Chapter 5.0

History of the Quanz Family of Wallace Township, Ontario


Adam Echardt Quanz Family

By Dorrell (Walter) Boles


Adam Echardt Quanz was born, according to information from the marriage registry for Perth County, in Schlotzau, Kur Hessen Darmstadt, Germany in 1840. Son of Adam and Barbara Quanz.


JQ Scans\Adam Q Family.BMP

Adam Echardt Quanz Family

Rear L to R: John, Sarah Miller

Middle L to R: Adam Echardt, Adam, Mary Ann Riehl (Adam Echardt's wife)

Front: Elizabeth

Note: Henry is not in this picture because he died at age 6.


Our ancestors have lived in Schlotzau since the 1600's. Schlotzau is a small town located about 200 km east of Frankfurt. Many of the homes there are very old although beautifully and regularly maintained. The home that Adam Echardt was raised in is the oldest Quanz residence in Schlotzau. Quanz's live there to this day.


The town church is a Lutheran Church built in 1601. In the 1600's and 1700's the church served as a safehouse for the residents of Schlotzau. The walls surrounding the church grounds used to be very high to afford protection to those inside. The church bell serves the community today as it has for decades. Everyday at noon the bells are rung to tell all the community that it is time for the midday meal. At six the bells are rung again to call the farm workers from the fields and signal the end of the day. It would be in this church where Adam Echardt Quanz and his brothers and sisters would have been christened.



Adam Echardt Quanz


            Adam Echardt Quanz, father of Adam Quanz, was born in Schlotzau, Hessen, Germany on September 17, 1838. He was a son of Adam and Barbara Quanz. Adam was married on March 6, 1864 at Wartburg Lutheran Church, Ontario to Mary Anne Riehl who was born in Ellice Township. Rev. J. Reba officiated at the marriage. Mary Anne’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Riehl, came from the Hamburg area of Germany. Mary Anne was born on July 22, 1846 at the Riehl homestead on Lot 15, Concession 9 of Ellice Township, Perth County.


            They traveled north to Carrick Township, which was only then opening up to settlers. Word spread fast that Carrick Township was good farmland. The majority of settlers were German. Adam and Mary Anne bought Lot 18, Concession 13 (east half, 50 acres) on March 9, 1866 from John Hogg. John Hogg had purchased the land from the Crown on January 17, 1866.


            Adam and Mary Anne settled in Carrick Township, South Bruce County on a farm on Lot 18, Concession 13 in 1866, and four children, John, Sarah, Henry, and Adam Jr., were born here. Mary Anne was converted and united with the Evangelical Church on the 10th of Carrick Township where the family worshipped for many years. In 1874 they sold the farm and purchased Lot 22, Concession 14, where another daughter Elisabeth was born.


            The Quanz’s were hard working people. Mary Anne would churn butter one day. The next morning after a hearty breakfast for the family, she would pack the blocks of butter and some eggs and walk to Mildmay to sell her products. Perhaps this was a way of trading merchandise, and she would be able to get baking supplies. She would retrace her footsteps home in time to cook dinner. The 14th Concession is the road to Carlsruhe, and a distance from Mildmay, so this was quite a hike.


On July 9, 1874 they sold it that property to Johann Miller and purchased Lot 22, Concession 14. This is where Elizabeth was born. As John and Adam Jr. became old enough to farm, Adam Sr. bought a second farm, Lot 20, Concession 14. Adam Jr. and Mary farmed on Lot 22 while Lot 20 was the farm John and Caroline moved to when they were married in 1894.

            Adam died April 26, 1896 at age 57 years, 7 months and 9 days. His son Adam and Mary Anne continued to live and work on the farm. Adam Senior’s son John was already married and living on Lot 20. When Adam Junior was married, he and his wife Mary continued to live with Mary Anne on the farm. Mary Anne in turn helped with the housework and cared for the three children. Later on in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s Mary Anne moved to Mildmay to live with her daughter Sarah Miller.


            Many may still remember the four generations of family gathered at the red brick corner home in Mildmay to celebrate Maryanne’s 90th birthday in 1936. Maryanne looked so happy and lovely in her polka dotted ankle length dress, as she handed out candy from a brown paper bag to the children. She had a gentle and loving heart, a great faith and the strength to endure. Perhaps because I was so short, she always seemed to be slim and tall. Great Grandma was a very special person.


