John William Mertz. The wonderful changes
that have been brought about by science and the
ingenuity of man, even within the ordinary life-time of an individual, seem so marvelous that intelligent and thoughtful earth dwellers of today
hesitate about placing a limit to future achievement.
In these changes agricultural industries have had
place, and a modern American farm, in method of
cultivation and its machinery equipments, illustrates
unbelievable progress. Such a farm is the property of John William Mertz, a highly respected and
substantial citizen of DeKalb County, Indiana, who
is proprietor of the Lone Pine Farm in Fairfield
Township. He was born in Indiana, as were his
parents, Benjamin and Johanna (Auman) Mertz.
The founder of the Indiana branch of the Mertz
family was John G. Mertz, who came to the United
States before the Civil war. His wife, Mary Anna
(Saner) Mertz, was also of German birth. They
lived at first in Ohio but before the birth of their
son, Benjamin, came to DeKalb County, Indiana.
The latter was a farmer like his father, and when
he grew to manhood was married to Johanna
Auman, who was one of a family of six children
born to William and Miss (Bruns) Auman. To
Benjamin and Johanna Mertz ten children were
born, as follows: John W., Otto E., Walter B.,
Edward J., Henry A., Theodore A., Daniel B.,
Metha M., and two who died of diphtheria in early
life. The father of this family died June 6, l898,
and the mother died on the 25th of July, 1919, at
The pioneer Mertz family were charter
members of Zion Evangelical Church located in
Fairfield Township, near their farm, as early as 1852.
There is a parochial school in connection with Zion
Church, and it was in that school that John W.
Mertz secured his first educational training. Later
he was graduated from the Kendallville High School
and for three years pursued a literary course of
study in the University of Michigan, and in more
recent years has attended short courses on special
subjects at Purdue University. Since reaching manhood he has been a farmer in Fairfield Township,
DeKalb County, and has taken great interest in his
work and through his progressive policy has brought
the Lone Pine Farm into great prominence. As
indicative of the approval of his methods by his
fellow agriculturists, it may be mentioned that he
is president of the DeKalb County Better Farming
Association, which is county wide in its scope, and
is also president of the DeKalb County Breeders &
Feeders Association, and of the county branch of
the Indiana Federation of Farmers. He is a member also of the Indiana Commercial Growers Association.
On February 25, 1906, John W. Mertz was united
in marriage to Emma M. Krehl, who died January
11, 1914. She was a daughter of William and Anna
(Carl) Krehl, a well known DeKalb County family.
She was the mother of three children, namely:
Selma Anna, Margaret Ethel and Arthur Benjamin.
On January 16, 1917, Mr. Mertz was married a second time, Mrs. Louise (Schneider) Bluhm becoming
his wife. Mrs. Mertz has one son born to her former marriage, Erich Bluhm. Mr. Mertz has sent
his children to the same parochial school in which
he began his education many years ago.
In politics Mr. Mertz, like the older members of
his family, has always supported the democratic
party from principle and in other ways is worthy
of ancestors who during long and useful lives were
deserving of the general esteem in which they were
held. As a man of progressive thought Mr. Mertz
studies agricultural questions intelligently and is
ready, in the light of the past, to believe still more
wonderful developments in the future. He keeps
abreast of the times in farm equipment, carries on
a general farming line and specializes in registered
livestock. He can remember the day of the ox-team and the gradual
development of horse transportation, the coming of the automobile and the
farm tractor, and on occasion as he is working in
his fields an unusual noise above him tells him that
the aerial aeroplane is speeding as a bird with mail
and messages from one frontier of his country to
the other. He is proud of his country's achievements and is proud of the part his own family has
taken in the development of DeKalb County.
("History of Northeast Indiana: LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties," Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, 1920)
This website created October 17, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
© Indiana American History and Genealogy Project