Historical Plaque Properties


Frederick Pletsch - Carpenter
163 Ballantyne Avenue
Stratford, ON

Frederick Pletsch was born on May 7, 1883 the son of John Pletsch and Anna (Annie) Margaret Quehl.
Frederick’s father was born in Germany about 1855 and emigrated to Canada with his parents in 1857.  The Pletsch family settled on a farm in South Easthope.  Frederick was named after his grandfather who not only farmed but was a wagon and carriage maker. Frederick’s father supplemented the family’s income from the farm by working as a carpenter and timber dealer.  Frederick’s mother, Annie, was also of German descent. Her parents, John Quehl and Elizabeth Stein, had emigrated to Canada; however, Annie was born in South Easthope Township.

Frederick followed in his father’s footsteps and became a carpenter. Sometime during the early 1900s he moved to Stratford to practice his trade. On Christmas Day 1907, Frederick married 22-year old Wilhelmina (Minnie) Henkell the daughter of Johann William Henkell and Helen Magdalene Heinmeuller who farmed in South Easthope. The couple were married at the home of Minnie’s parents after which it took them more than two hours by horse and cutter to navigate the snow plugged roads to their home on North Street in Stratford.

Frederick and Minnie’s first child, Margaret Magdalene Pletsch was born on August 13, 1908. By the following year, the couple moved into the home that Frederick built at 163 Ballantyne Avenue. It was here that Minnie gave birth to their second child, Frederick Henkell Pletsch, commonly known as Ted, on December 19, 1909. Ted was the first child born at 163 Ballantyne Ave.

The family lived in the house until 1915, during which time Frederick’s career transitioned from carpenter to contractor. By 1916, the family had moved to Calgary where Frederick is listed in the census as a house builder.   

In 1924, the family returned east, built a house and barn, put-up fences and settled into farming on 40 acres of land in North Easthope, which had been left to Frederick upon his father’s death in 1923.

During the late nineteen twenties through the nineteen thirties, Frederick served on the North Easthope Township Council. He also held senior positions in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which he belonged to for more than half a century.

In 1943, Frederick and Minnie sold the farm and moved to Shakespeare. Frederick became the postmaster, a position he held until January 1957. The little yellow brick building that housed the post office still remains on the north side of the main street (Highway 7) of the hamlet. Vestiges of the interior of the post office can still be seen and form part of the shop known as Chanticleer in Shakespeare today. 

Frederick died in 1960 and Minnie in 1970. They are buried in the South Easthope Cemetery along with their son Ted and their respective parents.