Louis Gerald Schroeder was born March 24, 1892 in Jasper, Indiana, a small farm town seventy-five miles west of Louisville, Kentucky. His father, Benjamin Schroeder, was born in 1852 in Indiana. His mother, Mary Goetz, was also born in 1852 in Indiana. Both families are of German ancestry. His parents married in 1879 and had six children, of which he was the last born. Rosa (b.1880), Clara (b.1882), Nora (b.1884), Herman (b.1886), Theodore (b.1889), and Louis (b. 1892). The father worked as a mason stone cutter in a quarry.
In 1899 his mother died at the age of forty-seven.
In 1901 his father died at the age of forty-nine.
After these two tragic deaths the younger children were raised by the elder children. His oldest sister Rosa was twenty-one.
In 1904 the family moved to Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1906 at the age of fourteen after completing the ninth grade Louis G. Schroeder left school and entered the work force. He worked in the printing shop of The Louisville Herald newspaper.
The artist Dean Cornwell was also born in 1892 and after he graduated from high school he also worked at The Louisville Herald.
In 1911 Louis G. Schroeder left the newspaper and began to work on the art staff of S. F. Bowser Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana. This company dominated the national market in pumps, pipes, and storage tanks for gasoline and volatile fuels. Louis G. Schroeder drew illustrations for their nationwide advertising and sales publications.
At that same time he began to attend the Fort Wayne School of Art, where he studied with the director of the school, Homer Gordon Davisson (1866-1957).
On May 17, 1913 The Fort Wayne Daily News reported that the Louis G. Schroeder was on a trip to visit art museums in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.
In November 1913 he training at the Fort Wayne School of Art and was awarded a scholarship in Illustration to attend the Art Students League of New York. The judges were said to be from among "the most famous illustrators." He moved to New York City and lived at 59 West 65th Street, which is only a few blocks away from the school at 215 West 57th Street in Manhattan.
While studying at the school he also worked as a staff artist for the Hill Publishing Company, located on 10th Avenue and 31st Street.
On May 14, 1914 The Fort Wayne Daily News reported that according to correspondents in NYC, Louis G. Schroeder was "engaged in making a series of illustrations for "Anthony and Cleopatra."
On June 5, 1917 he registered with the draft in preparation for the Great War. He was recorded at the time to be twenty-five-years-old, five-nine, with gray eyes, fair hair and of sturdy build. His occupation was listed as "artist." He did not serve.
By 1920 he lodged in a rooming house at 39 East 22nd Street, while he worked as an artist in an advertising company.
In 1923 he worked as a staff artist at the Wilson H. Lee, a printing, publishing and advertising service of New Haven, Connecticut, where he lived at 100 College Street next to Yale College Campus.
By 1925 he returned to NYC and lodged in a rooming house at 117 West 78th Street, where he was listed as an artist. He lived at this location until at least 1930.
He painted covers for pulp magazines and also drew interior story illustrations for pulps. His work appeared in Everybody's, Far West Illustrated, West, and Short Stories.
He also drew interior story illustrations for Boys Life and St Nicholas.
Having developed a reputation as an illustrator of adventurous fiction for young men he was hired to illustrate several books for juvenile readers, such as " War Paint and Powder Horn," "Corley of the Wilderness Trails," "Three Finger Joe," "Stan Kent Varsity Man," and "The Winged Four."
In the 1930s during the Great Depression he also drew pen and ink story illustrations for Woman's World and Street & Smith's Love Story. He signed these romantic illustrations with only his initials, "L.G.S." This may have been done to preserve his reputation in the field of boy's adventure fiction.
In 1935 he lived at 54 West 74th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
By 1942 he had moved to 121 West 69th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
During WWII he was too old to serve in the military, although he registered with the selective service as required by law. He was recorded at the time to be fifty-years-old, five-eleven, 160 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair with areas of gray, and a light complexion. He was listed as "unemployed."
In 1945 his illustrated a few juvenile books as well as stories that were published in Open Road For Boys.
During the golden age of comic books he drew for several publishers, however he only signed this work with his first initial "S," although his drawing style was recognized by comic book historian Hames Ware, who also noted a sign for "Schroeder's Saloon" in the background of a Western Outlaws Comic.
Most of Schroeder's work in comics was for D. S. Publishing, of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, of which the President and Vice President were Richard Davis and A. Walter Socolow.
Louis G. Schroeder never married and had no children.
In 1955 he retired from illustration and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to be near his relatives.
Louis G. Schroeder died in Louisville, KY, at the age of ninety on January 18, 1983.
© David Saunders 2014