from The Tavistock Gazette - November/December 1923
Originally taken from the New Hamburg Independent - August 26, 1878

Tavistock is a thriving post village and station on the Buffalo & Goderich division of the G.T.R., and is also a station on the P.D. & L.H.R. It is nicely situated on the boundary between the Counties of Perth and Oxford; distant from Stratford eight miles, Woodstock about fourteen miles, Hamburg, ten miles.

It contains several tailor shops, four hotels, three or four shoe shops, a bakery, two stove and tin shops, two carriage shops, apump factory, three good generl stores, two cooper shops, a butcher shop, woollen mill, several cabinet shops, a falx mill, two flour mills, a tannery, a number of blacksmith shops, a pottery, harness shop, jewellery store, photograph gallery, stave and barrel factory, drug store, cheese factory, cheese box factory, saw and planing mill, etc. also three churches (Evangelical, Baptist, and Lutheran), and has 200 inhabitants, principally German.

The first landmark was erected about twenty-five years ago, since which time the village has been slowly but surely progressing, and is now noted throughout the country as one of the most enterprising and prosperous hamlets in Western Ontario. It is situated in a fertile and wealthy section of the country, but the lack of water power has probably been the means of keeping the place from taking a prominent position among the large towns which have sprung up around it. The enterprising citizens are rapidly overcoming this difficulty, however, and strangers coming into the village are surprised to see so many "smoke stacks" towering up among the clouds. The steam engine takes the place of the meandering stream, and prosperity is to be seen on every side. Within the last few months the energetic residents have taken steps to have the place incorporated and will undoubtedly secure their object as soon as practicable. This done, they will, of course, have a village council, and will be expected to put on all the airs of a body corporate. Improvements in the shape of sidewalks, etc., will follow in rapid succession, and the business of the place will receive such an impetus as few ever dreamed of. With the exception of the churches and the Post Office, there are no public buildings worthy of special mention.

The Lutheran church is a frame building, seating 200. It was erected twenty-two years ago. There are twelve families connected with this church, and the Rev. Frederick Veit is pastor. The Baptist church (German) is a brick building, seating 250. It was erected in 1868 at a cost of $1,400. There are fifty-two members, and the Rev. Samuel Becker is pastor. The Evangelical church is a frame building seating 350. It was erected in 1870, at a cost of $1,600. There are 146 members; Rev. Henry Werner, pastor.

The post office occupies a neat white brick building, and is centrally located.

The following is a list of the business men, alphabetically arranged:

Asmus, August, merchant tailor
Battersby, L.C., station master, G.T.R.
Bethberger, August, butcher
Boeckner, John F., shoemaker
Cable, Wm. J., baker
Campbell, Ann J., dressmaker
Collins, Thos., potter
Damek, Jos., boots and shoes
Davidson, George, peddler
Diebel, Geo., agent sewing machines, implements, etc.
Diebel, Henry, carriage works
Ernst, C. F., general merchant
Falck, Geo., cooper
Field & Hetherington, woollen mills
Foek, John, tailor
Goekel, Fritz, painter
Grantz, Henry, furniture dealer
Grazon, John, carpenter
Grimm, Sarah M., hotel
Herrick, Chris., hat maker
Hellwick, Conrad, tailor
Jacobs & Gauch, flax mill
Kalbfleisch & Schaefer, cabinet makers
Kaufman, Andrew, weaver
Koch, John, hotel
Klein, Kalbfleisch & Co., millers and merchants
Klinkhammer, Matthias, cooper
Krug & Falk, general merchants
Kube, Robert, stoves and tinware
Lippert, John, carpenter
Loth, John, hotel
Lawrence, Chas., station, P.D. & L.H.R.
Malcolm, Geo., flour mills
Martin, Hiram, carpenter
Matheson, Geo., Post master, &c.
Matthies, Wm., carriage maker
Miller, John, blacksmith
Murray, Wm., carpenter
Pfreumter, Jacob, tannery
Pledge, John, carpenter
Plugrat, Richard, carpenter
Quehl, John, tailor
Quehl, Philip, carpenter
Rausch, Henry, builder
Roedding, Henry, shoemaker
Russell, Wm. S., boots and shoes
Ross, Hector, plasterer
Schaefer, Wm., hotel
Skirving, James, physician
Schippling, Gustav, waggon maker
Schmidt, Conrad, waggon maker
Schuler, John, blacksmith
Schuler, W., pottery
Schwartzentruber, John, teamster
Seltzer, Jacob, mason
Semmler, Chas., tailor
Siegner, Frederick, harness dealer
Sitzer, Edmund, auctioneer, &c.
Smith, Wm., cooper
Stiefelmeyer, F.C., jeweller
Zimmerman, John, stave manufacturer
Zoellner, C., druggist, &c.
Ziemann, Henry, stoves and tinware



