What Is the History of Knechtel Furniture?
The Knechtel Furniture Company originated in 1864 when Daniel Knechtel traveled to Western Ontario to build furniture and other wood products for the settlers in the area. Knechtel found enough success with his furniture business to build a factory and employ more than 30 workers within the next decade.
In the 1880s, the company also operated a short-lived retail store that sold groceries and clothing, as well as furniture. The store front even offered undertaking services and a hearse for hire. The business expanded to a large brick building, which a fire destroyed in 1900. The company soon rebuilt and resumed business, continuing to expand the factory to accommodate increasing business.
When Daniel Knechtel passed away in 1936, his son took over the company. Jacob Knechtel ran the company for just two years until he died and passed the business along to his son, Karl Knechtel. At its highest point, the Knechtel-owned businesses included Knechtels Limited, the Knechtel Kitchen Kabinet Ltd., the Knechtels Novelty Plant and Peppier Bros. Ltd. In 1983, when it was the third-oldest furniture company in Canada, Knechtel Furniture Company closed. In 2003, the former location of the company's factory was designated as a municipal park dedicated to Daniel Knechtel. The park features a plaque from the Ontario Heritage Foundation commemorating Knechtel for his contributions to the area.