They say great things arrive in small packages. Back in August, a padded envelope arrived via the regular mail. I was delighted to find a short note from a Grace Schmidt Room blog follower and a donation of a wedding invitation and two Christmas cards.
Intrigued by the donation, I dove into some research which I’d like to share with you.
The Christmas card, likely sent in the 1920s, was from Henry and Elisa Jonas of 112 Waterloo Street, Kitchener, ON. The simple elegance of this card, which is missing the bottom of the gold letter J in the lower half, harkens back to a quieter time and age.
I love the simplicity and cheerfulness of their holiday message – well wishes for happiness, friendship, and Christmas cheer – who could want more?
So who were the Jonases? Henry was born Hermann Heinrich Jonas on 23 June 1881 in Berlin to Hermann Jonas and Caroline (later recorded as Henrietta) Schultz. According to the 1901 Census of Canada, Henry was a machinist, living with his family in Berlin. Elisa Schwartz, according to the 1901 Census of Canada and her marriage registration, was born 15 December 1884, in Waterloo. Her parents were August Bernard Schwartz and Catherine Berdux. By the age of 16, Elisa was working in a laundry, while living with her family.
This is the 23 April 1907 wedding invitation of Henry and Elisa.
At the time of his marriage to Elisa (also known as Elizabeth), Henry was working as a machinist and lived at 114 Waterloo Street in Berlin.
By the time of the 1921 census, Henry was working at the Wunder Furniture Company. His home address was given as 112 Waterloo Street, Kitchener.
Henry and Elizabeth had several children: Irene (born 1909), Milton (born 1910), Gertrude (born 1911), Edward (born 1913, a twin to Edna who passed away at the age of 5 months), Harry (born 1915), and Robert (born 1918).
Henry passed away on 4 February 1936, as a result of a heart attack brought about by overexertion while shoveling snow. Elizabeth died on 17 June 1967 in Waterloo. They are buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Kitchener.
A belated Merry Christmas to everyone from all of us in the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History!
And all the best for the New Year!