The leading general merchants in Tavistock are Messrs. Krug & Falk. They have carried on their present extensive business for the last eight years, but were identified with the mercantile interests of the village or some years previously. Mr. F. Krug came to Tavistock in 1860 as apprentice with the late Mr. Jacob Wagner. A few months after Mr. Wagner sold out to the late Mr. Lewis Mohr, and Mr. Krug continued with Mr. Mohr until about 1863, when the latter gentleman sold out to Mr. John Klein. Mr. Krug continued with Mr. Klein until 1870, when he bought out the stock, his late principal remaining remaining a silent partner. A successful business was carried on for two years, when Mr. Falk (who came to Tavistock in 1867, and clerked for Mr. Klein until 1870 and for Mr. Krug until 1872) bought out Mr. Klein's share. From that time to the present they have been very successful and do the largest trade in the place. The stock on hand is valued at $15,000, and their sales amount to about $40,000 per annum. They keep everything usually found in a first class general store, and import the major portion of their dry goods direct from Europe. The tailoring department is a specialty. The splendid brick building which they occupy was bought from the estate of the late Mr. Wagner in 1874, for $4,475. Additions and improvements to the extent of another $4,000 have been added by the enterprising proprietors. Messrs. Krug & Falk are shrewd and energetic business men, and are highly observing of the large measure of success which they have achieved.

Mr. C. F. Ernst is also a leading general merchant in this flourishing village. He came to Tavistock and started his present extensive and rapidly increasing business about four or five years ago. His stock of dry goods, groceries, etc., is fully as large as any usually found outside of the cities and towns, and is kept in the best of order. The tailoring department is probbably the most extensive West of Toronto, and the work turned out gives the best of satisfaction. In matters appertaining to the welfare of the place Mr. Ernst is one of the leading spirits and takes a deep interest in everything that tends to the advancement and progress of the village. The writer has not heard who the citizens intend to elect for their municipal officers when the hamlet is incorporated, but if Mr. ernst is considered too young a man for the office of Reeve, he is certainly deserving of a seat at the first Council board. That he may go on and prosper in his business is the wish of his large circle of customers and numerous friends.

Mr. John Klein is the oldest general merchant in the village, and some of the most prominent townsmen graduated under hgis supervision. He keeps a large stock of goods and sells at the lowest renumerative prices. In addition to the extensive mercantile business done in his premises Mr. Klein is also interested in several other branches of industry, being the senior partner in the Dominion Flour Mills. He is a gentleman of considerable weight in the community, and than who no one is better fitted for the Reeveship when this village becomes incorporated. His numerous friends wish him continued prosperity - in business and long life.

Mr. August Asmus is the leading representative of the "Knight of the Goose" in Tavistock. He came here in 1868, and commenced business as a tailor and cutter. Three years ago Mr. Asmus got in a large stock of tweeds, full cloth, broad cloth, shirting, etc., and since that time has been driving quite a snug little business as a merchant tailor. The agency for the Wanzer sewing machine is in his hands.

