Henry Schnautz

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 - about 1958

Henry taught school for 3 years. Some children came to school hungry, he said years later, and it affected him.

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.

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.

Above - Henry's parents, John and Martha Schnautz, wedding picture (1905?)

Above - 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.

Below - Klusmeier General Store in Mackey, Indiana, 1898, Martha's parents on left, brother between them.