Alexander Martz

Engineer; Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds

                   Alexander Martz President Seerley received a telegram late Saturday evening, May 11, 1901, announcing the death at Pasadena, California, of Alexander Martz. His health had been failing rapidly for more than a year, and he had gone only a few weeks ago to the Pacific Coast, under leave of absence of the Normal School Board of Trustees, in the vain of hope that change of climate would effect his restoration. He was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, in 1840. In his young manhood he united with the German Evangelical Church. As a solider in the Civil War, he enlisted in Company D., 6th Pennsylvania Regiment, July 1, 1861. In the battle of South Mountain, he received a severe wound in the ankle, which compelled his retirement from the service. He was mustered out, December 31, 1862. He married Susan Sheridan at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1868. He came to Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1869, and served for two years in the employ of the Fabrick Pump Factory. In 1872 he was chosen to be Engineer in the Soldier’s Orphans’ Home, at Cedar Falls, and, when, in 1876 its buildings and grounds were transferred to the Iowa State Normal School, he was elected to the same position by the Board of Directors of that intuition. In this capacity he continued to serve the school until 1891. Prior to this year the boarding department of the school had been abandoned, the office of Steward discontinued, and the office of Superintendent of the Buildings and Grounds created. To this new position, Mr. Martz by unanimous choice of the Board was promoted from that which he for fourteen years had so efficiently filled. That the confidence of the Board was not misplaced, is shown not only in satisfaction, the duties of his office throughout the thirteen years of his incumbency, but also in the marks of care and skill always manifest in the general conditions of the grounds and buildings, making them the pride and boast of all friends of the institution. Along mechanical lines, he was a man of remarkable versatility. There were scarcely any repairs or constructions within or without the buildings that he was unable to perform with his own hands. This power of adaptability rendered his services invaluable to the management of the school; his loss irreparable. The recent grant by his employers of a six months’ leave of absence, on full pay, is at once a tribute of their esteem, and a recognition of the faithful discharge of duty, through a quarter of a century, by a devoted friend and servant of the school. In private life, he was kind, gentle and retiring. To every trust, faithful; in the discharge of every duty, efficient; making no advances toward friendship and repelling none, he was the recognized friend of the school and all its members; always considerate of his subordinates, devoted but not obsequious to his superiors in office, he won the respect and esteem of all, the enmity of none. He has gone to his reward; he who was faithful in a few things, to be made ruler over much. Adapted from an article in the Normal Eyte, May 18, 1901, page 784.