Enoch Simmons, the son of Ralph and Mary (Whitfield) Simmons, was born in Tennessee in 1885 or 1886. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved the family to southwest Missouri. Enoch’s mother and father separated sometime in the 1890s, and Enoch went to live with his grandmother, Charity James, in Ash Grove, where he attended school. Although his gravestone states that he died in 1900, he was still alive in June of 1910, single and living with his mother in Iola, Kansas. The actual date and place of Enoch Simmons' death are as yet unknown (Russel 2012).
Grave Marker: As noted above, Enoch Simmons may or may not be interred in the Berry Cemetery. However, he is memorialized there by two monuments. One of these is a marble cross vault obelisk that bears the names of four individuals: Enoch Simmons (east face), brother Jasper Simmons (west face), father Ralph Simmons (west face), and grandmother Charity James (south face). The monument records death dates for Enoch, Jasper, and Ralph that precede Charity's death, suggesting that this stone was commissioned after Charity died as a memorial to all four individuals. The monument is set on a marble upper base and limestone lower base. This monument bears ivy imagery on the upper part of each face. By 2009, the upper part of the monument had detached from the base. In 2017, through a grant from the Phenix Marble Company, the upper portion was re-attached to the base. Excluding the base, the monument is 31 x 10 x 10 inches in size. The two-part base is 8 x 15 x 15 inches in size. The second monument is a smaller limestone tablet with "ENOCH" engraved on one face. This smaller gravestone was probably originally set as either (a) a footstone or (b) a head stone that was shifted to footstone status after the obelisk was set.
Cross-vault obelisk grave stone in 2009, before repair
East face of obelisk after 2017 repair
Bird's eye view of obelisk
Ivy leaves design on upper part of each side of obelisk
Tablet marker engraved "ENOCH"
Sketch of East face by field recorder
Text on East Face
ENOCH SIMMONS AUG 13 1886 FEB 1 1900
Text on South Face
CHARITY JAMES MAR 18 1842 MAR 31 1914
Text on West Face
RALPH SIMMONS JULY 4 1854 MAY 6 1904
JASPER SIMMONS MAY 2 1882 JAN 11 1908
Berry Family, Ash Grove, MO; Ozarks Afro-American Heritage Museum; Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, College of Humanities and Public Affairs, Missouri State University