds a reunion each year the second Sunday in August in Tumwater Park, the site of his Grist Mill. It is also beside the Olympia Brewery.



Michael Simmons or Michael Troutman Simmons (1814-1867) was a 19th-century American pioneer and one of the first white men to settle in the Puget Sound.

Simmons was one of 10 children, born in Kentucky in 1814. As a boy, he moved with his mother to Pike County, Illinois. When Michael was 21 years old, he moved to Iowa and married a 15-year-old girl named Elizabeth Kindred. Five years later, the couple moved to Missouri and Michael built a gristmill. At the age of 30, he decided to abandon the Mid-West and came to the Puget Sound on a wagon train with a group of settlers (including his friend George Washington Bush) in late 1845. He assumed leadership of the new settlers, who gave him the title of "Colonel". After taking advice from the traders of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Nisqually, the new American settlers founded New Market (later Tumwater). Despite its help, three years later Simmons led a campaign of complaints against the "monarchist" Hudson's Bay Company.

At New Market, Simmons exploited the power of Tumwater Falls to construct mills, but in 1850 sold his interests at New Market and moved to Olympia. Simmons invested in shipping and, despite being illiterate, became Olympia's postmaster. After the appointment of Isaac Stevens as the first governor of newly established Washington Territory, Simmons was appointed Indian agent and in 1854 and 1855 was charged with preparing the enforcement of Governor Steven's Indian treaties. Simmons died in 1867.

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Michael Troutman Simmons's Timeline

August 5, 1814
Shepherdsville, Bullitt, Kentucky, United States
April 14, 1845
Age 30
Washougal, Clark County, Washington, United States
November 15, 1867
Age 53
Drews Prairie, Washington, United States