George O. Simmons, cane carver

Carves Cane With Wild West Theme

George Simmons, Battle Creek, Spent 3 Months Finishing Work

Battle Creek, Neb., May 15—Special to The News:  George O. Simmons, Battle Creek whose hobby is carving canes, has completed one on which are some of the notorious and noted frontier day characters.

The cane was carved from a young diamond willow tree found on the Sam Kent farm near the Elkhorn river east of town.  The head of the cane is that of Wild Bill Hickok and immediately below is the the inscription, Wild Bill Hickok, Born in Tro_ Grove, Ill., 1837.  Murdered in Deadwood Gulch, S. D., Aug. 2, 1876, during the Gold Rush.  The winner of 32 Pistol Duels.  Below that are five cards known as “Dead Man’s Hand” and represents the hand held by Hickok at the time of his murder.  Next is the head of Calamity Jane Canary Burke, frontier character and a personal friend of Hickok.

Following in order are Sitting Bull’s head, a buffalo head and the Golden Spike with the inscription, “U. P. R. R. completed May 10, 1869.”  There are also carvings of two rifles and a pistol of the type used in those days and a tomahawk and Indian club.

Mr. Simmons worked for three months, carving the cane which is finished in natural wood color.  The characters and other designs are hand colored, the work being done by Miss Emma Taylor of Battle Creek.

Mr. Simmons is the son of the late Ralph E. and Mary Simmons, pioneer settlers in Madison county.  He was born and reared at Battle Creek where he has spent practically all his life except for a few years spent on the Simmons ranch in Holt county, and in 1917 he took up a homestead in Cherry county where he lived for a time.

He has always had a yen for wild west shows and trooped with Gollmar Brothers Circus and Rodeos as a trick roper.  He is returning to the show business, having organized the Simmons clown troupe whose musical comedy act he will book for celebrations and fairs.  Source:  The Norfolk Daily News, Wednesday May 15, 1940, page 8.