Waterloo Region Generations
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Mayor Christian Kumpf 

Mayor Christian Kumpf[1]

Male 1838 - 1905

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  • Prefix  Mayor 
    Historic Building  Abt 1812  172 King St. S., Waterloo, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Erb Kumpf House 
    • The original portion of the Erb-Kumpf House was built around 1812 by Abraham Erb, the founder of Waterloo, making it one of Waterloo's oldest homes. It was a three-bay structure facing a mill situated near the south-west corner of King and Erb Streets.
      Abraham Erb came from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1806 and settled on Lots 14 and 15 of the German Company Tract, land which now comprises the central business district of Waterloo. He established a sawmill on Beaver (Laurel) Creek in 1808 and a grist mill in 1816. In 1828, he sold his mills and a considerable quantity of land to Jacob C. Snider.
      Magdalene Erb sold the home to Barnabas Devitt, her adopted son, in 1835. His son Benjamin served as Mayor of Waterloo from 1881 to 1883.
      An addition to the house was probably built by Devitt in 1849. A slight hump in the roof on the north side indicates the location at which it joins the original structure. The application of a vertical board and clapboard which does not align is further evidence that it was added at a later date. The second addition, probably built by Hoffman around 1855, included the two-storey verandah at the front.

      Elias Snider acquired the home and later sold it to Christian Kumpf in 1869. Kumpf was a newspaper owner, Mayor of Waterloo from 1879-1880, as well as Postmaster for 42 years. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Dominion Life Assurance Company in 1889. His son Ford, who became affectionately known as "Mr. Waterloo", was born in the home in 1877 and assumed ownership in 1899. One of the community's most public-spirited citizens, he served as Treasurer of Waterloo and Clerk/Manager of the Water and Light Commission. He was President of the Waterloo Red Cross Society and The Dominion Life Assurance Company.
      At present, the house demonstrates a mixture of architectural styles. Among its Georgian characteristics is the six-over-six window pane arrangement. The facade, with its two wings, treillage, Gothic barge board and Doric columns, reflects the Regency influence.
      In 1979, the home was sold to a law firm which has maintained the integrity of the exterior. A third addition in keeping with the style of the building has since been constructed.1a

      1aDesignated Properties www. waterloo.ca
    Birth  22 Aug 1838  Beerfelden, Odenwaldkreis, Hessen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6
    Gender  Male 
    Immigration  1846  , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Residence  1852  Preston (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Occupation  CA 1855  [5
    printer 
    Occupation  1862  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 7
    Postmaster 
    Occupation  1866  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Waterloo Town Treasurer 
    Naturalization  1869  [4
    Elected Office  1879  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mayor - Waterloo 
    Elected Office  1888  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mayor - Waterloo 
    Occupation  1891  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Post Master 
    Religion  1891  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Lutheran 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-42272 
    Died  9 Jan 1905  Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Cause: heart failure 
    Buried  Mount Hope Cemetery, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Person ID  I42272  Generations
    Last Modified  14 Aug 2017 

    Father  George Wilhelm Kumpf,   b. CALC 22 May 1799, , Hessen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Sep 1866, Preston (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Eva K.,   b. 1799, , Hessen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID  F9493  Group Sheet

    Family 1  Bridget Cavanagh,   b. 4 Mar 1835, , Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Oct 1919, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Agnes Kumpf,   b. 5 May 1863, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jan 1930, Toronto, York Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. William A. Kumpf,   b. CALC 3 Apr 1865, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Apr 1900, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Arthur L. Kumpf,   b. 24 Jun 1867, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Charles Herbert Christian Kumpf,   b. 10 Oct 1871, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1905
     5. Alfred Frederick Stanley "Ford" Kumpf,   b. 27 Nov 1877, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. George Kumpf,   b. Abt 1880,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F10987  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Bridget Cavanaugh,   b. 1837, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Arthur Kumpf,   b. 1867, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. George Kumpf,   b. 1869, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Charles Kumpf,   b. 1871, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Ford Kumpf,   b. 1876, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F249832  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Mayor Christian Kumpf
    Mayor Christian Kumpf
    Christian Kumpf
    Christian Kumpf
    image from Waterloo Public Library

  • Notes 
    • DEATH OF MR. C. KUMPF

      Waterloo's Veteran Postmaster Passes Away After a Brief Illness

      A deep gloom was cast over the town Monday afternoon when the news spread that Mr. C. Kumpf, the veteran postmaster, had passed away after a brief illness. He had not been feeling well of late but his most intimate and closest friends did not dream that his end was so near. On Wednesday last he presided at a meeting of the Investment Committee of the Dominion Life and was up town on Thursday morning. In the afternoon he had a serious attack of Heart failure which was afterwards complicated with pneumonia and his condition became very critical. On Monday afternoon a consultation was held but medical men could hold out no hope and he quietly passed away an hour or two afterwards. N the death of Mr. Kumpf Waterloo has lost one of its oldest, most respected and most useful citizens, whose place it will be hard to fill.

      Sketch of His Life

      The late Christian Kumpf was born in Beerfelden, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, August 22nd, 1838, and was consequently in his 67th year. At the age of ten he emigrated with his parents to Canada and lived for some time at Preston and Galt, where he learned the printing trade. In his early days he was connected with both the Chronicle and the Bauernreund. He often related amusing stories of the long trips he had on horseback delivering papers to subscribers in the sparsely settled districts of the county. He, however, soon left printing to engage in mercantile pursuits. He clerked for a time with the late Daniel Snyder and afterwards entered into partnership with Benjamin Devitt, now license inspector of North Waterloo.

