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Title: My Williamsport-Warren Co. Family Heritage
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Being a native son of Williamsport and the son of a native son of Williamsport, I have decided it was time to put my two cents worth of my fond memories and information about my family and their times in Williamsport and Warren County in you "Good Ol' Days" publication.

I was born there in 1909 and Williamsport was my home until about 1935. After graduating from Indiana University in 1932, I purchased a small business in Williamsport from Clare Hawn and wife, which I operated until the Spring of 1935 after which my wife and I moved away from Williamsport. However we did come back and liver there about 3 years after my Mother passed away in December 1937. My father, Fred Holtz, was born in 1870 in "Old Town" (this house is still very much in use and appears to be in a good state of maintenance). He lived in Williamsport his entire life, passing on in January of 1961 at the age of 91. Both my paternal and my maternal families are well documented for this area.

My paternal grandfather, Jacob Holtz, immigrated alone to America, arriving in New York City Oct. 2555, 1853. Shortly thereafter he went to Philadelphia and in 1954 he came to Rainsville, in Warren County and then promptly on to Williamsport. He was born on April 1, 1830 in the small German village of Muhlbach which since World War Ii has been a part of West Germany. There he received his education and took up the family trade as a Stone Cutter and Mason. Thus, one of his reasons for coming to Williamsport was because there was a thriving sandstone quarry in operation there in those days. I would guess that there are very few people that would know that this stone quarry ever existed. The remains of it are located back of what is now the parking lot of the Williamsport School, all of which is an entirely different subject and one on which at a later date I may elaborate on more fully in connection with my own life in Williamsport. Grandfather Holtz formed a partnership with a man by the name of Meter and engaged in this trade of stone cutting in Williamsport. He was also active in the affairs of the town, Town Board of Trustee's, active in the Presbyterian Church, and the Odd Fellows Lodge. His partner, Mr. Meter, died sometimed early in the partnership, and Grandfather carried on with the business until his own early death at age 43 in 1873. He had been given hnis final American Citizenship oath on January 12, 1859 by Henry Pomeroy, then the Clerk of the Warren Circuit Court.

The following is not only the Obit of my grandfather but a good example of the flowery language of the time.

Died - On Wednesday morning at 8 1/2 o'clock, February 26, 1873, Jacob Holtz, of general prostration; aged 43 years.

Jacob Holtz was born in Muhlbach at Eppingen, arch of Bulen, in the year 1830. Arrived in New York City in the Fall of 18535, and immediately start to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the State he remained about one year working at his trade - stone cutting. In 1854 he came to Warren County, Indiana, and lived for a short time near Rainsville. He came from the place to Williamsport where he formed a co-partnership with Michael Meter in the stone cutting business. After the death of his partner he remained alone in the business up to his death. He was married at Attica, Indiana, in June 1857. He was a worthy and honorable member of the order of Odd Fellows of this place for a number of years and to the time of his decease. Soon after coming to Williamsport he joined the Presbyterian Church, of which Society he was an acceptable member. He was for a number of years a member of the town Board of Trustees of this palve and filled the position with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He leaves a wife and five chidlren and a host of friends to mourn his departure. In his death the town loses a good citizen and willing worker. We shall miss him more and more, and years will intervene ere his place will be filled as acceptably. He was always industrious, frugal and prudent. In every enterprise he was among the foremost, and every ready to give his means for every worthy cause with a liberal hand. We could say more of him, whose earthly work is over, but it is not necessary, for the memory of his usefulness and our loss will ever keep warm the love we bear him as a brother and a co-laborer. He has been garnered into the great store house beyond, by the Father above, as a sheaf ready for harvest. The funeral discourse was preached at the later residence of the deceased on Friday morning, the 28th, by Rev. William Wilmer. The remains were interred in the Attica Cemetery.

Grandmother, Frederica (Meitzler) Holtz was born in Mauchinheim, Germany (also now in West Germany) a very small rural German village in the Rhine valley on June 20, 1834, being next to the oldest child of Andrea and Maria Magdalena (Michel) Metizler. Grandmother Frederica immigrated to America with her family when she was age 19.

They arrived in new York City also in 1853 and then promptly going on to Philedelphia. After about a year, they moved to Attica sometime in 1854. Her father's family trade was that of a Linen Weaver. So it seems that Grandfather Jacob and Grandmother Frederica both arrived in America at the same time and place, were in Philadelphia at the same time, and arrived in Williamsport/Attica area at about the same time. They were married June 1, 1857. I don't know this, but it would appear that they met each other aboard the boat during their voyage to America., fell in love, and Grandfather pursued her to Philadelphia and then to Williamsport. Grandmother's home village in Germany is some 150 of so miles from grandfather's, which in those days was quite a distance so it is not probably that they had known each other before the journey to America. Kind of a romantic and probable twist to their contribuitions to the Williamsport area. Grandmother was also active in the Williamsport Presbyterian Church. They had 8 children, 3 of whom either died of infancy or in early childhood. Grandmother upon grandfather's early death was left with 5 children to raise and support. She passed on in January 1912 in Williamsport at age 78.

The following is her orbituary which also demonstrates the writing style of the day.

