Monthly Archives: May 2015

William Coulthard of Galt – Early Settler

“Death of Wm. Coulthard: For 64 Years a Resident of Town of Galt: Was for 26 Years Manager of the Victoria Wheel Works.”

Mr. William Coulthard, one of Galt’s oldest citizens is dead. How simple the words yet how pregnant with significance. Although Mr. Coulthard had been failing for some time, he had only been seriously ill for a few days, death resulting from a general break-up of the system. Mr. Coulthard was born in Lockerbie, Scotland, not far from the farm of Ellisland, which Burns has immortalized for all time, and came to this country when but 20 years of age. The young Scot did not tarry long in any of the seaboard towns or provinces, but proceeded into the interior, landing in Galt 64 years ago. The deceased worked for the late Mr. Absalom Shade, the founder of Galt, for some years after arriving in town, leaving his employ to undertake the management of the Victoria Wheel Works, which business was at that time owned by the Hon. Jas. Young and the late Mr. Smith. The deceased successfully managed the business for 26 years. In 1884 Mr. Coulthard went into the book and stationary business, which he conducted with unusual acumun and probity until he retired a few years ago. Mr. Coulthard married shortly after coming to Galt, his wife being Jane Murray, of Hawick, Scotland, who predeceased him by eight years. On his way from Scotland to this country Mr. Coulthard was shipwrecked in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the boiler of the ship blowing up,leaving most of the passengers without either money or clothing. His first experience of a Canadian winter in Galt was a very hard one. Work was scarce, and only the oldest inhabitants can realize what lack [?] of labor meant when the town of Galt was in its infancy. Mr. Coulthard early identified himself with the religious work of the community. He was gifted in no ordinary degree, and some of the older citizens will remember the vigorous addresses he delivered before the early debating clubs. At the time of his death he was an elder of the Central Presbyterian church, which position he filled with his usual zeal for many years. Three children, the Misses H. R.. and E. Coulthard and one son, W. C. Coulthard, survive. A brother also survives, the last of a family of eleven. Mr. Coulthard was always a staunch Liberal in politics and although he never filled any municipal position, he always gave ungrudgingly of his time and talent for the welfare of the town. The funeral will take place from his late residence, Mellville street, on Friday afternoon, at 4 o’clock [the rest is missing].

Nov 16, 1906 Paper not noted [thanks to Marion Roes for transcript]


Losing Even More History

Image from Kitchener Public Library

Image from Kitchener Public Library

The city of Kitchener, is ordering the demolition of the historic Mayfair Hotel because the 110-year-old building poses a public safety risk. Now is it is rumored that the owners of 156-158 [the adjoining buildings] are going to ask Council to withdraw its intention to designate that building too. Whether they want to demolish it, along with 11 Young Street, the Mayfair Hotel, we won’t know till they speak at council.

It seems appropriate to pass on a little history of the people associated with these buildings.

Henry Lippert of the Mayfair Hotel building


Had Active Career As Manufacturer, Merchant, Hotelman, and City Builder

Edward Lippert, 62, former alderman, senior member of the undertaking firm of Lippert and Hunter, and prominent Kitchener businessman, died at his home, 42 College Street, at 8:30 o’clock last evening following an illness that set in early in the year.

Mr. Lippert had been confined to his bed for about two months. Recently and up until yesterday there was a slight improvement in his condition but pneumonia set in. He was communicative and conscious until about 15 minutes before he passed away.

The deceased was elected to the Kitchener City Council at the last municipal election, but owing to his illness he was able to attend only a few meetings. He resigned about two months ago, and was succeeded by C. C. Hahn, former mayor.

Successful in Business

Mr. Lippert’s death means termination of a long and successful business career. The deceased was son of the late George Lippert Sr., founder and head of the former Lippert Furniture Company Ltd. and for many years, chairman of the Kitchener Public Utilities Commission. He was born in Preston but the family subsequently moved to Kitchener where he attended St Mary’s school.

