William Getz, who died August 5, 1913, was one of the sterling business men and public spirited citizens of Kent. He was the senior member of Getz Brothers, hardware merchants.
He was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, December 19, 1860, son of Jacob and Catherine (Sheetenhelm) Getz. His parents were born in Germany, but after coming to America settled on a farm in Tuscarawas County. Jacob Getz was a stone mason by trade, and engaged in contracting as well as farming. He died in Tuscarawas County in 1874, and his widow survived until 1897.
William Getz grew up on the farm, attended the district schools, the high school at Kent and Buchtel College at Akron. By practical experience he learned the hardware business, and on October 17, 1887, with his brother John G. he established the firm of Getz Brothers at Kent, dealers in general hardware, paints and oils. He was the senior partner in the business until his death. Since then the firm has remained Getz Brothers, but the active partners today are John G. Getz, George Getz, Harold Bluestone, Bruce Kellogg and Bert Smith.
On September 2, 1890, William Getz married Miss Julia Stewart, who was born in Franklin Township, Portage County, January 19, 1865, daughter of Thomas C. and Adeline (Hart) Stewart. Her father was a native of Ravenna Township, Portage County, Ohio, and her mother of Vermont. Her paternal grandparents, William and Elizabeth (Clemens) Stewart, were of Scotch ancestry. Her maternal grandparents, Homer and Mary (Knowlton) Hart, were native of Vermont, and early settlers of Portage County, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. William Getz had the following children: Elnora, a trained nurse; Margaret, a stenographer; Mary, wife of Harold Bluestone, and the mother of a son, William Robert; and Catherine, who died when fourteen years old. Mrs. William Getz was educated in grammar and high schools, and is an active member of the Congregational Church. William Getz was a trustee of the church, was a member of the school board and identified himself in every possible way with movements for the improvement and general welfare of his home community. He took part in the prohibition movement and was vice president of the Better Road Committee. He was a Mason and republican.
History of Ohio, The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925, Volume III