Mr. and Mrs. Wantz and Their Church, 1919

Ada Naomi Myers (l) and Edward Morrison Wantz (r)

The couple pictured above are Naomi Ada Myers (1891-1971) and her husband Edward Morrison Wantz (1886-1972) who resided in Pleasant Valley, a village in the vicinity of Westminster in Carroll County, MD.

Naomi was the oldest child of the five children of Upton Harvey “Uppie” Myers (1865-1936), a huckster, and Alice Catherine Motter (1863-1940) who married in 1890. Edward was the oldest of the 11 children of George Zephenia Wentz (1863-1921), a farmer in Uniontown, MD, and Mary Ann Helwig (1866-1949). Generally speaking, the name Wantz was rendered Wentz until Edward’s generation, but many times both spellings were used for the same family.

Naomi and Edward were married in the Lutheran Parsonage at Silver Run, MD, on 24 January 1911. They had two children. First came Margaret C. Wantz (1912-2001) who married James Norman Brown (1910-1990) in 1933 and had three children. Next came Richard Edward Wantz (1914-2002) who married Portia Virginia Crabbs (1919-2004) and had one child.

Wantz-Myers Wedding Announcement (The Democratic Advocate, Westminster, MD, 27 January 1911, p. 8)

Edward was a farmer, carpenter, furniture maker, and businessman buying and selling farm land and equipment. He served on the boards of the Union Mills Bank and the Westminster Trust Company which were among the predecessors of PNC Financial Services. Edward was also a founding member of the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company. Edward was a charter member of the Pleasant Valley Cemetery Association, the cemetery where he and Naomi are buried, as are Margaret and Richard and their spouses.

Naomi and Edward were members of St. Matthew’s United Lutheran Church in Pleasant Valley and following is the church’s annual report for 1919. (You can download a .pdf of the report here.) Edward was presented with the first life membership in the church’s history in 1961. According to the history of St. Mary’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Silver Run, which traces its origin to the unification of Lutheran and Reformed churches in 1762, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Pleasant Valley was founded and 1879 and joined St. Mary’s in a two-church parish, a relationship which lasted until 1990. In 1991, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church and St. Matthew’s United Church congregations, which were using the same building in Pleasant Valley, united to become St. Matthew’s United Church of Christ at Pleasant Valley. It gets a little confusing, but some understanding can be gained from this this Wikipedia entry about the United Church of Christ.

Annual Report of St. Matthew’s United Lutheran Church at Pleasant Valley, Md for the year 1919, cover
Annual Report of St. Matthew’s United Lutheran Church at Pleasant Valley, Md for the year 1919, page 2
Annual Report of St. Matthew’s United Lutheran Church at Pleasant Valley, Md for the year 1919, page 3
Annual Report of St. Matthew’s United Lutheran Church at Pleasant Valley, Md for the year 1919, page 4
Annual Report of St. Matthew’s United Lutheran Church at Pleasant Valley, Md for the year 1919, page 5
Annual Report of St. Matthew’s United Lutheran Church at Pleasant Valley, Md for the year 1919, page 6

Pleasant Valley, MD and surroundings in 1877 (Atlas of Carroll County, Lake Griffing & Stevenson, 1877)
Reverse of the Portrait at Top of Page

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Mr. and Mrs. Wantz and Their Church, 1919

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