WILLIAM HENRY SCHMAL
Among the self-made men of Tuolumne County, California, no one more richly deserves the success that he has achieved than William Henry Schmal, foreman of the App mine at Quartz. Mr. Schmal was born at Buffalo, New York, and is descended from German ancestry and his father was born there also. His grandfather was a native of Germany and was an early settler at Buffalo. Mr. Schmal’s father, who was a painter, wagon-maker and blacksmith, was reared, educated and married in his native city. In 1877, when the subject of this sketch, who was born October 31, 1871, was about six years old, he came with his wife and child to Reno, where he established a shop and acquired some property. From Reno he removed to Bodie, Mono County, where he remained one year. Then he removed to Columbia, Tuolumne County, and worked there and at Jamestown for some years and died in Fresno County at the age of fifty-four years. He was a hard-working, honorable man, who battled bravely against reverses. He left a widow and four children, of whom three are now living. His daughter, Christina, is the wife of J. S. Higgins, of Fresno. His son Charles Frederick Peter is a well known mining man at Bodie. His widow lives at Georgetown, Nevada.
William Henry Schmal attended public schools in Tuolumne County in his childhood and began to earn his own living when he was ten years old. He spent a year in Stanislaus County, herding cattle at ten dollars a month, and after that lived for four years with John Pereira at Jamestown and worked in his store for board, clothing and schooling, and later he was employed in a similar way by Mr. Leland. Subsequently he drove a team for a time and then worked at the Buchanan mine, running the steam pumps and the underground hoist for three years.
Mr. Schmal next turned his attention to mining on his own account. After operating for several years at Jamestown, he spent a year in Sierra County and then, after mining at Jamestown, Rawhide and Tulltetown, went to Nevada City, where he was employed ten months in the Providence mine at mining and timbering. Later he mined on his own account at Mormon Creek, where he worked a gravel claim with gratifying success. He then worked for some time at the White Cliff mine and in 1895 came to the App mine, where he was employed ten months as a miner. On the expiration of that period he was employed for a time at the Rawhide mine and had charge of a mining property at Acton, Los Angeles County, until he returned to the App mine to accept his present position as foreman. This is a large mine and one of the oldest quartz mines in the state, and Mr. Schmal has supervision of everything connected with it, and fills his responsible position with great energy and fidelity. Mining has been his life-work, and operations, as he directs them, are based upon practical experience rather than theory. With a considerable force of men under his direction he is making an extensive addition to the capacity of the mine. Combining great force of character with a cheerful and obliging disposition he is peculiarly qualified to fill the important place to which he has been called.
Politically Mr. Schmal is a Republican, but he is too busy to give much attention to the work of practical politics, though his enterprise, public-spirit and good judgments make his advice desirable to the leaders of his party. He was married in March, 1894, to Miss Elsie Kahl, who was born in Tuolumne County, a daughter of William Kahl, a native Californian, and they have a daughter named Frances Ruth. His home is well appointed and hospitable and he and Mrs. Schmal are highly esteemed by a large circle of acquaintances.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2011 Gerald Iaquinta.