Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Rev. David Sherk[1, 2]

Male 1801 - 1882  (81 years)


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

  • Name David Sherk 
    Prefix Rev. 
    Born 9 Sep 1801  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
    Gender Male 
    Historic Building CA 1830  330 Joseph Schoerg Crescent, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [12
    brick 2 and 1/2 story house 
    • The Schoerg Homestead, located at 381 Pioneer Tower Road, is situated on a ridge overlooking the Grand River Valley in Pioneer Tower West, City of Kitchener. The two-and-a-half-storey red-brick building was designed in the Mennonite Georgian style, and constructed circa 1830 by David Sherk.
      The property was designated for its heritage value by the City of Kitchener under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 2003-227).

      The Schoerg Homestead is a classic representation of the Mennonite Georgian style. The house is a two-and-a-half-storey dwelling, constructed of hand-made red-brick, with a two-storey wood frame wing to the rear. The structure is in sound condition and has been altered very little from its original appearance. The brick portion of the home is set upon a foundation of rough squared granite stone. The fieldstone foundation of the two-storey rear wing suggests an earlier farmhouse may have existed at this location.
    Interesting religion, story 
    Name David Schoerg 
    Name David Sharick  [6
    Occupation 1861  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Minister 
    Religion 1861  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Mennonite 
    Occupation 1871  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Farmer 
    Religion 1871  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Mennonite 
    Religion 1881  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Mennonite 
    Eby ID Number 00101-5640 
    Died 19 Sep 1882  Near Doon, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 9, 10
    Cause: old age 
    Buried Doon Pioneer Tower Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Person ID I4487  Generations
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2019 

    Father Joseph Schoerg,   b. 3 Feb 1769, Franklin Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Feb 1855, Near Doon, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Betzner,   b. Abt 1773, Of, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F1379  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Elizabeth B. Betzner,   b. 10 May 1811, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1894, Breslau, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Married 30 Jan 1827  [3, 4
    Children 
     1. Isaac W. B. Sherk,   b. CALC 29 Dec 1827, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jan 1907, Breslau, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 79 years)
     2. Anna Shirk,   b. 5 Feb 1831, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Dec 1836, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 5 years)
     3. Mary Shirk,   b. 22 Mar 1833, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Dec 1836, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 3 years)
     4. David Shirk,   b. 8 Aug 1834, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Dec 1836, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 2 years)
     5. Mary Sherk,   b. 4 Feb 1837, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 May 1866, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years)
     6. Veronica "Fannie" Shirk,   b. 12 Aug 1839, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Oct 1875, Strasburg, (Kitchener) Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 36 years)
     7. Elizabeth Sherk,   b. 27 Jul 1845, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Nov 1934  (Age 89 years)
     8. Barbara Shirk,   b. 31 Oct 1847, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Sep 1920, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     9. Benjamin B. Sherk,   b. 17 Oct 1849, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Feb 1929  (Age 79 years)
     10. Leah Shirk,   b. 28 Nov 1853, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jun 1883, , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years)
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F1423  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Elizabeth Betzner,   b. 1810, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Jan 1827  [11
    Children 
     1. Frances Sherk,   b. 1839, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Barbara Sherk,   b. 1847, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Benjamin Sherk,   b. 1849, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Leah Sherk,   b. 1853, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F274232  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 9 Sep 1801 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHistoric Building - brick 2 and 1/2 story house - CA 1830 - 330 Joseph Schoerg Crescent, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Minister - 1861 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1861 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1871 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1871 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1881 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Doon Pioneer Tower Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Rev. David Shirk, "was born September 9th, 1801. On January 30th, 1827, he was married to Elizabeth Betzner who was born May 10th, 1811, and died at her son Benjamin's place, August 26th, 1894. On July 2nd, 1837, Mr. Shirk was ordained as a deacon of the Mennonite Church and on December 2nd, 1838, he was ordained as a minister of the same body for the Strasburg, Hagey and Wanner field of labor. In his long and dutiful services rendered unto the congregations of his charge he preached many a spiritual and instructive sermon and in his time was considered one of the ablest ministers of the Mennonite body. He died near Doon where he resided on his father's old homestead, (This old homestead comprises lot No. 11, Broken Front, Beasley Block, S. R.) September 19th 1882. His family consisted of ten children"

      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.].

      ____________________________


      Died, on the 19th of September, near Preston, in Waterloo Co., Ontario, of the infirmities of old age, Pre. David Sherk, aged 82 years and 22 days. He was in the ministry nearly 44 years, and had served as deacon several years previously. He is said to have been the first white child born in Waterloo county. He leaves a widow and two sons and three daughters to mourn his departure. Services were held by A. Hunsperger, Elias Weber and Jacob Mensch, the latter from Pennsylvania. Text, Rev. 5: 5, 10 and I Tim. 1: 15.