            I remember the last time she and my grandparents, Adam and Mary visited our farm in Wallace Township in the late 1930’s. My dad was mowing long grass in the Orchard. Great Grandma asked me to go to the barn and bring her a hayfork. Though very young, I obeyed her. With fork in hand she proceeded to the orchard to gather the grass in rows. Dad was astonished, got off the mower and came over to her. He explained that we had a horse drawn rake to do this and gently persuaded her to give up the fork. She couldn’t imagine such equipment but agreed to go to the house and visit with Mom, who loved her dearly. Dad said later, “no 90 year old woman is going to rake this grass, I couldn’t let her no matter how much she wanted to do it.” Maryanne was always willing to help with any task at hand. During the following years her health became more delicate, and she passed away July 25, 1941 at age 95 years and 3 days. She was buried in Mildmay Cemetery.


            Adam Quanz, born October 9, 1873, son of Adam Eckhard and Maryanne Quanz, was married February 9, 1891 to Mary Voelzing born May 7, 1878. She was the daughter of Valentine and Elizabeth (Foerch) Voelzing who lived on Lot 22 Concession 9 Carrick Township, near Deemerton. As young people, Adam and Mary attended the same Evangelical Church on the 10th of Carrick. One night after a special Sunday evening service, Adam gave Mary and another girl a ride home from church. Soon it became customary for Adam to offer Mary a ride home after church, in the horse and buggy. The friendship turned into a romance and their marriage. They lived on the family farm on Lot 22, of the 14th Concession of Carrick (the Carlsruhe road), where their three children Earl, Almeda and Allan were born.


            Until the sons became old enough to help with the work, Mary was often at Adam’s side helping with various farm duties. Maryanne was a big help in looking after the little children, and became a type of substitute mother to them. For the family, a trip to Walkerton shopping was a special event that didn’t occur very often. Times when Adam went to town alone the children would watch for his return. When they spotted him coming down the road, they would race across the field and meet him. Usually he had some groceries and treats like raisins, dates, coconut and maybe a little candy.


            Life went on as usual with everyone doing their share of work on the farm, until the day Adam decided to buy a car. We are not sure if he went to Walkerton or Hanover, but he did purchase a 1922 Turing Car. A new car was something very special. Fortunately there were not many cars on the road in those days. The family waited anxiously for his return. Suddenly a cloud of dust appeared on the gravel road and continued on into their lane way. Adam had returned home! There probably was a brief discussion as to who would be the first to ride in the car, but that ended quickly. The car came towards the drive-in-shed. Adam steered it through the only entrance and proceeded to make a new doorway on the opposite side of the building. The drop of over one foot lower did not hinder his speed as he came out of the building circled the yard and finally came to a stop. He was fine and only the windshield frame was bent a little. Obviously the car did not stop when he hollered Whoa! Unfortunately there were no driver training courses at that time.


            Usually during winter months trees were cut down in the forest for fuel and lumber. Adam loaded the logs on the sleigh for a trip to the sawmill the next day. At 5 A.M. the next morning, he hitched the team to the sleigh, hung a lantern on the side and was on his way to the sawmill. The logs were cut into lumber and loaded on the sleigh. It was getting dark by the time Adam arrived home, an all day’s job. One wonders if this lumber was used to repair the drive-in-shed or for some other additional building. The first welcome sign of spring was tapping the maple trees in the bush. Many farmers did this. The Quanz’s had a sugar shanty built to protect one from the weather; not everyone had such a fine shelter. All the family joined in the maple syrup gathering and enjoyed the products of syrup, taffy and maple sugar candy.


            Christmas was strictly a Christian celebration. The family enjoyed and participated in many special church services and programs. Perhaps because of Mary’s childhood experiences, Santa did not become a fun part of Christmas. She told of the time when, as a little girl, she and her siblings were all frightened. An evening shortly before Christmas, there’d be a knock on the door. Their father would open the door and invite the "man in black" inside. He wore a black hat, facemask, black coat with a chain around the waist, and carried a rope or leather strap. He would ask each child if they had been good, and not to lie. Hopefully their answers were Yes, because a No meant a trip to the woodshed. The screams from there frightened the children even more. This supposedly was Father Christmas checking up on the children. All the children were on good behaviour after that episode. They were afraid to ask for anything and of being happy. I could never understand the cruelty of this episode and asked Grandma why her father didn’t intervene and make the man leave their home. Grandma replied, "Well, that’s how they kept children in line in the old days". Santa was never mentioned, much less thought about and you would never ask for anything. Adam and Mary’s family did enjoy going out to select the Christmas tree, which was decorated with homemade goodies and homemade decorations. Exchanging gifts was not a custom m their home in early years. Women were usually busy baking all kinds of goodies, and may exchange some with other housewives. There was no electricity on the farm, but there were many visitors especially at the holiday season. Horse drawn cutters or sleighs loaded with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins or friends were always welcome.


