Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Mayor Jacob Yost Shantz

Mayor Jacob Yost Shantz[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]

Male 1822 - 1909  (87 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Jacob Yost Shantz 
    Prefix Mayor 
    Born 2 May 1822  near, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
    Gender Male 
    Historic Building 1855  138 Church St., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [25
    • Originally built as a rented residence it is constructed of brick and is one story. In 1978 it is listed in as very good condition.
    Historic Building 1855  142 Church Street, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [25
    • Built in 1855-1860 of brick it is a one story house. Originally built as J. Y. Shantz's residence. In 1978 it is listed as in very good condition
    Occupation 1861  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [19
    Farmer 
    Residence 1861  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [19
    Mennonite 
    Occupation 1871  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [22
    Farmer 
    Residence 1871  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [22
    Mennonite 
    Occupation 1881  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [20
    button manufacturer 
    Occupation 1881  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [18
    Manufacturer 
    Residence 1881  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [18
    United Mennonite 
    Elected Office 1882  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mayor - Kitchener 
    • Years Served: 1882 (Warden)
    Occupation 1891  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [21
    Gentleman 
    Residence 1891  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [21
    Mennonite 
    Possessions 1893  240 Duke St. W., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [26
    Business 1897  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    J. Y. Shantz & Son's Co. Button Works 
    Kitchener,ShantzJYButtonWorks-BusyBerlin1897.jpg
    Kitchener,ShantzJYButtonWorks-BusyBerlin1897.jpg
    J. Y. Shantz & Son Co's Button Works From: Busy Berlin Jubilee Souvenir 1897, published by Berlin News-Record
    Kitchener-DominionButtonWorks-0001-Map1892Kitchener.jpg
    Kitchener-DominionButtonWorks-0001-Map1892Kitchener.jpg
    From Berlin Map about 1892
    1897 Envelope
    1897 Envelope
    Interesting building, business, politics, life story 
    Kitchener-Windmill-By-W.H.Schmalz.jpg
    Kitchener-Windmill-By-W.H.Schmalz.jpg
    Interesting story, politics, business, emmigration 
    Name J. Y. Shantz 
    Name Jacob Y. Shantz 
    Name Jakob Y. Schantz  [27
    Occupation 1901  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [13
    Manufacturing 
    Berlin-Shantz,Jacob-JacobY.Shantz&Son-Invoice-1889-ebay2016-002.jpg
    Berlin-Shantz,Jacob-JacobY.Shantz&Son-Invoice-1889-ebay2016-002.jpg
    Residence 105 Queen St. N., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Eby ID Number 00110-6754 
    Died 28 Oct 1909  Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [15, 23, 24
    Buried First Mennonite Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [15, 23, 24
    Person ID I19528  Generations
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2024 

    Father Jacob Shantz,   b. 11 Oct 1781, Pottstown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jul 1867, near, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Mother Mary Yost,   b. 12 Mar 1784, , Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Oct 1869, near, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 1805  [28
    Family ID F4914  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Anna "Nancy" Brubacher,   b. 19 Sep 1832, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Oct 1870, Pottstown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Married 6 Dec 1853  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 29, 30
    Children 
     1. Jacob B. Shantz,   b. 8 Mar 1855, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Sep 1933  (Age 78 years)
     2. Susannah B. Shantz,   b. 25 Mar 1856, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Aug 1881, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 25 years)
     3. Dilman Brubacher Shantz,   b. 18 Nov 1857, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 May 1939, Buffalo, Erie, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     4. John Shantz,   b. 1858, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Mary S. Shantz,   b. 9 May 1859, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jun 1947  (Age 88 years)
     6. John B. Shantz,   b. 9 May 1860, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Sep 1924  (Age 64 years)
     7. Loide Shantz,   b. 5 May 1867, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Aug 1950  (Age 83 years)
     8. Veronica Shantz,   b. 1868, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. Eunice Shantz,   b. 27 Nov 1868, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     10. Ida Shantz,   b. 5 May 1869, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2024 
    Family ID F243  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Sarah Shuh,   b. 9 Jun 1823, York Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Apr 1893, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Married 1 Oct 1871  [1, 11, 21
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2024 
    Family ID F484  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Barbara Biehn,   b. 7 Apr 1819, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 May 1853, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years) 
    Married 2 May 1843  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3, 31
    Children 
     1. Harriet B. Shantz,   b. 31 Aug 1844, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Dec 1908, Didsbury, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)
     2. Veronica B. Shantz,   b. 15 Jun 1846, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 May 1928, Didsbury, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     3. Lucinda B. Shantz,   b. 7 Sep 1848, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Apr 1921  (Age 72 years)
     4. Ephraim B. Shantz,   b. 7 May 1850, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Oct 1921, Didsbury, Alberta, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     5. Moses B. Shantz,   b. 24 Aug 1852, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1934, Rochester, Monroe, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2024 
    Family ID F4227  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Shantz, Jacob Y - head shot.jpg
    Shantz, Jacob Y - head shot.jpg
    Located Kitchener Public Library
    Shantz, JacobYost.jpg
    Shantz, JacobYost.jpg
    Shantz, Jacob Yost - plaque.jpg
    Shantz, Jacob Yost - plaque.jpg
    Shantz, Jacob Yost - family about 1870.jpg
    Shantz, Jacob Yost - family about 1870.jpg
    Jacob Y. Shantz (1822-1909) family. L-R: back, Harriet, Veronica, Lucinda, Ephraim, Moses B.; Middle: Jacob, Susannah, Dilman, Mary, John B. Front: Sarah & Jacob Y., On Ground: Ida & Eunice
    Shantz, Jacob Yost - house about 1870.jpg
    Shantz, Jacob Yost - house about 1870.jpg
    Jacob Y. Shantz family standing in front of their home at Maurice and Ottawa Streets in Kitchener, ca. 1875