      He was a faithful laborer in the cause of Christ, using every means at his command to spread the gospel and lead sinners to God. He visited, and preached, and wrote as long as his physical powers permitted him to do so. He was active also in circulating papers, having books and pamphlets printed and circulated which might have a tendency to enlighten the people, encourage the Christian, and awaken in God,s people a more earnest Christian life. His last work in this direct was the compiling and arranging for the publication of the little work recently issued in the German language, "Non-Conformity to the World." The English is now in press and will be out in a couple of weeks. Writing to the Editor he said, he thought this would probably be his last work in this direction, and so it proved as the Lord called him away before the English edition was published.

      He was a warm friend of our church paper, the Herald of Truth from its first appearance and labored zealously for its success. Many will long remember the earnest labors of our departed brother, and thank the Lord for his kind admonition and words of cheer on the pilgrimage of life. Peace to his ashes.

      Obituary - Herald of Truth, Nov 1, 1882

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      Sherk, David (1801-1882)

      David Sherk (1801-1882) was a leading Mennonite Church (MC) minister. He was born in 1801, the sixth child of Joseph Schoerg, who came to Waterloo County, Ont. in 1800 from Franklin County, PA. David married Elizabeth Betzner (1811-94) in 1827. They had ten children. Two of his daughters were successively the wives of Jacob Gingerich (1840-1920), preacher of the Hagey and Wanner congregations. About 1837 David Sherk was ordained deacon for the Hagey Mennonite Church and the following year served as minister for the three churches of Strasburg, Hagey and Wanner. In his time he was considered one of the leading ministers of the Ontario Mennonite Conference (MC). He was the author of Nonconformity to the World (Elkhart, 1882), 72 pp. He died in 1882.

      Fretz, Joseph C. "Sherk, David (1801-1882)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 Nov 2005 <https://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S5371ME.html>

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      Wanner Mennonite Church
      Begun: 1829

      A small wooden meeting house was built in 1829 on a corner of the farm belonging to Samuel Bechtel which was located in the vicinity of the present-day regional headquarters of the Ministry of Natural Resources near the intersection of Highways 24 and 401. The site for this community meeting house, as well as a school and a burial ground, had been chosen on August 8, 1829. The land was donated by Samuel Bechtel and his wife Barbara (Baumann) on March 15, 1830. A new meeting house, of white brick, was built in 1837 on the east side of Henry Wanner's farm, somewhat north of the first meeting house. Meetings at first were held every eight weeks. The deed of land for the meeting house known as Wanner's was dated October 15, 1837. Early preachers were David Sherk, who had been ordained by Benjamin Eby in July 1837, Jacob Bretz, Jr., and Joseph Hagey.

      Joseph Hagey was ordained bishop in 1851. During his time divisions occurred in the church by a surge of enthusiasm for a Methodist form of revivalism. Solomon Eby of Port Elgin, who announced his own conversion in December 1869, was leader of a group which believed that members could be converted through participation in revival meetings. John Baer of Wanner's became associated with Solomon Eby, and was compelled to leave the church in the spring of 1874, as were Eby and his other followers. The new church movement resulted in organization conferences which culminated in the conference on March 23, 1875 at Bloomingdale where New Mennonites and Reforming (or Reformed) Mennonites joined together as United Mennonites. The United Mennonites favored revival meetings, Sunday Schools and prayer meetings, and were opposed to the use of alcohol and tobacco.

      The date of construction of the meeting house which replaced the one built in 1837 is somewhat in doubt. It is possible that a new building was erected in the early 1870s; it is also possible that the 1837 building only underwent extensive renovations at that time. There is no doubt, however, that a new brown brick church was built in 1938. An education wing was added in 1969.

      The earliest Mennonite Sunday School in North America was begun in 1842 and was held jointly by the Wanner and Hagey Meeting Houses. It was discontinued after a short time because of a division of opinion within the congregations. An attempt was made later, in the mid-1860s, to begin another Sunday School, but this, too, did not last long. Many years later, on June 10, 1896, a meeting was held to organize a Sunday School. Anson Groh was appointed superintendent..

      Waterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

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      Preston (Bechtel or Hagey) Mennonite Church

      The second meeting house in Waterloo County was built, probably in 1814, by John Erb, a wealthy miller of Preston. This brick meeting house served as a community church and was located "near Jacob Hagey's", which was on the road running from the top of the Kress Hill west and "adjoining the Kitchener Highway" (Witmer 1967: 26). Another meeting house, known as the Union Meeting House, was built in the area around 1824. A meeting was held in the Union church on November 20, 1824 to commence recording the accounts of the congregation in Hagey's Deacon Book. The deed of land for the Union Meeting House and burial ground, which was for one acre of part Lot 22, Beasley's Broken Front, was transacted in 1835.
      Hagey Meeting House was buiilt of red brick in 1842 on part Lot 23, just north of Preston on the west side of the Breslau Road, and slightly north of the Union Meeting House site. The deed, dated February 2, 1842, recorded the purchase of the land from John Hilborn and stressed that the property was to be for "the purpose of public worship by the Mennonist Society" (Witmer 1967: 28). Joseph Bechtel was the first minister in the area, from 1804-1837; he was followed by David Sherk (1838-1843). Next came Joseph Hagey (1844-1877), who was ordained bishop in 1851, and then Jacob B. Gingrich from 1878 to 1901. Services were held every four weeks until 1890 when bi-weekly services were begun. A Sunday School was established in 1842 with the congregation of Wanner Meeting House near Hespeler, but it was discontinued because of a difference of opinion regarding the need for Sunday Schools. On April 26, 1891 a Sunday School was organized at Hagey's, with deacon Abraham Oberholtzer as superintendent. Five years later, on June 10, 1896, a Sunday School was organized at the Wanner church.
      Major changes were made to the church building in 1927-1928 when the basement was excavated, new windows were installed and the roof was raised two feet. Fire on January 15, 1950 caused extensive damage to the interior and furnishings of the church. The building was completely renovated and also enlarged at the same time; dedication was on July 2, 1950. Another fire, on Feburary 19, 1953, completely destroyed the church. A congregational decision was made to build a new church, on Concession Road in Preston, and the cornerstone was laid on Thanksgiving Day, October 12, 1953. Official dedication services in the new Preston Mennonite Church were held on May 16, 1954. The building was enlarged in the summer of 1989.5a

      5aWaterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

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      Pioneer Park (Weber/Strasburg) Christian Fellowship Mennonite Church

      Early services were held in the homes of the first settlers, perhaps as early as 1833. Services often were held at the home of David Weber who lived across from where the church would be located. David Sherk was ordained deacon to serve the group in 1837, and in the next year, 1838, he was ordained minister. He was followed in 1840 by John Steckle (Stoeckle).
      In 1842, David Weber donated one acre of land for a meeting house and burial ground. The deed was dated March 23, 1854, although the meeting house had been built in 1843. A new yellow brick church was built in 1894 on the same site. Noah Stauffer, who had been ordained in 1876 to assist John Steckle, was minister at the time. A Sunday School was organized in the 1890s; Sunday School records date from 1898. In 1899 the first Bible Conference to be held in an Ontario Mennonite church was held in the Weber church.
      In 1971-1972 the church was enlarged and completely renovated. During that time - from October 17, 1971 to January 23, 1972 - the congregation met in the Herbert Feick home on Doon Village Road. On September 24, 1872 the congregation celebrated the 130th Anniversary of the building of the first meeting house. The name of the church was changed to Pioneer Park Christian Fellowship Mennonite Church in 1972.
      In 1951 the congregation had purchased from Clifford Snider an additional acre of land located behind the church. In 1976, for the sum of $1, the congregation acquired a sixty-five foot strip of land along the south edge of the church property from Major Holdings & Development Co. A new church was built within several feet of the old yellow brick one which was removed; the date on the cornerstone is 1980. The 150th Anniversary of the construction of the first meeting house is to be celebrated in 1993. 6a

      6aWaterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

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      Partial demo slated for heritage site
      Rear annex of 330 Joseph Schoerg Cres. to be demolished in coming months



      Owners of the Schoerg farmhouse at 330 Joseph Schoerg Cres., are working on a plan to complete the restoration of the property, which has sat vacant for a number of years. The restoration will include a partial demolition of its rear annex, which is structurally unsound.

      Kitchener Post By Laurie Snell


      The old Schoerg family farmhouse at 330 Joseph Schoerg Cres. is the next heritage property in Kitchener to face demolition '97 a partial demolition of its rear annex to fix what's currently deemed unsafe.

      That's because given the choice '97 to demolish it entirely and build a brand new home, or to spend the time and money to repair the rundown heritage home '97 Pat George and his JHS Properties team opted to save it.

      They just didn't think it would take so long, nor did they plan on having to demolish any part of it.

