- West Branch
- Local History
- Young People's
Accession Number: Sm. D.C. 41A
Donor: Terre Haute First National Bank
Description: Thirty-two pages in a file folder
Denzil Omer “Salty” Seamon was born to Louis and Estel (Finch) Seamon on March 2, 1911 in Gibson County, Indiana.
Seamon's earliest recorded artistic endeavors were pictures drawn at the bottom of letters that his parents sent to an older brother during World War I. He received art honors as a student at Princeton High School. He took home-study courses to improve his skills and dropped out of high school in his junior year to pursue his artistic career.
Seamon's early training included creating posters for a Princeton dry goods store, decorating windows for an Evansville department store, and designing movie posters for Paramount Studios. In 1931, as a 20 year old, he moved to Terre Haute to become art director for the Thomson-Symon Company, an advertising firm.
During World War II, Seamon served in the Special Services Unit in Australia, New Guinea, the Philippine Islands and Japan During that time he was awarded four bronze stars. He used locales in the Pacific for many of his pictures.
Seamon married Marjorie “Polly” Kress of Clay City (Clay County), Indiana on December 29, 1945. He returned to Thomson-Symon after the war but retired in 1954 to pursue a free-lance career full-time at his home in Rosedale (Clay County), Indiana. Among his first assignments was a yearly commission from the Forrest Sherer Insurance Agency to paint watercolors of local landmarks for the Agency's Christmas cards.
Seamon was a member of the Swope Art Museum, the Hoosier Salon and a past president and member of the Brown County Art Gallery Association. He was a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks Lodge 86 and of the Downtown Rotary International Club.
Salty Seamon received numerous honors including the Silver Award from the Terre Haute Advertising Club and the Perry Award for outstanding service to the arts. He was recognized by the Indiana State Legislature for his artworks depicting Indiana both in rural scenes and historical subject matter. In 1979 Rose Hulman Institute of Technology awarded him an honorary doctorate and in 1984, established the Seamon Art Salon on the campus with Seamon's wife Polly as curator. In 1980, Governor Otis Bowen named him a Sagamore of the Wabash.
Salty Seamon died on May 22, 1997 at the age of 86. His cremated remains are interred in Highland Lawn Cemetery.
Content and Scope of Collection
This collection is comprised of a photocopy of Seamon's handwritten 32-page autobiography covering his life from his birth in 1911 to his marriage in late 1945.