      On July 1st, 1862, he was appointed postmaster of the then village of Waterloo, under the late Michael Hamilton Foley, then Postmaster-General of Canada. He performed the duties of the office for seven years before his appointment as postmaster and was in office altogether for fifty years. The duties pertaining to the position were always performed in a manner equally acceptable to the Post Office Department and to patrons of the office. For a number of years he conducted a book and stationery business in connection with the post office.

      He always took a deep interest in municipal affairs, and filled the office of mayor for four terms, in 1879 and 1880 and again in 1888 and 1889. He was a clear, level-headed business man and some of the most important measures in the history of the town were carried out under his administration.

      He was appointed town treasurer in 1866 and held the position uninterruptedly for 30 years, resigning the position in 1896, when the present treasurer, Mr. S.B. Bricker, was appointed.

      He took a very active interest in the organization of the Dominion Life Assurance Company, and was one of the largest stock holders and a director of the original Board. In the fall of 1892 he was appointed Vice-President of the company in the place of P.H. Sims, who removed to Toronto. In October, 1903, owing to the death of the late President Innes, Mr. Kumpf was appointed President of the company, an honor which he well merited by reason of the capable oversight of the investments and his fidelity to the interests of the company in general. Mr. Kumpf's death is the third of the presidents of the company. His loss to the Dominion Life is simply irreparable.

      In social life Mr. Kumpf was genial and companionable. He was a true friend, kind to the poor and performed his charitable acts without ostentation. In his death Waterloo loses one of its most progressive and best citizens.

      A widow and four children are left to mourn the loss of a kind husband and indulgent father. Two sons predeceased him, namely, William A. and Charles H. The surviving children are: Agnes, wife of A.B. McBride, barrister, of Waterloo; Arthur L., manager of the bell Telephone Co., Waterloo; and Ford S., deputy postmaster; George of the William A. Greene Co., Ltd.

      The funeral took place Wednesday afternoon, the service being conducted by the Rev. J. R. Gilchrist, B. A., and was attended by a large number of citizens from Berlin and Waterloo, as well as a number form outside points. Among those present from a distance were Hon. Jas. McMullen, Mt. Forest; Jas. Trow, Stratford; Thos. Gowdy, Guelph, directors of the Dominion Life Assurance Company. Other directors telegraphed their regret at their inability to attend and sent messages of condolence. There were many floral tributes, which testified to the high esteem in which deceased was held. After a short service at the hose the funeral cortege proceeded to the Mount Hope Cemetery, where the remains were interred.1a

      1aChronicle-Telegraph Jan 12 1905 pg 1



      Christian Kumpf , 1838 - 1905


      Born in Beerfelden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany in 1838, Christian Kumpf emigrated to Canada where he settled in Waterloo. He began working in Daniel Snyder's store and post office where he soon rose to the position of assistant postmaster. When Snyder retired in 1862, Kumpf became Waterloo's postmaster, a position he held for over 42 years. In 1860 Kumpf and John Bowman purchased the Berlin Chronicle and Provincial Reformer's Gazette and moved it to Waterloo. They renamed the newspaper the Waterloo County Chronicle and shortly thereafter sold the publication in 1864. When the Bell Telephone Company opened its first phone office in one of the local post offices in 1885, Kumpf became the company's agent. In 1889 Kumpf was instrumental in the establishment of the Dominion Life Assurance Company and became one of two first vice-presidents of the company. Kumpf served on many community boards of directors. In 1890 he became the first president of the Waterloo Board of Trade and chairman of the first Board of Park Management and later a trustee on the first board of the Berlin-Waterloo Hospital built in 1894. In the Town of Waterloo's history, Kumpf is only one of two people to be elected mayor without having first served on Council as an alderman. During his first term as mayor, 1879-1880, Kumpf was received by the new Governor-General, the Marquis of Lorne (Germany) and his wife Her Royal Highness, the Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, during their official visit to Canada. In 1888, during Kumpf's second mayoral term, the town's first municipal library was established and the following year, Kumpf drove in the last spike during a ceremony to mark the extension of the Berlin Street Railway to Waterloo.2a

      2a
      http://www.waterloo.ca

  • Sources 
    1. [S4] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration.
      Agnes Kumpf Born: Waterloo Age: 23 Father: Christian Kumpf Mother: Bridget Kumpf Born: abt 1864 Spouse: A B McBride Age: 25 born: York Tp Father: Charles McBride Mother: Isabella McBride married 28 Apr 1887

    2. [S873] Wateloo City - designated properties list, ), Bean-Wright House..

    3. [S270] Census - ON, Waterloo, Preston - 1852, Pg 20.

    4. [S135] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo City - 1901, Waterloo (Town/Ville) D-3 Page 1.

    5. [S607] News - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo City - Waterloo Chronicle Telegraph (1899- ), "Death of Mr. C. Kumpf," Jan 12 1905, p. 1..

    6. [S2418] aaaa CensusTown of Waterloo 1891 Sect. 3, Section 3 Page 52.

    7. [S57] Vit - ON - Birth Registration.
      Albert Frederick Stanley Kumpf Born: 27 Nov 1876 County: Waterloo Father: Christian Kumpf Mother: Bridget Cogen

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsHistoric Building - Erb Kumpf House - Abt 1812 - 172 King St. S., Waterloo, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 22 Aug 1838 - Beerfelden, Odenwaldkreis, Hessen, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1846 - , Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1852 - Preston (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Postmaster - 1862 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Waterloo Town Treasurer - 1866 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsElected Office - Mayor - Waterloo - 1879 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsElected Office - Mayor - Waterloo - 1888 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Post Master - 1891 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Lutheran - 1891 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: heart failure - 9 Jan 1905 - Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount Hope Cemetery, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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