from The Fitchburg Sentinel, Thursday, 8 Nov 1894,
Death of G. F. Simonds
Killed on the ... at Seranton, Kas., While On His Way to California

A telegram was received in this city, Wednesday afternoon, announcing the death of George F. Simonds at Seranton, Kansas. From the knowledge of his movements it appears that Mr. Simonds and his wife were on the way to California, having been in Chicago, Sunda. Mr. Simonds was killed on the cars, though how or on what day the despatch does not state. Mrs. Simonds started East with the body, Wednesday.

The western mail due here at 1:38 brought no letters, from which it was hoped details of Mr. Simonds' death could be learned.


George Frederick Simonds was born in Fitchburg, Jan. 12, 1843, son of Abel and jane (Todd) Simonds, and was one of a large family of brothers of whome five are living -- Daniel and Thomas of this city, Edward F. of Chicago, Augustus A. of Dayton, Ohio, and John of California. Joseph F. Simonds of this city is a half brother.

Abel Simonds was a scythe manufacturer and began his business in 1832 and was a more than ordinarily skillful and educated worker in steel, and in this business his sons became interested. They also inherited his mechanical genius.

In 1864, Abel Simonds retired and two of the sons continued the business and in 1864, the Simonds Manufacturing company was organized as a business partnership, and was legally incorporated in 1868, and moved from West Fitchburg to the site of its present plant, Main and North streets. With this corporation, George F. Simonds was connected until 1893, when he sold his interest to the company.

Mr. Simonds was of a creative and inventive mind and had rare genius in that direction. The one thing that he invented that has made a revolution in the manufacture of steel forgings was the folling machine, the value of which is best attested by the flourishing company now controlling the patents and manufacturing under them. The Simonds Rolling Machine company was organized in November, 1886, and Mr. Simonds has been president and director ever since and was a large holder of the stock of the company.

In June, 1891, he built a small shop on Willow street for the development of the ball-bearing principle which he had since perfected to a remarkable and practicable degree. As a result of this, a company was formed for the manufacture of ball-bearing carriage axles, many rich carriage firms being patrons and supporters and a large business was being done.

In this little shop Mr. Simonds had also developed a new and important process of tempering and hardening steel which was of particular value in the ball-bearing work. The tests and experiments on the line of these processes were made by the government and leading manufacturing companies and railroads. In the matter of application of the ball-bearing principle to heavy power, he had made great progress.

Mr. Simonds had interested English capital in his inventions and two companies had been organized in London to cover foreign manufacture on all the lines referred to.

Mr. Simonds had kept his residence here till about two years ago when he removed to Boston. He had been a trustee of the Fitchburg Savings bank and director in the Fitchburg National bank till within a few years. He was also one of the incorporators of the Safety Fund National bank and continued a director till recently. He was one of the original members of the Park Club and retained his membership till he removed from town.

Mr. Simonds had over 10 patents on the ball-bearing principle and over 100 altogether on the processes and inventions he had created. The most important of all these had been patented in Canada and Europe.

In 1866, Mr. Simonds married Mary D. Hatch, daughter of David P. and Anna S. Hatch of Marshfield. Mrs. Simonds and two children, Miss Florence M. and Walter A. Simonds, survive him.

Mr. Simonds had traveled extensively in this country and Europe, his family accompanying him somewhat on this side of the ocean. The whole family were in Europe, two or three years, returning home in 1890.

In his business relations Mr. Simonds had been associated with some of the richest and most influential men in the United Sttes and Europe, the merit of his work being indisputable.

Mr. Simonds was distunguished for patriotism and public spirit. He enlisted Jan. 22, 1862 in Co. B (Fitchburg Fusiliers) of the old 15th Mass. regiment, and served till the 18th of the following July when his health, which was never robust having been shattered in the exposure of the Peninsula campaign. He was discharged for disability.

He was the kindest of neighbors and a very considerate employer as hundreds of men who have been in the employ of companies of which he was the head will testify.

Nothing is yet known of the funeral arrangements.