In Honour of Edward and Edna Wilma Simons Sharp

Strange to begin this blog on the Ides of March!  But that is the way it happened to work out and perhaps appropriately, for there are many stories about Missoula and her denizens that do truly surprise.  These stories today remain largely obscure, and so we hope this space may provide a more permanent, ongoing record of the fascinating people and tales Missoula history has to offer.  Which brings me to the people we honor today.

Edna Wilma head oval crop

Edna WIlma Simons Sharp

Eddie Sharp head oval crop

Edward Sharp










Edna WIlma, for whom vaudeville entrepreneur husband Billy Simons built the Wilma Theater, and her second husband Edward “Eddie” Sharp, who some may recall as the affable man with a pigeon on his shoulder taking tickets at the WIlma Theater of the Dove, are perhaps two of the most interesting figures of Missoula’s not-so-distant past.  Seldom mentioned in celebrations of Missoula’s history, even bypassed in Missoula’s annual graveyard walk, they seem to have slipped into obscurity.  Such an egregious ellipsis must be rectified, and so we hereby pay tribute to these erstwhile proprietors of Missoula’s premier theater today, with the creation and naming of this website.

We welcome any comments, stories and other submissions relevant to the purposes of this site.

One thought on “In Honour of Edward and Edna Wilma Simons Sharp

  1. I feel a word should be said about the great artists that Eddie Sharp and Bob Sias brought to Missoula to perform at the Wilma in the 1950’s. As a teenager, I had the opportunity to see and hear Mahalia Jackson and Carlos Montoya. They were only two of the famous artists that the Wilma sponsored. As I understand it, these performances lost money for the Wilma but Bob and Eddie felt they were an important contribution to the Missoula community. Perhaps someone can research the other performers in the series as I can only remember the 2 that I was fortunate enough to see there.

    As a side note: if memory serves me correctly, Miss Jackson at first refused to perform when she realized it was in a theater. It was only after she was told that Easter services had been held there in the past and with the support of the local religious community that she consented to the venue.

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