This industry has four master representatives in the village, foremost among whom is our friend, Mr. Joseph Damek, formerly of Shakespeare. He started business in Tavistock about four years ago, and has built up a snug little trade. Mr. Damek keeps two or three hands the year round, and turns out a lot of work. His stock in trade consists of boots and shoes of every description. Nearly all the hides coming into the place are purchased by Mr. Damek at the highest cash price.

Shop No. 2 on our list is located on the corner of Jane and Woodstock streets, and owned by Mr. W. S. Russell, who has been in business nearly four years, and keeps a good stock of boots and shoes suitable for men's, women's and children's wear constantly on hand. Mr. Russell is a practical workman and does quite a trade in ordered work. Repairing also receives prompt attention at modern prices.

Mr. Zoellner, proprietor of the Deutsche Apotheke, came to Tavistock in the year 1862, and started the hotel business on a small scale. At that time Tavistock was in its infancy, and Mr. Zoellner commenced with the paltry sum of $9.00 in his pocket. In 1868 he took possession of the premises now known as the "Commercial Hotel", erected by Henry Eckstein, and kept that house eight years. He also started a small drug store in connection with the hotel. In 1875, Mr. Zoellner erected his present commodious shop and residence, and then gave up the hotel and devoted his whole attention to the drug business. He has one of the best stocked and neatest drug stores outside the large towns and does an extensive business. Pure drugs and medicines of every description are kept on hand, and physicians' prescriptions and family recipes are carefully compiunded. He also does a general insurance business, and is depositor for the British and Foreign Bible Society. Mr. Zoellner is one of the oldest and most highly respected residents, being a gentleman of excellent qualities and one eminently deserving of the success with which he has met.

Dr. James Skirving, a physician of considerable ability, represents the medical profession. His office is in Mr. Zoellner's drug store.

Mr. F. C. Stiefelmeyer, a son of Dr. Stiefelmeyer of New hamburg, is the only representative of this business in the village. He came ot Tavistock about two years ago, and keeps a stock that would do credit to many shops in far more pretentious towns. In watches, he has a good display, both in gold and silver cases; Clocks of every size and deescription adorn the shelves, and his jewellery is both extensive and valuable. Nearly everything kept is of the best make and style, and bears the mark of superior quality. The citizens of Tavistock have every reason to feel proud of this establishment, and surely no one would be rash enough to pass his door when in want of anything in the above lines. Repairing executed neatly, cheaply and expeditiously. Mr. Steifelmeyer is a workman of considerable experience and ability, and anything left in his charge will undoubtedly receive proper attention.

This branch of business is solely represented by Mr. Fred Siegner, who started about three years ago and is now doing a large trade. He keeps a good stock of heavy and light harness ­ both single and double ­ constantly on hand, as well as everything else usually used about a horse. He is a practical workman of more than ordinary ability, and gives the best of satisfaction to his large circle of customers. Repairing of every description receives prompt attention. parties in want of anything in the above line should give him a call.

Mr. Robert Kube is the oldest business man in the village in the above lines. He commenced in the year 1863, in a shop nearly opposite the "Union Hotel". The old building has recently been pulled down and Mr. Kube is now erecting a handsome brick edifice, 22x40 ­ two storeys ­ which, when completed, will be one of the best in the place. His stock of stoves, tinware, etc., is not very large at present owing to the moving about rendered necessary by the building of the new shop, but as soon as that is finished Mr. Kube intends to keep the largest and best assorted stock to be found outside of any town in the Province. In the meantime, he is selling the remnant of his goods off at remarkably low prices.

Mr. Henry Ziemann is also the owner of a stock of stoves and tinware. The business which he is now carrying on was established about three years ago, by Messrs. Diebel & Co. Mr. Ziemann bought out the stock a few months since and keeps a large number of stoves of every description on hand, as well as a good stock of tinware. He is a practial workman, and gives particular attention to eavestroughing. He also deals in water lime and plasters of paris.

