More on Dr. Notz

Last week I wrote a bit about Dr. William F. Notz, one of Watertown’s distinguished citizens who went on to great accomplishments in the religious and political worlds.

Space ran out last week and there was much yet to tell. So, as promised, I’ll continue with that topic today.

It was Joe Pinkie who brought the name to my attention as one of Watertown’s highly accomplished sons, and yet one that few people actually knew about.

Dr. Notz was born in Watertown back in 1879 and attended Northwestern College here and then went on to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, where he earned his theological degree and became an ordained minister. Along with serving as a minister, he also took classes in economics and philosophy and ultimately earned a master’s degree from Uninversity of Wisconsin-Madison in 1907 and a doctorate in 1909, and then a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

That’s about where I left off the story a week ago and we’ll pick it up here.

In addition to all of those academic achievements, Dr. Notz carved out a string of achievements in government affairs.

In 1914, he was commissioned by the U.S. government to do research in European countries. Specifically, his investigations focused on cartels and industrial alliances, unfair competition and trust legislation.

From 1913 to 1915, he served as a special agent for the U.S. Bureau of Corporations and in 1915 he was also named a special agent for the Federal Trade Commission when Joseph E. Davies, one of Watertown’s prominent natives, was chairman of that commission.

He was also a former chief of the Export Trade Division of the Federal Trade Commission and a senior economic analyst for the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce of the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1927 to 1929.

In 1924, he became dean of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and from 1919 to 1924 he served as a professor of economics there.

His list of accomplishments included a stint, starting in 1932, as chairman of the board of directors of the Academy of World Economics and was a national president of Delta Phil Epsilon. He was also a member of the American Economic Association of the American Oriental Society.

Because of his educational accomplishments and his outstanding work in foreign relations, he was honored by many countries. Romania awarded him the title of Officer, Order of the Star, and Italy awarded him the decoration of Commander of the Order of the Royal Italian Crown.

He was also named by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the U.S. delegate to the Pan-American Educational Congress which convened in Santiago, Chile.

During his visits abroad, he came to know intimately world leaders, including Mussolini and Hitler, who just years later plunged the world into war.

He was also a noted author who wrote much about economics and legal subjects.

Historical reports about Dr. Notz indicated that despite this high profile life, he remained a modest and unassuming person.

Although he had a busy schedule, Dr. Notz did return to Watertown occasionally to reconnect with old friends and spend a few days here.

So, there’s a brief history of this extraordinary person who was born and raised right here in Watertown and rose to accomplish much on the national and international stage in addition to his work in the Lutheran ministry.

Once again Joe Pinkie provided an interesting topic for this column.

Days get longer

We’re not through winter yet, but the days are getting longer and that tells me the worst is nearly over.

Sunrise today is at 6:46 a.m. and sunset is at 5:32 p.m. At least we now have daylight before 7 a.m. and it continues until after 5 p.m. Right now we’re gaining about two minutes a day of sunlight and that will only accelerate.

We still have a week of February and there’s plenty of time for some snow storms, but as each day passes, average temperatures will rise and the snow will disappear faster.

We were in Florida for a few days last week and it was in the ‘80s. Coming back to Watertown a week ago when it was below zero, we got a quick reality check. Still, warmer days are just around the corner.

And, remember, Daylight Saving Time will be going in effect soon.


Recommended for you

Load comments