  • Notes 
    • Jacob Y. Shantz, "was born near Berlin, May 2nd, 1822. On May 2nd, 1843, he was married to Barbara Biehn who was born April 7th, 1819, and died May 16th, 1853. He was again married, December 6th, 1853, to Nancy Brubacher who was born September 19th, 1832, and died in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, while there on a visit, October 1st, 1870. On October 1st, 1871, he was married the third time to Sarah Shuh who was born June 9th, 1823, and died April 29th, 1893. After Mr. Shantz's first marriage he took possession of his father's farm, still known as 'Jacob Shantz's place', where he resided for upwards of some forty years, then he moved to Berlin where he is now residing. His family consists of twelve children, five of whom are of first wife and the remaining seven of second wife."

      Eby, Ezra E. (1895). A biographical history of Waterloo township and other townships of the county: being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin: as also much other unpublished historical information chiefly of a local character. Berlin [Kitchener, Ont.]: [s.n.].

      ____________________________


      Shantz, Jacob Yost (1822-1909)

      Jacob Yost Shantz (22 May 1822-28 October 1909), of Berlin (now Kitchener), ON, for many years a promoter of the Mennonite settlements in Manitoba, was the eighth child of Jacob and Maria Yost Schantz, of Montgomery County, PA, who had purchased a farm in what is now Kitchener. The son's interests soon extended beyond his vocation of farming. Fruit growing, maple sugar production, and the operation of a sawmill were added to his activities. Later he entered the building and contracting business. He promoted various industries in his city, the chief being the Dominion Button Works. Shantz was easily the wealthiest Mennonite entrepreneur in Ontario in the early 1880s, with more than 300 people on the payroll of his Dominion Button Works alone. Over expansion and possible mismanagement in a declining market led to virtual bankruptcy by 1886. Shantz spent the rest of his life paying his debts , and died a man of moderate means.

      For 27 years Shantz served on the Berlin school board. In 1882 he was elected mayor of Berlin (Kitchener) in an uncontested election. Inexplicably he resigned four days after taking office, though the town council briefly considered not accepting the resignation. The fact that J. Y. Shantz's son, Moses, was also elected as a member of the council may have generated pressure for one of the family to resign. Shantz's letter of resignation has not survived.

      Shantz's chief public contribution, however, lay in the promotion of Mennonite immigration to Manitoba. In 1872 as a representative of the Canadian government Shantz accompanied Bernhard Warkentin, who represented the prospective Mennonite immigrants from Russia, on a land inspection trip to Manitoba. The Canadian Department of Agriculture published Shantz's report under the title The narrative of a journey to Manitoba, which became a history-making pamphlet going through various editions with a total circulation of several hundred thousand. During the next 35 years, Shantz made many trips to Manitoba, the twenty-seventh and the last in his 85th year. His work consisted in assisting the Mennonite immigrants who wished to settle in Manitoba with transportation and supplies, as well as helping them settle on the land. By November 1874 it was reported that 1,400 Mennonites had been placed in Manitoba and five years later the number had grown to over 7,000. Shantz not only obtained most favorable travel rates for the immigrants but often used money from his $100,000 personal credit fund in a Berlin bank to assist his friends from Russia by helping pay their transportation costs, equipment, and farm machinery. Shantz was also placed in charge of the $100,000 Canadian government loan to the Russian Mennonites, guaranteed by the Ontario Mennonites. As treasurer of the "Aid Committee of Ontario" Shantz also dispensed the funds loaned to the immigrants by his fellow Mennonites. He lived to see the day when all of these loans were repaid, the final settlement having been made in his 85th year. In 1893 Shantz began promoting Alberta land and here again future developments proved his business judgment and vision.

      Shantz became a member of the Mennonite Church (MC) at an early age. In 1875, desiring a more progressive church, Shantz became a member of the group later to be known as the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. For eighteen years he served on the Managing Committee of the Gospel banner and for at least 8 years on his denomination's Foreign and Heathen Missionary Society. He was always deeply interested in the temperance movement and a defender of Biblical nonresistance.