One of the best shops in the village in this line is kept by Mr. Jacob Wettlaufer, directly opposite the old flax mill, on the Woodstock road. Mr. Wettlaufer has been about five years in business here, and being a first-class horse-shoer and general jobber he is largely patronized by the farmers in the surrounding country, and generally succeeds in giving good satisfaction. He employs several hands the year round, and manufactures a superior iron harrow. All in want of a good implement should call and inspect his harrows.


In the year 1869, Messrs. Kalbfleisch & Schaefer comenced business as contractors and builders, and although they were then operating on a small scale, the trade which has sprung from this insignificant beginning is one of the most extensive in any section of the Province. The buildings used in connection with this business number about twenty and cover over an acre of ground. The planing mill is fitted up with all the latest and best labor saving machinery now in use, and as contractors, builders and cabinet makers the proprietors give the best of satisfaction. Their stock of furniture is simply immense, and we are doubtful if it can be surpassed even in Hamburg. The trade which is done in that line would astonish more pretentious establishments. Undertaking also receives prompt attention and as the enterprising proprietors are getting a handsome hearse built at the Tavistock Carriage works, they will soon be in a position to furnish as good a turn-out as can be obtained anywhere. A few months ago Messrs. Kalbfleisch and Schaefer commenced the manufacture of organs, and are meeting with such success as to warrant them in continuing this branch of their already extensive business. The instruments are of superior style to any we have seen, and seem to give good satisfaction. The saw mill is kept running throughout the greater part of the year, and turns out about 500,000 feet of lumber annually. This firm is also manufacturing cheese boxes, and will have turned out about 25,000 boxes before the season closes. About twenty hands are employed the year round. Both the proprietors have very desirable private residences and the extensive business which they are carrying on is considered among the most important in the place. We cannot close these remarks without wishing them even grater success.



These mills were erected in 1876, by Messrs. Klein, Kalbfleisch & Co., the present proprietors. The main building, which is of white brick, is 36 x48 feet and four storeys high. The engine house, likewise of brick, is 22x44 feet. There is alsoa frame addition to the mill, 30x40 feet, 3-1/2 storeys high. It is one of the best looking and most substantial mills in the county of Oxford or any of the adjoining counties. There are five run of stones ­ four for wheat and one for coarse grains. The mill has a capacity of 125 barrels a day, and room for storing 30,000 bushels of grain. The machinery is driven by a 55 horse power Corlis engine ­ one of Mr. J. Beck's of Baden. It is the best fitted and handsomest mill we have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Mr. Thomas Poelman, the "Co." in the above firm, has full charge of the mill, and being a practical man he turns out A No. 1 flour and gives the numerous patrons of the mill the best of satisfaction. His partners are Messrs. Klein, merchant, and Kalbfleisch, of the Sebastopol flax mill. The enterprising firm are deserving of the extensive patronage which they receive in all their special lines of business.

These mills were built in 1866, by Mr. George Malcolm, who has continued the business ever since. At that time the above establishments was the only one for many miles around, and the proprietor did an extensive trade. The mills are constructed of brick, 40 feet square, with an engine house 20 40. The main building is 3-1/2 storeys high, with four run of stones, operated by a sixty horse power engine (manufactured by Goldie & McCulloch, Galt). The above mills are conveniently located, being on one of the main streets and only a few yards distant from the B. & L.H.R.

Field and Hetherington, props.

