File 46 - Christmas card.

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Christmas card.

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Name of creator

Biographical history

The Schantz Family in North America is large and widespread; alternative spellings of the last name includes variations such as Tschantz, Shantz, Shonts, and Schanz. The family descended from Jacob Schanz (June 12, 1710-February 5, 1781) who emigrated to the United States of America in 1737 and settled in Pennsylvania. In 1810 Jacob’s son Christian Shantz (1769-1857) came to Waterloo County and settled at Freeport on the Grand River.

Christian’s son Benjamin Shantz (1811-1868) was an early Waterloo County inhabitant and one of the founders of Port Elgin, Ontario where he settled in 1854 and established a grist and flour mill. Benjamin married Lydia Kolb (1814-1862) on April 10, 1842 and together they had ten children; Josiah K. Schantz (1834-1913), Catharine Schantz (May 17, 1836-February 28, 1917), Hannah Schantz (April 1, 1838-August 20, 1841), Christian Schantz (January 20, 1840-?), Tobias Schantz (1842-1925), Abraham K. Schantz (September 20, 1844-?), Benjamin K. Schantz (December 5, 1846), Menno K. Schantz (January 31, 1849-July 6, 1888), Lydia K. Schantz (August 17, 1851-July 16, 1900), Sarah K. Schantz (April 1, 1854-April 10, 1878), and Enoch K. Schantz (October 7, 1856-May 25, 1888).

When Lydia died in 1862, Benjamin remarried his housekeeper, Margaret Swinton. Benjamin and Margaret left Port Elgin, Ontario and settled in Dallas County, Missouri. Correspondence in the collection between Benjamin and his son Tobias recount Benjamin’s settler experiences in Dallas County, Missouri.

The Schantz Russell Family Papers centre around Tobias Schantz, his wife Mary Schantz and their descendants, drawing together primary sources relating to several early white settler families of Waterloo County, primarily the Schantz, Moyer/Meyer and Bowman families, and material relating to descendants of the Moyer settlers of Lincoln County, Ontario.

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Biographical history

Etta was born to Tobias and Mary Schantz in Port Elgin, Ontario on October 9, 1866 and raised alongside her seven siblings; Orpheus Moyer Schantz, Sophie Emma Schantz, Austin Tobias Schantz, Franklin Abram Schantz, Arthur Benjamin Schantz, Florence Annie Catherine Schantz, and Herbert Cecil Palmer Schantz.

In 1870 the family moved to the village of Hawkesville in Waterloo County. In 1877 the family moved to Conestogo, Waterloo County and later to Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario in 1884.

In 1884, Etta started working at the Williams Greene Rome Company shirt factory.

Etta attended high school at the Berlin Collegiate & Technical Institute. In addition, she attended the Model School for teacher training at Central School. She taught briefly in West Montrose, Ontario before returning to the shirt factory in 1892.

Between 1892 and 1896 Etta lived in Chicago, Illinois with her brother Orpheus. She helped take care of his home and his infant daughter Ruth Schantz. Eventually, she found a position at the department store Carson Pirie Scott & Company where Orpheus worked. Around 1897, Etta moved back to Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario.

On September 1, 1897 Etta married her long-time friend Ward White in her family’s home located at 43 Schneider Avenue, Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario. The couple moved to Leamington, Ontario and had their first child, Wilfrid Herbert White on February 20, 1899. Wilfrid died at four months of age on June 4, 1899.

In 1900, Ward moved out west to homestead in Alberta with Etta’s brothers Arthur and Austin and her father Tobias. Subsequently, Etta returned home to Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario to give birth to their second child.

Etta gave birth to a daughter, Dorothy Etta White, on April 26, 1900. Etta died from complications of the childbirth on May 5, 1900.

Custodial history

Scope and content

A Christmas card in booklet form made by Etta Lydia Mary White (nee Schantz) for her future husband, Ward Malott White, in 1890. The card includes an poem and has plant material attached throughout.

Notes area

Physical condition

Plant material attached to card is badly deteriorating; some has become detached.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Harold and Lynne Russell in 2005.


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  • English

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Described in 2005.
Revised by NM in February 2019.

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  • English

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