Theodore Schultz Gem Collection

About Mr. Schultz

Theodore Schultz was born in Wells, Minnesota in 1897, and lived his formative years in Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Oregon.

During World War I, Mr. Schultz served in France with the United States Army.  After his discharge, Schultz resided in Washington, D.C. working as a White House policeman (now known as the Secret Service) for 20 years while serving four American presidents.

In 1951, Schultz began his hobby of collecting, cutting, polishing, and engraving semi-precious stones from all over the world.  In July of the same year, he married Mildred Ward.  They made their home in the capital until 1964.  Then then moved to Mildred’s family farm near South Whitley, Indiana.  Among other memberships, Mr. Schultz was a member of the Three Rivers Gem and Mineral Society.

Mr. Schultz died March 1, 1997, one month before his 100th birthday.

Theodore Schultz Gem Collection

In 1990, Theodore Schultz donated approximately 1000 beautifully polished semi-precious stones to South Whitley Community Public Library.  The stones in his collection came from all over the world and are now housed in cases in the library’s east room on the main level.

He was not a mineralogist, Schultz always said, he was “just a rock polisher.”  His hobby, however, was enjoyed at a professional level, and three of his stones are still housed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Schultz Gem Collection has many rare stones, such as Hovlandie (from Minnesota), and Chanoite (from Siberia).  Most spectacular, perhaps, are trays of Australian opals and lapis lazuli.  The picture agates are a favorite among visitors.

Over 30 years ago, when Mr. Schultz made his generous donation, there was no adequate space to showcase these beautiful stones.  The community was made aware of this situation and local businesses, foundations and residents came together to raise money to build an addition to South Whitley Community Public Library.  Thanks to Mr. Schultz and these groups, the library gained a wonderful collection and was able to expand for the first time since the 1970s.

For more information on the collection, library patrons Jim Hayes and Nick Smith are very knowledgeable about this truly magnificent collection.  To contact Hayes or Smith, please contact SWCPL at 260-723-5321.