Joseph Simon was born in Bechtheim, Germany on February 7, 1851. He immigrated to the United States with his parents, who settled in Portland, Oregon in 1857. He attended the public schools; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1872, and commenced practice in Portland. He served on the city council (1877-1880) and in the State senate (1880-1898), frequently serving as president. Simon was a member of the National Republican Committee (1892-1896) and won a U.S. Senate seat on October 8, 1898, to fill the vacancy in the term commencing March 4, 1897. He served until March 3, 1903, but did not run for reelection. Simon later served as mayor of Portland (1909-1911) and then; resumed the practice of law. He died in Portland, February 14, 1935.
Sources: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Photo Oregon Historical Society.