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Item ID# RB Hillmer fonds
Title Robert Benjamin Hillmer family fonds
Object Name Archival Fonds
Dates of Creation 1913-1954
Creator Hillmer, Robert Benjamin
Other Creators Hillmer, Elizabeth Audrey
Heilig, Carl
Description This fonds consists chiefly of records created and collected by Robert Benjamin Hillmer and his daughter, Elizabeth Audrey Hillmer Heilig. It includes R.B. Hillmer's jewelry business records, Elizabeth's educational certificates, and letters to and from Carl Heilig, as well as family photographs.

The fonds consists of the following series:

Series 1 - Robert Benjamin Hillmer records
Series 2 - Elizabeth Audrey Hillmer Heilig records
Series 3 - Family photographs
Admin/Biographical History Robert Benjamin Hillmer was born in Oakville, Ontario in 1874, the son of Elizabeth Ann Busby and Ebenezer Hillmer. He died on December 15, 1959 in Southampton, Bruce County, Ontario. He had three siblings: Dora Elizabeth (1877-1915); George Busby (1881-1960); Mary Emily (Mae) (1884-1950).

He attended Oakville schools, and received a Commercial Certificate in 1892, and the Primary Examination Certificate in 1893. He learned the watchmaking trade with his maternal uncle, William Busby, who had a prosperous jewellery trade in Oakville.

He then began his career as a journeyman watchmaker. He resided for a time in New Dundee, Ontario, and Port Elgin, Ontario, until moving to reside in Southampton, Ontario around 1901. He operated a watchmaking and jewellery store business for many years, and resided in Southampton for the remainder of his life. In 1904, he married Mabel Powell who died in 1909 of typhoid fever. In 1928, Robert married Lenore Powell.

Robert Hillmer was an active member of the Southampton Lacrosse Team in the early 1900s. He was also active in the Masonic Lodge, and was a Shriner. He was a member and significant supporter of St. Paul's Anglican Church, Southampton. He was also a significant contributor to the local hospital and other community organizations.

Robert and Mabel had two children: Elizabeth Audrey (1905-2003) and George Powell (1906-1998).

Elizabeth Audrey (Hillmer) Heilig (1905-2003) is the daughter of Robert Benjamin Hillmer and Mabel Powell. She was born in Southampton, Ontario and resided there as she grew up, along with her brother, Carl George Heilig (1906-1952).

In 1917, Elizabeth complied with the requirements of the Department of Education for admission to Collegiate Institute, High School or Continuation School (certificate signed at Port Elgin). She passed her "University Junior Matriculation Examination" in 1920. Elizabeth earned her "Interim Public School Second-Class Certificate" from Normal School at Stratford in 1924 and taught at a school in the area for a year. Elizabeth attended Queens University for at least one year sometime in the late 1920s.

She carried on a long-distance relationship with Carl Heilig, whom she met while attending Queen's University, from approximately 1928 until they married in or around March 11, 1932. At that time, Elizabeth was employed as a teacher in the Niagara Falls area and kept the fact of her marriage a secret until the end of the school year so that she would not lose her job.

Carl was employed by the Canadian Westinghouse Company Limited in air conditioning sales and travelled across the country and into the United States for employment training.

Carl and Elizabeth resided in Hamilton and built a cottage in Southampton in 1940. They had at least three children: Kenneth, Margaret and Bobbie.

(Source: "The Hillmer Family: Southampton & Port Elgin", A2011.039.200)
Collection Hillmer, Robert Benjamin family fonds
Physical Description 30 cm of textual records
People Heilig, Carl
Hillmer family
Hillmer, Elizabeth
Hillmer, Robert B.
Place Southampton
Related items within BCM&CC Collection Show Related Records...
Level of Description Fonds
Child Records RB Hillmer series 1
RB Hillmer series 2
RB Hillmer series 3