      In 1898 Shantz joined the local Christian Science congregation, and remained a member in good standing until his death, although evidence is inconclusive on the question of whether he remained actively involved to the time of his death in 1909. He was still an active member, serving on the congregation's board of directors, at age 81 (1903). Four factors help to explain Shantz's interest in the then-new Christian Science movement. (1) Shantz had a life-long interest in the innovative, whether in business, land settlement, or religious thought, though he always believed himself to be orthodox. (2) The emphasis in Christian Science on a rigorous, healthful life-style was appealing. Shantz was active in the temperance movement, and was a vegetarian at least part of his life. (3) Jacob Y. Shantz was a "healer" with a reputation for curing cancer. Although his approach differed from that of Christian Science, enough common interest existed to prove attractive. (4) Shantz probably felt rejected by the Mennonite Brethren in Christ (United Missionary) denomination as he was phased out of all leadership roles by 1896.

      Although Shantz was a quiet and unassuming man, his voice had a deep, organ-like tone that people did not forget. He was married three times, in 1843 to Barbara Biehn, in 1853 to Nancy Brubacher, and in 1871 to Sarah Shark. Two sons and three daughters were born of the first marriage, and three sons and four daughters to the second. Shantz was buried in the First Mennonite Cemetery in Kitchener.

      Gingerich, Melvin and Steiner, Sam. "Shantz, Jacob Yost (1822-1909)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 1999. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 Nov 2005

      _________________________


      SHANTZ, JACOB YOST, farmer, businessman, office holder, author, and promoter of Mennonite settlement; b. 2 May 1822 in Ebytown (Kitchener), Upper Canada, eighth of the ten children of Jacob Shantz, a farmer and sawmill owner, and Mary Yost; m. first 2 May 1843 Barbara Biehn (d. 1853), and they had three daughters and two sons; m. secondly 6 Dec. 1853 Nancy Anna Brubacher (d. 1870), and they had seven children; m. thirdly 1 Oct. 1871 Sarah Shuh (d. 1893); d. 28 Oct. 1909 in Berlin (Kitchener).

      Jacob Yost Shantz grew up in Ebytown, later known as Berlin, where his parents, Mennonites from Pennsylvania, had purchased land in 1810 [see Benjamin Eby*]. On his 21st birthday he married his cousin Barbara Biehn and not long afterwards they took over his parents' farm. Shantz then became manager of his father's sawmill, began to buy and sell real estate, and invested in other local business ventures. His interests extended to education and public service: he acted as a school trustee and held several minor local posts, such as fence inspector, road overseer, and village tax collector. He was also an early supporter of the temperance movement.

      Shantz soon diversified his business interests. He found a variety of markets for the wood from his sawmill and the woodlots he acquired in the early 1850s, constructing wooden sidewalks in Berlin, providing fuel for the Grand Trunk Railway, and supplying building materials to German immigrants. He took a major step as an entrepreneur in 1861 when he bought a property on the corner of King and Foundry (Ontario) streets, Berlin, and constructed the Canadian Block, a three-storey commercial building. As a contractor, he became involved in numerous projects, one of the most important of which was the erection of the Berlin market-house in 1869. Early the following year he built a button factory for Emil Vogelsang and his partner, John Jacob Woelfle. Seven months later Woelfle sold his interests in the factory to Shantz, who quickly gained prominence as a manufacturer. In 1875 the partnership between Vogelsang and Shantz was terminated. The Dominion Button Works became Shantz's; his sons would assist him in managing the company, which by 1880 employed over 140 workers. Early in 1873 Shantz had also formed a partnership to manufacture felt. Shantz and Feick lasted only two years, but Shantz went on to form other partnerships for his felt business and continued in it until about 1880.

      In 1872 Shantz had been asked by the Canadian government to travel to western Canada with a Mennonite from southern Russia, Bernhard Warkentin, who was considering immigration to North America. The government mistakenly thought that Warkentin was a member of an official delegation; it is not entirely clear why Shantz was selected to accompany him. After visiting Manitoba with him Shantz sent a report of his journey to the government. Favourably impressed, immigration officials asked that he prepare a more detailed account for publication. Narrative of a journey to Manitoba was translated into a number of languages and became an important item in the promotion of European immigration to the west. Meanwhile, the federal government had assigned Wilhelm Hespeler* to visit Mennonite colonies in Russia to see if further contacts might encourage prospective immigrants to choose Canada rather than the United States. In the spring of 1873 six Mennonite colonies sent two delegates each to investigate opportunities in North America. Shantz was invited to accompany Hespeler and the group to Manitoba, and he took them through the regions southeast and west of Winnipeg.

