Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dr. John Simon

Civil War and Lincoln historian John Y. Simon died this week. Simon was a history professor at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. His obit even made the New York Times. I featured Dr. Simon in this blog post from a few years ago after he leveled a few criticisms about the then new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Well, mostly he had concerns about the museum.

I took a History of Illinois class from Dr. Simon while I was a student at SIU in the early 1980s. From my old blog post:
On a personal note, I learned a great deal in Dr. Simon’s class. Fortunately, the class was small in size by University standards. Dr. Simon was (and still is, I’m sure) a very interesting. knowledgeable and humorous speaker. He’s also written more than a few books.

His class was great fun. I remember him talking about a visit he had made to Springfield, calling it a “one horse town” where he once had his car stolen. I always thought that strange since in all the time I’ve lived in or near Springfield, I’ve never known anyone who had their car stolen. It happens, I’m sure, but it was odd that it happened to him on a visit.

A good man is gone.

Update: Ooops. Will has already covered this with a much better post and using the same picture. Oh well, I guess I need to check SpfldBloggers before posting in the morning.


Will said...

Its great to see someone else post about him too! Illinois History was one of my favorite classes.

The "one horse town" comment is typical. He was always frank with his opinions but somehow I can't imagine anyone getting offended by anything he said.

Dave said...


The "one horse town" comment was definitely not mean-spirited in any way. He made his car-stolen-in-Springfield story quite funny in fact.

JeromeProphet said...

Dr. Simon was (and still is, I’m sure) a very interesting. knowledgeable and humorous speaker.

Dude, he's dead - I hear dead people.


Dave said...

Uh, JP, I'm quoting from a blog post from three years ago, silly.

JeromeProphet said...


Although it would be cool if he was haunting SIU-C.