Margaret was born on September 10, 1874 to Charles Wirsching (1836-1910) and Margaretha Schnitzer/Schintza (1835- before 1910). Margaret’s parents had 9 other children together: John Edward (1858-1925), William (1861-1876), Mona (1863-), Edward (1863-1922), Lizzie (1866-), Henry Charles (1868-1948), Annie (1873-before 1902), Carl (1876-1887), and Nancy (1879-1941). Charles worked as a mason in Preston while most of the children went to school. Margaret lived with her family in Preston until she was 26 years old when she was sent to live in the Poorhouse.

She entered on February 2, 1899 with the cause of pauperism recorded as “weak intellect”. She stayed at the House for one week before she was discharged on February 9. 

She returned to the House on November 5, 1904 and stayed there until March 12, 1907 when she was discharged. It is listed in the Standing Committee Meeting Minutes that she was taken to the Hamilton Insane Asylum:


House of Refuge

Berlin, May 30 -1907

The House of Refuge Committee met to- day at 10 a.m.

All the members present, also the Warden, John B. Fischer Esq., the Physician and inspector.


That Dr. Lackner take such steps as are necessary to have Miss Wirsching and Miss Lassert removed to the asylum.



Margaret appeared on the 1911 and 1921 Census living at the Hamilton Asylum.


1911 Census of Canada, Margaret Wirsching living at Hamilton Insane Asylum; Source:


Margaret returned to the House one final time on May 28, 1926 at 52 years old. She was again recorded as having mental illness as the cause of pauperism. This time, however, she is listed as a domestic, suggesting that she may have left the Hamilton Insane Asylum a few years before and worked around the Waterloo Region as a domestic. She remained at the House until 1934 when she died of “natural causes, old age” on February 13. There is no record of where she was buried.