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George Herman Simmons family papers

Identifier: MSS-2220

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence related to the Simmons Family. The bulk of the letters are correspondence written to George Herman Simmons, though some correspondence is written to Warren Simmons, Ruthy Jane Simmons, and Bessie Spaulding. The collection also contains letters written by George Herman, Warren, Ruthy Jane, Usray(?), and Herald Herman Simmons.

The majority of George Herman's incoming correspondence was written by young ladies whom George Herman was apparently courting. Some of these individuals are Nellie Bush from Adamsville, Alabama; Maumee Campbell from Centreville and Blocton, Alabama; "Carene" from McShan, Alabama, Ruby Jenkins from Midland, Georgia; Florence Lowry from Blocton, Alabama; "Maude" from Starkville, Mississippi; Ira Moore from Piedmont and Acmar, Alabama; Lizzie Moss from Cleveland, Alabama; Amy Reach from Roda, Virginia; and Bessie Spaulding from Blocton, Alabama. It should be noted that Bessie Spaulding's letters are highly decorated with pencil illustrations.

Other letters are correspondence with family, including Simmons, Sims, and Brights, and correspondence with friends, such as Charlie Fulton in Starkville, Mississippi.


  • 1915 - 1947
  • Majority of material found within 1918 - 1922







According to the Bibb County Census from 1900, George Herman Simmons was born in December, 1896, to Warren Simmons and Ruthy Jane (Bright) Simmons. Warren Simmons was born in December, 1870, in South Carolina to David Simmons and Frances Lena. Ruthy Jane Bright was born in May, 1871. The census lists two brothers, Tuly S. and Adicus G., born in 1898 and 1900, but grave stones from Bibb County indicate that they died a few years after birth. Letters in the collection indicate he may have had another brother, Usray(?) Simmons, and may have had a half brother, as J.C. Dutton wrote a letter to Ruty Jane Bright addressing her as "mother."

George Herman Simmons had at least one aunt, Amanda (Bright) Sims, and two cousins, Raymond and Pearl Sims. Also present in the collection is a "Cousin Sudie," cousin Ethel Bright, a Millie Bright, and a W.B. Bright, all of whom appear to be related to George Herman.

For the period of time covered by the collection, the family primarily resided in Bankhead, Alabama. George Herman worked in various places around the southeast, and by September, 1924, worked as a coal miner in Shoopman, Kentucky.

George Herman married Bessie Spaulding sometime between 1922 and September, 1924, at which point he addressed her as "wife" in one letter. George Herman Simmons had at least one son, Herald Herman.


0.4 Linear Feet (180 letters, 552 pages)


Correspondence written by and related to the Simmons family, primarily George Herman Simmons.


Gift of the Howard Family (Ron, Elizabeth, Michael, and Michelle), September, 2008


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James Gilbreath, October, 2008
Guide to the George Herman Simmons family papers
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266