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Bakery Baron Henry A. Dietrich

Henry Anthony Dietrich

P422 Henry Anthony Dietrich (Waterloo Historical Society Collection)

As Pancake (also known as Fat) Tuesday has passed, I can’t help but keep thinking about food… so I’ve decided to do a bit of research on the Dietrich Bakery founder, Henry Anthony Dietrich to help satisfy my hunger.

Henry was born on 17 April 1865 in St. Agatha, Ontario, the son of Mr. & Mrs. Gregory Dietrich.  He was educated at the St. Agatha Separate School and spent his early years on a farm.  He married Agatha Schweitzer on 26 May 1891 in St. Agatha.  They lived for some time in Waterloo and later  moved to Berlin in 1899, where he established a small bakery on Foundry (now Ontario) Street.

By 1906, Dietrich’s successful baking enterprise necessitated the construction of larger premises on King Street East.  A large addition to the bakery was built in 1915, which resulted in one of the largest and best equipped bakeries in Canada. Dietrich also served as president of the Bread and Cake Makers’ Association of Canada.

Dietrich Bakery Advertisement 1944

Dietrich Bakery Advertisement, which appeared on front cover of 1944 Vernon’s K-W Directory

Henry also served as a member of Berlin Town Council, Waterloo County Council and on the first Berlin City Council in 1912.  He retired from municipal politics in 1914.  In addition, he was an active member of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Separate School Board and other church related organizations.

Henry A. Dietrich died on 18 April 1920 of a sudden heart attack at his King Street East home.  He was 55 years of age. Henry was survived by his wife, Agatha, one son, Robert, and four daughters, Florence, Alma, Coletta and Clara. His final resting place can be found in the St. Agatha Roman Catholic Cemetery.

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11 thoughts on “Bakery Baron Henry A. Dietrich

  1. Christine Ehrat says:

    Karen, I am really enjoying your blog! I have learned so much and am thankful that you have been doing this! Keep up the good work.
    Cheers, Chris!

  2. S says:

    Born and lived in Kitchener 1950 to 1973, journeying back in time and enjoying your blog, thanks! FYI, a typo seems to be confusing the paragraph about Dietrich’s birth date and marriage date and move to Berlin date:
    ***Begin Copy*** Henry was born on 17 April 1899 in St. Agatha, Ontario, … He married Agatha Schweitzer on 26 May 1891 in St. Agatha. They lived for some time in Waterloo and later moved to Berlin in 1899…***End Copy***

  3. Scott says:

    I just bought a terrific set of 50 animal cards that came from Dietrich Bakery that were handed out with a loaf of bread in the 1920s. So thanks for the great post and helping me learn a little more

  4. Jean Schaefer says:

    Hi Karen: I just found your article and pictures about Dietrich’s Bakery. I am a great niece of Henry Dietrich, he was the brother of my Grandmother Rose (Rosa) who married William Stockie. Anyway, I have the Morand Dietrich (1618) and His Descendants book and the family picture is on the page opposite Page 140 where Group F is indicated. (Henry is shown in the back row, left) I remember my dad telling us that at the end of the day, the horses were let go and they found their way to the barn for their oats which barn, I think, was behind the Dietrich home on Scott Street between Weber and Elgin, now Duke Street. Two books were published and I believe copies were given to our library on Queen Street. Thanks for your article and I might ask you to send it to me by email as I can’t seem to print it off without the other articles. I have sent it on to my cousins. Bye for now, Jean Schaefer (nee Stockie)

  5. Pingback: 28 Apr – 04 May 1916: If you don’t go, we will! - Rye & Ginger

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