Historical Plaque Properties


Edward (Ed) Grundenberger - Furniture Finisher
97 Hibernia Street
Stratford, ON


Edward (Ed) Grundenberger was born in Sebringville, Perth County in February of 1873. He was the fourth child of Simon Grundenberger and Margaret Arbogast. Simon was a shoemaker who had emigrated from Germany sometime before 1866 which was the year he and Margaret were married. Margaret was the daughter of John Arbogast, a farmer in Fullarton Township, who had emigrated from France in 1837.


In 1881, at the age of 18, Ed was boarding with John and Sabina Rau in Stratford where he was employed as a cabinet finisher. John, a cabinet maker, had emigrated from Germany and before moving on to the furniture business had earned his living as a merchant in Downie Township. Both John and Ed worked for the Porteous & McLagan Furniture Company.



Porteous & McLagan was located on Mill Street which later became the part of Douglas Street between St. Vincent Street and Huron Road. George McLagan became the sole owner in 1897 and three years later built a large factory at 93 Trinity Street. It was the first of the large factories to be located in that area. In the first part of the twentieth century, Stratford would become home to Canada’s largest furniture industry. The McLagan Furniture Company was the leading company until the 1930s.


Seven years later, after the death of John Rau, Sabina divided the lot on which her house was located. Ed Grundenberger bought the east half and built a house on it in 1899.

In 1898, Ed had married Susannah Bucholtz. She was the daughter of Emil Bucholtz and Lizzie Brill. Susannah’s father died when she was very young and her mother remarried William Hildebrand, a stone mason, in New Hamburg. He later moved the family to Stratford where he worked as a brick layer.


The 1901 census shows Ed and Susannah living in their new house along with their first child a daughter, Rubina. The census also notes that Ed continued to work as a furniture finisher and Sabina Rau remained in her home next door. The original house on the west part of the lot was torn down in the 1960s.



The family lived in the house until 1906 when Ed changed his profession and bought a hotel in Atwood. In Atwood, the family grew and by 1911 Ed and Susannah were the parents of four children. They also had five patrons in their hotel at the time the census was taken that year.


Unfortunately, Susannah died at the age of fifty in 1927. She was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in New Hamburg. When Ed died in 1949, he was buried beside her.