William M. Kurtz has spent all his life in Northwestern Ohio, is a successful farmer in St. Joseph Township, and is a veteran of the threshing business. He owns a large acreage and a valuable farm, representing to a large extent his varied industry and capabilities.
Mr. Kurtz, whose home is a mile and three-quarters southeast of Edgerton, was born in Milford Township, Defiance County, Ohio, March 24, 1871. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Kurtz, were natives of Germany and were married in that country. His father was born in Wuertemberg, January 8, 1831. At the age of twenty-six he took his wife and son to Australia, and lived in that country for five years. Returning to Germany, they remained only a few months and in 1862 emigrated to the United States and located in Defiance County. They bought a farm three and a half miles south of Edgerton and Jacob Kurtz cleared up his land and improved it and remained a resident there until his death. They were reared as Lutherans, but in Ohio became Methodists. The mother died in 1879.
William M. Kurtz was one of eight children and grew up on the home farm near Edgerton, attended district schools, and was a factor in the parental establishment until he married and established a home of his own.
January 23, 1898, he married Martha M. Fisher, who was born in Center Township of Williams County, February 3, 1878, daughter of Michael and Mary (Laufer) Fisher. Her father was born April 12, 1830, was brought to the United States from Germany in 1840 and the family were pioneers in Williams County. In the Fisher family were fourteen children named Jacob, George M., Mary E., Anna M., John Z., Caroline, Henry E., Frederick, David, William M., Albert C, Charles F., Martha and Victoria C. Mrs. Kurtz was reared on a farm and acquired a district school education.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz rented the farm where they now live, and in 1902, as a result of their joint thrift and energies were able to buy the land. They now have a valuable place of 120 acres, and their improvements are of the best. Mr. Kurtz has operated a threshing outfit for twenty-eight years, and is one of the oldest men in that business and as such is widely known. He is a democrat in politics, a member of the Farm Bureau, is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Mrs. Kurtz is a member of the Pythian Sisters.
They have two children : Arvilla A., born March 4, 1904, now attending high school; and J. W. Russell Kurtz, born January 3, 1914. The family are members of the Presbyterian Church and Mr. Kurtz is one of its trustees.