Early last Thursday morning Mrs. Fredericka Holtz who has been a resident of Williamsport for fifty-five years past away. She had been very poorly for several months. Age and the infirmities of age had overtaken her and the body that had been for so manyyears so very active could not endure much longer. Her own desire was to be relieved and enter into her blessed rest in Jesus Christ her Saviour.

Mrs. Holtz came to this country from Germany with her parents when she was nineteen years old. They first settled in Attica then soon moved to Williamsport June 1, 1859. She was married to Jacob Holtz. To this union were born eight children, five boys and three girls. Four children are still living and are among our most respected citizens, Charles, George, Lena and Fred. February 26, 1873 the husband and father died leaving the are of the children at a critical age upon the mother. She was a devoted christian woman and a faithful member of the Presbyterian church for nearly fifty years.

The funeral services were held at the home Saturday at 1:30 p.m. conducted by Rev. W.R. Williams, pastor of the Presbyterian church, who took the occasion to speak of the exalted mission of the mother in the community and how everything should be done to raise her lot and lesson her heavy burdens. There is no greater service rendered mankind than the service rendered by a godly mother in the rearing of noble children and Mrs. Holtz did her work well. Appropriate music was rendered by a quartette consisting of Miss Madeleine Durborow, Miss Ella Sutton, E. Guy Sutton, and Dr. Pugh. The remains were taken to the Attica cemetery for burial, the sons and near relatives acting as pallbearers.

My father, Fred Holtz, whom I have already given his date and place of birth and death was a very well known person of the Williamsport area. His education was very limited for he had to go help with taking care of the family farm at an early age. This farm was located two miles west of the town of Pence which makes it 1 mile beyond the Indiana/Illinois state line. At age 18 he became discontented with his farm life and work with his brothers, and opened a Grocery Store in 1888 in "Old Town" in Williamsport.

Following is an article that was published in about 1932 in the Danville newspaper, written by Hazel Moore whose assignment was to search out and interview the oldest merchant in Williamsport, which turned out to be my father, Fred Holtz.

Oldest Merchant in Williamsport
Search for the man who has been in business the longest in Williamsport in some ways resembles a treasure hunt.

The correspondent to whom the letter requesting the feature article came suggested A.A. Broadie of the hardware firm, Broadie & Anderson Broadie, in the hardware business for 40 years, sent the correspondent scurrying to Ed Held, owner of the notion and dry good store for 38 years, and he in turn cited J.B. Dennis, who has operated a jewelry store in Williamsport for 43 successive years.

Born in Portsmouth, England, Mar. 16m 1866, Joe Dennis came across the ocean with his father and mother when he was but four years of age. Prior to moving to Williamsport he operated a jewelry store in Nebraska City, Neb. In searching for a new location, Williamsport was recommended to him and his wife and two small daughters. He moved from Nebraska and has never regretted his choice.

This very interesting information had been acquired but for fear the end of the search had not been reached, further inquiry was made and it was discovered that Fred Holtz had been a business man in Williamsport for more than 43 years - in fact since 1888. Here the search ended and we hope it has been accurate.

Mr. Holtz is quite young looking for his age and no doubt that was the reason we has not "spotted" him sooner. He was born and reared in Williamsport. His father died when he was very small and he quit school at an early age and with a brother went to work on the Holtz farm in Vermillion County, Illinois, six miles east of Rossville.

He disliked farming and in the fall of 1888 he operated a grocery store in one of the brick store buildings in Old Town. In 1891 he moved his grocery store to a frame building situated above the railroad where Ed Held's store now is. In 1892, the year the mill burned, he sold his line of groceries to G.W. Salts and opened a feed store in a building just below the railroad.

Was Postmaster - On January 1, 1894, this line of business was sold to Milton Whinnery and Holtz began serving the patrons of Williamsport as postmaster under Grover Cleveland's administration.

He had already been building coal sheds, so when he operated a feed store again in 1898, two doors beyond his present location, where he has been for 30 years, coal was added as an additional line.

He was served the town as clerk-treasurer in 1916 and 1917 and was again elected to this office in December, 1922, which position he still holds and fills in a very credible manner.

Holtz has been a member of the Knights of Pythias for 32 years and was a member of the local 100F Lodge. He is very active in the affairs of the Methodist Church, of which he is one of the most prominent members.

Proof of Mr. Holtz belief that the small town does not offer the same business advantages to young people is the fact that his son, Charles, is located in Hammond.

With his wife and daughter, Marjorie, Mr. Holtz lives in a pretty house on East Monroe Street and is considered on of the most progressive and most highly respected citizens and business men in Williamsport.

When Dad later took on the coal business he moved the location to a room below the railroad tracks on the East side of South Monroe Street. The north side of this building has had a large sign he had had painted theron advertising business for many years. At least the last time I was in Williamsport it was still quite visible.

Dad was the Postmaster in Williamsport twice. The first time during the Presidency of Grover Cleveland of 1893-1897. He was also appointed Postmaster in Williamsport during the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, 1913-21. Dad was also the Town Clerk and Treasurer of the town of Williamsport for many many years having continuously being elected from term to term. He finally decided to retire and give all this up in about 1954 at age 84.

Dad had a "secret" about his continuously being elected to Town Clerk and Treasurer of Williamsport. In reality, it was not a secret because practically everyone knew that he was and had been a life-long registered Democrat in a town and county that was a "hard core", rock ribbed, Republican stronghold in those days. He knew that if he ran for office under the Democratic emblem, even my mother's family, who were Republicans, would probably not vote for him. So, he always ran under the emblem of his own devised party name of Citizens Party. Thus, since folks didn't have to vote for a Democrat and he was so very liked and trusted, they voted for and elected him over and over again, even though there was always a candidate for the office also running under the Republican emblem.

Dad was also very active in most all Community activities. He was a member of the Williamsport Methodist Church, serving as an officer thereof many times. He was also quite active in the Odd Fellows Lodge and the Knights of Pythias Lodge. He was still active in the Knights of Pythias Lodge at the time of his death.

The following is my father and mother's wedding invitation.

Mr. and Mrs. James Anderson
request your presence at the marriage
of their daughter
Minnie Alverda
Mr. Frederick Holtz
on the evening of Thursday, May Tenth
Nineteen Hundred Six
Williamsport, Indiana

He married Minnie Alverde Anderson May 10, 1906. My mother, Minnie, was born Nov. 21, 1883, the next to youngest child of James and Margery Ann (Grames) Anderson. Mother was also quite active in the Methodist Church activities, Lodges, Clubs, and Choral Ladies groups. She also "watched the store" and helped my Dad run his business during the early years of their marriage. She was never very well health wise and passed on at the early age of 54 in December 1937.

Grandfather and Grandmother Anderson were residents of Warren County and were married March 27, 1862. James Anderson's familly traces back to a Joshua Anderson who was a soldier in the Revolutionary Army as a Private, Captain and discharged as a Lt. Col. His family was originally from Bucks County, where Joshua was born 1735. Grandfather James was born in Warren County, Ohio June 10, 1840, son of a farm family. At the age of about 13, he moved with his family to Warren County, Indiana where land was purchased and the occupation of farming continued. When he finished his schooling, he became a school teacher. On Aug. 14, 1862 Grandfather enlisted in Company D., 46th Indiana Infantry, Army of the Confederates at the Battle Stone Mountain and was sent to Libby Prison, which was known as a very bad place. Eventually he was returned to his old Union army through a prisoner exchange. After his discharge, he returned to his home in Warren County, purchased a little land and began farming once again, eventually acquiring about 80 acres. In 1887, he quit farming to take the office of County Treasurer of Warren County, after which he also was County Assessor, Deputy Sheriff, etc. He was also a Marshal and also was a Williamsport Town Councilman. Both Grandfather and Grandmother Anderson were members of G.A.R.

Grandmother Margery Ann and her family also moved from Ohio to Warren County as a farm family. She was born in Tyrone County, Ireland on Aug. 10, 1845 and immigrated with her family to Ohio.

Grandparents Anderson also had some of their other children become prominent in the history of Warren County. Their oldest son, William, became a well known farmer in Pine Village area where he had married Lizzie Jones whose family was a well known family there also. He was commonly referred to as "Uncle Billy". William and Lizzie had two sons. Malcolm and Marshall, who also became well known farmers in the Pine Village area. Malcolm had two sons also, one of whom, Richard, remained on the farm with his father and mother. The other, Robert, became a farmer in his own right in the Pine Village area, and to the best of knowledge is still so engaged there. A daughter, Helen, married a Gephart, also a well known Pine Village family.

Grandparents Anderson's son, Frank, also was a well known farmer in the Pine Village, who married a Lena Barco.

Grandparents Anderson's daughter, Jennie married A.G. (Gus) Broadie from a Warren County farm family. He became a widely known and long-time business man in Williamsport as Broadie's Hardware Store, later associating in a partnership with another son of the Anderson's, Elwood (Woody) under the name of Broadie and Anderson. Uncle Woody had also been a farmer in Warren County. Oldest daughter, Harriet (Anderson)Pope, and her husband, James, lived in Williamsport and had five sons, one of who became well known throughout the County and Williamsport. LeRoy Pope became the owner-operator of Pope Monument Co., located on south Monroe St., a few doors beyond my dad's place. This business is still in operation under the same name, even though owned and operated by Bob and Jane Reuzenaar. Jane's father, Hogan Hamilton, along with her Uncle Henry (Hank)Carter took over this business when Cousin Roy moved to Frankfurt in retirment. They had worked for Cousin Roy for many years. After the death of Hank and Hogan, Jane and her husband, Bob, took over ownership and operation of the business.

Another uncle of mine, Joshua Anderson, a son of James and Margery, also carried on the field of farming, being affiliated with the University of Illinois in the Agriculture department at Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, until his death.

So, all in all, both sides of my family have been well trenched in the history of Williamsport and Warren County, Indiana. I trust these reminiscences of my family and their contribution to the early history of Warren County will be found useful and informative to the readers of the "Good Ol' Days".

Date: 9/1/1989
Origin: Backward Glances
Author: Charles Holtz
Record ID: 00000124
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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