      "It's been a long process, that's for sure," George said. "We just thought, it's a cultural area and if we could save the house we would do it."

      George's company purchased the property and surrounding land to build the Deer Ridge subdivision in the late 1990s. They have been trying to repair the heritage-designated farmhouse ever since.

      The-two-and-a-half-storey, red brick house is a classic example of a Mennonite Georgian style building. David Sherk, son of early pioneer Joseph Schoerg, built the homestead in 1830. It is believed that Sherk was the first non-native child born in what would soon become Waterloo County, and his building it is one reason for the farmhouse's heritage designation.

      "Looking back, would I do it again? Probably not, because I didn't realize all of what is involved here and how bad the house was," George said. "At the time it seemed like a worthwhile thing to do."

      He added, the company has spent well over $100,000 just to gut the house and temporarily hold up the rear annex, which was a later addition to the house. To fix it, according to City of Kitchener documents from 2007, would cost upwards of $235,000.

      "At one point, we had a report that indicated the house was possibly better than what it was," he said. "It was pretty run down."

      "When we actually started the process, the house was vacant and the prior owner had applied for a demolition permit. We basically decided we would attempt to save the house, which became a lot longer process and a lot more involved than what we had ever imagined."

      The bad news just kept coming.

      "There were major problems where roof troughs were collapsing and the wiring was totally shot prior to us taking ownership of the house," George said. "People did interior renovations where they cut through structural beams to put stairs in and create washrooms in different areas, so they structurally had done a lot of damage to the house that wasn't apparent."

      So now that the Deer Ridge subdivision around the heritage site is near complete, George said his team is again trying to create a Heritage Kitchener-approved plan that would bring the old farmhouse back to life.

      George said the goal is to complete the rest of the project in six to seven months.

      "We're still working on it. We've got blueprints being prepared right now that will shortly be submitted to Heritage Kitchener in coming months," he said.

      George said because people occasionally break into the property, they regularly check on the property, ensuring it's boarded up and well-secured.

      In an interview last month, Leon Bensason, the city's cultural heritage co-ordinator, said properties such as this one continue to be a concern. When it comes to protecting heritage properties, "The city can't do this alone," he said.

      "It's been vacant for a number of years," Bensason said, adding that's a red flag.

      It's unclear how long 330 Joseph Schoerg Cres. has been unoccupied, but George said it's been vacant as long as they've owned it. Though, he was uncertain of the date it was purchased.

      "We've been trying to work with the property owner again, trying to ensure that the property is adequately maintained and hopefully find a tenant or a new owner for the property who wants to restore it," Bensason said.

      "A lot of responsibility lays with the property owner.

      You have to have a property owner who is willing to maintain the property, and willing to ensure heritage attributes are well cared for."

      It's especially difficult for the city to monitor the site if the property is both privately-owned and vacant, he added.

      "There is a measure of protection under the property standards bylaw," Bensason said. "That ensures the city undertakes inspections every couple of years to understand which of those designated properties are vacant. Those are the ones that are most at risk."7a

      7aPartial demo slated for heritage site. (2016). Kitchenerpost.ca. Retrieved 2 June 2016, from https://www.kitchenerpost.ca/news-story/6700522-partial-demo-slated-for-heritage-site/

  • Sources 
    1. [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..., 692.

    2. [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..., 242.

    3. [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..., 239.

    4. [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..., 247.

    5. [S32] News - Herald of Truth, Nov 1, 1882.
      Obituary of David Shirk

    6. [S131] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo Twp. - 1851, Div 1 Pg 27.

    7. [S178] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo South - 1881, Waterloo S. Twp. 1881 Div 2 Page 28.

    8. [S1946] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo Twp. - 1861 (South Division), Div. 4 Page 25.

    9. [S2378] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Doon Pioneer Tower.
      In memory of/ David SHERK/ Born Sept. 9' 1801/ in Waterloo Co. Canada:/ Ordained to the ministry/ In the Mennonite Church/ July 2' 1837: / Died Sep. 19' 1882/ Aged 81 y'rs 10 days/ A faithful friend, a husband dear/ A loving father lieth here:/ His work is done, God called him home/ No more with us he can roam/ He is at rest and free (from pain)/ Farewell we hope to meet again.Æ

    10. [S2575] aaaaWaterloo Township South 1891, Sect. 3 Page 7.

    11. [S2767] aaaWaterloo Township 1871 South, Sect. 2 Page 55.

    12. [S1046] Building - Heritage Building Inventory - Kitchener 1991, Report on 381 Pioneer Tower Road.