George Munson Wertz
The Honorable George Wertz belonged to the Evangelical Lutheran Church; the Summit Lodge Masons; the Johnstown School of Instruction – Masons; and was knighted by the Oriental Commandery, No. 61, Knights Templar. He passed away in Johnstown on November 19, 1928. One of 13 children, George Munson Wertz was born January 18, 1856 at Stonycreek Township, Cambria County, the son of German-Dunkard Jacob Wertz and the former Mary Hoffman. His father, the great grandson of a 1735 Palatine immigrant, rose to community prominence as a farmer, an ardent Republican, and abolitionist. George attended schools in Stonycreek, proceeding to Ebensburg Academy, and finishing at the Lebanon (Ohio) Institute. After returning to Pennsylvania in 1881, Wertz purchased his father's home, married German immigrant Louise Gitsch, became a public school teacher in Cambria County, and turned his attention toward farming and fruit growing. Elected a Republican member of the Board of School Directors in 1890, George additionally served as chairman of the Republican county committee. In 1893, the Senator became a three-year Cambria County commissioner, and in November 1897, Cambria County Sheriff. Through the influence of his iron manufacturer father in law, Wertz assumed a post as manager of the Cambria Steel Company, where his accomplishments included securing options for control of the Manufacturer's Water Company, Somerset County. He then became publisher and president of the Johnstown Daily Leader, 1911-1917, creating Cambria County's first afternoon newspaper.
Elected to the state Senate in 1908, Wertz served one term before his election as President pro tempore, ad interim in May 1911. Defeated for re-election by Fusion Democrat Jacob Stinemean in November 1912, Governor Tener later appointed Wertz Cambria County Controller.