There are many fine instances where skillful educators who have also made their mark in the political realm. One example of this is George M. Wertz, an Ohio teacher who also served in the Pennsylvania State Senate.
George was born July 19, 1856, near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Jacob and Mary (Hoffman) Wertz, and was born one of seven children on the family farm homestead. As a youngster, he attended public schools, Ebensburg Academy, and the National Normal School in Lebanon, Ohio. In later years, National Normal School merged with Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio. After his graduation from college, George found employment as a teacher, working from 1876 to 1884. He continued his service as an educator working as a school director from 1886 to 1894. George began his career in politics when he was elected county commissioner, a position he held from 1893 to 1896. He went on to serve as sheriff of Cambria County, Pennsylvania, from 1897 to 1901. In 1909, the former teacher was elected as a Republican to the Pennsylvania State Senate, where he served until 1913. Once he left the state senate, George organized and managed the Johnstown Daily Leader, where he worked from 1911 to 1917. Between 1923 and 1925, George served in the 68th United States House of Representatives representing Pennsylvania. After he left Congress, George worked as a real estate agent. This talented educator and politician passed away at the age of 72 on November 19, 1928. He is buried in Grand View Cemetery in Johnstown. The family farm where he was born has been named a state forest.