Leaving school at 12 years, he learned the upholstering trade, working in various local shops. Subsequently he was employed in Grand Rapids, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Central City, Colorado. It was while he was working in a Central City furniture and undertaking establishment that he entered his first business venture.

He wanted to quit his job, but the employer induced him to stay by taking him into partnership. This was successful. The second milestone of his business career was becoming financially interested in 1902 in the furniture factory started by his father, the late George Lippert, located on Louisa street.

Mr. Lippert quit the Central City partnership in 1905 when he returned to Kitchener. In that year, he also undertook his first real estate enterprise. He built the first three stories of the block on the northeast corner of King and Young streets at that time and started a retail furniture and undertaking business. He conducted this business at this stand for many years.

His faith in Kitchener and his aggressiveness resulted in him becoming interested in other real estate properties, which he owned or of which he was part owner, up until his death. Mr. Lippert’s real estate purchases were always followed by improvements. It was his policy not to allow his buildings to become dilapidated.

The deceased sold the furniture end of the business in 1920. In the same year he bought the Brunswick House, at the northwest corner of King and Young streets, then an apartment house. He changed the name to the Windsor House and again turned the place into an hotel. after completing refurnishing it.

He operated this hotel until 1924, when he sold it to Charles Bruder, the present owner.

Builds New Block

Following his sale of the Windsor property, he built the block of stores on the north side of King street west between Water and Francis streets, in which he subsequently started up a new retail furniture business and which he later turned over to his sons, Harold and Edward Jr. and to Alexander Reinhart. the present owners. The modern funeral home, Lippert and Hunter, is located in this block He opened the Mayfair Hotel, King and Young streets, where the furniture and undertaking business was formerly located, on Sept. 11, 1929. By coincidence, his death occurred exactly on the sixth anniversary of the day on which he received his first hotel guests.

Before opening this hotel, he put on three more storeys over the three old ones, and had the distinction of being the first owner of a six-storey building in Kitchener.

Active in Texas

Mr. Lippert’s enterprise, however, was not confined to Kitchener, but extended far beyond the city and even out of Canada. In addition to owning Toronto and Calgary properties, he opened an entirely new business section in a Texas town. He built the first row of business buildings in the district, had the street widened and other improvements made.

The deceased, in addition to being an enterprising and aggressive business man, was a citizen interested in his home city. Of late years, he was particularly interested in the improvement of municipal government. He fought for lower taxation and easing of the burden on the taxpayer, and it was largely through this activity that the Kitchener Taxpayers’ Association was organized some years ago and that as a result a public forum from which municipal issues could be discussed was provided. He also believed in the necessity of Kitchener getting new industries.

Elected to Council

During the last municipal election held in December, Mr. Lippert was induced by a number of citizens to stand as a candidate for alderman, and he was returned to office.

Mr. Lippert was a staunch Liberal, and during the 1924 provincial election, took the platform in support of the party and local candidate and the Canadian Woodmen. He was a member of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, St. Boniface Society,
Kitchener Daily Record 12 Sep 1935

The Hymmen Family [Hardware business from 1850-1960]

August and Charles Boehmer in the sixties owned a hardware, stove and tinware store at 58 East King Street. In 1874, they began manufacturing paper boxes, after selling the hardware stock to C. E. Moyer and the tinware shop to Peter and Henry Hymmen. Hymmen Bros. first leased quarters in the Canadian block from J. Y. Shantz, and later on in the Germania block. Hardware and plumbing were added to their lines. In 1892, Peter Hymmen bought his brother’s share. In 1906, he opened up West King Street as a business section, erecting a large block at No. 158. Mr. Hymmen was active until shortly before his death in 1930. Prior to his departure, his sons, H. I.. Hymmen and Homer Hymmen, had been their father’s associates and now direct the enterprise. After Henry Hymmen left the firm he was for four years with H. Wolfhard & Co., and then bought C. E. Moyer’s hardware stock. He carried on in the Dunke block until 1900, when he was appointed superintendent of the waterworks. George Potter, who for many years had been with John Fennell & Son, bought Mr. Hymmen’s stock, and is still doing business at the old stand.

