CHARLES E. GROTZ, Wadsworth, Ohio.
At the age of 17 Charles E. Grotz enlisted in Company G, 2d Ohio Cavalry, and though but a boy when he started out in the service of his country he served from 1861 till October, 1864, when he was mustered out at Columbus, Ohio. He was in some warm encounters under General Salomon in the west, and under General Sherman participated in that General's triumphs in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. He was fortunate enough to go through the baptism of shot and shell without a wound, and returned to a civilian's life some the worse from exposure and hardships he had met at the front, where his life was in peril most all the time.
His father was Abraham Grotz, a harness maker of Wadsworth, Ohio, and Mr. Grotz was born in that town on September 18, 1844. He attended school until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted. After returning from the war he remained at home till March, 1865, when he began firing on the Atlantic & Great Western. He fired three years on freight and one year on passenger, receiving his promotion to engineer in the fall of 1869. For thirteen years he was in the freight service, and then, at his own request, he was given the switch engine at Wadsworth, which he has run for the past seventeen years.
During his early days as an engineer he broke through a bridge near Pavonia, pulling fifteen cars into the river after him, and when the wrecking crew came they found the engine on one bank and the caboose on the other, with the train in the river.
Mr. Grotz is a highly respected citizen and property owner of Wadsworth, having the extreme esteem and confidence of the officials, as well as that of his fellow citizens, who have elected him to a second term as Councilman of Wadsworth. He is a member of B. of L. E., Division 16; Wadsworth Lodge No. 385, F. & A. M.; Eaton Post No. 265, G. A. R., and Wadsworth Chapter of the Eastern Star.
January 30, 1869, he was married to Miss Hattie Anderson, daughter of William Anderson, a pattern maker of Mansfield, Ohio. They have had four children: William L., who was a fireman on the Erie, died at the age of 17; Elton L., died at the age of 10; Julia, aged 24, educated in Wadsworth, is married to Albert Overholt, a fireman on the Erie at Galion; Bessie M., aged 5, is a bright little girl who will start to school next year.
Excerpted from: "American Locomotive Engineers, Erie Railway Edition," H.R. Romans Editor; Crawford-Adsit Company Publishers, Chicago, IL 1899.