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.
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.