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

Peter Shirk[1, 2, 3]

Male 1839 - 1919  (79 years)

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

  • Name Peter Shirk 
    Born 11 Nov 1839  Canarvon Twp., Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
    Gender Male 
    Immigration 1862  , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Immigration 1862  , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Immigration 1862  [9
    Residence 1866  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Occupation 1871  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Miller 
    Religion 1871  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Mennonite 
    Business 1878  Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Lancaster Flour Millers 
    • Shirk & Snider Proprietors
    Lancaster Flour Mills - Bridgeport
    Lancaster Flour Mills - Bridgeport
    1878 Waterloo County Directory Peter Shirk & Samuel S. Snider Proprietors
    Historic Business 1820's  90 Old Mill Road, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Blair 
    Land Waterloo Township - German Company Tract Lot 059, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Naturalization 1878  [5
    Occupation 1891  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Miller 
    Religion 1891  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Mennonite 
    Public Service 1892  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [12
    Treasurer - Waterloo Township 
    Occupation 1901  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Miller Flour 
    Occupation 1911  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Miller 
    Religion 1911  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Mennonite 
    Eby ID Number 00101-5663 
    Died 1 Oct 1919  [7, 13
    Buried First Mennonite Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [14
    Person ID I4557  Generations
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2019 

    Father Christian Shirk,   b. 9 Aug 1796, Of, Canarvon Twp., Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 May 1870  (Age 73 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Hoffman,   b. 8 May 1805, , Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Apr 1862, near, Churchtown, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
    Family ID F649  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Magdalena Martin,   b. 2 Mar 1845, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Nov 1895, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 50 years) 
    Married 5 Jun 1866  , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 8, 15, 16
    Children 
     1. Anna Shirk,   b. 4 Feb 1868, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. George M. Shirk,   b. 4 Apr 1870, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Emma Shirk,   b. 21 Jan 1872, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Jul 1943, Baden, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     4. Elizabeth Shirk,   b. 15 Feb 1874, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jan 1875  (Age 0 years)
     5. Catharine Shirk,   b. 20 Mar 1875, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jan 1954, Elmira, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     6. Martin Shirk,   b. 21 Jun 1876, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jul 1910  (Age 34 years)
     7. Magdalena Shirk,   b. 3 Apr 1878, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Mar 1949, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     8. John Shirk,   b. 13 Mar 1880, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jan 1881  (Age 0 years)
     9. Maria Shirk,   b. 10 Jun 1881, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Feb 1954, Bloomingdale, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     10. Noah Shirk,   b. 31 Jan 1884, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Mar 1958  (Age 74 years)
     11. Lydia Shirk,   b. 9 Apr 1885, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jan 1981, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 95 years)
     12. Veronica Shirk,   b. 22 Jan 1887, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 May 1891, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 4 years)
     13. Barbara Shirk,   b. 5 May 1889, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Jul 1973, Waterloo City, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
     14. Mary Krempien,   b. Apr 1891, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 2 Dec 2019 
    Family ID F1443  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Judith Weber,   b. 4 Jul 1855, Freeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Apr 1942, Pinehill, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years) 
    Married 29 Nov 1896  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 17
    Children 
     1. Selina Shirk,   b. 21 May 1898, Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jun 1979, St. Jacobs, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    Last Modified 2 Dec 2019 
    Family ID F11035  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Peter Shirk, "son of Christian and Elizabeth (Hoffman) Shirk, is a native of Canarvon Township, Lancaster County Pa., where he was born November 11th, 1839. When a young man he left his native state and went to Canada, arriving at Berlin, Ontario, May 1st, 1862. Here he had his home with his uncle the late Jacob Hoffman in whose services he was for nearly two months, piling lumber and assisting in the saw mill. From here he went to the town of Waterloo and engaged himself as miller with D. H. Moyer & Co. who were then the proprietors of the Union Mills. After E. and S. S. Snider became proprietors of the mills he continued his services with the new firm until December 1st, 1866, when he purchased the Blair Mills. Here Mr. Shirk did a well paying business until December, 1869, when he sold the mills and, entering into partnership with Mr. S. S. Snider of Waterloo, purchased in December of the same year (1869) the Lancaster Mills of Bridgeport where he has since been engaged very extensively in manufacturing patent and high grade flour. In 1887 Mr. Snider retired from the firm, thus leaving Mr. Shirk sole proprietor of the extensive business. In connection with the Lancaster Mills, Mr. Shirk is also proprietor of the Baden Mills which he purchased from Mr. James Livingstone in 1889. Mr Shirk commenced life as a farmer's boy and being possessed with but little of this world's substance, he, by energy and perseverance and being naturally gifted with first class business qualities, besides having a good character, gradually worked his way up from one position to another and is now rated as one of our well-to-do millers (See his rating in the Mercantile Agency for the Dominion of Canada by R. G. Dun & Co.) of the province. Of late years he has been identified with public life and has held prominent positions of honour and trust, thus proving for himself a record of which no one has any need of feeling ashamed. On June 5th, 1866, he was married to Magdalena, daughter of John and Anna (Weber) Martin. She was born March 2nd, 1845. They reside in Bridgeport, Ontario. To them were born the following 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.].

