Deep Political Roots

Earlier this week, I recounted how the Wagner and Breithaupt families have been connected for more than 150 years. It was Rev. Jacob Wagner who introduced Louis Breithaupt to his sister-in -law Catherine Hailer, the woman Louis would marry in 1853. The Breithaupt family became prominent and politically served Waterloo County and the Berlin (now Kitchener) for several generations. The Hon. Louis Orville Breithaupt in fact served in the House of Commons for many years before becoming the 18th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in 1952 (see “A Ghost of a Chance – August 23, 2009). Well, it turns out that the political roots of the Breithaupt-Wagner connection run even deeper.

In 1901, Albert Liborius Breithaupt, a son of Louis and Catherine, married Miss Lydia Louise Anthes. The prominence of the Breithaupt family made this wedding one of the more significant social events of the year. The Toronto Star newspaper devoted a large column in their social pages, the section referred to by the newspaper as “Of Interest to Women.” Described as a”brilliant society event” the wedding featured an orchestra that played during the ceremony as the bridal party stood beneath a “bell of roses and smilax.” The bride’s wedding gown and those of her maid of honour and bridesmaids was described in minute detail. The wedding was officiated by the Rev. Louis Henry Wagner, Ellen’s great grandfather and the son of Rev. Jacob Wagner. The kinship and bonds between the two families clearly remaining strong in the next generation.
Interestingly, the best man at the wedding was the groom’s life-long friend, William Lyon Mackenzie King (pictured above) who was the grandson of William Lyon Mackenzie, leader of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion, and who at the time was a civil servant but in a few years would become first the Minister of Labour in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier and later the longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history.
Following the wedding, the new Mr. and Mrs. Breithaupt left for a two month honeymoon in the United States, returning to live in Berlin, Ontario at the Breithaupt estate called “Waldeck.”

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