Categotry Archives: 1880s


Dr. Andrew Wigle House (1887)

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53 Division Street South

When this house was completed in 1887, it was described as “one of the handsomest houses in town” and “being different from any other in this part of the County.” It was built by Samuel Forster for Dr. Andrew Wigle, local dentist and businessman. Dr. Andrew, his wife and adopted daughter lived in this house until 1897 when they moved to the corner apartment in his newly built block on the south-west corner of Main and Division streets. The new owner was C.W. Hendershot, a merchant of “clothing and gent’s furnishings” with a store in the new Wigle Block. Hendershot sold this home in 1910 to H.P.D. Evans, manager of Molson’s Bank, who kept it for five years and then sold it to Christopher Brien. A “wholesale merchant,” Brien commuted by rail and ferry from Kingsville to his Detroit business every weekday, except during the winter months. Brien eventually moved back to Michigan and sold this house in 1927 to Dr. Hudgins, Kingsville dentist, who then moved his practice from the Wigle Block to his new home on Division Street South.

Andrew Wigle, our popular dentist, has been the happy recipient of a special invitation to the Michigan State Dental Convention at Ann Arbor. Some of the most eminent men in the state will be present. We congratulate our fellow citizen on having been thus honored. Mr. Wigle’s reputation and business is becoming so extended that more help is needed, and lately much pressure has been brought to bear on him to again open up a large establishment in Detroit. The matter has his consideration. We should be very sorry to lose so valuable a citizen.

Amherstburg Echo, April 1, 1887 p.6

One of the handsomest houses in town, and which is just about completed, is that of Andrew Wigle, on the corner of Division and Mill streets. In design it is very handsome, being different from any other in this part of the County. The fire proof metallic shingle is a first-class innovation, while the finish of the bay windows is admired by all who see it. The work of construction has been under the supervision of Samuel Forster. The mechanical part was performed by Freeman Bertrand.

Amherstburg Echo, September 30, 1887 p.6

Old Resident Passes

[ . . . ]Dr. Wigle was one of the best known and most highly respected residents of Kingsville. He was probably the oldest practicing dentist in Ontario. Outside a few years spent at his profession in Detroit, he spent his days in Kingsville. He sold out his practice a few years ago and even yet his old customers from far and near would come to him for work. [ . . . ] The doctor was in his 86th year, but did not look that old. He was slightly deaf, but otherwise was in full possession of all his faculties. He was a life long Methodist and for a number of years a local preacher and trustee of the church. His friends were legion but his enemies few. He was a fine spirited man, and in every sense of the term, a Christian gentleman.

The Kingsville Reporter, July 3, 1924 p.4


Howard R. Kratz House (1886)

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164 Division Street South

Designated in 2006

In 1884, local tinsmith Howard Ryerson Kratz (Scratch) purchased two lots on Division Street South, at the corner of Stewart Street, from Lucinda Stewart for $200. Two years later, Howard had this 2-storey brick house built using local masons Newell and Lewis Woodiwiss. The home was completed in time for Howard’s marriage to Mary (Minnie) Woodbridge in the spring of 1887. Unfortunately for the newlyweds, it was announced in 1888 that “the route of the railway through this village has been finally located, the southern survey having been adopted, which will cause the road to run through the centre of Stewart Street. It will be midway between the business part of the village and the harbor.” Despite the train tracks, Howard and Minnie stayed in this home until 1906 and raised five children: Ray, Faith, Hattie, Edith and Etta. In addition to tinsmithing, Howard also owned a hardware store and manufactured bicycles, including the “Mettawas Cycle,” which cost $35.00 in 1897 – $2.00 extra for the “Ladies” model.

Later owners of this home include Gordon P. & Nellie Fox, George T. Hardie and Father Frederick Williams, a retired Catholic priest from Sudbury.


It is said that death loves a shining mark, and the axiom was never more self-evident in this neighborhood than in the death of Mary Woodbridge, beloved wife of Howard R. Kratz, on Saturday morning last [. . .]

 Let us if possible, gather up the elements of the life of the departed and weave of them a picture for the walls of memory. She was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Woodbridge; was born on the home place and when a young girl of ten or eleven, she sought and found the pearl of great price, and made it chief among the jewels of her youthful hopes. The intervening years have been filled with loving deeds and untiring sevice for the master, and today her husband and family rise up and call her blessed, for upon the white canvas of her life she drew no uncertain lines which needed to be erased. Her path was marked with deeds of kindness and cheer. Flowers, not thorns; sunshine, not shadow, did she scatter everywhere, and with these she was lavish. Truth was the inspiration of her life and by kindness she exemplified its great worth. [. . .]