A History of Kitchener, W. V. (Ben) Uttley, Kitchener, Ontario 1937, pg 159


Hymmen Bros. & Chamberlain, Hardware, Stoves, Pumps, etc., King Street – The hardware trade in Berlin is one in which a large amount of capital is invested, and in which employment is furnished to many hands. The goods handled are those in use in all building operations, houses, stores, offices, etc., and consequently the demand is large and the field of operations extensive. Among those actively and prominently engaged in this line of industry is the firm of Messrs. Hymmen Bros. & Chamberlain, whose business has been established for the past six years, Mr. Chamberlain having been admitted a partner last spring. The premises occupied are large and commodious, being 20×124 feet in dimensions, where a large and well assorted stock of hardware, stoves, pumps, tinware, hot-air furnaces, cutlery, etc., etc., is carried in profusion. The firm manufacture their own tinware both from order and for stock. They give employment to 8 competent assistants and skilled workmen, and use one team for the delivery of goods to customers, who come from the town and surrounding sections of country. The business since its inception has been constantly improving and still steadily increases, the volume of business transacted this fall being very large and in advance of former years. All members of the firm are natives to Canada, and imbued with all the business characteristics which have made the country such a successful commercial one. They are held in the highest regard by all who know them.

Industries of Canada Historical and Commercial Sketches Hamilton and Environs 1886


Article now a Bitter pill

Former Mayfair Hotel and Hymmen Hardware in Kitchener’s Centre Block are designated by Kitchener City Council

December 15, 2008

Former Mayfair Hotel and Hymmen Hardware in Kitchener’s Centre Block are designated by Kitchener City Council.
On November 24, a representative of the North Waterloo Region Branch, made a brief presentation to Kitchener City Council in support of Heritage Kitchener’s submission to designate 11 Young Street, the former Mayfair Hotel and 156-158 King Street West (P. Hymmen Hardware). Both buildings have cultural heritage significance. Happily, City Council passed a motion to designate these buildings.

In its statement of cultural heritage value, Heritage Kitchener stated that the exterior condition of both buildings is good. Concerning the former Mayfair Hotel, the report states that the building has an historic association with prominent Kitchener business man Edward Lippert,who in 1905 built a 3 storey structure for his furniture and undertaking business, as well as other buildings in the downtown. Lippert served as a city councilor in the 1930’s. This building is of a Renaissance Revival Style, a relatively common style for commercial buildings of the period; in 1929, three storeys were added in art deco style which was popular in the 1930s. The two styles blend well.

Here is a quote from the report :”contextually, the former Mayfair Hotel makes an important contribution to the downtown streetscape. Apart from the replacement of windows and minor alterations to the façade at street level, the building appears as much as it did in 1929, and adds to the visual and architectural continuity of the historic main street. It was the tallest building (at six storeys) in the downtown following the construction of the 1929 addition and continues to occupy a prominent location on King Street.”

Regarding, the former Hymmen Hardware Building the report states that it “makes an important contribution to the downtown streetscape. Apart from the replacement of windows and minor alterations to the façade at street level, the building appears much as it did in 1909, and adds to the visual and architectural continuity of the historic main street… the façade shares the same construction and architectural detailing as the original three storeys of the former Mayfair Hotel….”

