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SIMMS, J. Ed. 1917-1946


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 9/9/2016 at 08:43:05

Death Takes Young Conrad Artist

Pneumonia has stilled the brush of Grundy county's most widely known artist.

J. Ed. Simms, 28, died Sunday morning at the Deaconess hospital in Marshalltown, following an illness of eight days. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Presbyterian church in Conrad, with burial in the Oakland cemetery of Beaman.

Through his paintings of rural landscapes and scenes in the vicinity of Beaman and Conrad, the memory of J. Ed. Simms will long remain with the people of our county.

Overcoming what would have been an insurmountable handicap to an ordinary person, he became deeply interested in painting eight years ago. And in spite of being crippled since he was four years old with a paralysis that confined him to a wheel chair for more than 13 years, he quickly developed a style and painting technique that gave the fields of Grundy county their proper character and feeling and which soon brought him recognition thruout the state.

Even before his paintings began to appear in Iowa art exhibits, museums, people who wanted a truly original picture of Iowa and one typical of their home surroundings would drive over and have a talk with Ed, and soon he would produce a picture exactly to their liking. When his painting "Spring Plowing" won the art contest at the Iowa State Fair this year it confirmed the high regard that his friends had always had for his outstanding work.

The people who knew him best marveled at the intense energy that burned within him. Although he was at his best in expressing himself with paint and easel, he found time to write, repair watches, and to maintain a keen interest in daily affairs, sensing and expressing things that other people simply didn't see.

To all of us J. Ed. Simms was an example of how to carry on when the "chips were down" and his many friends are filled with deep regret to know that he is gone, but the work that he has done will long live after him.

And to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Simms of Conrad, a salute to you for the constant devotion and patience that made it possible for your son to express himself in the manner in which he did.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 26 September 1946, pg 1


J. Ed Simms Passed Away Sunday

J. Ed Simms of Conrad was born Sept. 28th, 1917, and passed away at the Deaconess hospital in Marshalltown at 4 a.m. Sunday, following a week's illness of pneumonia. Crippled since he was four years old by a progressive muscular atrophy commonly called "creeping paralysis," Ed went through 12 years of school and was an excellent student. Soon after his graduation from high school, he became confined to his wheel chair. He then became interested in painting in 1938, following a visit to the art exhibit at the Dairy Cattle Congress at Waterloo. He started painting with a dime brush and a 98 cent box of colors on a piece of wall board. He won the $100 purchase prize awarded by the State University of Iowa at the Centennial State Fair recently with the painting, "Spring Plowing." The landscape, "Iowa Farm Auction," was shown in Denver in 1943, the Six States Show in Joslyn Memorial, Omaha, in 1945 and the State Fair in 1946 and is now the property of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Kuehn of Cedar Falls.

Ed was also interested in repairing clocks as a hobby and later made it a business. He was known in his home town as "Doc Mainspring." Ed was recently elected vice president of the Iowa Association of newspaper columnists, and for years had written a weekly column in his home paper. He was remarkable in many ways, inasmuch as he was able to build an interesting world in which to live, around a wheel chair and would always greet his host of friends with a smile. Ed is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Will Simms of Conrad, and one brother Paul, who lives on the home place north of Beaman.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 26 September 1946, pg 3


Funeral Services J. Ed. Simms Held Tuesday

J. Ed. Simms born Sept. 28, 1917. Died Sept. 22, 1946, at Deaconess hospital. Funeral Tuesday at Presbyterian church in charge of Rev. John Ludemann and Rev. Oliver Stevenson, Cedar Falls. Music by Paul Franzenburg Jr. Sang "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere," accompanied by Mrs. Ben Frederick.

Honorary pallbearers: Robert W. Ralston, Dilman Daggett, Hugh Clarke, Arthur Prescott, Doyle Rhine.

Acting pallbearers: Don Clinite, Don Martin, Ross Hayes, Jack Clapsaddle, E. E. Jebousek, Harold Minnich.

Ushers: Richard Frederick, Charles Neff, A. J. H. Bottles.

Flower bearers: Mrs. Ross Hayes, Mrs. E. E. Jebousek, Mrs. Paul Franzenburg Jr., Mrs. Wilford Dickinson, Mrs. Darrell Reece, Mrs. John Gates, Mrs. C. C. DeReus, Mrs. Lowell McKibben, Miss Dora Hughes.

Burial at Oakland cemetery, Beaman.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 26 September 1946, pg 6


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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