            The family eventually grew up and married. Earl was the first to marry in 1921, but remained living on the farm with his wife for a year or two. Almeda married in September 1922 and moved to Wallace Township. Allan moved to USA in 1923 and married in 1924. The farm on the l4th Concession was sold. In 1928 Adam and Mary bought a farm of approximately 10 acres at the south of Walkerton, at the junction of the Kincardine, Mildmay and Walkerton highways. Here the Quanzes kept a few Jersey cows, calf, pig, and some chickens. They grew some feed for the animals and enjoyed a large garden, orchard and grape arbour. Since there was no Evangelical Church in Walkerton, they became faithful members of the Pentecostal Church. They enjoyed Bible Study and services on Sunday and mid-week. Sometimes Earl would play the trumpet, with his mother Mary at the piano for special music at the service.


            We grandchildren remember vacations with our grandparents, and every morning after breakfast, there was the Bible reading and prayer time. The day ended with a family prayer of Thanksgiving. These times were the most important time I remember with my grandparents. Adam bought a 1927 Model T Ford car that he sold later in the 1940’s for $25.00. In spite of his somewhat heavy foot, it still had the original paint on it. We would accompany them to church, fearful of Grandpa’s driving, but we did arrive safely. One morning we were a bit late leaving home and Adam gunned that Model T down the driveway. It seemed like we were traveling 60 miles an hour, and grandma was reprimanding Adam in high soprano.


            While they lived on the little farm, Wellington Thaler hired Adam to deliver groceries from his store to areas around Walkerton. Thaler’s had a horse and rubber tire wagon behind their store on Station Road. Adam walked from home to the store and on rainy days Adam would use his car to deliver orders. Sometimes the grateful customers would invite him in for tea and cake or pie as a reward for good service. Adam became well known and was a highly respected resident of Walkerton.


Mary Quanz

            Even in her single years Mary enjoyed playing the organ. The family liked to hear her play the pump organ for many years. She was also church organist for many years, and played the piano in the Pentecostal Church in Walkerton too. When Rev. George Brown was guest speaker and song leader at Carrick Camp Meeting, he requested that Mary play for the meetings. Mary also sang soprano. As mentioned before, when she became excited she became a high soprano. Mary enjoyed knitting and made many articles of clothing for the family. She was a very good seamstress/dressmaker too.


            While they lived on the little farm, Mary would sell her homemade bread, pounds of butter and garden produce to some residents in Walkerton. She also helped take care of Mrs. Thaler and her home for some time. She helped out at a doctor’s home and a couple of other families who needed a helping hand.


Adam Quanz

            Adam was a hard worker. He had the attitude “If there’s work to be done, let’s get at it and get it done.” He took pride in keeping good livestock and took good care of the farm animals. He enjoyed his horses and kept their harness adorned with polished brass trimmings. Adam also enjoyed music and sang in the choir and also with a male quartet at various meetings and churches. He was one of the cooks at Carrick Camp Meeting for a few years. He was community minded, and his cooking skills must have been recognized as well. At the Old Boys Reunion in Walkerton downtown there was Adam cooking hot dogs and hamburgers for the people. Man, they were really good!


            After a sudden attack of appendicitis Adam underwent surgery and was in poor health for a while. Soon after in the 1940’s they sold their little firm and purchased the Thaler home on Station Road near the hospital. This town home was a two-story house with a huge garden and raspberry patch. Adam worked part time at the hospital grounds trimming hushes, hedges and lawn.


            Adam and Mary celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at their home in July 1947. The weather was better than on the actual date in February and allowed family and friends from Ontario and the United States to join in the celebration. Later Adam, having been in poor health for some time, was hospitalized. He died in hospital on Friday September 7, 1951 in his 78th year. Mary sold their home and lived with her daughter Almeda and family in Wallace Township. Some years later Almeda nursed her mother when her health failed. It became necessary for Mary to be hospitalized at Listowel Hospital where she passed away on Sunday, July 24, 1960 at age 82 years. She and Adam were buried in the cemetery at south end of Walkerton.


            The old brick house and barn on the little farm are gone now. Many homes were built on the little farm's land. There is no trace, not even the trees, to show that this Quanz family once lived here. Very likely children's voices and laughter echo over the area, just as ours did in years past. Grandparents are special and we are very grateful for the happy memories that we shared.



            Adam Sr. died Apr. 26, 1896. Mary Anne died Jul. 25, 1941. Both are buried in Mildmay United Cemetery.



Their children:

            1. John

            2. Sarah

            3. Henry

            4. Adam

            5. Elizabeth





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