Historical Plaque Properties


Edward D. Jacob - Carpenter
81 Parkview Drive
Stratford, ON

The first owner-occupants of 81 Parkview Drive in Stratford were Edward D. Jacob, his wife Elizabeth and their children.  Edward was a carpenter by trade and worked in the furniture industry.

Edward D. Jacob was born on February 23, 1875 on the family farm in Ellice Township near Seebach’s Hill.  His grandfather, Michael Jacob, was an Alsatian German who came to Canada as a young man in the 1830s.  In 1841 Michael married Katherine Klein (a witness for their marriage was Andrew Seebach). They had six children, including Edward’s father, Michael (Jr.).  In 1873 Michael (Jr.) married a neighbour’s daughter, Caroline Ney.  Edward was the eldest of their three children.
Edward attended Seebach’s Hill public school and First St. John’s Lutheran Church.  Like his father he married a daughter from a neighbouring farm.  Mary Elizabeth Suehring had been born on August 27, 1872.  Edward and Elizabeth, as she was known, were wed on June 8, 1899.

At first Edward and Elizabeth lived with Edward’s parents, and their first five children were born in Ellice Township: Alfreda (1900), William (1902), Viola (1903), Ruth (1905), and Margaret (1907).  But by 1911 the Jacobs were living in Elmira, Waterloo County, and here the last child, Irene, was born in 1912.  A few years later the family of eight moved back to Perth County, settling in Stratford.  Their new home was the two-storey, red brick home at 81 King Street North, now Parkview Drive, which had just been constructed in 1914.

It was the boom period for Stratford’s furniture industry, which had emerged as a major force in the local economy, and Edward had found employment as a carpenter at the Stratford Chair Company.  The company, founded in 1904, had its factory on Albert Street and specialized in chairs and moderately priced furniture.

After renting 81 Parkview for the first year the Jacobs purchased it in 1917.  But they didn’t stay in Stratford for long.  By 1920 they had sold the property and moved to Toronto, where the eldest daughter, Alfreda, was married in June of that year.  In 1924 the son, William (Bill) Jacob, crossed into the United States at Detroit and in the next year or so Edward, Elizabeth and the younger family members followed him to Detroit.  Edward, like Bill, found work in the city’s burgeoning automobile industry.

On his retirement Edward and Elizabeth moved to near Dearborn, a Detroit suburb.  Edward died there at the age of 68 on February 1, 1944, just five months after Elizabeth’s death.  They are buried in First St. John’s cemetery at Seebach’s Hill.