Frances Emily Schmidt Bullard

Frances Emily Schmidt BullardFrances Emily Schmidt was born in Anaheim on February 17, 1863, the third child of Theodore Schmidt and Clementine Zimmerman. The Schmidt’s were one of fifty founding families of the Anaheim Colony in 1857. With two brothers and two sisters, Frances grew up among Anaheim’s vineyards and wineries. After attending public school in Anaheim, at the age of twelve she was sent to finish her education at a convent in Freiburg, Germany. Following her return, she met James Hovey Bullard when he set up his medical practice in 1884. In August 1891, Frances joined her father in New York City for a visit that lasted over two years. In August 1893, Dr. Bullard traveled east to see the World’s Fair in Chicago and to visit relatives in Boston, Massachusetts. During this trip, the couple reunited in New York City and on September 26, 1893 Frances Schmidt and Dr. Bullard were married, returning to Anaheim two months later. The couple settled into their home at 115 North Hermine Street (now Claudina Street), and Dr. Bullard continued his successful medical practice. 

In 1895 the couple relocated to Los Angeles, where for many years Frances Bullard oversaw the care of her husband’s uncle, John A. Bullard. They named their only son, John Anson Bullard, born December 30, 1902, in his honor. In 1904 the Bullard Family built a new and modern home at 1074 Kensington Road, where Frances developed one of the finest and most beautiful gardens in Southern California. A life-long student of California wild flowers and cacti, her garden contained over 10,000 specimens. During her lifetime, Frances Bullard, considered one of the best known women authorities on horticulture, collaborated with such noted horticulturists as Theodore Payne and Luther Burbank. One of her many successful accomplishments was the crossing of the common white Watsonia with red Watsonias, thereby producing hybrid Watsonias in many colors. Over the years, Frances won many awards and prizes for her floral displays at local and state shows. She was also involved in the creation of the succulent gardens at the Henry E. Huntington Estate, now known as The Huntington, in San Marino. Frances was also a consummate artist, preferring to decorate beautiful Limoges china with hand-painted scenes of seascapes and other flora and fauna. Frances remained close friends with Madame Modjeska, as was her mother, Clementine Schmidt Langenberger. Frances Schmidt Bullard passed away following a serious operation on February 12, 1932.  She was 69 years old. Fittingly, the funeral service was held in the “Church of Flowers” at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.