Edited by Ann Chrissos
Daniel Mertz married Laura Schwenck and they had five sons: Herbert, who married Rose Hartmann; Edward, who married Stella Koebel; Wilbert (1905-1995), who married Melba Klein; Lloyd (1911-1999), who married Freida Gosehohan; and Norman, who married Hilda Jaeger. The boys’ maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Schwenck, raised Edward and Lloyd after their mother, Laura passed away in 1911 giving birth to Norman. Aunt Lena Schwenck adopted Norman as a baby and she and her husband also raised Wilbert and Herbert.
Wilbert married Melba Klein in 1927. The ceremony was held at Mebla’s home in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1936, the couple built a home on Conway Road before Highway 40 was constructed. They were married 68 years when Wilbert passed away in 1995. They had one daughter, Maureen, who, as an adult, lived next door to her parents. Wilbert’s Grandfather Mertz owned the mercantile store at Schoettler and Olive Street Roads. He was killed in the store in 1903. A year later, Wilbert’s grandmother sold the store to Henry Hoch, who operated it until 1924, when John Rinkel purchased it.
The Wilbert Mertz family shopped at Rinkel’s General Store and also at Zierenberg’s Mercantile. They attended St. John’s Evangelical & Reformed Church in Bellefontaine. Daniel and Laura Mertz are buried at St. John’s United Church of Christ Cemetery.
Melba Mertz was interviewed by Arland Stemme on 10 March 1999.