Our History

Simpson Orchard Apple Packing House circa 1905Simpson Nursery Company, one of the oldest continually family owned nurseries in the country, was founded in 1851 under the name Knox Nurseries by Archibald Simpson.  At first, only fruit trees were grown, but within a few years the product line expanded into a wide variety of trees and shrubs. Salesmen traveled by rail and made sales calls by rented horse and buggy.

Years later production was limited to one-year apple and cherry trees. At one time we were one of the largest growers of one-year cherry trees in the country.

2 year Apple and Cherry Trees, 1913About 1912 the emphasis was shifted to apple and peach orchards with the name being changed to Simpson Orchard Company.  The fruit business continued for almost 60 years.

Around 1947 a limited number of nursery items were added as a side-line, but by 1968 when Robert C. Simpson became sole owner the last orchards were phased out and the business was entirely nursery again.  Emphasis was on one-year budded trees, especially crabapples and hawthorns.  The aim was to offer the most disease resistant, ornamentally fruited and fine flowering kinds.  The newest and best varieties of ornamental pear were added.  A 30 year period of breeding and observation resulted in many widely acclaimed selections of crabapples, hawthorn and hollies.

9 Mule Teams Digging Trees about 1905In 1978, Tom Simpson joined his father, “Bob” Simpson, as Vice President of Simpson Nursery Company and as a 5th generation in the family business.  Upon Bob’s death in 1995, Tom Simpson became President of the company whose ownership was shared with Bob’s daughter, Elizabeth (Betsy).  Tom retired in 2000, remaining involved as a consultant.  In 2006, Elizabeth Simpson became sole-owner of Simpson Nursery Company.