Schule, Frederick
Correspondence of Frederick "Fritz" Schule, of the Universities of Wisconsin and Michigan, American track and field athlete, football player, athletic coach, teacher, bacteriologist, engineer, and 1904 Olympic Gold Medal hurdler, 1891-1927

455 letters, 994 pp., (350 retained mailing envelopes), dated 1891-1927, plus approximately 475 pieces of ephemera. Of the 454 letters, 37 letters are written by Frederick W. Schule as either drafts or copies, the rest of the letters are incoming correspondence to Schule and are written by his family (parents and siblings), friends, fellow college athletes, coaches, or administrators, as well as business correspondents after his athletic career, from people in the mining and education fields, two areas that Schule worked in. The approximately 475 pieces of ephemera include postcards, telegrams, school related material, printed and manuscript ephemera, calling cards, invitations, numerous newspaper clippings of his athletic career, used envelopes, and various printed circulars, brochures, commencement exercises, etc.

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             Frederick William Schule (1879-1962)

              Frederick William "Fritz" Schule was an American track and field athlete, football player, athletic coach, teacher, bacteriologist, and engineer. He competed for the track and field teams at the University of Wisconsin from 1900 to 1901 and at the University of Michigan in 1904. He was also a member of the undefeated 1903 Michigan Wolverines football team that outscored its opponents 565 to 6. In 1904, Schule won the gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri. From 1905 to 1907, he was employed as the director of the gymnasium and coach of the football and basketball teams at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. Schule also worked as a school teacher in Wausau and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and as an assayer and bacteriologist in Utah and Chicago. He later worked as an engineer and superintendent for Westinghouse Lamp Company. In 2008, he was posthumously inducted into the University of Michigan Track and Field Hall of Fame.

            Schule was born in Preston, Iowa on 27 September 1879 the son of Frederick Schule and his wife Sophia.  Schule's parents were immigrants from Germany; his father immigrated from Kamen, Westfalen, Germany. He was born on 28 February 1845. The elder Schule immigrated to the United States about 1865 and was naturalized as an American citizen on 6 November 1882 at Chicago, Illinois.  Schule's father was listed as a physician on the 1880 Census for Fairfield, Jackson County, Iowa, having had attended the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and graduating in 1878. His passport application stated the elder Schule lived for twenty years in Iowa and Illinois. Schule, Jr. had four older sisters, Clara, Augusta, Henrietta, and Sophia. There also appears to have been a brother, Paulie, a year or so apart from Fritz.

             Frederick "Fritz" Schule began his collegiate studies at the University of Wisconsin, where he was a member of the track and field team from 1899 to 1900. It was in 1900 while at U of WI that Schule won the Big Ten Conference championship in the long jump, becoming the first Wisconsin Badgers athlete to win a Big Ten championship in track and field. He repeated as Big Ten champion in the long jump in 1901 with a distance of 22 feet, 4-4/5 inches.

           Schule received a bachelor-of-science degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1901 in bacteriology and chemistry. After receiving his degree, Schule worked as a bacteriologist for the Chicago Sanitary District for five months. He then returned to the University of Wisconsin for post graduate studies, and as a fellow in bacteriology. From 1902 to 1903, he taught physics at a high school in Wausau, Wisconsin. He was the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) champion in 120 yd (110 m) hurdles in 1903.

           In the fall of 1903, Schule enrolled at the University of Michigan where he studied chemistry. He received a master’s degree from Michigan in 1904.

              While attending Michigan, Schule was also a member of the famed 1903 Michigan Wolverines football team coached by Fielding H. Yost. The 1903 football team compiled a record of 11-0-1 and outscored its opponents 565 to 6.

              In February 1904, Schule announced that he would also compete for the 1904 Michigan Wolverines men’s track and field team coached by Keene Fitzpatrick. At the annual Penn Relays held in Philadelphia in April 1904, Schule “left the field behind in the [120-yard] hurdle event, and won in the good time of 15 4/5 seconds.” Schule also set a world record in the 75-yard hurdles while attending Michigan. Schule’s record-setting time was 9-4/5 seconds at an indoor event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 5, 1904.

              In June 1904, the University of Michigan’s Athletic Board of Control ruled that Schule was no longer eligible to compete for the school in intercollegiate athletics, because he had already competed for four years.

              In 2008, Schule was posthumously inducted into the University of Michigan Track & Field Hall of Fame.

