Baptist History Homepage
Robert Simerwell
Indian Baptist Missionary in Kansas

      Robert Simerwell, missionary to the Indians, was born in Ireland, May 1, 1786. He attended school occasionally until fifteen years of age, and came with his parents to Philadelphia, Pa., in 1803. His parents died soon afterward and he became a blacksmith's apprentice. In 1824 he went to the Baptist Indian mission at Carey Station on the St. Joseph river in Michigan, and the next year married a Miss Goodridge; became government blacksmith to the Pottawatomies and studied their language. In 1833 he came with a part of the tribe to the Baptist mission in Kansas, led them to their new home on the reserve near Topeka in 1848, and labored among this tribe as a teacher and spiritual leader until ill health forced him to retire in 1854. He died at his home on Six-mile creek in 1868. He was the author of a primer in the Pottawatomie language, published in 1833; translated a book containing a catechism and hymns into Pottawatomie in 1835; and his books and manuscripts now in the Kansas Historical Society include fragments of translations of hymns, grammar, vocabularies, discourses, etc.


[From Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Standard Publishing Co. Chicago, 1912. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

More on Missions / Missionaries
Baptist History Homepage