HISTORY NEBRASKA MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID
RG1383.AM: Charles Sheldon Simmons, 1887-1970
Scottsbluff, Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska: Artist, poet, author
Size: 0.1 cu.ft.
Charles (Charley) S. Simmons was born at Sunflower on May 20, 1887, just six weeks after his parents arrived in Nebraska. The Simmons family were the first permanent residents of what became Scottsbluff, and Charley was a lifelong Scotts Bluff County resident. Simmons began his artistic career at the age of thirteen when he painted signs for area businessmen using a combination of lamp black and beer to make his paint. He attended the Chicago Art Institute for three months, leaving after realizing he wasn’t talented enough to have a career as a cartoonist.
Married to Stella Snyder of Sterling, Colorado, in 1908, Simmons pursued a variety of occupations over the next several years: railroad section hand, carpenter, cement worker, farm work, automobile and house painter, bookkeeper, and clerk. He returned to art in 1936 and over the course of three decades produced 150 oil paintings and numerous pen sketches. He concentrated on painting scenes of the North Platte Valley. Charley was also a woodworker and expert archer, making his own equipment, and was renowned as a poet and master story teller. Charley Simmons died in Scotts Bluff on June 22, 1970.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
This collection consists of four folders documenting the life and artistic career of Charles S. Simmons. Letters written by Charley and his wife, Stella, to Jim and Marie Allen of Mandan, North Dakota, 1947-1969 and undated, describe his daily life and art projects. Included also is an article about Scottsbluff authored by Simmons, “A City Was Born,” and various articles about his accomplishments.
Note: The Nebraska History Museum holds various paintings, drawings, etc. by Charles S. Simmons. Not all items are on exhibit. Interested researchers should schedule an appointment with the Museum Collections office.
- Correspondence, 1947-1969
- Correspondence, Undated
- Article: "A City Was Born" by Charles S. Simmons
- Articles about Simmons, 1953-1970
Artists -- Nebraska
Authors -- Nebraska
Poets -- Nebraska
Scotts Bluff County (Nebraska)