was born 19th May 1893 in Almeda, California, USA,
the son of Edward Alexander Von Schmidt and Isabella (nee Hill), a
former dancer and ballet star. His mother was his fatherís second wife and had
previously been his parents adopted daughter. They had 4 sons and 1 daughter
was the Californian Surveyor, Colonel Alexis
Waldemar Von Schmidt who was born in Riga, Latvia. He is most famous for marking
out the California/Nevada State Line.
Above his grandfather Alexis Waldemar
Above the Von Schmidt Monument at the intersection of the states of
California, Nevada and Oregon
orphaned at the age of five when his father killed his mother and then committed
suicide on 9th April 1899 in Almeda. This followed a messy divorce
case. All five of the Von Schmidt children witnessed the killing.
After a year in
an orphanage, he went to
live with his grandfather, Alexis, who had been a forty-niner. As a youth von Schmidt worked as a cowhand and a construction worker. His fascination with the west and cowboys became
a predominant theme in his paintings and drawings later in life.
educated at California
School of Arts and Crafts. In 1924 he moved to New York City
and entered the Grand
Central School of Art.
He was in the 1920 USA Olympic rugby squad but didnít play in the final
Above the 1920 US Olympic Team
(L-R) Back Row: Wallace, Patrick, OíNeil, Fish, J Muldoon, Fitzpatrick,
Slater, Righter. Middle Row: Meehan,
Hazeltine, Maloney (trainer), Tilden (c), Carroll (pl/coach), W Muldoon, von
Schmidt, Scholz. Front Row: Wrenn, Doe, Hunter, Davis, Winston. Missing:
He played rugby once for the USA in the 10th October 1920
match against France.
the USA side that played a French XV on 10th October 1920. The
correct players are Back Row (L-R): Templeton, Muldoon, Wrenn, Winston,
Kirksey, Scholz, Davis, Carroll,
Righter, Fish, Patrick, Tilden (captain),
Hazeltine, C.Slater, Fitzpatrick, Wallace.
Front Row: Doe, Hunter, Von
Schmidt, Mehan, OíNeil. (players
names in bold played in match). Vidal missing.
Harold in 1920
a self-portrait of Harold from 1921
was hoping to be in the 1924 US Olympic rugby squad but was side-lined with an
He became famous as a magazine
illustrator and painter.
the end of 1944, von Schmidt became a war correspondent for the United States
Air Force. He flew on bombing runs in B-24's and B-25's and went on to see the
first days of occupation in Japan.
Above Harold in another cowboy pose
Above Harold in 1954 as a founding member of the Famous Artists School
Above the 1960 USA stamp designed by Harold
Harold's son Eric Von Schmidt
was a well-known singer-songwriter associated with Bob Dylan.
Above the album cover of his sonís 1963, and third
Harold died on 3rd June
1982 Westport, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA