Kenneth Simmons

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Kenneth Simmons
Born Kenneth Hopkins Simmons
February 2, 1904
Died December 27, 1981(1981-12-27) (aged 77)
Pierce County
Resting place Sumner Cemetery, Sumner
Nationality American
Other names Catsup[1]
Occupation Mayor
Known for Milton Mule hoax
Notable work Bonney Lake, Washington
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) 2

Kenneth Hopkins Simmons (1904 - 1981) was a mayor of Milton, Washington. He was also the founder and mayor of Bonney Lake, Washington in 1949. He is most known for his placing a mule, named "Boston Curtis", on the ballot for Republican precinct committeeman for Milton.[2]

Early years[edit]

1938 mule hoax[edit]

In 1938, Simmons entered Curtis into the election for the post of Republican precinct committeeman for Milton. He ran unopposed and was elected on September 13, 1938 by 51 votes, despite having run no election campaign, or offered a platform.[3] Residents were surprised to learn that Curtis was actually a long-eared brown mule.

Simmons stated that he had done this to demonstrate that many people vote without considering who they are actually voting for.[4]

The mule later crossed the floor, joining the Stevens lobby.[5]

Later life[edit]

On Halloween 1939, he hired a group of teenagers as special policemen for the night. Twenty teens from nearby Fife invaded Milton and challenged them to a fight. The Milton teens defended themselves with a fire hose, until one of the others was struck by the nozzle of the hose and had to be driven to a hospital with head injuries. State police eventually arrived to stop the fight.[6][7]

After serving as mayor of Milton, Simmons served in the state legislature for several terms. Later, he and his family moved to Lake Bonney and founded the town of Bonney Lake. He became its first mayor.[8]


  1. ^ Nelson, Leonard. "An Unforgettable Character: Kenneth "Catsup" Simmons". Milton History (PDF). Milton. p. 18. 
  2. ^ "The Milton Mule, 1936". Museum of Hoaxes. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Meet The Winner". Rushville Republican. Rushville, Indiana. 15 Sep 1938. p. 1 – via 
  4. ^ "National Affairs: Boston Curtis". TIME. Sep 26, 1938. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Stinnet, Jack (17 Jul 1940). "In Washington". Fitchburg Sentinel. Fitchburg, Massachusetts. p. 6 – via 
  6. ^ "Halloween prank strategy backfires". The Bismarck Tribune. November 2, 1939. p. 3. Retrieved 6 April 2013. (Subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ "Didn't Work". The Evening Herald. Klamath Falls, Oregon. 1 Nov 1939. p. 6. Retrieved 21 November 2015 – via 
  8. ^ "BONNEY LAKE HISTORY". Retrieved 6 April 2013. 

External links[edit]