      When many Mennonites decided to immigrate [see Gerhard Wiebe*], Shantz was asked to serve as Canadian director of the movement, to assist with transportation and other arrangements, and to see that the immigrants arrived safely at their destination. He needed to raise a considerable amount of money to help defray the expenses of the approximately 7,000 settlers who were to arrive in Manitoba during the next six years. Many were unable to sell their property in Russia or lacked the means to pay for their transportation and purchase necessary supplies. Shantz served as secretary-treasurer of a committee organized in 1874 to receive and administer funds lent by Mennonites living in Ontario. The following year the committee successfully requested from the federal government a loan of $100,000 and a subsidy of $70,000 for transportation. Shantz and other Ontario Mennonites acted as guarantors for these and additional loans. Over the years Shantz would travel frequently between Ontario and Manitoba, to provide assistance to the immigrants, arrange repayment of the loans, and, when needed, obtain more funds. In return for his services he received a number of land grants in the "reserves" which had been set aside for the Mennonites to the east and west of the Red River. Two communities, Schanzenfeld and Schanzenberg, were named in his honour.

      While Shantz was engaged in immigration activities, the Dominion Button Works had continued to expand. In 1884 it employed 300 workers at Berlin and by 1886 it opened a branch plant in Buffalo, N.Y. Shantz nevertheless experienced severe financial difficulties in the mid 1880s and was forced to sell numerous properties in order to clear his debts and those of Jacob Y. Shantz and Sons, which operated the works. In June 1891 the company was reorganized and Shantz retired from the business.

      Shantz saw another opportunity, however, again in western Canada. In July 1892 he announced his intention to start a colony there. He located suitable land at a site called Didsbury (Alta), about 50 miles north of Calgary. The following summer he canvassed Mennonites in Ontario and the United States and succeeded in persuading 44 families to take up homesteads in the northwest. A major exodus from the region of Berlin took place in the spring of 1894. Among the group which left were two of Shantz's children and their families. Shantz would journey west to visit his children in the Didsbury area until he was 85. He is said to have made a total of 27 trips from Ontario to the west in connection with his interests there.

      Shantz had long been a active member of the Mennonite church in Berlin. In 1875 he joined a reform group called the United Mennonites, later known as the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. Shantz moved again in 1898, this time to the Church of Christ, Scientist. He remained active in the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Berlin for several years until poor health restricted his movements.

      Jacob Yost Shantz died in 1909, preceded by three of his twelve children, his three wives, and all his brothers and sisters. He is remembered for his considerable business expertise and the enormous energies he invested in the various enterprises he had fostered, above all in the immigration of thousands of Mennonites to western Canada. In addition to a modest estate, he left a spiritual heritage, that of a religious man, wanting first and foremost to serve God and his fellow man. In the estimation of many who knew him, he had done both well.
      Lawrence Klippenstein

      [Jacob Yost Shantz is the author of Narrative of a journey to Manitoba, together with an abstract of the Dominion Lands Act; and an extract from the government pamphlet on Manitoba (Ottawa, 1873), translated into French as Relation d'un voyage à Manitoba, accompagnée d'une analyse de l'Acte concernant les terres de la Puissance et d'un extrait du pamphlet publié par le gouvernement a[u] sujet de Manitoba (Ottawa, 1873).
      The first partial life story of Shantz appeared in Melvin Gingerich, "Jacob Y. Shantz, 1822-1909, promoter of the Mennonite settlements in Manitoba," Mennonite Quarterly Rev. (Goshen, Ind.), 24: 230-47. His role in the immigration of Mennonites to Manitoba has been thoroughly documented in two articles by Ernst Correll in the Mennonite Quarterly Rev., "Mennonite immigration into Manitoba: sources and documents, 1872, 1873" and "Mennonite loan in the Canadian parliament," 11 (1937): 196-227, 267-83 and 20 (1946): 255-75, respectively, as well as in three collections of documents which he edited for the same journal: "Canadian agricultural records on Mennonite settlements, 1875-77," 21 (1947): 34-46; "Mennonite immigration into Manitoba: documents and sources, 1873-1874," 22 (1948): 43-57; and "Sources on the Mennonite immigration from Russia in the 1870's," intro. H. S. Bender, 24 (1950): 329-52. The definitive biography is now S. J. Steiner, Vicarious pioneer: the life of Jacob Y. Shantz (Winnipeg, 1988). l.k.]

      Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online 2000 University of Toronto/Université Laval

      ___________________________

      Mr. John Frederick Augustus Sykes Fayette, a well educated mulatto, built a schoolhouse on his own account in rear of where the Royal Exchange hotel now stands, in 1840. He called it the "Wellington Institute," and opened it in December, charging the usual rates, but being poorly patronized he ran into debt and left a year or two afterwards quite suddenly, greatly to the chagrin of his creditors. His was the first school in Berlin in which any attempt had been made to teach grammar and also the first in which the pupils saw a geographical map. Jacob Y. Shantz, then 18 years of age, and the late Israel D. Bowman, a lad of 11, attended this school.

      Second Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society, Berlin, Ontario 1914

      _____________________

      J. Y. Shantz & Co's Factory

      This enterprising firm have started operation in their new factory. It can well be said that for a fine factory, it may be classed with the finest in Canada. All the modern improvements which are necessary to save time and money have been procured. The factory has its own electric light plant, and steam heating: fine wash basins and closets and everything convenient for both employer and employee. The firm might also be complimented on the manner in which they are fixing up the grounds, and also the street in front of the factory. The grounds have been neatly laid out with drives and nice green lawn. A few nice flower beds may be looked for next spring. The deep gutters have also been filled up, and sewer pipes now carry off the water, instead of standing in the gutter until it has time to dry up. If Berlin had more of these kind of people that would take an interest in their property how much more beautiful our town would be.

