Category Archives: Obituary

Conrad Stroh – one of the first settlers of Woolwich

Conrad Stroh standing in front of Captain Thomas Smith's Log House.

Conrad Stroh standing in front of Captain Thomas Smith’s Log House. Image from Region of Waterloo Archives

November 10, 1899 Death of One of the First Settlers of Woolwich On Friday the 13th ult., there died at the home of his son George east of the village of Conestogo, Mr. Conrad Stroh, one of the old pioneers of Woolwich. Deceased was born in Lehrbach Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, Oct 3rd, 1811 and was consequently a little over 88 years old when he died. With his three brothers he left the Vaterland and after a voyage of 47 days reached America and came on to Berlin, where he made his home for a short time. Here he was married by Rev. Bindemann, in 1839 to Miss Annie Marie Oswald who shared his joys and sorrows for some 55 years and predeceased him about 5 years. Afterwards he took up land near West Montrose and a little later a couple of miles east of Elmira and finally he got possession of the homestead opposite the junction of the Conestogo and Grand rivers, where by preserving energy and thrift he and his partner in life succeeded in carving out of the rich virgin forest a comfortable home. Here he spent the remainder of his life with the exception of a few years prior to the death of his wife when they lived in Conestogo. Deceased enjoyed robust health until about a year and a half ago when he had a severe attack of the grippe from which he recovered but which left him in much feebler condition. A few weeks ago he was taken sick and gradually sank until released by death. During this time he had the best attention and care from his son and daughter-in-law for which he expressed his gratitude during his last days. Deceased possessed many good qualities and as a mark of esteem his remains were followed to their last resting place in the Lutheran cemetery at Conestogo by a large concourse of relatives, neighbours and friends. He was one of the founders and a life long member of the Lutheran congregation at Conestogo [St. Matthews] and a staunch Liberal in politics. He leaves behind him four sons and two daughters, all married, 28 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren also three brothers, Yost of Woolwich aged about 77 years, Henry of Waterloo aged 81 years and John of Berlin aged nearly 91 years. Woolwich at the Turn of the Century:1900, (Woolwich Historical Foundation, Woolwich Township, Ontario, Canada, October 2001), p. 42 _____________________________________ CONRAD STROH was one of the mighty hunters of by-gone days. He lived on the banks of the Grand River, about one mile east of Conestogo, and died at the good old age of 87 some eight years ago. Conrad was an unerring marksman, and when he pulled the trigger of the old flint lock the bullet sped with undeviating accuracy to the objective point. A friend and companion of Conrad’s was Jacob Benner, of West Montrose, who was also a Nimrod who had won his reputation by practical and visible results. He, too, was a keen-sighted marksman and prided himself on never missing his aim. Although the two were fast friends there existed a little good-natured rivalry between them regarding the supremacy of marksmanship. One day a test of skill was determined on. Each was to fire at a spot on a certain. tree. Both fired, but on examination only one bullet hole was found. Both claimed it, and a dispute arose which cooled their friendship and threatened an open rupture. In those days the settlers made their own bullets and lead was scarce. Some days afterwards Benner, passing the spot where the trial had taken place, thought to save the lead by cutting out the ball embedded in the tree. Imagine his surprise when he found both bullets in the one hole. Benner communicated the discovery to his friend and the warm comradeship was resumed that was never afterwards broken. Chronicle-Telegraph Newspaper, 100 Years of Progress in Waterloo County Canada Semi-Centennial Souvenir 1856-1906 (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Chronicle-Telegraph Newspaper, 1906) pg 26


light-hearted, witty, rollicking Walter Benn of the days that are now past never more to return.

In our obituary of today will be found a name that for many years past has been a “household word” in Galt. Walter H. Benn departed this life on Monday last, at half-past 3 o’clock. Mr. Benn had for some time past been in but indifferent health, so that his demise was not unexpected. He was aged 58 years.

The subject of this notice was an Irishman by birth, and came to Galt in the year 1832. Naturally of a quick and active mind, he soon took quite a position in the growing village he had selected as his future residence; and there are but very few in our midst but what have on some occasion or other paid tribute to “Walter’s” eloquence, his strong flashes of wit, his great fund of anecdote, and the rich quotations with which he could always embellish any theme upon which he was speaking. His natural abilities were of a very high order, and he possessed a most retentive memory and fine flow of language. His abilities, indeed, fitted him for a much higher position than he occupied; and there can be no doubt, had he enjoyed the blessings of education, that he would have filled a much more prominent position than fell to his lot in our midst. And now, in closing this brief notice of his removal from amongst us, let us treat his failings as we have all to hope that ours will be treated, and think of him only as the light-hearted, witty, rollicking Walter Benn of the days that are now past never more to return. One by one the connecting links between the present and the past are being severed; the death of Mr. Benn will leave a blank in our town that will perhaps never again be filled.

Galt Reporter Feb 7 1868 pg 2

Waterloo Region Generations

Obituaries record the lives of the ordinary citizen of Waterloo Region

Alexander Thomson a regular chap with no outstanding, monumental accomplishments like most every other person in Waterloo Region does have a story.  Often much of the story is accumulated through bits of facts in census and other records such as tombstones,  and vital records. Obituaries often written by those who knew him or knew of him during his lifetime can personalized his life. Generations is recording these and other writings to enrich their entries.


After some time of illness, Mr. Alex Thomson, of Roseville, has passed to his rest. Deceased was a native of Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, emigrating to this country in 1833. After his arrival here, he spent a few years in Montreal, then in 1836 moved out on the farm he so long occupied in North Dumfries, near the village of Roseville. Patient industry hewed out there a very fine homestead, and with his family he reaped the benefit of his labors for many years, ultimately retiring about six years ago from active life, removing into Roseville, where he spent the last years of his life. He was very much respected in this section. His long residence here made him widely known, and we are glad to say that he deservedly obtained and retained the respect and friendship of those with whom he associated. His aged partner in life died about two years ago, and of his family there are living five sons and two daughters, viz.: Mr. Robt. Thomson, near Roseville; Mr. James Thomson, near Strasburg, Waterloo; Mr. Joseph Thomson, of New Dundee; Mr. Thomas W. Thomson, of Fergus; Mr. John Thomson, of Seaforth; Mrs. John Henderson, Elora; and Mrs. Robt. Walker, of Roseville.

The deceased was interred in the Ayr Cemetery on Tuesday forenoon last, the funeral being attended by a very large number of his old friends.

Galt Reporter Sep 19 1879 pg 2