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RG3732.AM:  Harry Maurice Wentz, 1892-1983

Papers:  1908-ca.1967

Lancaster County, Nebraska:  Heating and plumbing contractor

Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box


Harry Maurice Wentz was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on November 28, 1892.  His father George H. Wentz, a plumber and heating contractor, worked for Korsmeyer Co. until he purchased the plumbing and heating part of the company in April 1908.  After graduating from high school, Harry worked for his father as an apprentice, until he started school at the University of Nebraska’s School of Agriculture.  He graduated in 1911, but afterwards decided to major in Mechanical Engineering.  After marrying Mae Anderson in 1915, Wentz returned to his job as a steamfitter.  He soon took up plumbing, continuing to work for his father.  In 1925, he founded Wentz Fuel Oil Co., concerning himself with the selling of fuel oil burners throughout the state of Nebraska.  His career in fuel oil delivery and the servicing of oil burners, and in the contracting of plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems continued throughout the 1950’s and into the 1960’s.  Harry Wentz died on May 1, 1983, and is buried in Lincoln Memorial Park, Lincoln, Nebraska.


This collection consists of one box of papers relating to Harry Wentz’s career as a plumbing and heating contractor in Lincoln.  The collection includes an autobiographical sketch/reminiscence by Wentz, several contractor’s journals, a letter of recommendation for the Wentz Company, and photocopies of advertisements for early plumbing fixtures sold by Wentz.  The materials in the collection date from ca. 1908 to 1967.

The autobiographical sketch by Wentz traces his entire life in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Included are reminiscences about Lincoln’s early years, professors at the University of Nebraska, early plumbing business life in Lincoln, and prominent business men Wentz had known.  The effects of “the boom” in the 1920’s on his business are discussed as well as the gains his company made during the Depression.  The contractor’s journals consist of two time books and an appointment book.  The time books, 1908-1914, record the names of the workers, number of hours worked, rate of pay and amount paid.  The appointment book, 1913-1915, is for contract work done.  Perley M. Lewis, Captain in the Army Corps of Engineers, wrote the letter of recommendation for the Wentz Company in 1942.  The last folder contains photocopies of advertisements for early plumbing wares.


Box 1


    1. Autobiography of Harry Wentz, ca. 1967

    1. Workmens’ time book, 1908-1910

      Workmens’ time book, 1913-1914

    1. Appointment book, 1913-1915

    1. Letter of recommendation, 1942

    1. Advertisements of plumbing fixtures


Subject headings: 

Lancaster County (Nebraska) — History

Lincoln (Nebraska) — Businesses

Plumbers — Nebraska — Lincoln

Wentz, Harry Maurice, 1892-1983


AIF/pjm               04-18-1979

Revised TMM      09-10-2019