      The Daily Record 30 Sep 1893

      ________________________

      The Button Industry

      A young German named Emil Vogelsang came to Berlin in 1867 and chummed with Allan Huber, son of H. S. Huber. One day the merchant questioned the youth,

      "What can you do, Emil?"
      "I'm a button turner."
      "Then show us how you make buttons."
      "Before I could do that," said Emil, "I'd need a lathe and a batch of ivory-nuts."


      Mr. Huber had a lathe made in Waterloo and imported a shipment of nuts for Mr. Vogelsang. The latter leased a room and power from the Simpson Furniture Company and soon was manufacturing first-class buttons. He called his venture, "The Pioneer Button Works." The buttons found a ready sale in Eastern Canada and the United States. His was the first button factory in Canada, if not in America..

      Before long Mr. Vogelsang needed a factory of his own. He interested J. J. Woelfle in the enterprise and they awarded Jacob Y. Shantz a contract to erect a $20,000 building on the northeast corner of King and College Streets. Before it was up Mr. Woelfle withdrew. Mr. Shantz then purchased an interest in the button works for a sum equal to the price of the building and entered into a 7-year agreement with Mr. Vogelsang. When that term expired Mr. Vogelsang retired and built another button factory in South Queen Street, which he later sold to the W. G. & R. Shirt Company. (Now occupied by the Fehrenbach Mattress Co.)

      Mr. Shantz had not had any practical experience in the manufacture of buttons, yet did not wish to see the employees deprived of their livelihood. He therefore continued manufacturing and after costly experimenting, during which he was assisted by his son, M. B. Shantz, the factory was placed on a sound footing. Mr. Shantz's sons Dilman and John likewise joined him. Jacob Y. Shantz & Sons became the largest employers of labor in Berlin. For a time there were four button factories in the town and it was widely known as "Buttonville." Jacob Y. Shantz entered into partnership also with a Mr. Feick and made felt goods in the button-factory basement.

      A History of Kitchener, W. V. (Ben) Uttley, Kitchener, Ontario 1937 pg 169-171

      ____________________


      The saw mill was first operated by Mr. Shantz's father. It formed a natural introduction to Mr. Shantz's activity as a builder and contractor. He was the builder and owner of the Canadian Block at the corner at King and Ontario (Foundry) streets. Mr. Shantz built also the four room addition to the Suddaby School, which is the only part of the old school now remaining. He was one of the earliest of the extensive builders of private residences in the town. He entered the industrial field through the solicitation of those needing money to float infant industries. His first venture in this way was the wind-mill for grinding flour, chopping grain, etc., that stood formerly on Mecklenburg Hill. Its exact site was a little south of Church street and about midway between Cedar and Albert streets. This historic and quaint feature in the landscape of the South ward was a losing business venture to the extent of several thousand dollars. For years after operation ceased the deserted mill with its great wings appeared above the surrounding trees on the hillside. It was removed somewhere about 1870 or a little later.

      Jacob Y. Shantz"
      Pioneer of Russian Mennonite Immigration to Manitoba
      H. M. Bowman, Ph. D.

      Waterloo Historical Annual Volume 1924

      ___________________________

      THE WINDMILL

      A feature of many years of the southerly end of the village was a windmill, on what was known as Mecklenburg Hill, near the westerly corner of Church and Albert streets. This was the project of a company composed of Jacob Y. Shantz, Henry Boehmer and others. It was built in 1860 by Frederick Rickerman who was the originator of the idea. Rickerman was familiar with windmills and had operated one in Germany. The structure was about sixty feet high, hexagonal in plan, with each of the four wings or sails about 45 feet long by 6 feet wide. A vertical centre beam meshing with the topcross shaft extended down to the main floor of the mill and there operated three sets of stones. The revolving top carried the cross-shaft, on which the wings were mounted, and could be set for the Wind by means of a Windlass. An outer platform was at the height of' the wing length from the top shaft. From this the wings or arms could be worked on, and their canvas covering put in place. Particular excellence was claimed for the flour from this mill. The author remembers eating bread baked from the first flour it produced.

      Pg. 278

      REMINISCENCES OF BERLIN (NOW KITCHENER)
      By Jacob Stroh
      Contributed by Joseph M. Snyder
      Part II. - Churches, Roads, Miscellaneous

      Waterloo Historical Society Annual Vol. 1931

      ________________________

      King Street, Kitchener

      Cameron Street eastward.-A fine large holding extending along King Street to almost opposite the Mennonite Church, was Sheriff Davidson's place, Forest Hill, with square Colonial brick house, still standing, although materially changed, on a commanding hill.

