Prayers were offered by Aaron James, Anderson Brack who lives in Waco, and who is 70 years old, made the opening speech. He recounted the drifting of the Sims from Virginia to Texas and followed them up to the present. When he concluded dinner was announced and it was a magnificent one. In the afternoon speeches were made by Prof. E. L. Blackshear of the Hempstead Colored Normal, Elder Coffee, Billy Burney, Dr. Roobeck and others. Anderson Brack, in a touching address, dismissed the assembly.
Dallas Morning News, 28 July 1896, page 6. The Sims Reunion. Incidents of a pleasant gathering of ex-slaves and descendants. Italy, Texas, July 25. The Simses are an old Virginia family and came to Texas in 1850, 1851, and 1852. One of the first to arrive was Nick Sims, who is still living. He spent his first year in Texas in Dallas County. He got there about six weeks before Christmas, in 1850. Dallas was then but a mere country village, with two small stores. She got her supplies from Shreveport, and they were hauled in ox wagons. He moved the next year to Ellis County, and settled on Chambers Creek, where he has lived ever since. He is in his 90th year, and the burden of his years is telling on him fast.
Judge Brack, who married Lucy P. Sims, came to Texas about the same time as Nick Sims. He settled close to Nick Sims and lived there till his death a few years ago. John D. Sims came to Texas with his family a year later, consisting of W. D. Sims, Billy Sims, and John P. Sims, all settled on the property where the reunion was held yesterday. He and his sons are all dead. The Simses brought their slaves with them. There were only a few of them then, but there are more of them now than a man can count. Some of them still live, the oldest of whom is Old Aunt Hannah.
Anderson Brack gave a bible lesson and the prayer was done by Aaron James. Anderson Brack said when we were freed our old masters were the first to tell us about it. They told us we could go or stay. We were uneducated and did not know what freedom meant. We did not know how to use it. Referring to the reunion he said. This is a reunion of the Simses and the Sims negroes. We meet and mix here, because it’s the way we were raised. We were not raised like slaves. We entered the front door like one of the white Simses, and didn’t have to sneak around to the kitchen. That’s why we are here today. Blood separated us and blood has brought us together – the blood of Jesus Christ. There sits one man here [Nicholas P. Sims] that gave one of his servants $500 at one time, and he wasn’t under any obligation to either. That shows the regard the Simses had for their slaves. Old master Sims [John Dabney Sims] used to tell us to have nothing to do with low down white trash and mean black people. [long speech by Anderson Brack]. Dr. Brashier gave a speech.