File 41 - Ratz family : biographical.

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Ratz family : biographical.

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Jacob and Mary Kaufman were prominent citizens of Kitchener, Ontario from the late 19th century to WWII. Jacob Kaufman and Mary Ratz married in 1877. Jacob began his career in the lumber industry but switched to rubber, forming the Kaufman Rubber Company in 1908. Jacob and Mary Kaufman were active in civic and community life, supporting causes such as The Children’s Aid Society, the Kitchener-Waterloo Orphanage, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the YMCA, the YWCA and the Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital. Together they had four children: Emma Ratz, Alvin Ratz, Milton Ratz, and Edna Louise.

Emma Kaufman dedicated her life to the Young Women’s Christian Association, serving for thirty years in Japan and Canada. The Emperor of Japan presented her with a memorial cup in 1965, the 60th Anniversary of the YWCA in Japan, and in the same year she received an International Cooperation Year medal presented by Cardinal Leger in Montreal.

Alvin (“A.R.”) Kaufman ran the rubber company started by his father and became well known as a local philanthropist, supporting many of the same causes as had his parents. He is primarily remembered for his activities in support of the YMCA, YWCA and of family planning and birth control.

Edna Kaufman married Albert William Augustine (1890-1972) Aug. 22, 1918. They had three children, Albert Jacob (1923-1990), John Ross (1927- ), and Mary Caroline (1931- ).

Mary Caroline Augustine married James Milton Ham (1920-1997), who was President of the University of Toronto from 1978-1983.

Albert Benjamin Augustine, a school teacher from Racine, Wisconsin, marred Caroline Margaret Barbara Breithaupt in Berlin, Ontario on August 3, 1887. Together they lived in Racine and had three children: Albert Augustine, Laurine Catherine and Grace Melvina Louise. Following Albert Benjamin's death in 1909, the family moved to Berlin. Albert became an industrialist, Laurine taught at what would become the Kitchener Vocational Institute and Grace pursued a career in academia after obtaining a PhD at Columbia University.

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Biographical history

Mary Eidt Ratz was born to Christine Eidt and Henry Ratz in Gads Hill, Ontario on December 14, 1856. Mary was one of 13 children born to Christine Eidt and Henry Ratz.

In March 1877, Mary married Jacob Kaufman, who at the time worked as a sawyer in her father's saw mill. Together, Mary and Jacob moved to Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario. Mary and Jacob had seven children. Only two of their sons and two of their daughters reached adulthood; Emma Ratz Kaufman, Alvin Ratz Kaufman, Milton Ratz Kaufman, and Edna Louise Kaufman.

Mary was a member of the Zion Evangelical Church throughout her life and led the Zion's women's society. Mary was also actively involved in many civic and community initiatives. She was the president of the local Children's Aid Society and the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and a member of the National Council of Women of Canada, the Women’s Hospital Aid Association of Ontario, and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Mary was also known to support the Kitchener-Waterloo Orphanage and the Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital.

Mary died on December 24, 1943.

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Material relating to the Henry Ratz family. Consists of photocopies of genealogical information, photocopies of photographs and photocopies of clippings. Contains one snapshot of the "Ratz homestead, Elmira?" and a letter from Herb Ratz to Mary Ham, Jan. 11, 1992.

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Donated by Mary Ham in 2001.


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  • English

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Described in 2002.
Revised by NM in July 2019.

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  • English

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