On April 19, 1887, deceased was united in marriage with Howard R. Kratz. To the union were born one son, Ray (deceased), and four daughter, Miss Faith, of Detroit; Hattie, Mrs. David Clark, Kingsville; Edith, Mrs. (Dr.) Mills, Fenelon Falls, Ont., and Etta, Mrs. Byron Eichoitz, Detroit.

The Kingsville Reporter, January 8, 1931 p.1

Howard R. Kratz Passes in 91st Year

Funeral services for the late Howard Ryerson Kratz, who died in his 91st year at the home of his daughter, Miss Faith Kratz, on Sunday were held from the Crawford and Son Funeral Home on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., Rev. J.T. Flemming officiating. Interment took place in Greenhill Cemetery.

Deceased was born in Gosfield South and had lived all his life in Essex County.

Survivors are four daughters, Miss Faith Kratz and Mrs. David Clarke of Kingsville; Mrs. Maurice Mills of Fenelon Falls and Mrs. Stewart Graham of Detroit; and one brother Stafford Kratz also of Kingsville.

The Kingsville Reporter, March 17, 1949 p.1


Alexander J. Wigle House (1884)

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111 Division Street South

Designated in 1987 as the Coda-Leach House

In 1883, after being in Kansas for a year, Alexander J. Wigle and his wife Elizabeth moved back to Canada. Before Kansas, A.J. had been a Gosfield South farmer. But when he moved to Kingsville, A.J. opened up a “mercantile business” on the north side of Main Street West. A.J. and Duchess (as Elizabeth was “affectionately known by the family and close friends”) had Thomas Jenner design this “gothic villa” brick house and it was completed in December 1884. When their daughter Grace was married in this home to Herman Woelz of Colorado, the house was called “Park Place.” Major renovations to this house were completed in 1915 and included an “English stairway” and a “French doorway.” A.J. and Duchess lived in this home together for 34 years. After A.J.’s death in 1918, Duchess moved to Colorado to live with family until her death in 1936.

Petty thieves are again at work in the village. Last Saturday night, the 2nd inst., or early on Sunday morning, Alex. Wigle lost 23 quart cans of fruit out of his cellar at his residence on Division street. An entrance was effected through the cellar window. Mr. W. says he does not mind the thief filling up on the fruit, but he thinks there has plenty of time elapsed in which to return the cans.

Amherstburg Echo, June 15, 1888 p.6

Passing of Alexander J. Wigle

After an illness lasting for over a year, during most of which time he was confined to his home, Alexander J. Wigle passed away on Saturday in the 68th year of his age. Deceased was the eldest son of the late Theodore Wigle and was born on the farm now owned by his younger brother, Nelson, on the lake front. On coming to manhood’s estate, he married in 1874 at Dayton, Ohio, Miss Elizabeth Dunn, of Cincinnati.

[. . .]  Mr. Wigle had been a Methodist for about forty-one years. He was one of the building committee on Epworth Methodist Church when that structure was built in 1893. He was also a member of the Kingsville Council for some nine years, and made an efficient member of the board. He leaves to mourn his demise a widow, one son and two daughters, as follows: Ed C., of Eaton, Colo.; Mrs. R.E. Shultz, of Detroit, and Mrs. Herman Woelz, of Longmont, Colo. He also leaves two sisters, Mrs. E.W. Sandison, of Hollywood, Cal.; Mrs. Bisbing, of Detroit, and one brother, Nelson C., Gosfield South.

The Kingsville Reporter, March 21, 1918 p.4

Mrs. Elizabeth Wigle

[Longmont (Colo.) Times-Call, Dec. 5, 1936]

Funeral services for Mrs. Elizabeth Wigle, who passed away Wednesday evening in the home of her son, E.C. Wigle, at Windsor (Colo.), were held Saturday afternoon in the home of her daughter, here, Mrs. Herman Woelz.

[ . . .] Mrs. Wigle passed on as the result of a heart attack with which she was stricken Tuesday morning.

