Born in Saxony, Germany on March 7, 1876. Yerbysmith (né Ernst Alfred Schmidt) immigrated to the U.S. in 1886. After a brief time as a busboy in the hotels of NYC, he rode the rails to San Francisco. There he shipped out as a cabin boy on a four-masted schooner bound for the Orient. He later worked on a cattle ranch before joining the U.S. Cavalry to fight in the Spanish-American War. Following his discharge, he struck it rich in the gold mines of the Klondike, but returned to San Francisco and lost it all in high living at the Palace Hotel and the nearby casinos of the Barbary Coast. He was living there at the time of the earthquake in 1906. About this time he opted to become a sculptor and studied
Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with artist or his/her family; NY Times & LA Times, 6-12-1952 (obits).Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here
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