Built in 1913, Butterfly Lodge was constructed by John T. Butler and Cleve Wiltbank who were both local residents in the town of Greer. Later, the cabin was used as a seasonal retreat and hunting lodge for James Willard Scott who wrote 37 Western books during his lifetime. The cabin was also used by his son, Hart Merriam Schultz, known as Lone Wolf, who was an artist and used the cabin as a home. He later built three additions to the house, including an artist’s studio.
The cabin is on a hill that overlooks a small meadow in the White Mountains of Arizona. It is in a heavily forested area mainly containing ponderosa pine and aspen trees.
This 5-1/2 room cabin was built with both logs and plank-and-slab construction. It is 40’10” x 32’6″ and faces south toward the meadow. Originally, its dimensions were 18′ x 24′ in the shape of a rectangle. There is an inside chimney on the east end. The logs were brought from the Isaacson Saw Mill on Benny Creek which is nearby.
There were three additions between 1914 and about 1929 all by Lone Wolf. The first was a room with a shed roof that is now on the west corner of the house. This room runs the full length of the original cabin and increases the width of the cabin by 13’9″. It was probably used as a storage room and bedroom. During the 1920s, Lone Wolf added the artist’s studio to the east corner of the cabin which then had an L-shaped configuration. At a later date, the north corner addition was built and the building was again a more rectangular shape.
Originally, it is likely that the gable roof was covered with tar paper but it now has a green asphalt roll covering. There is also a wooden porch with a wooden railing that runs the width of the house and was added later. Then sometime between 1928 and 1938, Lone Wolf removed the wooden porch and added a dry-laid rock porch with a concrete cap.
James Willard Schultz
James married a 15-year old Piegan (a division of the Blackfoot tribe) girl named Natahki or Fine Shield Woman, in 1879. They had one child, Lone Wolf, who was born in 1882. Early in their marriage, they lived on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Montana Territory and participated in tribal life.
In 1885, James built a small cattle ranch in Two Medicine Valley on nearby Badger Creek. Often, in the evenings, he would write articles while Lone Wolf would draw pictures. After Natahki died in 1903, James left the reservation because of health problems and alleged poaching charges. He then moved to California and stayed until 1928. Later he was based in Tucson but most of his life was spent in Montana and Wyoming, where he passed away on June 11, 1947.
Hart Merriam Schultz (Lone Wolf) was born on February 18, 1882 on the Blackfoot Reservation in the Montana Territory. From a very young age, he was known by his tribal name, Lone Wolf. He was very close to his mother’s family, especially an uncle named Last Rider. This uncle was like a second father to him because his own father was frequently absent for long periods as a guide for big-game hunters. Early in life, he showed artistic talent. His father dedicated his book “Bird Woman” to him as follows:
“Born near the close of the buffalo days he was, and ever since with his baby hands he began to model statuettes of horses and buffalo and deer with clay from the riverbanks, his one object has been the world of art.”
His grandfather, Yellow Wolf, was also an artist and encouraged him to paint on stretched animal skins with buffalo bone brushes. He used the colors he found in the earth to draw his animals and people.
After his mother passed away in 1903, he left Montana and he was advised to move south because of tuberculosis. He ended up working at the Grand Canyon as a cowboy and guide. He was later encouraged to pursue and career as an artist and attended the Art Students League in Los Angeles and the Chicago Art Institute. When Lone Wolf went back to Montana in 1916, he found that the old tipi way of life was gone and he decided to record the lifestyles he remembered from his childhood.
In September, 1916 he eloped with Naomah Tracy to Cut Bank, Montana. Their marriage lasted until Lone Wolf passed away in 1970.
In the end, Butterfly Lodge is significant for both James Schultz and Lone Wolf. James’ success as a writer allowed him to build the first non-resident log cabin in the remote White Mountains of Arizona. They traveled by wagon or car over 116 miles of very rough road from the train in Holbrook to reach the cabin.