(The following was written by WIlbur Gantz, and is reprinted from “Reflections”, a collection of local stories available at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum. Any opinions made in the article are from the author.)
Planting equipment for corn was developed to replace hand planting. Horse-drawn planters of various design were used until the check row planter was perfected and came into general use by 1880.
Small grain had been seeded by hand either by throwing the seed or using a device to help throw until grain drills were developed after 1850. Almost all seating was done by drills by 1870.
It was during the active farming time of Adam Gantz that many of these changes from all hand labor came about. The mechanical equipment still left much hard work to be done in the harvest of corn and hay. Corn was still cut, shacked, and husked. The hay harvest was particularly mechanized by the mower’s replacing the scythe and by various types of rakes for field work in hay.
The Adam Gantz family grew to number 14 children with the birth of the youngest son Albert on 14 March, 1857. The family had dependent on the spring water from the spring below the home for all their drinking water all this time, and this was blamed for the death of two sons from what was believed to be Typhoid fever. These two boys died on the same day 9 February, 1866. John, the older, was 17 years old that day while his brother William was 11 years old. These deaths led to the purchase of two Lots at the Green Lawn Cemetery (Lots 80 and 81 Sec. S.), where these boys became the first of the family buried there.
The mother of this family, Catherine Pennix Gantz, was the next to be buried on the family plot. She died 24 May, 1874, aged 60 years and 60 days. Another son, Jeremiah P. Gantz, died 9 August, 1877, on his 32nd birthday also from Typhoid fever. The father, Adam Gantz, died 16 December, 1877, being 72 years 7 months of age. There are 10 other members of this family (15 in all) buried on this lot. Some are sons-in-law and one grandson, who died from injuries from the sheep and cattle wars of Wyoming in 1905.
According to the records of early Grove City and ”The Story of St. John’s Lutheran Church”, The families related to Adam Gantz were quite active in the development of the English speaking portion of the congregation. George Weygant and Jonathan Gantz were quite active in this capacity. And we can assume that the Adam Gantz family were also. The English speaking portion divided from the German Lutherans in 1856 and established the Presbyterian Church. The Adam Gantz family held membership in the Presbyterian congregation. Some of the sons and daughters continued this membership for their lifetimes.
Adam and Catherine left 11 living children at the time of their deaths, with a total of 57 grandchildren born to their sons and daughters. Many descendants are still in Franklin County, while others are scattered worldwide.