Carved on the monument is the following epitaph:
Dr. J. Hume Simons
Oct. 20, 1818
St. Augustine, Fla.
June 25, 1876
Inscription on the back of the monument reads:
A learned man
He graduated at the College of Charleston, SC
Awarded first Honor by the medical faculty of that city at the commencement in 1838
Dr. Simons was the author of The Planter’s Guide and Family Book of Medicine, described as “for the instruction and use of planters, families, country people, and all others who may be out of the reach of physicians, or unable to employ them.”
Born and raised in Charleston, he married Eliza Wigfall in 1841 and they had five children. During the Civil War, he served as a Captain in Simon’s Company. He came to St. Augustine in 1869 where he practiced medicine and taught school.
There are several interesting tidbits related to this grave. First, the monument tips because it was originally set on a wooden base, which has long since rotted. The heavy equipment necessary to reset the stone correctly would most likely cause serious damage to the graveyard so it’s doubtful this stone will ever be straight again.
An 1892 inventory of this cemetery describes Dr. Simons grave as:
Dr. J. Hume Simons.
Lot with paling fence around – the size of one grave, and nailed to paling at head of grave a heart-shaped shield with zinc plat nailed to it containing above name.
At this point, I do not know when the monument was actually placed here in the cemetery.