              Schule competed for the United States as a hurdler at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis. He won the gold medal in the 110 meter hurdle event with a time of 16.0 seconds, beating fellow American Thaddeus Shideler by two yards. Schule also competed in the 200 meter hurdles event and finished fifth. The 1904 Summer Olympics have been called the “Michigan Olympics” due to the fact that University of Michigan athletes (including Schule, shot putter Ralph Rose, sprinter Archie Hahn, and pole vaulter Charles Dvorak) won ten medals, including six gold medals.

              After competing in the 1904 Olympics, Schule was employed as an assayer and chemist in Utah from 1904 to 1905. In 1905, he was hired as the director of the gymnasium at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. He also served as an instructor and coach at the University. He was the head football coach from 1905 to 1906 and the head basketball coach from 1905 to 1907. In two seasons as the head football coach, Schule compiled a record of 4-7 as his teams were outscored by a combined total of 166 to 150.

              At the time of the 1910 United States Census, Schule was boarding at a house in Washington Township, Buchanan County, Missouri. He listed his occupation as a shoe merchant. He was also identified as a merchant residing in St. Joseph, Missouri in March 1912. Schule later worked as a teacher at West Division High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

              In September 1918, Schule indicated in a draft registration card that he was living in East Orange, New Jersey, with his wife Flora Mae Randolph. Flora was born July 22, 1884, in Nortonville, Kansas. Schule listed his occupation in 1918 as an engineer with the Westinghouse Lamp Company.

              When the 1920 United States Census was taken Schule was still living in East Orange with his wife Flora. They had three sons, Frederick W., Jr., Robert, and Paul. Frederick, Jr. (born 1913) and Robert (born 1915) were born in Wisconsin before the family moved to New Jersey. Their son Paul was born in New Jersey in 1919, thus the family left Wisconsin for New Jersey sometime between 1915 and 1918. Schule listed his occupation in 1920 as an electrical engineer.

             The 1925 New York State Census shows Schule and his family living at DeRuyter, New York, listed as a high school principal. At the time of the 1930 United States Census, Schule was still living in DeRuyter, with his wife Flora and their three sons. At this time, he listed his occupation as a stock speculator.

               According to the 1940 United States Census, Schule was living with his wife Flora in Jersey City, New Jersey. He listed his occupation at that time as a superintendent for a lamp manufacturer and also indicated that he and his wife had resided in Owensboro, Kentucky for a brief time; at least 1933-1935, as he appears in the city directories of Owensboro listed as a superintendent at a lamp manufacturer. In 1942, Schule completed a draft registration card indicating that he was unemployed and living with his wife Flora R. Schule in Jersey City.

             Schule spent much of his retirement years in DeRuyter, New York. He moved to Poughkeepsie, New York in 1960 and died there on 14 September 1962. He was buried at the Hillcrest Cemetery in DeRuyter. Schule’s wife Flora predeceased him, dying on 3 June 1958. The couple was buried together with their son Robert Schule (1915-1933) in a family plot. Robert died of chronic Pulmonary Tuberculosis on 26 August 1933 at the Hazelwood Sanitarium at Owensboro, Kentucky. He was only 18 years old.

              Description of Collection:

Of the 454 letters, 37 letters are written by Frederick W. Schule as either drafts or retained copies, the rest of the letters are incoming correspondence to Schule and are written by his family (parents and siblings), friends, fellow college athletes/competitors, or coaches, as well as business related correspondence after his athletic career from people in the mining and education fields, two areas that Schule worked in. Some of the correspondents are:          

Charles A. Baird (1870-1944) was an American football manager, university athletic director, and banker. He was the manager of the University of Michigan football team from 1893 to 1895 and the school’s first athletic director from 1898 to 1909. During his time as Michigan’s athletic director, he was responsible for the hiring of Coach Fielding H. Yost and the construction of Ferry Field, the largest college athletic grounds in the United States at that time. Michigan teams excelled in all fields of athletics during Baird’s tenure at Michigan, including football and track. Michigan’s track teams won six Western Conference team championships and 16 Olympic medals (including 7 gold medals) during Baird’s eleven years as athletic director. There are several of Baird’s letters in the collection written to Schule.

              G.D. Jones, an attorney and the president of the Board of Education at Wausau, Wisconsin.

Edwin Oakes Jordan (1866-1936), a prominent American bacteriologist and public health scientist at the University of Chicago. Schule worked for Prof. Jordan in 1901. He writes Schule about the work he was doing for him.

C.H. Kilpatrick, graduate manager, University of Wisconsin Athletic Association. He writes a number of letters to Schule, usually they are sports oriented.

