Andrew Joseph Waltz was born on April 7, 1866 in Cambria County, PA, the son of Michael J. Waltz and Elizabeth (Eichenlaub) Waltz. Andrew was baptized on 4/11/1866 at St. Augustine Church. His godparents were his uncle, Jacob Waltz, and his aunt, Angela Wagner Waltz. Andrew grew up on the Waltz Farm in Chest Springs.
On Oct. 22, 1889, he married Anna Elye in Carrolltown, Pennsylvania. Anna was born in 1870. Andrew & Anna became interested in each other when she worked in the Michael J. & Elizabeth Waltz home--they frequently hired young women from the area to work as maids to help out with the work around the Waltz farm. Here is a picture of Anna from that period of time.
Andrew & Anna as a younger couple:
Andrew and Anna had five children:
The family lived in Gallitzin, PA. Here is a 1901 panoramic map that was drawn of the town of Gallitzin. I have a large poster-size version of this map, on which I can actually pick out Andrew & Anna's home on Quarry Street.
Here is a photo of the family home decorated for the 4th of July:
Andrew & Anna
Andrew getting water at the Prince Gallitzin Spring
Andrew at the rock quarry behind the family home
Andrew in his car, with his daughter, Gertrude and grandson Talford in the back seat
Andrew & Anna also raised their granddaughter, Alfaretta Maxwell. Alfaretta is Gertrude's daughter, and due to unfortunate family circumstances, needed a stable home environment. Alfaretta is very grateful for the loving influence her grandparents had in her life. She is also the person who painted the portraits of Michael J. and Elizabeth Waltz, which you can find on this site--and that makes me very grateful to Alfaretta! She and I have been corresponding, and I have found her to be a wonderful source of family stories.
Andrew holding his baby granddaughter, Alfaretta Maxwell
Andrew & Anna with their granddaughter, Alfaretta
Andrew & Anna Waltz
Andrew & Anna's youngest child, Helen, never married. She did, however, influence many children in her lifetime because she was an elementary teacher for about 70 years! Helen began teaching in a one-room school house in Syberton, PA (Cambria County). Not only did she need to walk several miles to and from school each day, but she also had to clean the school and keep the fire lit. Here's a photo from her very first assignment--she taught 13 children, grades ones through five.
In 1889 she won a contest for being the longest-working teacher in America (see "Waltz Documents" section of the site for a newspaper article on this) She was also awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Francis College in Loretto.
After Helen "retired" in 1964, she organized a kindergarten at St. Patrick's, where she volunteered her time teaching full time for 25 more years.
In 1990 Helen built a chapel in memory of her parents. Here is a picture of her checking on the progress:
And here is a picture of the plaque on the completed chapel:
Andrew died January 1, 1935 in a freak accident. The family was a little bit "nuts" about their cats, and Andrew went out in a storm to go to the butcher's to get hot dogs for the cats (apparently, one of their favorite foods). On the way home, Andrew took a shortcut over the railroad tracks, where he slipped and hit his head and was knocked unconscious. He froze to death before anyone could find him.
Anna died in 1942.
Andrew and Anna are both buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Gallitzin, PA.
Gertrude, Pearl, & Helen are also buried in this same family plot:
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