Historical Plaque Properties

 

St. Paul's Anglican Church Rectory
108 Front Street
1926

According to a history of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, prepared by parishioner Charles Ryde, the rapid increase in the population of Stratford as a result of the opening of the Grand Trunk Railway’s (GTR) Locomotive Repair Shops in 1870 led the parish of St. James Anglican Church to establish a Sunday School, which met in the waiting room of the GTR railway station in the south end of the city.


This was soon followed by the construction of a small board and batten church at the corner of West Gore and Home Streets in 1875. The congregation flourished and the decision was made to build the present day St. Paul’s Anglican Church, which held its inaugural service on Sunday, January 14, 1906.


According to Ryde’s history, during the latter part of 1925 a move to purchase a permanent rectory or home for the incumbent rector of St. Paul’s was initiated. The Wardens of the Church asked if the Senior’s Ladies Guild would undertake the task. On January 26, 1926 the vestry approved the purchase of 108 Front Street, which was being constructor by Moses Schlotzhaurer a well-known house builder in town. The new rector of St. Paul’s, Rev. Horace W. Snell, took up residence in 1926.
Horace Wesley Snell was born on September 13, 1877. He was the son of Jacob Snell and Annette (commonly known as Etta) Jane Mahoney. During the turn of the century, Horace was ordained as an Anglican Minister and served in a number of parishes around southern Ontario.


While serving in Tillsonburg he married 27-year old Mary Fletcher on October 12, 1904. Mary was born on July 4, 1877 the daughter of John Fletcher and Ann Goodhand who farmed in the Township of South Norwich in Oxford County. Horace and Mary had six children, two of whom died in infancy of childhood disease, which was all too common in those days.


After leaving St. Paul’s, Horace was appointed resident clergy to The Royal Chapel of the Mohawks in Brantford, which is the oldest building in Ontario dating to 1785 and is the final resting place of Chief Joseph Brant. Rev. Snell served in this capacity from 1929 until 1945.


Mary Fletcher Snell died on December 30, 1957 and Horace died in London on January 5, 1961. They are both buried along with some of their children in St. Charles Anglican Cemetery in Dereham Township, Oxford County.


The final mortgage payment on the Rectory of 60-dollars was made on May 1, 1938 and on the 27th of the month a Complementary Banquet was held in honour of the Senior Ladies Guild in making the parish debt free, which was followed by a service at which the mortgage was burned.


The rectory was home to five rectors of St. Paul’s, but by 1981 it had fallen into disrepair and the decision was made to sell the house.