A[rthur] A. WENTZ, abstract-maker, Vinton, Iowa, of the firm of Wentz & Knapp, is a native of Chester County, Pa., born Oct. 8, 1846. He is a son of John T. and Amanda (Andrews) Wentz, natives of the same county. His father was a carriage-maker by trade. Both parents died in 1848, leaving a family of three children — Charles K., who enlisted in the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry, and died at Morris Island in 1863, from disease contracted while in the service; Mary J., wife of Thomas Martin, a retired farmer, living at Maryville, Nodoway Co., Mo., and A. A. the subject of this sketch. His parents were members of the Presbyterian Church.
A. A. Wentz was reared in Chester County, and received his literary education in the common schools and in the Union Academy, of Lancaster County, Pa. In 1864 he attended Crittenden's Business College, at Philadelphia, taking a full course and graduating therefrom. he afterward was engaged for a time as clerk in a mercantile establishment. In 1866 he came West and stopped at Marion, Linn Co., Iowa, where he engaged in the general mercantile business, remaining two years.
He was married, April 23, 1868, to Miss Clara P. Blackman, born in Marion, Iowa, daughter of J. H. Blackman, a native of Ohio. Soon after his marriage Mr. Wentz came to Vinton and engaged in abstracting the county, in company with S. B. Jackson, under the firm name of Jackson & Wentz. This partnership continued until June, 1869, when Mr. Wentz purchased Mr. Jackson's interest, and operated the business alone until 1875, when he sold out to John Knapp, but in 1878 he purchased an interest in the business. The firm has now a full and complete set of abstracts of Benton County.
In 1875 Mr. Wentz purchased fifty acres of land lying about one mile west of the court-house, to which he has since made additions, now having a fine farm of 190 acres. As this work is being prepared for the press, prospecting for oil is going on. In politics Mr. Wentz is a Republican. He cast his first vote on the day that he was twenty-one years of age. He has held the office of County Supervisor, and in 1883 was appointed County Auditor to fill the unexpired term of E. M. Evans, resigned.Mr. and Mrs. Wentz are the parents of six children, now living — George, John, Louise, Lois, Mark and Clifford. Mr. Wentz is a member of Vinton Lodge, No. 30, A. O. U. W.; of the Knights of Honor; of Vinton Lodge. No. 83, and Vinton Encampment, No. 59, I. O. O. F. He has held all the principal offices of the lodges to which he belongs. He is also a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church. In educational and all matters tending to advance the best interests of his adopted town, he has taken a great interest, and is widely known for his integrity and uprightness, always aiding every good cause, and ever striving for a suppression of evil.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 211-212.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.