Walter H. Liginger, president of the Milwaukee Athletic Club, president of the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States, and honcho at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis.  He became president of the National Boxing Association. Under Liginger, Wisconsin became the model for other states setting up their own boxing commissions, and the world’s top fighters came here to exhibit their skills and fatten their wallets. He writes a number of letters to Schule, mostly sports related.

C.C. Parlin, chairman, Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and principal of the Wausau, Wisconsin high school. He writes several letters to Schule. Schule worked for him in Wausau.

Frank Riblett (1854 - ) Veteran of the Spanish War, he served in the state legislature in Idaho and as head of the Republican Party in Cassia County, Idaho. He had mining interests in the West and appears to have brought Schule into these ventures as several letters attest to this.

A. A. Stagg (1863-1965). Considered one of the great innovators in the development of college football, Amos Alonzo Stagg served as head football coach at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1932. During his tenure, Stagg compiled a record of 242-112-27 and led the Maroons to seven Big Ten Conference championships (1899, 1905, 1907, 1908, 1913, 1922, and 1924). Under Stagg’s guidance, U of Chicago emerged as one of the nation’s most formidable football powers during the first quarter of the 20th century.

John Frederick “Jack” Tobin (1880-1954) was an American college football player and coach. Tobin attended the University of Chicago, where he played college football under head coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. He was a “star guard” for the Maroons during the 1904 season. In 1905, he served as head coach at Tulane University alongside assistant Harry Ludlow for the 1905 season. In December 1905, he accepted the position of athletic director at Tulane. Tobin graduated from Chicago in June 1906, and passed the Illinois bar examination. He later worked as a judge in Utah. There are a number of letters from Tobin who was acting as Schule’s attorney on some matters.

Bernhard Ulrich was a well-known opera and theatre manager in Baltimore, Chicago, and Philadelphia, which he gave up interest in to pursue oil and mineral lands in the West. Ulrich writes Schule several letters. They appear to have been friends from earlier in life, before Ulrich went into mining

Alfred H. White, professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan from 1897-1943. He writes a number of letters to Schule concerning Schule’s work in mining assaying, where Schule secures various ores for the University for White’s use in classes.

           Ephemera includes:

57 pp (typed and manuscript) of school related material, either classes he took as a student, or taught as teacher; 63 pieces of printed and manuscript ephemera related to Schule’s schooling (report cards, school commencements, events, etc); 33 cards (invitations, calling cards, etc); 49 telegrams; 23 postcards; 105 newspaper clippings, many related to Schule’s athletic career; 47 pieces of printed material; 31 issues of newspapers, or sports sections, of various newspapers (Ann Arbor, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, University of Wisconsin, etc), with most featuring Schule athletic accomplishments; 78 pieces of various printed or mss items (circulars, receipts, cancelled checks, memorandum notes, etc); 38 used envelopes; and 12 printed pamphlets, brochures, etc.

          Sample Quotes:

“Chicago Jan 22, 1901

Dear Fritz,

        I was glad to hear of the fine showing you made in the indoor meet, especially of your breaking the record in the high jump. It seems that you can do well whatever you take up – that is in athletics.  This year you will undoubtedly break all your former records. Good high jumping means good broad jumping. Your record in the high jump is the best so far this year. Powers of Notre Dame did 5-9. But the season is very young. Wasn’t Kilpatrick rather surprised at your jumping? And Hughes also? I’ll bet that you could make McGowan wonder why they elected him (McGowan) captain. It is too bad that there is a limit to endurance; otherwise you would have 8 or 9 first places cinched at the Intercollegiate.

The Chicago papers are continually talking about the Maloneys both F & W. Those initials mean that F.W. S. will skin them both. I’ll close this paragraph with the same old warning – Beware of overworking yourself. Better be undertrained than overtrained.

Kilpatrick did not call as you probably already know. Of course, I was very sorry, but I hardly expected he would call. Why should he wish to see me? The paper told how he visited Stagg and the Chicago Gymnasium, how he put on an athletic suit and tried the track and how he ran in fine form...Paulie”

“Chicago, Ill, March 4, 1901

Dear Fritz,

       We have read about the meet at Milwaukee. I have sent you the clippings from every Sunday news paper in Chicago and now I will send you clippings from the Monday “Record.” I think that you have done very well. You did more than I expected in the high hurdles, but I was somewhat disappointed with your showing in the low hurdles. Remember that you were running against two men who got 2nd & 3rd places in the Paris games. But, above all, allowance must be made for your running indoors on a board floor.

That Maloney and McLean were not afraid is shown by the way they crashed through their hurdles. For that reason their records will not be allowed. You have only met Maloney once on anywhere near equal terms and then you beat him. This summer or rather spring you will do it again. From what the papers say I should judge that you lost the race before the first hurdle was reached.

