GEORGE MERTZ, Mayor of Mound City, was born in New Berlin, Union County,
Penn., March 20, 1815, his father, Hon. Isaac Mertz, was a native of
Pennsylvania, where he died. His occupation was that of a farmer, and was
well worthy of the confidence of his fellow-men who elected him to many of
the offices, as Coroner, Justice of the Peace, Sheriff, and Representative
of his district in the Legislature. His wife, Susan (Stahlnecker) Mertz, was
also, a native of Pennsylvania, and was of German descent, and the mother of
George Mertz was educated in the subscription schools of Pennsylvania, common in his day and when a young man served an apprenticeship at the carpenter and cabinet-maker's trades, and afterward worked at the same for a few years, and gave up his trade to engage as contractor for public works, at which he was engaged for several years. In about 1835, he was given the position of conductor on the Old Pennsylvania R. R., which at that time was under the superintendency of the State; was also on the Pioneer line for about two years, and afterward engaged as contractor for the Cumberland Valley R. R., for a period of two years. He then entered the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio R. R. Company as contractor and superintendent of bridge building for three years. In 1842, he made a general tour through the West; returning East the same year he located at Cincinnati, Ohio, and engaged in the foundry business, continuing in the same until 1856, when he came to Illinois and located in Mound City, and in company with Mr. James Goodlove erected a foundry and ran it successfully until 1861, when the United States Government took possession of the building, using it for a depository of supplies. In 1861, he was appointed Postmaster, and still fills the same position, to the satisfaction of all Previous to the close of the war, he was express agent at Mound City, a position which at that time was of considerable importance. He has been engaged in the mercantile business for about twenty years, first carrying on a drug store, and at the present time a grocery and general provision store. Mr. Mertz has been Police Magistrate for about fifteen years, and is now Mayor of Mound City, and also County Commissioner.
He was married in Clear Spring, Md., to Miss Mary A. West, a native of the same State, born April 17, 1817; she is a daughter of the late Rev. John West, and is the mother of the following children: Hemy C., who was born July 1, 1843; he was educated in Cincinnati Ohio, and is engaged in mercantile pursuits at Carbondale, Ill.; he was County Clerk of Pulaski County from 1865 to 1869; he married Maria E. Boren, a native of Pulaski County, Ill., born December 15, 1847; she is a daughter of Hiram and Maria L. (Chapman) Boren, and is the mother of Dora L., George W. and Bertie B.
George E. Mertz was born August 1, 1845, and was educated in Mound City, and married Susan E., daughter of Robert J. Hawley. This union has been blessed with the following children: Ida, Willie and Jesse. He is now in the employ of the United States Mail Service on the Illinois Central R. R.
Charles W. Mertz was born January 8, 1852, and arriving at his majority engaged in the grocery business at Mound City in partnership with Mr. Carrico, who was bought out by George E. Mertz, and he subsequently succeeded by George Mertz, our subject. Charles W. Mertz was united in matrimony to Miss Alice, daughter of George W. and Martha (Lusk) Streeter; she was born March 17, 1853, and is the mother of three children, viz.: Albert C., born April 18, 1874; Josiah S., born April 26, 1876; Alice B., born March 18, 1881.
Extracted 02 Nov 2014 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V - Biographical Sketches, pages 272-273.