Historical Plaque Properties

 

Thomas & Robert McCurdy - Hardware Merchants
139 Front Street
1906

William Schenk was the builder of 139 Front Street. He had moved to Stratford in 1905 and established what would become a successful contracting company. One of his carpenters, John MacTavish, lived in the house while completing the finishing touches and in 1907 it was purchased by the McCurdy brothers, Thomas and Robert.

 

They were the sons of Thomas McCurdy who had been born in Hamilton, Scotland. Thomas Sr. emigrated to Canada when he was twenty-two. A few years later, he married Annie Murphy and became the father of two boys, Thomas and Robert, and a girl, Annie Louise.


The family lived in London, Ontario according to the 1893 city directory. Thomas Sr. was a partner in McCurdy & Black, agents in agriculture implements. The brothers worked as travelling salesmen for Hobbs Hardware Co. By the time the 1899 directory was published, Robert had become a clerk for Hobbs Hardware while Thomas was still a travelling salesman for the hardware business. Thomas Sr. had retired.


By 1905, Thomas and Robert had moved to Stratford and established McCurdy Brothers Hardware at 7 Market Street. Their residence is listed on Grange Street in the Stratford City Directory of that year.


In 1907 their parents, Thomas Sr. and Annie and their sister, Annie Louise, moved to Stratford to join the brothers at 139 Front Street. Annie died a few years later in 1909 while Thomas Sr. lived to 83 and died in 1916. Through the years, the brothers’ hardware business thrived and moved to larger quarters at 8 Wellington Street.


Robert never married but Thomas had a short and tragic marriage. He married Florence Larkworthy, the daughter of George Larkworthy and Mary Jordan, in October, 1909. Ten months later their son, Thomas Larkworthy McCurdy, was born. Florence McCurdy died three days later and the child shortly afterwards.


The two brothers and their sister continued to live together at 139 Front Street. Thomas died in 1938, Robert in 1945 and Annie Louise in 1960. The family is buried together in Avondale Cemetery.