Where was Hughes with his “six feet” and also where was Myer and Bishop and Mucklestone in the high jump and pole vault. Let me tell you there wasn’t a man on the train that had to run up against the men you did, men who made a world’s record at that....

Your two dead heats with Bockman must have been interesting. Who took the medal? I wish you would write some and tell us all about yourself at the meet...Paulie”

“Amateur Athletic Union of the United States [A.A.U.]

Milwaukee, April 24t, 1904

Mr. Fred Schule, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Dear Schule: -

I was down to Chicago yesterday to take in the boxing bouts at the Chicago Athletic Association when I heard of your grand victory at Philadelphia, which pleased me very much, and beg to congratulate you most heartily.

If I had known your Philadelphia address I would have wired you congratulations.

Are you going to represent Michigan at the Conference games, if so, I presume it will be impossible for you to go to Saint Louis for the A.A.U. National Championships, which will be held on the same day as the Conference games.

Of course, it is going to cripple the M.A.C. team by having the Conference games come on June 4th, but I presume we will be obliged to do the best we can under the circumstances, and make up for lost ground at the Olympian Games, when we expect to have our full team on for the games. By that time you will be all done at the University, and there will not be anything more from preventing you from representing the M.A.C., in fact, would not be eligible to represent Michigan under the A.A.U. rules.

Have you been able to do anything with Rose?

I had a talk with Mr. Brown of the C.A.A. at dinner last night, and he said that Kellogg was trying to get him for the C.A.A.

I also understand, that in the future, Michigan is going to be even more strict in relation to not having any of its undergraduates represent athletic organizations outside of their college years.

Inasmuch, that I may not see you until after the Conference games, as I will be in Saint Louis to Referee the A.A.U. Championships on that day, I wish you would let me know where you expect to do your training for the Olympian games, so that I can manage to see you as soon as I return from St. Louis, which will be about June 7th or 8th.

Hoping to hear from you soon, and again congratulations upon your recent success, I am, as ever,

Yours sincerely,

Walter H. Liginger [President A.A.U.]

P.S. I have got your record cup and it is now being engraved and as soon as finished will send you same.”

“University of Wisconsin, Athletic Association, Madison, Wis., May 5, 1904

Mr. F.W. Schule, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Dear Sir:-

Your letter received. I would have been surprised beyond expression at receiving it had I not already seen epistles from you to others on the same subject. Your letter to me appears slanderous and were it not for the belief that I have in thinking you were hot headed & angry at the time you wrote it, I would not consider answering it.

I am not going to attempt to defend Wisconsin for her spitefulness against you as you term it, but I am going to defend myself against you accusations. You accuse me of being a false friend. Schule, this is one of the unkindest remarks I have ever had spoken to me & one which I will not accept until proven.

As to my working hard trying to induce you to return to Madison last fall, I will admit it to be true. I can truthfully say that I did not know their then that you were ineligible for competition another year. Had I known it I should never have tried to persuade you to return for that purpose. To turn to the question under discussion, do you not think it would have been wiser & better policy for you to have waited until Wisconsin had protested you before writing as you have, and turning to the honest side of the question. If you have competed four years for Wisconsin is there any reason why Wisconsin should not protest you, when according to the Intercollegiate rules you are ineligible. I am quite sure that if Wisconsin had a good man who had competed four years at Mich, that they (Mich) would lose but little time in protesting him. Am I not right?

I only regret that we are not within talking distance, it would not take me long to make you retract some of your statements & to prove to you that you are wrong in your accusations. I could also tell you a few things on this same subject that would surprise you. I am going to be in Chicago May 14th with my track team & if you care to meet me at that time, I shall be pleased to put you right on some matters which I am sure you are wrong. In reference to the threats you have made against me, I want to say that if you think you will profit any by sharing my correspondence, why show it, as I am not afraid of any thing that can come of it. If you were to do such a thing I am of the opinion that I could make you feel embarrassed that you would be ashamed ever to meet a Wisconsin man or even walk the streets of Ann Arbor. I do not make this as a threat however, but if a man who has always pretended to have been my friend would stoop so low & be so mean as to do such a thing, it seems to me that we could hardly keep from going the hunt & one more with him.

In conclusion Schule let me say that I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you May 14th as a friend & to prove to you that I have been a true one & not a false one as you have accused me.

