Hart Merriam “Lone Wolf” Schultz, the son of James Willard Schultz and his first wife Natahki, a Piegan maiden, was born in 1882 and grew up on the Blackfoot Reservation in Montana, gaining cowboy skills on his mother’s ranch. After the death of his mother in 1902, he left for his health and found his way to the Grand Canyon in 1906. He worked there as a cowboy, wrangler, and guide, painting as he went along. (He was known to brag, with some reason, that he could ride anything with four legs and draw it as well.)
In later years, Lone Wolf attended the Art Students League School in Los Angeles and the Chicago Art Institute. A prolific painter of Indian and western scenes, he left his distinctive wolf-head signature on some 500 paintings. His first one-man show in Los Angeles was in 1917, and he later enjoyed great success with shows in New York and other cities around the country. Customers for his paintings included the Santa Fe Railroad, Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, along with the rich and famous of England and France. Many of his paintings and bronzes are in museum collections today.
Sometime during the early 1900s, Lone Wolf and his father were reunited in Los Angeles, and James Willard Schultz was pleased to learn of his son’s progress with his painting. In the summer of 1914, they hunted together in Arizona, using Butterfly Lodge as their “base camp”. In 1916, Lone Wolf married Naomi Tracy (a marriage that lasted 54 years). By 1920, the father had built a small guest cottage (since removed) for Lone Wolf and Naomi on the Butterfly Lodge’s property. A few years later, he gave the whole lodge to them. Over the mantle of the main cabin, they hung Lone Wolf’s painting of the Grand Canyon, which he had painted for Naomi as a wedding present. They also decorated the cabin’s large fireplace with figures of bison that Lone Wolf had sculpted.
He considered himself an Indian, so on the walls they displayed tomahawks, buffalo robes, Indian rugs, beaded outfits of buckskin, and war bonnets, along with his grandfather’s suit decorated with strips of hair that Lone Wolf said were scalps taken by his relatives in Montana. Butterfly Lodge became his winter/spring studio, and was often visited by friends, the famous, and the curious. In the summer, the couple traveled to St. Mary’s Lake at Glacier Park, where his studio was in a tipi. They also spent many winters in Tucson, where he would dress as a Blackfoot and ride horseback in the annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros rodeo parades.
The Mormon community in the eastern Arizona town of Eagar was very proud of the large five-foot by eight-foot painting depicting Jacob Hamblin as missionary among the Navajos that Lone Wolf donated to their stake. It still is displayed at the LDS church in Eagar. Hart Merriam “Lone Wolf” Schultz was almost 88 when he died on February 9, 1970, in Tucson. His ashes were buried in Montana in the grave of his uncle, Last Rider.
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