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Simpson's Barber Shop

(Est. 1931 by William Bieri)

 

From the October 30, 1952 California Democrat:

William Bieri Dies of Heart Attack

Had Been A Barber Here For 21 Years

William Bieri, 56, a barber here for 21 years, died Saturday night about 9 o'clock at the Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis after suffering a heart attack. He had been a patient there a week following a heart attack at his home here. . .

He had been in the barber business for the past 35 years, starting his profession in Jamestown. He had also operated a shop at Versailles before coming to California. . .

 

From a November, 1952 California Democrat:

Roy Simpson Buys Bieri Barber Shop

Roy Simpson of Crane, Mo., has purchased the barber shop fixtures of the late William Bieri and rented the shop. He will take possession of his new business Friday, Nov. 28.

 

Mr. Simpson, 20, has a wife and 8-month-old daughter, Angela, who will come here with him to live.

 

Mr. Simpson graduated from Crane high school in 1950 and from the Moler Barber College in Kansas City last April. Since completing the barber college course he has been barbering in Crane.

 

Mrs. Bieri plans to continue to live in her apartment over the barber shop and Mr. and Mrs. Simpson and baby may live in an apartment in the rear of the building on the first floor.

 

From the October 3, 2012 California Democrat:

Moving up on 60 years as a barber in California on his 80th birthday, Roy Dean Simpson was celebrated for both landmark occasions in a single event.

 

Many customers, friends and family members dropped in at Simpson's Barber Shop, at the same location on the courthouse square as it was when Simpson, his wife Donna (Dillbeck) and eight-month-old daughter Angie relocated to California from Crane on Nov. 28, 1952. He bought the barber shop that had been operated by William Bieri. It had been closed for about six weeks after Bieri's death.

 

There have certainly been many changes in the barber shop since Simpson bought it, but many of them took place so long ago, not even the regular customers remember the way it was.

 

A pew-like bench was added years ago, an oil heater in the shop when Simpson bought it gave way to a natural gas heater, but even that was more than 50 years ago. The large mirror on the back wall was once in the bar just north of the barber shop. The ceiling was lowered and air conditioning added. The barber equipment has been updated many times over the years but the feel and flavor of the shop seems to be the same as it always was. Even many of the customers are the same - only older.

 

The Simpson family has seen some changes since going into the barber business in California. When they first moved to town, the Simpsons lived above the shop. As the family grew with the birth of three more children-Pam, Mike and John- a move was made to larger quarters.

 

Among the many who visited for coffee, doughnuts, deviled eggs, conversation and reminiscing were grandson Jonathan and great-grandson Willis.

 

 

From the June 29, 2016 California Democrat:

 

Simpson Barber Shop nears 64 years in business

 

Simpson's Barber Shop has been a gathering place for those desiring a haircut and conversation for 64 years.

 

It was to this barber shop, Caleb Rohrbach, following a family tradition, recently came for a haircut. It is not only his grandfather Lashley who regularly sat in the barber chair, but also his great-grandfather Emmet and great-great-grandfather Alf. Caleb's dad Jesse lives away and is unable to regularly go to Simpson's.

 

Simpson's Barber Shop is at the same location on the courthouse square as it was when Roy Dean Simpson and his wife Donna (Dillbeck) relocated to California from Crane on November 28, 1952. Daughter Angie was only a few months old. Simpson had graduated from barber school and served the 18 months apprenticeship required at the time.

 

The shop was already established as a barber shop, operated by William "Red" Bieri, until his death about six weeks before. It had been closed after Bieri's death.

 

With the exception of the barber chair, which is the same one originally in use, there have been many changes in the shop since Simpson bought it. Many of the changes took place so long ago, not even the regular customers remember the way it was.

 

A pew-like bench was added years ago, an oil heater in the shop when Simpson bought it gave way to a natural gas heater, but even that was more than 50 years ago. The large mirror on the back wall was once in the bar just north of the barber shop. The ceiling was lowered and air conditioning added. The barber equipment has been updated many times over the years but the feel and flavor of the shop seems to be the same as it always was. Even many of the customers are the same - only older.

 

The Simpson family has seen some changes since going into the barber business in California. When they first moved to town, the Simpsons lived above the shop. As the family grew with the birth of three more children - Pam, Mike and John - a move was made to larger quarters.

 

Now, the family includes three grandsons and six granddaughters, as well as three great-grandsons.

 

Roy Dean and Donna have slowed down some with the years, but haven't stopped all travel. In April, they went to watch their granddaughter-in-law Jennifer Barrister Simpson compete in the Drake Relays at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. She is a runner and plans to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, during the month of August. Simpson said they do not plan to attend.

 


 

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