      Benjamin Eby's farm, occupied and owned later by his son, Elias Eby. J. Y. Shantz's farm, originally the Eby farm, with a large dam and saw mill. The pond was westerly of the present Doon Twines factory, was of good size, was fed by two creeks and gave water power for Shantz's saw mill for many years. There was no steam power. The ice supply for Berlin was largely taken from this pond in the earlier years.


      REMINISCENCES OF BERLIN (NOW KITCHENER)
      By JACOB STROH Contributed by Joseph M. Snyder.

      Part I. Settlement - Early Villagers and Buildings, Waterloo Historical Society Annual Volume 1930

      ___________________

      King Street , North Side

      From Francis to Water Street.

      he ground was used by H. F. J. Jackson for stabling, etc., on his contract for building the Grand Trunk Railway through a large part of Waterloo County. Later he built his residence on this plot.

      The plot east of Water Street was used as a drill ground by the Berlin Volunteer Company of the Waterloo Battalion, 1864-67. They mostly drilled in the evenings and had some quite young volunteers, Jacob Stroh, 16 years, one of them. The trustees of the New Jerusalem Church bought the corner in 1869 and in 1870 erected the present Church. This had the first pipe organ in Berlin, built by Claus Maas of Preston.

      Haller's hat and felt-working shop. He made the first felt boots and shoes, worn largely by the farmers, in winter, in this vicinity.

      Open space up to Henry Brickner's house.

      A frame building one and one-half story high and located a little back of the street. Later a brick building was erected on the open space. At the westerly corner of Young Street Mr. Bricker built a cooperage in 1860.

      At the easterly corner of Young and King Streets was Wendell Brunner's blacksmith shop, a rough frame building. Behind it, on Young Street, was another frame building used as a waggon shop by Christian Huinbrecht.

      Vacant place and next a three story brick building, lengthwise with King Street, divided into two parts, used as stores for a short time. Later it was a paint shop and still later a warehouse for the Simpson factory across the road. The third floor of this building was the first habitat of the Berlin Militia, organized in 1864 at the time of the American Civil War. Colonel Pickering was the first drill master. He was sent from England to drill the Canadian Militia. The local company had at first no rifles and had to use Wooden substitutes for their drills.

      A three story brick building erected by C. Schneucker and used as a hotel. The third floor was a large hall used for a number of years, for balls and concerts. Paul Schmidt moved into the building in 1860. It was then called the Schneucker and Schmidt Hotel. A later landlord was Mr. Zinger and the name was changed to The North American Hotel. Toward the rear and just east of the Hotel was a barn and horse shed, with wide approach from King Street.

      A one and one-half story frame house 15 or 20 feet back from the street line with gable and veranda facing King Street, occupied by Paul Schmidt and later by his widow.

      A very early building one and one-half story, rough cast; the dwelling of Sam Trout, a blacksmith. A later occupant was James Godbold, son of Godbold who lived on the corner of Wellington and King Streets. Jacob, son of James, brakeman on the Grand Trunk, was killed while on top of a freight car in St. Mary's, the train passing under a low bridge which Godbold did not see as he was looking at a circus beside the track.

      A tailor shop was also in this building which stood originally at the corner of Foundry and King Streets.

      A two story brick building with gable toward King Street and occupied by Henry Gauntley. On the second floor there was a paint shop and at the rear a wagon shop.

      A brick building, the blacksmith shop, for many years, of Sam Trout.

      A vacant lot.

      At the Foundry St. corner a frame building, Reinhold Lang's tannery with his house, alongside, one and one-half story with frame porch. Later Mr. Lang moved his business to Charles Street, the site of the present Lang Tanning Co. plant. Jacob Y. Shantz erected the Canadian Block, three story brick, corner of King and Foundry Streets, in 1856. The front was set back from the street line and had a verandah extending to the edge of the sidewalk. There were three stores, the corner, Cole and Graf, druggists; then Wm. Young, groceries and liquors; and next H. S. Huber, general store. The old blacksmith shop was used as a warehouse by Huber.

      The Canadian Block while still fairly new, burned down about 1862 in the Spring. The fire started in the corner drug store, during the night. The walls remained standing after the fire was out but were considered dangerous and were pulled down by the firemen. One wall, in this operation, fell on H. S. Huber's warehouse, which had not been burned and in which he had large quantities of supplies. The firemen were blamed for not having notified Huber so that he could have removed his goods before the wall was thrown over.


      REMINISCENCES OF BERLIN (NOW KITCHENER) By JACOB STROH Contributed by Joseph M. Snyder.

