Dr. Matthias A. Baltz was born February 25, 1903 in Pocahontas, AR to George Peter Baltz and Catherine Boulie Baltz. He was the youngest of 15 children. He graduated from Pocahontas High School and taught eight grades of students in an one room school for two years before entering premedical training at Little Rock College.
He graduated from University of Arkansas School of Medicine in 1929 and then served his internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Little Rock, AR, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas. While living at Little Rock College he served as chauffeur for the nuns in return for room and board.
He returned to Pocahontas in 1932 during the height of the Depression, he saw patients in rooms upstairs over the home of his parents on Convent Street. It was also the house that he and his brothers built for his parents when they retired from the farm and delivered each of his own eight children there.
He married Mary Louise DeClerk in 1933 and had eight children; Mary Therese Davis, Guy Rainer Baltz, Rita Catherine Dust, Madeleine Ann Throesch, Mildred (Millie) Margaret Kueter, Albert Louis Baltz, Regina (Genie) Elizabeth Harper, and Mary Frances Janet Holt.
Inn 1933, he opened the first medical clinic in Pocahontas, it was called the “Little Flower Clinic”. Here he treated illnesses, performed minor surgeries, delivered babies, performed lab tests, set fractures, among other medical procedures, and saw patients from surrounding counties.
It is estimated he delivered over 5,000 babies during his medical career, about 2000 were home births. He dropped his fees during the Depression and would often barter for services, like a pig, cow, chickens or some kind of service.
He did not have set hours for his office because he would stay open until everyone was seen. He made house calls way out in the country, sometimes having to stay a night or two.
He was the medical examiner for a couple of local businesses, including the Expressmen’s Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Brown Shoe Co. He was active in getting the first hospital, Randolph County Hospital, built in Pocahontas in the 1940s. Dr. Baltz served as examining physician during World War II. He was also the designated Medical Examiner for the Veterans Administration.
Dr. Baltz practiced medicine in Pocahontas for over 50 years. He was honored in 1979 for 50 years of service, receiving a plaque for 56 years of membership and service to the Knights of Columbus, a gold watch on behalf of the Randolph County Hospital and Randolph Home, and County Judge Junior Woolridge signed a proclamation designating June 28, 1979 as Dr. Matt Baltz Day.
Dr. Baltz passed away on February 2, 1988. He is buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery.
By Mary Therese, his daughter, and siblings Guy Ranier, Rita Catherine, Madeleine Ann, Mildred Margaret, Albert Louis, Regina Elizabeth and Mary Francis