Historical Plaque Properties


William Reinwald - Shoemaker
55 Duke Street
Stratford, ON

William Reinwald was the son of Conrad Reinwald and Anna Elizabeth Habermehl. Conrad, a weaver, emigrated from Germany with his first wife, Elizabeth Kircher, and their son, John. They settled in North Easthope where three more children were born. After his first wife died, Conrad married Anna Elizabeth Habermehl in 1865. They wouldbecome the parents of eight more children. Two of their children died in childhood. A boy, Philip, who was two years younger than William died of measles at age nineteen.


William was born in North Easthope on January 13, 1871. Sometime before the 1881 census was taken, the family moved to Ellice Township. In 1891, the census record shows William living with Charles Klink’s family and working as a farm labourer. The same census shows his father and his brothers Philip and Edward living together. His mother, Anna Elizabeth Habermehl, died in1889. On her death registration, she is noted as a weaver’s wife.


Sometime within the next three years William was trained as a shoemaker. When he was married in1894 his profession is written down as a shoemaker. Perhaps he learned the profession from their neighbour, Christian Boshart, who was a shoemaker and sixty-six years old in 1891.


It was on December 26, 1894 that 24 year old William Reinwald married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Kalbfleisch, 23. She was the daughter of Jerimius Kalbfleisch and Barbara Dollner of Brunner. William and Elizabeth settled in the Brunner/Milverton area and within seven years became the parents of three children: Edward Russell, 1896, Eva Barbara, 1899, Lillian, 1901 and Helen, 1909.


In 1920, William decided to try his profession in a larger centre and moved his family and business to Stratford. In 1921 William, Lizzie and Helen, who later became a teacher,moved into the new house at 55 Duke Street. Edward Russell was working as a railway telegrapher in Northern Ontario, Eva was married and Lilly was living on her own. Edward Russell had been called to service under the Military Service Act, 1917 and was assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion in Manitoba but there are no records to show that he went overseas.


William set up his business “Model Shoe Repair” at 28 Brunswick Street. For twelve years, William worked at his shoe business and became well known throughout the city. He was a member of the Centennial Evangelical Church. He died suddenly on May 3, 1932. Lizzie died thirteen years later in 1945. They are buried in Avondale Cemetery beside their daughter Lillian who never married.