FARMVILLE [VA], Feb. 9  -- -Dr. Francis Butler Simkins, 68, professor of history at Longwood College [VA] and a former president of the Southern Historical Society, died at Southside Community Hospital Wednesday. Widely known for his historical writings and as a visiting lecturer at such institutions as Princeton, Louisiana State, Memphis State and the University of North Carolina, Dr. Simkins was best known for his books on American Southern civilization.
A native of Edgefield, and son of McGowan and Sallie Lewis Simkins, he received his bachelor's degree -at the University of South Carolina. He earned his master's and doctorate at Columbia University.
Dr. Simkins had been at Longwood College here since 1928. He was made History Department chairman in 1960. He was a University Fellow at Columbia, a Fellow of the Social Science Research Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellow and a lecturer for the University Center in Virginia. He was president of the Southern Historical Society in 1956.
He published works include "The Everlasting South," "South Carolina During Reconstruction," "Pitchfork Ben Tillman," and "The Women of the Confederacy." In addition to his history writings, he was a frequent article contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Notable Americans. He also is the author of a history textbook presently in use in Virginia seventh grade schools.
He was a leading spirit in the founding in 1956 of the Institute of Southern Culture at Longwood College. It was established to promote the study of traditional aspects of Southern civilization. He delivered last fall's Institute lecture.
He was a member of Johns Memorial Episcopal Church at Farmville.
Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Margaret Robinson Simkins, of Farmville; a son, Francis B. Simkins, Jr., a student at Old Dominion College; two sisters, Mrs. C. T. Graydon and Miss Jeanie Simkins of Columbia, S.C., and a brother, Elliott Simkins, also of Columbia.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday at Johns Memorial Episcopal Church here, with interment in Westview Cemetery, also in Farmville. The Rev. Drs. Charles C. Fishburne, Jr., and Robert C. Withers, Jr., will officiate.
Return to the FBS Home Page