      Part I. Settlement - Early Villagers and Buildings, Waterloo Historical Society Annual Volume 1930

      ____________

      King Street Kitchener South Side

      Water to Gaukel Street.-At the Water Street corner stood, before 1867, a large frame building used mainly during the winter months as a drill shed for the local militia. The building was at one time used as a skating rink. Later it was moved to Woodside Park on Queen Street South and used for Township Fairs, and other purposes. Next easterly were two houses, one-story high, with gables toward King Street, owned by Rev. F. W. Tuerk and built about 1860. Next an unpainted frame building, used as a shop, stood on the westerly corner of Gaukel Street. At the rear of tills shop there was another frame building, moved there from Factory Street, used as a felt factory by Feick & Co„ the partners being Mr. Haller, Manager, and Mr. Feick. Later, when J. Y. Shantz took over the felt business the building was converted into dwellings and used for some time, when it was torn down. The site is now occupied by the Salvation Army Barracks.


      REMINISCENCES OF BERLIN (NOW KITCHENER) By JACOB STROH Contributed by Joseph M. Snyder.

      Part I. Settlement - Early Villagers and Buildings, Waterloo Historical Society Annual Volume 1930

      ___________________

      Death of Aged Pioneer
      J. Y. Shantz Passes Away


      Berlin mourns today the death of Jacob Yost Shantz, its oldest native born citizen and a real Nature's nobleman an honest, God-fearing successful man. The end came peacefully at three o'clock this morning at his home, 105 Queen St. north.

      He was as well as usual to within an hour of death. About two o'clock he arose, and dressed himself, thinking it was near daybreak. Soon after retiring again, he called his son, Jacob and complained of internal pain. It grew more severe and his son D. B. Shantz was summoned from his home on Margaret Avenue. Before he reached his father's bedside, the aged gentleman had fallen asleep - in the sleep that knows no earthly awakening. He was conscious to within a few moments of the end. He was - barring partial blindness - in good health for a man so advanced in years - almost 88.

      He was frequently seen down town, being driven out by his friends.

      His mental faculties were bright, and he would spend hours conversing with his sons and friends, recalling with wonderful accuracy and detail, occurrences of long bygone years. During the past few days he has evinced a keen interest in the progress of the new button factory here. He was the pioneer of the button industry in Canada and it is worthy of note that of the five sons, four are engaged in the button trade as well as four nephews.

      The funeral of the late Mr. Shantz will be held on Saturday at 1.30 from the family residence, 105 Queen St. north, to the Lancaster St. Mennonite Church and East End Cemetery.

      The late Jacob Yost Shantz was a native of Berlin, having been born on May 2nd, 1822, on the Shantz farm just south of the East End Mennonite Church. His parents were pioneer residents and aided in reclaiming a hitherto wild and undeveloped region for the purposes of civilization. His father operated the first sawmill in this section and was in many ways connected with the material growth and upbuilding of this portion of the province. Being United Empire Loyalists they followed in British flag into Canada.

      The maternal grandfather of Mr. Shantz took a very active and helpful part in laying out the early roads of the county and in otherwise advancing those interests which indicated that the seeds of civilization had been planted and that his was to become some day a populous and prosperous district.

      Mr. Shantz was reared in Berlin, where he acquired a common school education. His early life was devoted to lumber interests. He engaged in the operation of a sawmill, conducted a lumberyard and became an extensive contractor and builder. He was prominently identified with manufacturing interests in later years, operating a factory for the manufacture of boots and shoes. In 1870 he established the button factory, becoming associated with a German button manufacturer and a few years later he bought out the interests of his partner, continuing to carry on the business in his own name, when he retired to enjoy a well-earned and richly merited rest. He was almost 88 years of age. His life has been one of intense and well-directed activity, in which he made good use of his opportunities, and he belonged too, to that class of representative men who while promoting individual success also advanced the general welfare. His family numbered twelve children, five sons and seven daughters. He has always been deeply interested in the welfare of Berlin, but has been content to do his public service as a private citizen, never seeking or desiring office. He acted, however, as mayor of Berlin a short time when the citizens offered him the position unanimously. He accepted it as an honor and then resigned. Another important labor which Mr. Shantz performed has been in connection with the development and upbuilding of Manitoba and the Northwest. He began operating there in 1874 and on behalf of the Mennonites devoted a large portion of his time in making a general prospector setting forth the advantages of the country, its natural resources and its climate in the districts mentioned in order to accomplish these objectives and gave liberally of his own private fortune, and through his endeavors, secured large sums from other friends of the Mennonite Society for the purpose of forming the colony, and for the development of that country which constitutes the first white settlement in Manitoba and the Northwest. When he first went to Fort Garry - now Winnipeg - in 1874, he saw only three white men in many weeks. In 30 years he went from here west 27 times, the last time when he was 85 years old. He has thus been instrumental in having thousands of the people of this sect becoming colonists in that district and thus settling up the country, aiding in its reclamation from a wild and unimproved district and converting it to the uses of civilization.

      In Berlin, he did a great work in assisting the early German settlers when they reached here. He built scores of houses for them, and gave them all the time they desired, to repay it. He was the soul of honor and integrity, and his life was a noble example of the true Christian. He was a faithful member of the Mennonite church and a liberal supporter.

