Rumples of Lowville

This article was published previously and been revised with new information that has come to light.  It is with sincere thanks to Michael R. Madden, great great grandson of Emily (Rumple) and William Colling for sharing this new information and family photos.   

Lowville, in early days, was a bustling village with many businesses to support its residents.  One of those business was the Rumple’s Cabinet Factory. 

Ernst Wilhelm Christoph Rumple was born on September 16, 1837, in Muelhausen, Prussia.  He came from a large family of 12 children. 

On May 18, 1855, he left his home via Hamburg to travel to Canada.  The ship’s records show that he travelled alone on the ship “Mary Mitcheson”.  His occupation on the passenger list was carpenter. 

The ship arrived in Quebec and Wilhelm made his way to Nelson Township.  Nothing is known about that journey or why he settled here.  Just a few years later, on March 3, 1858, Wilhelm married Eliza Ann Burkholder.  Her father, Jacob Burkholder was born in Pennsylvania and her mother, Jane Vollick was born in Ontario.  Their first child, a daughter Emily J. Winafred, was born the next year in Nelson Township.  Elsie Johannah Florence was born in 1861.

In the 1861 Census Wilhelm is listed as a cabinet maker from German.  His religion was listed as Lutheran.  Eliza was listed as Baptist.  We know he; Eliza and their daughter Emily were living in the Lowville area as his neighbours were the Picketts, McLarens and the McCays. 

In 1862, (Elsie) Johannah was born.  About 1863 saw the birth of his son Harmon Frederick and 1864 his son George.  Unfortunately, George passed away at a young age in 1868.  About that same year William Joseph Ernst as born.

The Rumples lived in Highville.  Land records of Concession 3 and 4 do not show they owned any property so they must have rented.  It would make sense that any money that was available would have been put into the family business and not on land ownership.  In 1913, Harmon returned to the Highville/Lowville area and took a photo of the family home.  He turned it into a postcard and sent it to his sister Johannah Colling. The house is believed to have been demolished in the 1930s. 

Note the building to the right of the house. Can you identify it? 

Both Johannah and Emily married Colling brothers.  Emily married William while Johannah married George.  The brothers were sons of Joseph Colling II and his wife, Mary Ross.  Joseph II, bought a large amount of land in Michigan and sent all but three of his children west.  Some of his children along with their Coverdale cousins lived in Tuscola County.  Mary passed away in Colling, Michigan and her body was brought home to Lowville by train. 

In the 1869/70 County of Halton Gazetteer and Directory there is an advertisement that showcases William E. Rumple as the proprietor of the Lowville Saw and Planing Mills.  It highlights “all kinds of wood turning, etc.”.

It was not long after this advertisement that Wilhelm/William passed away.  On February 16, 1870, he succumbed to a massive heart failure.  His death registration mentions that he had a gastric ulcer for the past year. 

This advertisement adds to the question of where exactly the sawmill and furniture factory were located.  According to local folklore, the sawmill was located on the Twelve Mile Creek while the showroom was located closer to the Guelph Line. 

A few years before his death, William purchased 2/5 of an acre from Henry McDaid (McDade/McDavid) in Lot 7 of the 4th Concession in 1868.  This is at the current location of Lowville Park. 

Burlington Central Highschool students produced a series of booklets on Burlington history around 1980 entitled Brass Tacks.  In Volume 2 they have a photo of a building located just in front of the park that they say was the furniture factory. 

This was confirmed by Michael Madden, a Rumple descendant, who would visit his Colling family from time to time.  He remembers being told that the showroom was in fact the building illustrated here.  He also remembers parking near the store and walking to the site of the factory. 

Note the child’s coffin for Mr. Hopkinson at the cost of $4.00. 

After the death of her husband, Mrs. Rumple continued the business under the superintendence of Mr. J. H. Schooley.  Advertisements in the Milton Champion indicate that her business was increasing and that she had a handsome stock of furniture on hand.  A neatly finished hearse and coffins constantly kept on hand.  The planing machine was offered to joiner and builders as well as a first-class turner.  For the enjoyment of her customers, she sold “croquet setts”.

The 1881 Canadian Census shows Eliza with no occupation, Emily, age 22 as a schoolteacher, Johannah, age 19 as a dress maker, Harmon, age 17 working as a store clerk and William at age 12, most likely still attending school.  The family at this time was now Methodist.  Harmon, who was 17 at the time, had moved to Milton and was a clerk. 

Only Eliza and William, age 22 remain in Lowville in 1891. William at that time was a farm labourer.  We know that Emily and Johannah married the Colling brothers and moved to Tuscola County, Michigan.  Harmon moved to Chautauqua County, New York and William, Jr. also went to Tuscola County, Michigan. 

In 1891, Eliza sold the property to George Bradt.  The Albert Bradt family was one the very early families to settle the area and had land just south of this lot on what was known as Bradt’s Mountain. 

At some point, Eliza moved to Michigan most likely to be near her children.  Eliza passed away on July 26,1917, as a result of a fracture of the hip.  Michael Madden recalls that his grandfather travelled to Lowville by train with Eliza’s body for burial with Wilhelm and their son George in the Lowville United Church Cemetery.  He did the same for Mary Colling returning her to be buried with her husband Joseph II.

To use the sewing caddy, you would pull up the copper rods put the spools of thread on them.  At the top of the caddy is a cup that held a pin cushion.  It is simple, functional, and beautiful.  The caddy exemplifies the skilled, quality work of the cabinet factory and is a testament to the “first class turner” that the business had. 

We would be very appreciative to hear from a descendant of the Rumple family and if you have a receipt or photo of a Rumple made piece of furniture, please contact us at kilbridehistory@gmail.com


Contributing Author: Helen Callaway