[ . . .] Mrs. Wigle was born in Lockland, Ohio, October 5, 1854. Since the death of her husband (Alex. J. Wigle, of Kingsville) in 1918, she had made her home with her children. She loved the West and its people, and for the past 15 years had spent most of her time at Windsor and Longmont.

The Kingsville Reporter, December 17, 1936 p.1


Frank Herrington House (1884)

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 167 Division Street South

On April 17th, 1884, James H. Smart and Dr. Sidney A. King purchased the west half of John Herrington’s farm. They paid $4,000 for the 47 acres from Mill Street East to Lake Erie, Division Street South to Lansdowne Avenue. The 47 acres were divided into building lots and new streets were planned called Maple, Myrtle, Prospect, Erie and Park. On April 18th, 1884, John’s son Frank Herrington purchased 2 lots in the new King & Smart subdivision and built a frame house that summer. Perhaps Frank received a special deal, because his lots had a depth of 2.5 chains (165 feet) while all the other lots along Division were only 2 chains (132 feet). Frank sold this home the following year to John S. Middough for $800, and later owners were: Thomas Bruner, Reuben B. Perkins, Heenan Bruner and Peter Bussey.

Dr. King and J.H. Smart have purchased the west half of John Herrington’s farm. We believe it is the intention of these gentleman to lay the property out into building lots.

Amherstburg Echo,  April 25, 1884 p.6

Frank Herrington has sold his residence to Mr. [Middough]. He intends erecting a cottage on Mill Street, which will be more convenient for his farming.

Amherstburg Echo, August 14, 1885 p.6


Mr. W.J. Swallow on Monday evening last at the meeting of the town council, laid before the board, a roughsketch of a new town subdivision which he will shortly have surveyed and placed on the market. The plot is the Frank Herrington farm east side of Lansdowne Ave. There will be some 80 lots. Blue prints of the property will soon be prepared. The property is a valuable one and will give those desiring lots a chance to get one fairly close inside at very reasonable prices. The council accepted the plan and assured Mr. Swallow that they were in sympathy with the enterprise.

The Kingsville Reporter, February 9, 1922 p.1

Franklin Herrington

On Tuesday evening last, following a paralytic stroke of a few days previous, Franklin Herrington paased away in the 71st year of his age.

Mr. Herrington was born in the Kingsville on what was then the Herrington homestead at about the point where now stands the Mettawas Inn. He was the son of John and Sarah Herrington. He had followed farming all his life. Owing to the rapid expansion of Kingsville, the Herrington farm had been narrowed down to a few acres on Lansdowne avenue, which a few years ago was subdivided, leaving Mr. Herrington without a farm. Since then he and Mrs. Herrington have been living quietly at their home on Mill street east. He leaves a widow, one daughter, Mrs. Mervyn Swallow, Kingsville; on brother, Gordon, of Jacksonville, Fla., and one sister, Mrs. A.E. Malott, town.

The Kingsville Reporter, August 27, 1931 p.1


Miss Hattie Ellison House (1882)

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144 Division Street South

In 1883, Robert Ellison of North Ridge sold his 150 acre farm for $8,800 and decided to retire to Kingsville. He bought this house on Division Street South, built by Simon Wigle in 1882, for $1,000. Robert, his wife Anne and daughter Harriet lived in this home until their new, larger brick house was built on Division Street North in 1887. Used as a rental income property, this home was known as the “Miss Hattie Ellison house” since Harriet remained single until she married Charles A. Quick when she was 71 years old.

George Miner purchased this home from Hattie in 1913 for $1,200 and added the “verandah” the following year. Later owners of this house include William Humphries and Ina & Everett Arner.

Simon Wigle is building a fine looking house on the west side of Division Road near the lake. This part of the municipality is destined to be soon filled with private residences. By the way, there is ample room for a mammoth hotel in that part of the town, and there is money in the speculation too.

Amherstburg Echo, October 13, 1882 p.6

Recently, Mr. Ellison, a retired wealthy farmer determined to end his days in Kingsville. In order to settle here comfortably he determined to build a fine brick house, but, in the meantime, he bought a frame house from Simon Wigle and brought several loads of furniture intending to take possession at once and become a resident. To his surprise he could not get possession, as Mrs. Wigle claimed a life lease on the property and would not give up possession. In his disgust Mr. E. left Kingsville, shaking its dust off his fee. He intends to reside now in Windsor.

Amherstburg Echo, August 24, 1883 p.6

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