Historical Plaque Properties


John Schlotman/Charles Grieve - Machinist - Grand Trunk Railway
389 Ontario Street
Stratford, ON

John Schlotman was born in January 1857 in South Easthope Township. He was the son of Ferdinand Schlattman and Catherine Berger both of whom had immigrated to Canada from Germany. The name appears in documents in a variety of spellings: Schlattman, Schlatman, Slotman and Schlotman. Schlattman appears most often in the early documents while Schlotman was the spelling John chose to use later.


The family farm was located on Line 29 in South Easthope and it was there that John was raised with his five siblings. His mother died when John was two and his father remarried in 1860.


On January 26, 1886, John married 25 year old Catherine Fitzgerald in St. Joseph’s Church Stratford. Catherine who was born in Stratford was the daughter of Thomas Fitzgerald, a railway worker, and Mary Catherine Donovan who lived on Brunswick Street. At the time of his marriage, John was farming in South Easthope near Harmony. The family was enumerated there in the 1901 census. It was here that their three children; Joseph Bernard(1892), Elizabeth Louise(1896) and Ferdinand John(1898) were born. All of the children were baptised in St. Joseph’s Church.


By 1910 John had given up farming and had moved his family into the new frame house at 389 Ontario Street. According to the town assessment, he was working for the railway as a machinist. When the 1911 census was taken it noted that his older son, Joseph, was also working. He was employed as a wood machinist in a furniture factory.


The family rented the house for over ten years. They moved from Ontario Street to 18 Laurier Street. John also changed his employment and then worked for the Globe-Wernicke Furniture Company. John lived in the Laurier Street house until his death in 1939. He is buried in the Avondale Cemetery beside his wife Catherine who died in 1929.



In 1923, Charles Edward Grieve bought the house at 389 Ontario Street as well as three feet of property from the adjacent lot on the east side thus increasing the frontage to thirty-five feet. Charles Grieve rebuilt the house into the brick structure it is today.


Charles was born Carl Edward Grieve on April 8, 1893 in Mitchell, Perth County but chose to go by Charles for most of his life. He was the son of Carl Grieve and Catherine Kressler and the youngest of their seven children. He is listed in the 1911 census living with his brother Herman who had taken up farming in Elma Township while Charles himself was working as a carpenter. By 1918, Charles was living in Stratford, working as a carpenter contractor and was boarding at 375 Ontario Street.


In November of 1923, Charles married Isabel Keiller in Ville St. Pierre, Quebec. She was the daughter of Alexander Keiller and Catherine Christie. After their marriage the couple moved into the newly rebuilt home in Stratford.


Charles and Isabel had two children, Carl Alexander and Bernice. Charles became a successful Building and General Contractor. He and Isabel lived the rest of their lives at 389 Ontario Street. Isabel died in 1955 and Charles died in 1957. At his death, Charles was survived by his two children and four grandchildren. Isabel and Charles are buried together in Avondale Cemetery in Stratford.