AVE SIMMONS, proprietor of the Art Paint Works of Rosedale, has devoted his whole life to art. He does everything in the way of pictorial painting, lettering and scroll work for autos, coaches, carriages, signs, etc., and he counts among his customers the most important corporations and the most exclusive of individuals in Rosedale and the two cities, Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. He is a master in the profession which he follows.
Mr. Simmons is a native of Christian county, Kentucky, where his birth occurred in the month of November, 1858. He is the son of Elijah and Margaret (Mitchell) Simmons, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Kentucky. Mr. Simmons, Sr., passed his boyhood and youth in his native state and as a young man migrated to Kentucky, where he married and lived for several years. In 1868 he, with his family, removed to Cass county, Missouri, where he and his wife both died and are buried in the cemetery at Pleasant Hill.
When he had reached his ninth birthday, Ave Simmons went with his parents to Cass county, Missouri, where he was educated in the public schools and was apprenticed in a carriage factory. The branch of the work which pleased him most was the painting department, where he showed such marked abilities that it was deemed advisable to specialize in that line. To that end he went to Boston, Massachusetts, and studied art under Mrs. Kester, one of the noted artists and teachers in Boston at that time. After two years of close application to the details of the profession he went to Mount Vernon, Illinois, as coach painter in the shops of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, and to him was entrusted all the fine finishing, such as the headings and decorating of the coaches. After six months in the employ of this corporate concern he moved to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and for about nine months he engaged in business for himself, making a specialty of sign painting. Then for one season, he was engaged by Flesh & Mook of St. Louis to paint signs. In 1882 he came to Kansas City, where he worked for Mr. Grimes at the foot of Main street and later at Fourteenth and Grand avenue, Conway, four years in all. At the expiration of that period he spent a like term with H. A. Cain at Twenty-third and Grand streets and following that connection he established a business of his own, where he executed orders for carriage and wagon lettering and sign painting. After a short time he sold out the business and engaged with Swift & Company; indeed he has several times done work for this concern. After concluding the work which Swift & Company required he worked for Joe Biechley at Third and Kansas avenue, with whom he remained about two years, when he again opened a place of his own situated at 108 E. Twentieth street and since that time has continued to take independent orders. In 1903 he came Rosedale, on account of the floods at Armourdale, and his present location is at 103 Southwest boulevard.
In 1984 Mr. Simmons married Miss Mary Thompson, daughter of Marvin Thompson of Jacksonville, Illinois, who was married in Olathe, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons' only son, Marvin, is a baker. Mr. Simmons is a prominent lodge man, having become affiliated with the Masonic order in Rosedale in which he has taken various degrees. He has also been a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the tribe of Red Men. For a period of eighteen years he held membership with the American Painters' Union Workers, during which time he held various offices. His fellow citizens regard him as a successful business man and a master of his profession.
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