Congratulation to Heritage Kitchener and the Heritage Planning Department for your success! 2015

Robert Hays – Founder of Haysville, Ontario

In memory of Robert Hays, Esq., J.P. – Founder of Haysville, Ontario

Robert Hays“This gentleman died at his residence, in McKillop, in the County of Huron, Canada, on the 18th inst., aged 80 years. He had been a long time in an infirm state and his death was not an unlooked for event. His funeral took place on Sunday the 19th, and the procession was fully 3/4 of a mile in length, the largest ever seen in McKillop. He was inteered in the Harphurhey burying ground. He leaves five sons and two daughters and his aged partner in life, behind him. One of his sons, as is well known, is the ex-Registrar for North Huron, and also an ex-M.P.P., and by profession a lawyer. As the deceased gentleman was a man of some note, a more lenghtened notice seems to be demanded. He was born near Londonderry, Ireland, somewhere about the year 1794, and when a boy, went to the Parish School of Comwell, where he received a fair education. When about 24 years of age he married, and his father dying about this time, divided his farm between his two sons, hence the subject of this memoir went to farming, and married about the same time. He continued in this occupation for about five years, during which time he was strongly impressed with the injustice of the tithe system and the oppressive taxation which burdened the people. He told an old friend that while working one day in the field, he began to think that surely there was a freer and better country somewhere, where a poor man would not be kept down by oppressive taxation. His resolution was taken. He threw down the spade with which he was working, sold his far, and never wrought another day in his native country.

Before leaving Ireland, he went six months to the Grammar School of Letterkenny. He then went to the United States, leaving his wife and family in the meantime in Ireland, until he would make a home for them on this side of the Atlantic. He went to the States and engaged in the milling business with his wife’s uncle, General (George) McLure, who fought in the war of 1812. Here he remained for a few years after which he went to Rochester and engaged in milling again for three or four years. On the whole, his milling operations were not successful, for though an active, industrious, honest, painstaking man, he did not nearly receive the pay which he was promised for his labor. This at first disheartened him. At this time he sent for his wife and family, having resolved to make America his future home. He next came to Canada and bought a farm near Ingersol, and united with it the business of tanning. After four years residence in Ingersoll he removed to the village now known as Haysville; the place having been named after him. Here he bought 200 ares of land, and built a mill and made the village. Here he remained for about 8 years, being somewhat discouraged at times by his mill dam being carried awway. He sold out in Haysville and bought 200 acres of land in McKilop, where he spent the remainder of his days. He has been, we believe, about 30 years a resident of McKillop, and during about 25 of that time he has been a magistrate, and one of the clearest headed and best we have ever had, and of him it can be said what can be said of but few, that though his decisions were frequently appealed from no appeal was ever sustained. He sat in the County Council as Reeve for quite a number of years, when we believe McKillop, Hullett, Morris, Grey and Howick were in one municipality, and old settlers maintain that the business of the country as fully as well transacted then as it as ever been since. He was always a staunch advocate of Common School Education, and was the first, we understand, to advocate the taxation of property for that purpose. His ideas became law, and a certain amount was rated on the propety, and since then the principle has been gradually extended until the Free School system has become universal. While in the County Council he advocated the taxing of the wild lands of the Canada Company, which also became law; but for this he was looked upon with enmity by that powerful Corporation. He was always a friend of Temperance, and no man, from his earliest days until his death, ever saw him the worse of liquor. As a public speaker, he was too nervous and excitable to succed well when he was opposed by calm, cool heads; but when unopposed and uninterrupted he could express his ideas in good plain language and reason well. In politics he was a rather extreme Reformer, up to the time his son ran for member. At this time he was very much annoyed at his old neighbors voting against his son, and fromt that time he never acted with the Reform Party. In religion, he was a Prespyterian. He was always a firm believer in the grand truths of Christianity. Reverence for the Bible, the Sabbath day, and a detestation of profanity were strong features of his character. Several years ago he had an apoplectic attack which impaired is intellect, and for a time he lost the power of speech. He knew that his intellectual powers were failing, and resigned his office as Treasurer of the Township, and his commission as J.P., recommending at the same time several younger and more active men, who were appointed by his advice. From this time he was preparing for death, as he knew that the sands of life were almost run. We believe he died the death of a true Christian, and of him it might be said – “Mark the perfect and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.”

Obituary newspaper unknown.