from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
George P. Bertsch, senior partner in the Bertsch-Shurtz Drug Company in Oskaloosa, doing business at No. 202 First avenue east, is a native son of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Sigourney on the 4th of June, 1873. As the name indicates, the family comes of German lineage. The parents, Jacob and Katherine B. (Jacobs) Bertsch, were both natives of Hesse- Darmstadt, Germany, and are now residents of Sigourney, where they are living at the ages of seventy-three and seventy years respectively. The father came to the United States in 1842, settling first in Baltimore, Maryland, where he followed the butchers trade for two years. He then removed to Indianapolis, Indiana, and thence went to Washington, Iowa, and later to Davenport, Iowa, where he continued in business as a butcher for several years. In 1871 he removed to Sigourney, where he established a meat market, which he conducted successfully for a number of years, until feeling that his capital was sufficient to justify his retiring from further business life, he is now living in the enjoyment of a well earned rest. He belongs, to the Knights of Pythias fraternity and from the time he became a naturalized American citizen gave his political allegiance to the democracy until 1896, when he voted for William McKinley, again supporting him in 1900. In 1904, however, he cast his ballot for Judge Parker, the presidential candidate of the democracy. His wife came to the United States when a young maiden of seventeen years, joining her brother in New York. They afterward removed to Davenport, Iowa, and it was there that she gave her band in marriage to Jacob Bertsch. She is a communicant of the Catholic church. Unto the marriage there were born ten children, of whom only three are now living. Two of the number bore the name of George P. Bertsch, the other having died before the birth of our subject. Jacob M. Bertsch, now living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a photographer by profession. In earlier years he engaged in farming in Oklahoma but was in the cyclone at Snyder there in 1905 and on account of the destruction of his property he removed to Los Angeles, California, but has since returned to Oklahoma. Anna, the only surviving daughter of the family, is the wife of Edward M. Fritz, a cigar manufacturer, who is also a musician. He has been on the road as a conductor of leading bands of the country and is now located in Ottumwa, where he is giving instruction in music. George P. Bertsch was a public-school student in his native city and is a graduate of the high school of the class of 1890. He then entered a drug store as a clerk and studied pharmacy, obtaining a pharmacist's certificate in 1892. In the fall of the same year he entered the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, from which he was graduated in 1894 and in the autumn of that year he came to Oskaloosa, where he purchased the drug store of Strain & Batterson. A year and a half later he admitted T. E. Boal, of Buda, Illinois, to a partnership under the firm name of Bertsch-Boal Drug Company, which relation was maintained until April, 1904, when Mr. Boal retired and was succeeded by Charles Y. Shurtz, of Ottumwa, who entered the firm and the present style of the Bertsch-Shurtz Drug Company was assumed. Their store is most advantageously located at the corner of First avenue and First street and their patronage is extensive. The store is well appointed and its tasteful arrangement together with the reliable business methods of the house have secured a large and growing patronage. In 1896 Mr. Hertsch was married to Miss Anna Elizabeth Holdefer, who was born in Baltimore, Maryland, November 16, 1875, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Holdefer, the former a commission merchant There is one child of this marriage, George Tracy, born in 1900. Mr. Bertsch is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine and an Elk, and his wife belongs to the First Presbyterian church. He votes with the democracy and is a good business man who has been very successful by reason of the fact that he thoroughly prepared himself for the line of work which he has undertaken and has displayed close application and unremitting energy in carrying on his business. In manner he is rather retiring but he stands high in public esteem. With his little family he occupies a beautiful home on Third avenue east.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy