In my last post, I wrote about Catharine (Hailer) Breithaupt, the wife of Philip Ludwig ‘Louis’ Breithaupt. Catharine and Louis are my wife Ellen’s 2nd great grandaunt and uncle. Louis (pictured right) had immigrated from Germany to Buffalo in New York State with his parents in 1843 where a family tannery business was established. Like his father Liborius Breithaupt, Louis had been an apprentice in the tanning business and they successfully applied their trade in their new homeland.
Eager to start his own business, in 1861 Louis moved his family from Buffalo to Berlin, now Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Berlin was likely an obvious choice for a new home as his wife, Catharine had been born and raised there, it had a strong German community, and Louis had conducted business in the area over the years. Success in business lead to success in the community and eventually to the position of Mayor of Berlin, Ontario. While in office as mayor, Louis died in July 1880. The following article, entitled “Mr. Breithaupt’s Funeral,” appeared in the Berlin Daily News on July 7, 1880:
” Without doubt the largest funeral that ever took place in the County of Waterloo was that of the late Mayor Breithaupt. Amongst those present were friends and relations from Detroit, Buffalo, New York, and places in the States, the Warden of the County, the Mayors and Councils of Galt, Waterloo, Guelph, Stratford, &c., and nearly all the other leading citizens of the County of Waterloo. As previously stated in these columns, the funeral services commenced at the family residence, where the Revds. S. Weber and C. A. Spies led the devotions. After this the procession formed in the following order, headed by Mr. H. Anthes in a carriage:
The Town Police,
The Fire Brigade,
The Family Physician,
The other Mourners,
The Berlin Council,
Councils of other Places,
The Police, Band, Firemen and other employees were on foot, the rest in carriages. The pall bearers were H. Kranz, M.P., Ex-mayor, Wm. Jaffray, Reeve, and Councillors Clement, Staebler, Anthes, and Moffatt. The procession moved very slowly, the Band playing the Dead March in a most feeling and affecting manner.All along the route the streets were lined with people desirous to see the pageant move along. At the church only a small portion of the people could get in, but a highly interesting and affecting service was held. The Rev. Joseph Umbach, an old friend and pastor of deceased, preached a very eloquent and powerful sermon in the German, and the Rev. S. L. Umbach made a short address in the English language. The service being concluded here, the procession was again formed and proceeded to the cemetery, where the pastor of the church, the Rev. J. Kliphardt, read the burial service. Amongst the clergy present were, in addition to those already mentioned, Revds. C. F. Braun, Geo. Braun, G. Staebler, M. L. Wing and J. Murlock from a distance, and Revds. Messrs. Fellman, Ford, Manz, Tait, Beaumont, Funcken and Sherk, of the Town.
The mere mention of all these names is sufficient to show conclusively in what great esteem the late Mayor was held. In addition to what has already been given in these columns, we add the following particulars as furnished by the family: – Louis Breithaupt was born Nov. 8th, 1827, in Allendorf an der Werra, Kurhessen, Germany. In 1842 his father emigrated to America, and in the following year returned to Germany and brought in his mother and himself. He was at this time 16 years old. He came to Buffalo, N.Y., where he carried on business on a very limited scale in company with his father. On the death of his father in 1851 he became a partner in the extensive tanning and leather business of Mr. J. F. Schoellkopf of Buffalo, travelling for this firm for 12 years.
In 1858 he established his leather business in Berlin, and three years later, before the outbreak of the late American war, he removed with his family to Berlin, Canada. He was married in 1853, the three eldest sons being born in Buffalo, N.Y., and the rest of the family here. Three daughters and six sons are now living, and one son was accidentally drowned in July, 1871. He was burned out twice in Berlin. His mother, aged 79, is still living, as also his only sister who resides in Detroit.”