Hart Merriam “Lone Wolf” Schultz, the son produced by James Willard Schultz and his first wife Natahki, a Blackfoot maiden, was born in 1882 and grew up on the Blackfoot Reservation in Montana, gaining cowboy skills on his mother’s ranch.
He left for his health after the death of his mother in 1903 and found his way to the Grand Canyon in 1906, where he worked as a cowboy, wrangler, and guide and painted 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 in shows in New York and other cities around the country. Customers for his paintings included the Santa Fe Railroad, Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and the rich and famous of England and France, among others. Many of his paintings and bronzes are in museum collections today.
Sometime during the early 1900s, Lone Wolf and his father were re-united 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 Naoma Tracy ( a marriage that lasted 54 years).
By 1920, the father had built a small guest cottage (since removed) for Lone Wolf and his wife on the Butterfly Lodge’s property. A few years later, he gave the lodge to Lone Wolf and Naoma. Over the mantle of the main cabin they hung Lone Wolf’s painting of the Grand Canyon, which he had painted for her as a wedding present. They also decorated the cabin’s large fireplace with figures of bison that he had sculpted. He considered himself an Indian, so on the walls they displayed tomahawks, buffalo robes, Indian rugs, beaded outfits of buckskin, war bonnets, and his grandfather’s suit decorated with strips of hair that Lone Wolf said were scalps that had been 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 its 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 Blackfoot uncle, Last Rider.
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