Harold Moroni Schindler was born on December 6, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois to Moroni Helaman Nephi Schindler and Carolina Margaretta Strickstrock, both were German immigrants. While an infant, his family moved to New York, a place Schindler did not care for, and later would refer to as "Noo Yawk" in his columns. The family moved to Salt Lake City in 1940.
Harold is survived by his wife, Benita (Bonnie) Nixdorf Schindler, daughter Carolyn S. Silver and husband Kirk, sons Steve and Jeffrey, and a brother, James F. Schindler.
Mormon Historian Harold Schindler dies
So Long, Old Friend
Saturday, 2 January 1999, Salt Lake City
by Will Bagley
Today I watched a grieving family bury a dear friend, a wonderful historian, and a great father. Harold M. Schindler died Monday of heart failure, and for many of us, his passing has left a big hole in the world. It took such an unfortunate event to get Hal to a funeral, but it was a good send off. The service was held in the wardhouse of his Salt Lake City neighborhood. Given those who attended, this afternoon a well-placed bomb could have solved many of Utah's problems with history and journalism.
Son-in-law Kirk Silver read the obituary, and Utah Westerners President Verne Gorzitze saluted an old friend he first met on the way to the 1936 Olympics. David Bigler eulogized Hal's integrity and singular gifts--and noted what an inspiration he has been to those he so unselfishly mentored. I count myself among that fortunate number.
Although born to emigrant parents in Chicago and raised in "Noo Yawk"--his spelling--it is hard to imagine a truer son of the Great Basin he so loved. Hal worked at the Salt Lake Tribune for more than half a century, starting in 1945, at age 15 as the worst copyboy sportswriter John Mooney had ever met. He rose through the ranks as a police reporter and on other beats, including a brief stint as the author of The Tribune's "Nothing Serious" column, then on to 27 years as television columnist. His TV columns were legend for their strong opinions and acerbic tone. He admitted he did not care for TV, yet only missed one deadline.
From such inauspicious beginnings, Hal became a journalistic legend, managing the religion and art beats at the paper for decades. Early in his career he scripted episodes of "Death Valley Days" and "Gunsmoke." Schindler left his indelible mark on Western History with Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1966. Second edition, 1983, its numerous printings have made it the best-selling University of Utah Press book ever.
In 1994, editor James Shelledy persuaded a reluctant Schindler--who didn't believe the public could appreciate straight-up history--to write a series for Utah's statehood centennial and pioneer sesquicentennial. The results were published as Harold Schindler, Crossing the Plains: New and fascinating accounts of the hardships, controversies and courage experienced and chronicled by the 1847 pioneers on the Mormon Trail (S.L.C: The Salt Lake Tribune, 1997); and In Another Time: Sketches of Utah History (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1998). Hal for once was wrong: the series was a phenomenal hit.
Besides being an accomplished writer, Schindler was a meticulous editor and a walking encyclopedia--a "histomorph," as I like to say, someone who has a vast knowledge of obscure but sometimes surprisingly useful "dead history."
As a former police reporter, Hal had an appreciation of the usefulness of facts and would laugh when weighter minds announced that "truth" and "fact" are mere illusions. As David Bigler observed, Hal had no doubt about what the meaning of "is" is. His friend Dale Morgan was his hero, and he was indefatigable in his search to "get at the right of it."
Hal once asked me when I graduated from the University of Utah. "I didn't," I said. Hal smiled and said, "Neither did I." While formal training and degrees are fortunate blessings of the academic establishment, Hal proved that they are not essential to being a good student of history.
Over the past few days I have heard a dozen stories about how Hal's work inspired a lifelong love of history--a legacy any of us would cherish. And how many historians have received annual Christmas cards from Liberace, or got the first call from Robert Redford after he won his first Oscar?
Hal's daughter Caroline gave a farewell that any father would cherish. She once asked Hal if he looked forward to meeting Porter Rockwell. Not really, he replied. "What if he disappoints me?" Caroline brought to life our memories of a unique character whose passing leaves an unfillable emptiness in the lives of those who loved him.
Happy Trails, old friend. I hope you knew how much you mean to those you leave behind.
The Arthur H. Clark Co.
Born: October 23, 1902 at Muenchen Stadt, Oberbayern, Bayern, Germany
Died: April 19, 1986 at Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Utah
Moroni Schindler Cited for Gun Safety Activities
"The Salt Lake City police Mutual Aid Assn. recently honored Moroni Schindler for 20 years of volunteer service at the Police Firing Range. Mr. Schindler, 66, curator of the Pioneer Village Museum was presented with a plaque by Detective Richard Sandberg, president of the group at a luncheon held at Harmon's Cafe, 21st South and 13th East, Salt Lake City, Utah.
"In appreciation for your continued dedication we wish to present you with this plaque, not only in behalf of the Mutual Aid group but for the Police Department," Detective Sandberg said.
Mr. Schindler taught gun safety for many years and it is a well-known fact he is one of the country's best small bore marksmen. He said he would continue to devote as much time as possible to the activities on the range, and that he is always available to discuss firearms and firearms safety.
He has devoted many weekends to the police service at the range, Mr. Sandberg said." --Published in The Pioneer January-February 1969, Page ten.
Moroni Helaman Nephi Schindler was born to Anton Schindler (1873-1950) and Anna Babette Oberseither Schindler (1873-1940) of Bayern, Germany. He and his wife, Caroline Margaretta Strickstrock Schindler (1900-1993) were the parents of two sons, Harold Moroni Schindler (1929-1998) and James F. Schindler (may be an architect in New York).
PAF - Archer files = Orson Pratt Brown + (1) Martha Diana Romney > Miles Romney Brown + Florence May Wilde > Barbara Brown + Edward Morley Brown > Kirk Silver + Carolyn Schindler < Harold Moroni Schindler + Benita Nixdorf.
Harold Schindler is the author of:
In Another Time: Sketches of Utah History, Salt Lake Tribune-Utah State University Press, Logan, Utah. 1998. Pages 198. ISBN: 0-87421-247-2
Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1966. Second edition, 1983. Pages
West from Fort Bridger: The Pioneering of Immigrant Trails across Utah, 1846-1850, revised with Will Bagley
Crossing the Plains: New and fascinating accounts of the hardships, controversies and courage experienced and chronicled by the 1847 pioneers on the Mormon Trail S.L.C: The Salt Lake Tribune, 1997. Pages
Copyright 1999 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org