Historical Plaque Properties


Edward Mathias Wegenast - Clerk - Shore & Paff Boots and Shoes
46 Hibernia Street
Stratford, ON


Edward Mathias Wegenast was born in 1888 to William Henry Wegenast and Lydia Braendle. He was the third of four children. As was not uncommon for the time, his only sister and his younger brother died in infancy.
The families of Edward’s grandparents, Mathias Wegenast and Salome Staebler, had emigrated from Germany at the same time, and had settled in Waterloo.

When Edward was 14, his father, William, moved the family from Waterloo to Stratford where he worked as a packer for the George McLagan Furniture Company. The family lived on Albert Street, and later moved to 170 Brunswick Street. Edward took his first job at McLagan’s as a packer, following in his father’s footsteps.
In 1905, twenty-seven year old Edward married Bertha Schlotzhauer, who worked as a dressmaker. It was one of the few careers open to women at the time. She was the daughter of Daniel Schlotzhauer, who farmed in Ellice Township near Sebringville, and his wife, Isabel Whitney.

In 1911, Edward began his career as a clerk or salesman for Knechtel & Co. Shoes, located at 26 Downie Street, where the CIBC is now located. Later, the company became Shore & Paff Boots and Shoes.

In 1916, they moved into the newly-built house at 46 Hibernia Street. This must have been an exciting adventure for the couple as they had been living with Edward’s parents since their marriage. The couple lived in the house until 1922 when they moved 155 Birmingham Street.

In 1919, Edward became manager for Shore & Paff. Edward continued in sales as an agent for Metropolitan Life Insurance which was located on Downie Street. In 1923, thirty-four year old Bertha died of pneumonia. After fourteen years of marriage, the couple had remained childless.

Following Bertha’s death, Edward changed jobs a number of times. In 1930, he returned to Metropolitan Life Insurance, and later moved to Mutal Life Insurance where he would spend the rest of his working days.
In 1935, at forty-seven years old, Edward married thirty-two year old Susan Elizabeth Deichert, who at the time was working as a cook at the Mansion House Hotel. She was the daughter of Peter Deichert and Elizabeth Bloch. Peter Deichert farmed, and raised his family of eight, near Zurich, located in Huron County.

Four years after their marriage, Edward and Susan became parents of a daughter, Pauline. In 1939, the family moved to 93 Norman Street. They were living there in 1942 when Edward died, at age 54, in the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital Goderich. He had been at a camp near there and had a stroke.

After Edward’s death, Susan Wegenast used her skills to become the cook, and later the dietician at the YWCA on Waterloo Street. She and Pauline were living there at one time. According to her obituary, Susan worked there until she became ill, four months before her death in May of 1961. In the 1963 voter’s list in Toronto, Pauline is shown as a student living in a university residence for women. Bertha, Edward, and Susan are buried in the Avondale Cemetery, Stratford.