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Charles E. Simmons

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Information about Charles E. Simmons

Profile image of Charles E. Simmons

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, Gray, Khaki, Red
Favorite Food:
Beans (Lima), Cornbread, Chicken, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica, Hawaii, Cruises
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/6/1928
Birth Location:
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black, Gray, Khaki, Red
Favorite Food:
Beans (Lima), Cornbread, Chicken, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica, Hawaii, Cruises
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/6/1928
Birth Location:
Hilton Head Island
See how Charles E. Simmons is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Real estate developer Charles Edward Simmons, Jr. was born an only child on December 6, 1928 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina to Estella and Charles Edward Simmons, Sr., Gullah natives of Hilton Head Island. Simmons’ parents owned many acres of farmland, and his father was a shrewd businessman who owned the only ferry transportation service to Savannah, Georgia from Hilton Head Island before the bridge connecting Hilton Head to the mainland was built in 1956. He also operated a bus service that catered to laborers and schoolchildren.

Simmons attended elementary school in the Spanish Wells community but later would be in the last graduating class of the Penn Normal Industrial and Agricultural School on St. Helena Island. This school was begun in 1862 as an experimental program to educate Sea Island slaves freed at the beginning of the Civil War.

After graduation, Simmons was drafted into the United States Army where he served for two years. In 1952, Simmons entered South Carolina State University where he was president of the Commercial Club. He received his B.A. degree in business administration in 1956.

Simmons became the Director of the Beauford-Jasper County Equal Opportunity Commission and was the liaison between the land developers and the residents of St. John’s Island, South Carolina. While the corporation began to develop the upscale town of Kiawah, he worked to ensure employment opportunities for local residents. In 1976, Simmons went to work for Hargray Telephone Company as a technician. He then retired in 1993.

Simmons owned Simmons Properties. He was also on the Trustee Board of the Penn Center, a founding member of the Native Island Business and Community Affairs Association, Inc. (NIBCAA) and was the President of the Spanish Wells and Native Island Property Owners Association.

Simmons lived on Hilton Head Island with Rosa, his wife. They had four adult children, Charlesetta, Palmer, Greg and Benjamin.

Simmons was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 29, 2007.

Simmons passed away on May 26, 2016.

See how Charles E. Simmons is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles E. Simmons' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles E. Simmons lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles E. Simmons describes his maternal grandparents, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles E. Simmons describes his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles E. Simmons describes his mother, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles E. Simmons describes his mother, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles E. Simmons describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles E. Simmons describes Hilton Head Island's Spanish Wells community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles E. Simmons describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles E. Simmons talks about his father's legacy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles E. Simmons recalls his childhood responsibilities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles E. Simmons describes his family's land on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles E. Simmons recalls his elementary school on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles E. Simmons recalls his childhood aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles E. Simmons describes Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles E. Simmons recalls his experiences at Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles E. Simmons remembers 'Randy's Record Shop Show' on WLAC Radio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles E. Simmons recalls the Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles E. Simmons recalls returning to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for holidays
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles E. Simmons recalls the harvest at Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles E. Simmons describes Penn Normal, Industrial and Agricultural School, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Charles E. Simmons remembers his U.S. Army training
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Charles E. Simmons recalls serving in a segregated U.S. Army unit
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles E. Simmons recalls his U.S. Army service in Germany
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles E. Simmons recalls returning to college in South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles E. Simmons recalls graduating from South Carolina State College in Orangeburg
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles E. Simmons talks about Hilton Head Island's segregated schools
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles E. Simmons describes the incorporation of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles E. Simmons describes the new infrastructure on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles E. Simmons recalls the development of Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles E. Simmons recalls experiencing racial discrimination in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles E. Simmons recalls the lack of medical services on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles E. Simmons describes the herbal remedies of Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles E. Simmons recalls local government officials from Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles E. Simmons describes his father's businesses on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles E. Simmons describes the impact of development on Hilton Head Island's residents
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles E. Simmons talks about property taxes on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles E. Simmons shares his perspective on property ownership
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles E. Simmons talks about the beaches on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles E. Simmons describes his marriage to Rosa Simmons
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles E. Simmons recalls his career at Hargray Telephone Company, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles E. Simmons remembers the Beaufort-Jasper Economic Opportunity Commission
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles E. Simmons describes his work for the Sea Pines Company, Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles E. Simmons describes his work for the Sea Pines Company, Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles E. Simmons describes Hilton Head Island's Sea Pines Plantation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles E. Simmons recalls the Native Island Business and Community Affairs Association
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles E. Simmons talks about the Gullah culture
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles E. Simmons describes his community activities on Hilton Head Island
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles E. Simmons describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles E. Simmons reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles E. Simmons describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles E. Simmons shares a message for future generations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charles E. Simmons talks about his children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Charles E. Simmons narrates his photographs