This establishment has been in operation for about seven years and up to the present season was owned and operated by Mr. John Steinman. The mill is well fitted up with a set of manufacturing cards, a custom card and roller, grinding machine, dress and scouring mills, shearing machine and napper, four looms (one new), washer, new twister, dye tubs, etc., the whole being operated by a sixteen horse power engine. The work turned out is equal to any done in that line of business. The enterprising proprietors are men of considerable experience and have the confidence and respect of a large circle of customers. Their stock-in-trade, consisting of tweeds, woollens, full cloth, stocking yarn, socks, bed and horse blankets, coverlets, etc., is very large and is being sold at the lowest remunerative prices. Farmers purchasing anyhting over 14 yards are allowed a special reduction, an advantage which they cannot possibly obtain elsewhere. The business has increased nearly two-thirds since coming into the hands of Messrs. Field and Hetherington, who employ about ten hands. The building is of frame, 2-1/2 storeys high, with an engine house attached, and is heated by steam.

(In connection with the local woollen mill we wish to correct an error appearing in last week's instalment by stating that the woollen mill was first established in 1868 by a Mr. preston who sold out his interests in 1869 to Mr. John Steinman (father of Mr. P. E. Steinman of this village) and Mr. John gerhardt. These gentlemen added an addition to the plant in 1870. In 1873 Mr. Steinman purchased Mr. gerhardt's interest in the firm and conducted it until 1877 when he in turn sold out to Messrs. Field & Hetherington. The mill had been added to since then until it has reached its present size. ­ Ed.) 1930 correction!

H. Diebel Proprietor

This business was established in 1871, the building ­ a large two-storey frame structure ­ being previously used as a foundry. Mr. Diebel employs about a dozen hands the year round, and turns out a large number of vehicles of every description. A blacksmith shop is also connected with the above works and horse shoeing, etc., receives prompt attention. Mr. Diebel is a practical workman and superintends all work turned out. He also manufactures the celebrated porcelain lined pumps. Tavistock rigs have quite a reputation in the surrounding country, and seem to give the best of satisfaction generally. Last year it was found impossible to supply the demand. From $8,000 to $10,000 worth of work is turned out annually. The proprietor is an energetic business mana dn fully deserves the large share of patronage which he receives. Long may he continue to prosper.

The stave, heading and barrel factory of Mr. John Zimmerman has been established nine years, and employs from ten to fifteen men. About 25,000 flour barrels are turned out annually. Mr. Zimmerman has a very large stock of staves on hand, probably 800 cords. The work shop, sheds and staves cover nearly two acres of ground. The enterprising proprietor is a shrewd business man and a good citizen.

Messrs. Ballantyne & Gillard have just completed the erection of a large cheese factory in the vicinity of the P.D. & L.H.R. station. It is one of the most complete and extensive factories in the Province, and reflects the highest credit on the enterprising proprietors. Mr. Gillard has also erected a handsome brick residence in the same locality, and if farmers could be induced to cut their farms up into village lots and sell them at reasonable prices, the road to the above named depot would soon be lined with substantial buildings. Of this more anon.


Mr. John Loth took possession of this house in 1876 and has had it thoroughly renovated and fitted up in first-class style. Sample rooms and good stabling in connection. The best of liquors and cigars are kept in the bar, and a well-spread table awaits the hungry traveller in the dining room. Mr. Loth runs a stage to and from the P.D. & L.H.R. station twice a day for the accommodation of his patrons. This is a great conveniance to the public as the depot is about half a mile out.

The "Union" has been under the management of Mr. Wm. Schaefer, the gentlemanly proprietor, for the last six years, and is one of the best houses in the village. It affords good accommodation for commercial and other travellers, and the best liquors and cigars are kept on hand. Mr. Schaefer erected a large stable on the opposite side of the road three years ago, and has accommodation for about thirty horses.

This house is under the management of Mr. John Koch, formerly of the "Queen's Hotel, Baden. Mr. Koch succeeded Mr. Barnea a few months ago, and has had the premises thoroughly renovated. Ample accommodation is to be found under "big" John's hospitable roof, and he keeps nothing but first-class liquors and cigars. Commercial rooms and stabling in connection. He also keeps a livery stable containing four horses and good rigs of every description. So much pro bono publico.