      ____________________________



      Shirk.--Peter Shirk was born in Lancaster Co., Pa., Nov. 11, 1839; died in Bridgeport, Ont., on Oct. 1, 1919; aged 79 y. 10 m. 20 d. Bro. Shirk came to Canada in 1862 and entered the milling business. He was married twice, his first wife being Magdalene Martin who died 24 years ago and the second wife was Judith Krampien who survives. There are also left to mourn his departure ten children, 38 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Funeral Services were held on Oct. 6 at First Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ont. The services at the house were conducted by Bro. Noah Stauffer and at the Church by the brethren Jonas Snider, Urias Martin and Manasseh Hallman.


      Gospel Herald - Vol. XII, No. 30 - October 23, 1919

      __________________________

      PETER SHIRK

      It will be of interest to know a little of his ancestors. The first we have record of was Ulrich Shirk who came from Switzerland in 1832 to Pennsylvania with his six sons and two daughters. One son was named Peter who had a son named Joseph and Joseph had a son named Christian.

      Peter Shirk was the son of Christian and Elizabeth (Hoffman) Shirk and was a native of Caernarvon Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he was born November 11th, 1839. He came from a poor family which made it necessary for him to go to work and help support the family when eleven years of age. He worked hard and had long hours, but he was eager to learn so studied a good deal at night. He learned the milling trade at Peter Rupe's flour mill near Churchtown, Pennsylvania.

      When he was a young man he left his native state and came to Canada with his eldest sister Barbara, arriving at Berlin (Kitchener) on May 1st, 1861. He made his home with his uncle, the late Jacob Hoffman in whose services he was for nearly two months piling lumber and assisting in the saw mills. (Jacob Hoffman's saw mill was situated where Schreiter's Furniture Store now stands). From here he went to the village of Waterloo and engaged himself as miller with D. H. Moyer & Co., who were then the proprietors of the Union Mills. After E. and S. S. Snider became proprietors of the mills he continued with the new firm until December 1st, 1866, when he purchased the Blair Mills. Here he did a well paying business until December, 1869, when he sold the mills and entered into partnership with Samuel Snider in Bridgeport. In 1887 Peter Shirk bought Mr. Snider's interest in the company and continued the business under the name of Shirk & Snider until 1910 when the firm name was changed to Shirk & Snider Ltd., Peter Shirk as President and his eldest son Geo. M. as managing-director.

      On August 17th, 1889, the Baden Mills were purchased from James Livingstone, the business having grown to such an extent that it was necessary to increase its capacity. The two mills, Bridgeport and Baden had a combined capacity of 250 barrels per day.

      The Bridgeport flour mill of Shirk & Snider Ltd. is one of the old industries of Waterloo County, this mill having been built in 1830 and the dam, of about 25 acres, in 1829, by Jacob Shoemaker. Mr. Shoemaker operated the mill for 20 years when he sold to Elias Eby who had it for the following 20 years. Peter Shirk and S. S. Snider bought from Mr. Eby in 1870. The buildings were always kept in good repair and the machinery modern.

      In addition to the mill Peter Shirk also owned and operated a cooperage, supplying the barrels for the Bridgeport, Baden, Waterloo and other mills. Most of the flour was sold and shipped in barrels in the earlier days. All the export flour had to be teamed to Dundas in the early days as that was the nearest shipping station. After 1856 the flour was teamed to Berlin (now Kitchener.) In 1903, through the influence and efforts of Peter Shirk a spur line was extended direct to the mill from the beet sugar factory of that time.

      The company 's products always had an enviable reputation both locally and in the foreign markets. The special flour brands were "Buda" a blended flour for all purposes (this getting its name from the abbreviation of Budapest, Hungary, where the first roller mills were used) ; "Two Sisters" a special flour for pastry and cakes and "Evangeline" a pure Manitoba flour for bread.

