Albert J. Hertz

Note by Phyllis Brown:  I love the small towns of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.  They have wonderful history centers that rival anything in the big cities.  And during the latter part of the 19th century or first few years of the 20th century, county histories were written – with biographical entries of normal, everyday citizens.  What a wealth of knowledge for a genealogist!

History of Johnson County, Iowa

One of the most faithful, painstaking, and efficient public servants of Iowa City in his generation is Albert J. Hertz, the subject of this sketch.  Probably no man has a more complete knowledge of the general conditions of both city and county, and certainly none has a more thorough grasp of the public school system of the city or of matters affecting the welfare of the youth of Iowa City.  He also has special knowledge of as well as long experience in the subject of fire protection for the city, having served actively twenty-five years as a volunteer fireman and three years as chief of the fire department.  For sixteen years Mr. Hertz has been secretary of the board of education of the public schools in Iowa City, and for the past two years has devoted his entire time to that work.  The position involves supervision of the janitors of the various school buildings, as well as of the buildings and grounds, and the duties of truant officer.  To the discharge of his various duties Mr. Hertz applies the power of practical and conscientious effort.

The parents of our subject were Henry Hertz and Anna Tilton.  The former was a native of Darmstadt, Germany, and was born January 9, 1824.  His parents were Daniel and Christina Hertz, natives of Germany, who settled in Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1827, making the voyage from the Fatherland in an old sailing vessel, a journey requiring about nine weeks.  At the age of eighteen Henry Hertz went to Philadelphia, where he became an apprentice at coach blacksmithing for two years, afterwards serving as a journeyman for fifteen years.  In 1857 he came west to Johnson County, where he resided until his death, April 24, 1904.  His wife, Anna Tilton, was a native of Easton, Pennsylvania.  She died soon after the birth of her fourth child.  The names of the children of Daniel and Christina Hertz are:  Henry, William, George, Jacob, Gustave, Dehlia, Lena, Mary, and Sarah.  The three children of Henry Hertz and Anna Tilton were:  Albert J., our subject; Harry F.; Cordelia, wife of G. Blessin.  Mr. Hertz was a man of affairs in Johnson County, serving in many positions of trust in his township.

Our subject was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 13, 1848.  He accompanied his father to Johnson county in 1857 when nine years of age.  His education was secured in the public schools of Iowa City.  In the spring of 1880 he entered business for himself in the dry goods trade, and continued therein for sixteen years, when he sold out and went into the employ of Denecke & Yetter as a salesman.  He remained with this firm for three years, after which he entered the employ of H. A. Strub & Co., with whom he continued as a salesman for ten years.  For the past two years, as heretofore stated, he has devoted his entire time to the duties of secretary of the board of education.

Mr. Hertz has a worthy wife in the person of Miss Sarah E. Gobin, a native of Iowa City.  Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania and came to Johnson County in 1849.  They were among the well-known pioneer settlers and were identified with the early growth and development of the county.  Mr. and Mrs. Hertz have six children:  Charles, Henry, George, Sophia, Ada, and Elsie.

The family are all members of the English Lutheran church.  Although a large part of Mr. Hertz’s time has been spent in the service of the public, he has been accumulating a modest fortune, which, with the beautiful home which he owns, guarantees him a competence for the years of retirement, to which, though considerably removed as yet, he naturally looks forward with expectation of comfort and the consciousness of duty well performed.  The family’s residence is at 624 Summit Street, Iowa City.

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