Very sincerely yours,

C.H. Kilpatrick” [Graduate Manager]

“Michigan Athletic Association, Ann Arbor, May 13, 1904

My Dear Mrs. Schule:

Please pardon my delay in answering your letter of May 9th. Recently the question of Fred’s eligibility was raised and only last evening was the matter decided. Very much to the regret of all of us we learn that Fred cannot compete any more in intercollegiate athletics. Through a misunderstanding our Board allowed him to compete for us on March 26th and April 23rd although it was against the rules. However, no one is to blame for the mistake.

There is a rule which provides that no athlete shall compete more than four years. Fred competed at Milwaukee in 1899, at Chicago in 1900 and 1901. He also competed in a duel meet for Wisconsin against Chicago in an indoor meet in 1902. Fred thought indoor meets did not count, so when he came to Michigan told us that he had competed but three years. Of course he did not intend to mislead us but the mistake has been unfortunate for him and us. The authorities at Wisconsin and Chicago Universities recently called our attention to the facts and of course our Board had to decide according to the rules that he was ineligible, much to the regret of all of us. We have always found Fred a modest, conscientious and gentlemanly student and are very sorry on his account as well as our own that he can not compete. I take great personal interest in Fred and am particularly sorry about this. I promised Dr. Schule to do what I could for Fred and I assure you that I will keep my promise. Fred has made a good record here as a man and student.

Although he cannot compete yet if you desire to see our meet with Chicago Univ. of May 21st I will write Mr. Stagg to send me some tickets for you. I have not spoken to Fred about your letter. With kindest regards to Dr. Schule, I remain, yours truly, Charles Baird” [Graduate Director]

“Central Association of the Amateur , Athletic Union of the United States, Milwaukee, July 26th, 1904

Mr. Fred W. Schule, Chicago, Ill.

Dear Schule:

Yours of the 25th inst to hand. I just returned from a trip up North. Stopped at Minneapolis and St. Paul on my way back and met Bockman. He is getting in fine shape at his father’s summer home, and expects to come to Milwaukee August first, to finish his training here. Bockman intends to enter the following events: 60 metre – 200 metre – 400 metre hurdles – 110 metre hurdle and 200 metre hurdle. Inasmuch, that the events are to be held on different days, it will give him a chance to participate in quite a few events.

I note what you say about how much you would like to finish up your honorable athletic career at the great Olympic Games, and I fully agree with you in that direction, in fact, I believe you owe it to yourself and your many warm friends, that you should be one of the principal figures at the games. I feel certain that you could at least land one world’s Championship, and you should certainly not let the chance go by. I thoroughly agree with your father in regard to NOT having you go West, especially at this time. Can’t you manage to fix up some deal whereby you could take up the position you mention after the games, if you feel that you would like to go out West. Perhaps something may turn up by that time so that you may not care to go.

Enclosed please find entry blank, which look over, and if you see anything on the bill fare you like, mark it, and get the Olympic habit over. You will note by the entry blank, there is a valuable solid silver cup going to be awarded to the winner of the 110 metre hurdle in addition to the Gold Olympian medal. This cup should go to “Schule” What you say?

In case you can arrange matters to go, the same conditions in relation to training at Milwaukee as the last time will be in order. Hahn and Bockman are going to start to train here Aug. 1st you had better come to....Hoping to hear from you soon...Liginger” [President]

“Acme, Arizona, 4-25-05

Mr. F.W. Schule

Friend Fred:

I will you a line to let you know that I am still in the land of the living. Did not go to gold field country prospecting as I was contemplating when at the con – Jefferson. I went through Nevada over the New Clark Road and from what I could see and learn of that country I would not go prospecting there at this season of the year. Just think 120˚in the shade very little shade and watering places from 10 to 40 miles apart. You can imagine about what the water would be after if had been carried in kegs and canteens for fifteen or twenty miles and no ice in sight.

I am at present employed at the Gold Road Mine located in the Colorado River range of mountains Mohave County, Arizona. Pay days here come regular so I understand. The mine produces on an average one hundred and twenty tons of ore per day. Free milling proposition. The company have their own mill they use the Huntingdon roller process for plying ores, amalgamating plates for heavy gold, and cyanide process for tailings, all machinery except one air compressor is drive by gasoline engines, they employ fifteen engines all told, which as I understand are equal to about four hundred and fifty horse power. The largest engine of the lot is used at the mine for driving the hoist, being a fifty four H.P engine, equal to an insurmountable amount of cat power.

How do you like Butte would you like to dislocate there for life. Nothing but good wages keeps me here. Have been fortunate enough to meet three or four old acquaintances that is quite an unexpected treat for me especially in this place.

Well, hoping these few lines may find you enjoying good health and having a good time and soon to be a married man. I remain yours truly, W. E. Thatch, Acme, Arizona”