Jacob Dittrick was born on the 12 Mile Creek at the family’s farmstead on the 12 Feb 1791 in St. Catharines. He was the son of Sergeant Jacob Dittrick of Captain Walter Butler’s Company (and later Captain Peter Hare’s Company) Butlers Rangers. Before the Revolutionary War Jacob senior was a Ranger in John Butler’s Colonial Indian Department, living along the Mohawk River in New York where their farm of several generations was located. Writing in the Loyalist Reminisces published in 1861 brother James reported the farm was situated 30 miles east of Utica New York.
Jacob junior was a Sergeant in Captain John McEwen Flank Company 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia (P.A.C. 3839; R.G. 8, C. Series vol. 1701 doc. #141). Being a resident of Niagara his flank company mustered at Fort George for training before and during the War of 1812. Like his other four brothers he served with his Regiment at the Battles of Queenston Heights, Fort George, Lundy’s Lane (Welland Tribune, July 31, 1891, p6).
Before the War of 1812, Jacob was contracted to trim and plaster the St. Catharines Church along with fellow neighbour John St. John’s. The St. Catharines mission was only second to the Chapel of the Mohawk in terms of its age. It was one of the first Anglican Missions built in Niagara and one of the earliest in the Province (1796-1835). It was destroyed by fire in 1836. Jacob along with his father and sister Rebecca were laid to rest there. Their grave sites and the ruined church yard is currently being sacrificed for the new concrete footings of the additional span of the high-level bridge over the 12 mile Creek. Jacob was also involved in the Anglican Church in Thorold (P.A.C. Upper Canada Land Petitions “I – J”, Bundle 18, 1833-1835 (R.G.1, L3,vol 259 (a)). With the opening of Victoria Lawn Cemetery in St. Catharines he was re-interred in the Dittrick family plot.
After the war Jacob received a Prince Regent Land Grant in Zorra Township in the London district as a reward for his military service (Ontario Archives R.G.1, C-iv book 560). His family lands, as the son of UE Loyalist, were in Niagara (P.A.C., Upper Canada Land Book “M” R.G.1, L1, Reel C-104). After the War he continued to live in St. Catharines along with in-laws and fellow Butler’s Rangers, the Hainers, who were reported to have been the first families to settle there in the year 1786. Family members still reside in that City.
As a former Flank Company member, Jacob was expected to donated funds for the erection of the first Brock’s monument in 1821. He and his four brothers, also veteran Flankers, all supported this project (St. Catharines Farmer’s Journal 1840; and, Annals of the Forty p.36 Grimsby Historical Society).
In partnership with another St. Catharines merchant (Paul Shipman) he operated the first general store in St. Ann’s Ontario on the former lot of Avery Hatt. Advertisements for this establishment appeared as early as 1816 in the (Niagara) Spectator, Consequently the business was destroyed when a keg of black powder, part of the stores’ merchandise, exploded destroying the building and bringing a close to the business venture (West Lincoln our Links with the Past1784-1984, West Lincoln Historical Society, 1985, p335).
The Welland Tribune of the 31 July 1891 reported that the powder horn carried by Jacob, a sergeant during the War of 1812, and previously carried by his father in Butler’s Rangers, also a sergeant, was passed to his son Jacob Dittrick (the 3rd) who passed it on through a neighbour to the Lundy’s Lane Historical Society were it was presented upon the event of the unveiling of the Federal commemorative monument at the Lundy’s Lane Battlefield. Inquiry into the whereabouts of this artifact at the Lundy’s Lane Historical Museum reported the artifact to be missing. The powder horn was an important accoutrement only worn by sergeants. They used it to prime and clear misfires from the musket of the men fighting in his company.
Jacob died of unknown causes in St. Catharines on the 28 Oct 1836 (Dittrick family bible).
This narrative was prepared by maternal great grandson Jon K. Jouppien UE.
Veteran SummaryJacob Dittrick
Sergeant, Flank Company 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia
Place of Birth
St Catharines, ON, CAN
Place of Death
St. Catharines, ON, CAN
Died on: 28 OCT 1836
Location of Grave
Victoria Lawn Cemetery, Victoria Lawn Cemetery
St. Catharines, ON, CAN
Latitude: 43.161769N Longitude: -79.201565