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SCHMITZ, JOSEPH WILLIAM (1905–1966). Joseph William Schmitz, historian and author, son of John B. and Mary (Kayser) Schmitz, was born on February 12, 1905, in Stacyville, Iowa. He attended a parochial school taught by Brothers of the Society of Mary in Dyersville, Iowa, entered the Marianist novitiate at Maryhurst (near Kirkwood, Missouri), and professed his first vows in the order on August 15, 1922. He began his teaching career in the high school department of the Marian Chaminade College in Clayton, Missouri, in 1924. Four years later he was transferred to the high school department of St. Mary's University in San Antonio, where he also completed work on his B.A. in English in 1931. During several leaves of absence for graduate study, he obtained an M.A. in history at Loyola University, Chicago, in 1934 and a Ph.D. from that institution in 1939. From that time on he was a permanent member of the history staff at St. Mary's, serving for many years as chairman of that department. He became vice president and dean of the faculty there in 1961. His books include Thus They Lived: Daily Life in the Republic of Texas (1936), reprinted as Texas Culture 1836–1846 (1960); Texas Statecraft, 1836–1845 (1941); and The Society of Mary in Texas (1951). He also wrote a number of articles and reviews for scholarly publication. A member of many professional organizations, Schmitz was the first president and cofounder of the San Antonio Historical Association. He was a long-time member of the executive council of the Texas State Historical Association, to which he was elected a fellow. He was vice president and due to succeed to the presidency of that organization the year of his death. He died on February 16, 1966, and was buried at St. Mary's University Cemetery.


Félix D. Almaráz, "Joseph William Schmitz, S.M.," Texana 4 (Summer 1966). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who Was Who in America, 1964–1965.

Seymour V. Connor


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Seymour V. Connor, "SCHMITZ, JOSEPH WILLIAM," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.