      He was twice married. There are five surviving sons and four daughters, Moses B. of Rochester; Dilman B., of Berlin; John , of Buffalo; Ephraim B., of Didsbury; and Jacob, of Berlin; Mrs. Ezra Snider, Berlin; Mrs. N. B. Detweiler, Berlin; Mrs. Andrew Weber, Didsbury; and Miss Ida Shantz, Berlin.

      Berlin News Record, October 28, 1909

  • Sources 
    1. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 406.

    2. [S173] Ancestry.com.

    3. [S3] Book - Vol I A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 265.

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    11. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 359.

    12. [S3002] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration, 010943-76.
      Dilman G. Moyer, 24, occ. Farmer, b. Clinton Twp, res. Clinton Twp, son of Jacob L. & Barbara Married Susannah Shantz, 20, b. Waterloo Twp, res. Berlin, daughter of Jacob Y. & Ann, Witn Jacob Shantz of Berlin & Sarah G. Moyer of Waterloo Twp, 9 April 1876 in Waterloo Twp.

    13. [S137] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1901, Berlin (Town/Ville) A-5 Page 10.

    14. [S137] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1901, Berlin (Town/Ville) a-5 Page 10.

    15. [S47] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - First Mennonite CC#4507 Internet link First Mennonite Cemetery online.
      Jacob Y. Shantz / born May 2, 1822 / died Oct.28, 1909 / Sarah Shuh / his wife / born June 9, 1823 / died April 8, 1893 / Annie Brubacher / his wife / born Sept.19, 1832 / died Oct.1, 1870 / Barbara Biehn / his wife / born April 7, 1819 / died May 15, 1853 / Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord / Shantz / (A) Annie Brubacher (B) Barbara Biehn

    16. [S21] Bible - Shantz, Dilman & Lizzie Martin.

    17. [S131] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo Twp. - 1851.
      Jacob Y. SCHANTZ Farmer Birthplace: Canada Age 30 Mennonite b. 2-May
      Barbara SCHANTZ Birthplace: Canada Age 33 Mennonite b. 7-Apr
      Herietta SCHANTZ Birthplace: Canada Age 8 Mennonite b. 29-Aug
      Veronica SCHANTZ Birthplace: Canada Age 6 Mennonite b. 15-Jun
      Lucinda SCHANTZ Birthplace: Canada Age 4 Mennonite b. 7-Sep
      Ephraim SCHANTZ Birthplace: Canada Age 2 Mennonite b. 7-May
      Henry GILBERT Labourer Birthplace: Germany Age 36 Lutheran b.
      Nicolas DOPP Labourer Birthplace: Germany Age 21 Roman Catholic b. 2-Apr
      William JONSON Labourer Birthplace: Canada Age 16 Mennonite b. 8-Sep

    18. [S158] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1881, Div 1 Page 71.

    19. [S123] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1861, Div. 4 Page 41.

    20. [S527] Atlas - ON, Waterloo - 1881 - Illustrated Atlas of the County of Waterloo.
      Shantz, Jacob Y., button manufacturer. Was born here in 1822.

    21. [S1592] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1891, Sec. 5 Page 63.

    22. [S229] Census - ON, Waterloo, Berlin - 1871, Sect. 2 Page 16.

    23. [S3231] Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23378709/jacob-yost-shantz.

    24. [S3231] Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23378709.

    25. [S872] Book - Historic Building Inventory - Kitchener.

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    27. [S7] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berliner Journal (1859-1917), 6 Oct 1870.
      Nancy Schantz died 1 Oct 1870 in Pottstown, PA, née Brubacher, wife of Jakob Y., in Berlin, 38 yrs. Was on trip with her husband, fell ill & died far from home.

    28. [S10] Book - Vol II A Biographical History of Waterloo Township and other townships of the county : being a history of the early settlers and their descendants, mostly all of Pennsylvania Dutch origin..., 395.

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    30. [S244] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Deutsche Canadier (1841-1865) - Index to Births, Deaths and Marriages Announced in the Deutsche Canadier, Berlin, Canada West. originally indexed by Simone Nieuwolt and Sylvie Kuppek..organised by Rosemary Ambrose.
      BRUBACHER, Anna married 6 Dec 1853 To Jacob Y. SCHANTZ. Both of Berlin. minister Joseph Hegy newspaper date 8 Dec 1853 Pg: 49

    31. [S13] Vit - - ON, Waterloo - Wellington District Marriage Register Part 1 1840-1852, Eby, Benjamin - Minister of the Mennonist Society #27.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 2 May 1843 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 6 Dec 1853 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHistoric Building - 1855 - 138 Church St., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHistoric Building - 1855 - 142 Church Street, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1861 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Mennonite - 1861 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1871 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Mennonite - 1871 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - button manufacturer - 1881 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Manufacturer - 1881 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - United Mennonite - 1881 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsElected Office - Mayor - Kitchener - 1882 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Gentleman - 1891 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Mennonite - 1891 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPossessions - 1893 - 240 Duke St. W., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBusiness - J. Y. Shantz & Son's Co. Button Works - 1897 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Manufacturing - 1901 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 Oct 1909 - Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - First Mennonite Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth