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Biographies
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Sacramento County

 

JOHN H. WENTZ

A comprehension of the baffling intricacies connected with financial affairs forms a conspicuous attribute of Mr. Wentz, who in becoming identified with the banking business has entered a field of activity for which his natural tastes as well as his mental training admirably qualify him. While his residence in Folsom and his identification with the substantial institution known as the Bank of Folsom cover a comparatively brief period only, already he has established himself among the permanent, progressive citizenship of the thriving town and also has acquired an enviable reputation for skilled financiering. The confidence of business men has been with the bank from the first and the list of depositors grows with assured steadiness. Since the organization, during the autumn of 1910, of the Bank of Folsom it has been under the personal supervision of Mr. Wentz as cashier and manager, while Isaac Henkle has officiated in the capacity of president. The directors include a number of sagacious businessmen, who guide the investments and guard the safety of the loans with intelligent judgment.

In studying the personal history of Mr. Wentz we find that he traces his lineage to Germany. His father, Capt. Abial Livingston Wentz, was born in Ohio and moved to Iowa, settling in Burlington, where he entered into railroad work. At the beginning of the Civil war he enlisted as a private in the Twenty-fifth Iowa Infantry, which he accompanied to the front, taking part in numerous engagements of great importance to the final results. After the expiration of his first enlistment he re-enlisted in the Twenty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. In recognition of his valor in battle he was promoted and commissioned captain of his company and served in that capacity until the close of the war, when he was honorably dis- charged. Returning to Burlington, he entered the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and with them rose to be a conductor, which position he filled until he met death in a rail- road accident. For years he had been identified with the subordinate lodge of Odd Fellows in Burlington, being Noble Grand of Washington Lodge, No. 1, that order, at the time of his death; and he was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He was known throughout that city as an upright man, a patriotic citizen and an efficient railroad official. He is survived yy his wife, who in maidenhood was Ida Elizabeth Grennough, and she still makes her home in Burlington.

In his native city of Burlington the excellent public schools af- forded John H. Wentz fair educational advantages in both the ordinary branches and in a commercial course, and later he had the further advantage of pursuing his studies in Drake University at Des Moines. These opportunities did not come to him unsought and undesired, but were the direct result of his own efforts. From the age of eleven years he had been self-supporting and thus he learned self-reliance, determination and perseverance in the great school of experience. For a considerable period of his young manhood he was employed by Swift & Co., in their offices at Chicago, St. Louis and Omaha. While in the real estate business in Des Moines, Iowa, he was married at Mount Ayr, Ringgold county, Iowa, on August 9, 1902, to Miss Edna Pearl Roby, a native of Mount Ayr. They have an only son, John Roby Wentz. The family came to California in 1904, and bought property at Sacramento, where Mr. Wentz later engaged in the real estate business, also being interested in the promotion of the Sacramento' Trust Company. It was in 1910 that he organized and established the Bank of Folsom, which he has since managed with characteristic fidelity, genuine intelligence and keen foresight. The increase and development of the bank's business has been most gratifying to the stockholders, and the com- munity as well, and it is undoubtedly destined to fill a longfelt want and to aid very materially in the upbuilding as well as adding prestige to the commercial worth of Folsom, which it would have been impossible to acquire without its influence.

Source:
History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011