      Peter Shirk was in his youth possessed of but little of this world's substance, but by energy and perservance and being naturally gifted with first class business qualities besides having a good character, he gradually worked his way up from one position to another and to affluence. In his later years he was identified with public life and held prominent positions of honor and trust. He was on the board of trustees of the Kitchener and Waterloo Collegiate and Technical Institute about 30 years. During his term he was instrumental in having Manual Training and Household Science added to the curriculum. He was treasurer of Waterloo Township for 20 years when he resigned, being succeeded by his son, Geo. M., who held the position for 15 years. Allen Shirk has been Township Treasurer for the past 6 years, since the death of his father Geo. M. Shirk.

      Peter Shirk was married on June 5th, 1866, to Magdalena (Weber) Martin. Mrs. Peter Shirk's grandfather was Abraham Weber who in company with Benj. Eby and wife, Samuel Eby and family, Joseph Schneider and family, and others, came to this section of Waterloo County on June 2nd, 1807. The Conestogo driven by Abraham Weber on his trip from Lan-caster County, Pennsylvania, in 1807, is now in the Waterloo Historical Society Museum.

      Soon after Abraham Weber's arrival in Canada he married Elizabeth Cressman and they settled on the corner of King and Wilmot Streets where the Canadian Goodrich plant is now situated. It was at this place that Mrs. Peter Shirk's mother was born, on August 14th, 1811, being one of the first children born in Berlin (Kitchener).

      To Mr. and Mrs. Peter Shirk were born the following children: Peter, Anna, George, Emma, Elizabeth, Catherine, Martin, Magdalena, John, Maria, Noah, Veronica and Barbara. Mr. Shirk's first wife died on November 7th, 1895 and Peter Shirk died on October 1st, 1919, aged 79 years. He is survived by his second wife, 1 son and 7 daughters.

      -Contributed by Mrs. F. Capling, Granddaughter of Peter Shirk.3a

      3aTwenty-First Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society, 1933

  • 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..., 800.

    2. [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..., 42.

    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..., 452.

    4. [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..., 242.

    5. [S132] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo North - 1901, Waterloo C-3 Page 9.

    6. [S4] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration.
      Peter Sherk Born: Lancaster County Age: 57 Father: Christian Mother: Elizabeth Born: abt 1839 Spouse: Judith Krampien Age: 41 born: Waterloo Township Father: Abraham Mother: Judith married 29 Nov 1896 married: Waterloo, Waterloo Township

    7. [S8] News - Gospel Herald, October 23, 1919 - Obituary of Peter Shirk.

    8. [S5] Vit - - ON, Waterloo - 1858-1869 Marriage Register.
      Magdelina Martin Born: Woolwich Res: Woolwich Age: 21 Born: abt 1845 Father: John Martin Mother: Nancy Martin Spouse: Peter Sherk Age: 26 Born: abt 1840 born: PA Res: Waterloo Father: Christ Sherk Mother: Elizabeth Sherk married 5 Jun 1866

    9. [S214] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo North - 1911, Div. 3 Page 16.

    10. [S168] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo North - 1871, Div. 3, Pg. 11.

    11. [S2042] Census - ON, Waterloo, North Dumfries - 1891, Section 3 Page 9.

    12. [S1449] Book - Grassroots Government Biographies of Waterloo Township Councillors.

    13. [S47] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - First Mennonite CC#4507 Internet link First Mennonite Cemetery online.
      Peter Shirk (sic) / died Oct.1, 1919 / aged 79 yrs. 10 m. 20 d. / Magdalena Martin his wife / died Nov., 1895 / aged 50 yrs. 8 mo. 5 d. / at rest / Shirk

    14. [S47] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - First Mennonite CC#4507 Internet link First Mennonite Cemetery online.

    15. [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..., 243.

    16. [S7] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Berliner Journal (1859-1917), 14 Jun 1866.
      June 5, 1866 Peter Scherch of Waterloo and Magdalena Martin of Woolwich, by Rev. Hegy

    17. [S32] News - Herald of Truth, May 7, 1942 - Obituary of Judith Weber Shirk.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1862 - , Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1862 - , Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1866 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 5 Jun 1866 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Miller - 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 MapsBusiness - Lancaster Flour Millers - 1878 - Bridgeport (Kitchener), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHistoric Business - Blair - 1820's - 90 Old Mill Road, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLand - - Waterloo Township - German Company Tract Lot 059, Waterloo County, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Miller - 1891 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1891 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPublic Service - Treasurer - Waterloo Township - 1892 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 29 Nov 1896 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Miller Flour - 1901 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Miller - 1911 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Mennonite - 1911 - Waterloo Twp., 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