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Edward and Elizabeth Simpson had nine children in all and five of them were sisters, although two had passed away before the period Miss Otty describes. Mary E. was the eldest, born ca. 1855, then Leora Julie (1856), Ella Amelia (c. 1859), Henry Charles (1861), Ida (c. 1863), George E. (c. 1865), Willard H. (c. 1867), Hettie (c. 1872) and Harold (c. 1874). Tragedy struck the family when Leora was 17. In a single week she lost two of her younger brothers to diphtheria: Willard, aged 5, and Charles, aged 12. Almost exactly one year later, in 1874, the family lost 1 -year-old Hettie. The cause of her death is unknown.

Four sisters occupied the Simpson house in the 1920s and 1930s: Mary, Leora, Ella and Ida.