Henry Schnautz

All photos by Henry Schnautz, Rights Reserved, Copyright 2008-2022 by Henry Schnautz and Terry Priest. All photos available for use under Creative Commons Commercial license CC By-SA 2.0. This means you can use for a book or an article. Please use the CC credit line and "Photo by Henry Schnautz". I would also appreciate an email with a brief description of your project simply for my education.
Henry Schnautz Photo Archive on Flickr

Henry Harold Schnautz, Sept 24, 1910 - Jan 1, 2010, was born in Waco, Texas. His family had roots in Evansville, Indiana and moved back to rural Westside Evansville in 1920 where they operated a farm. Henry graduated from Central High School and attended the University of Evansville. He was an elementary teacher in a one-room schoolhouse for 3 years.

In the 1930's Hank worked construction in Evansville, and became involved with labor unions. Always an idealist, he became a charter member of the Socialist Workers Party in 1937. He was a bodyguard for Leon Trotsky when he was assassinated in Mexico in 1940. He stayed in Mexico as bodyguard and aide for Trotsky's widow until 1943, when he entered the U.S. Army and was sent to Europe.

After touring Europe with Patton's 3rd Army, he was stationed in Nuremberg after the war. Discharged in 1946, Hank moved to New York, where he worked as a dockworker, and was a photographer and artist. In the 50's, Henry became involved with charity work for the Apache Indians and he became friends with historian Eve Ball. From New York he sent many truckloads of donated clothes to the Apache reservation. A practicing portrait artist, Henry donated many of his paintings of Apache chiefs when he visited the reservation. They are still on display today at the St. Joseph Apache Mission in Mescalero, New Mexico.

In the 1960's Henry moved home to the family farm with his mother. There he indulged his passion for history and researched the migration of ancient people, among many other subjects. Those who visited him at his home will not likely forget his ability to speak with humor and enthusiasm on nearly any period of history. Henry shared what he had with charities as diverse as his own interests.

Henry Schnautz about 1958
Henry - about 1958
Henry taught school for 3 years. Some children came to school hungry. He said it affected his political thinking.
Oscar Ameringer, top center with pipe, American socialist, editor/publisher The American Guardian (boasting a circulation of over 40,000 in the last half of the 1930's), humorist, autobiography - "It's a good life, if you don't weaken". This photo noted on back, Price Falls, Okla, 1934. Henry was an agent for Ameringer's paper.
Henry Schnautz, bottom row, second from left.
On the back of the Ameringer group photo
Henry 1934 on his trip to Price Falls, Oklahoma
Henry standing outside his family home in Indiana. He hitchiked to Laredo, Texas, then took a bus to Mexico City in June 1940.
Henry photo 1940 or 41 taken by Franz Pfemfert in Mexico City.
Henry 1945 or 46 probably in Germany.
Henry May 1946 with Grandizo Muniz and Natalia Trotsky at the Trotsky compound in Mexico City.
Henry 1946 or 47 was a longshoreman on the New York dock.
Henry probably 1947 at his family home in Indiana.
John and Martha Schnautz and their family at home, about 1947. From left, John, Martha, the kids by age, Alvin, John, Henry, Marie, Walter, Ed. Caroline was missing. She would be between Henry and Marie.
Henry 1948 or 49. With his GI Bill benefit Henry enrolled in a photography class in New York. This was a portraiture assignment.
Henry about 1952. With the remainder of his GI Bill benefit Henry enrolled at Art Students League of New York.
Henry self-portrait, sometime in the 1950s.
Henry bred peacocks. My photo, 1979, on his farm in Southern Indiana.
Henry about 2000, 90 years old, in the kitchen where he entertained and fed so many people.
Henry was very proud of this picture, his ancestor's home, the old Norse longhouse design, the people in one end, the animals in the other. House and barn all in one. Put all your eggs in one basket, he said, then watch that damn basket. This one has a chimney, the traditional ones just lose smoke through the upper holes. Each end has one intact and one broken dragon's (or horse) head.
Henry's parents, John and Martha Schnautz, wedding picture (1905?)
John and Martha Schnautz on left, with boys John and Alvin, Henry in mother's arms. John's brother and wife on right. Arkansas, 1910.
Klusmeier General Store in Mackey, Indiana, 1898, Martha's parents on left, brother between them.
On the back of the Klusmeier photo
Martha Schnautz, Henry's mom, about 1975, on the family farm in Southern Indiana, which they kept for nearly 100 years