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Jesse Woltz

One of a set of chairs made and signed by Jesse Woltz

Jesse Woltz came to Lancaster in 1816 with Samuel Herr.  He was born in Hagerstown Maryland December 15, 1792.  Before leaving Hagerstown, it is likely he apprenticed with his uncle George Woltz.  He began business for himself in 1816 and soon moved his stand to Number 9 Wheeling Street in Lancaster, Ohio.  He developed a reputation as one of Lancaster’s most skilled cabinet makers.  Based on period advertising, it is known that he worked in Cherry and Walnut and made sideboards; secretaries; common desks; clock cases; knife cases; circular, straight front, and panel end bureaus; tables; square, round and oval candle stands; wash stands; high and low post beds and chairs. 

Jesse Woltz is one of the few cabinet makers who signed their work.  In the known examples, his known marks are J Woltz and J Woltz/Lancaster, Ohio 1824. 

Local legend says that Jesse Woltz made the clock cases for the Timothy and Thomas Sturgeon clocks.  This is certainly possible since the earliest clocks cases bear a resemblance to cases made by George Woltz (see The Magazine Antiques, March, 1939).  Later clock cases used by the Sturgeon’s also exhibit the hand of a skilled cabinetmaker. 

Later in his career, Jesse expanded his line to include making pianos and organs, including the organ in the Lutheran Church.  Following the panic of 1837, it seems likely that Woltz fell on hard times.  In 1838 he advertised that he wanted to sell the Lutheran Church organ and that he was taking in borders.  He also opened an ice cream shop at his old furniture stand.  In 1839, he moved to Chillicothe to live with his son where he died later that year.

Below is a table also made and signed by J. Woltz/Lancaster Ohio 1824.

Drop Leaf Table Made By Jesse Woltz