Historical Plaque Properties


Dr. John Beatty - Dentist
30 Jones Street
Stratford, ON
Orig. 1865 Rebuilt 1922

One of the first owners of the property was Gustavus Lawson, who was born in Sweden around 1830, and emigrated to Canada in the late 1840s or early 1850s. According to census records, he married Agnes McCauley about 1858. She was born in Scotland in 1841 and, like Gustavus, emigrated to Canada in search of a better life. They had at least elven children.

Gustavus was a carpenter and took up the trade of cabinetmaker, which provided a sufficient income to look after his family and to invest, primarily in real estate.

He purchase the lot at 30 Jones and built an income property in 1865. Through the years the house was let to cabinetmakers, tinsmiths, blacksmiths and carpenters.

The Lawson family owned the original house and property until 1881 when they emigrated to Grand Rapids, Michigan where Gustavus and Agnes lived the rest of their days.

Dr. John Beatty became the fourth owner of the home when he bought 30 Jones Street in 1915.  Under his ownership, improvements to the house are reflected in the yearly assessments. In 1922 the value increased from $1 300 to $2 400 reflecting a major rebuilding of the house increasing the floor space and adding the second storey.

John Archibald Beatty was born in Wallace Township in 1879 where his father, James, was a farmer. John was educated in the local schools and after graduating from Listowel High School enrolled in the Stratford Model School to become a teacher. The present Falstaff School stands where the Model School was located. John taught school for two years in Gadshill before deciding to change careers.

He graduated from the Royal College of Dentistry in 1906 and set up his practice in Stratford the same year. John was involved in sports particularly long distance running and soccer. He spent a number of years on the board of the YMCA and was a member of the Stratford Rotary Club.

In 1914, at the age of 34, he married Clara Emma Sutter, 23. When war broke out in the same year, he joined the 28th Perth Regiment. Their daughter, Ferne, was born in 1915 and their son, Jack, a year later.

John joined the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force the same year as Jack was born. He returned with the rank of captain and an injury that would have lasting consequences. When John Beatty died in 1940 in the Christie Street Hospital in Toronto the cause was listed as “death was due to service”. He was given a military funeral in Avondale Cemetery.

John and Clara’s daughter, Ferne, followed in her father’s footsteps. She became a dentist and later married Wilfred Pauli, a Stratford denturist. Clara joined her daughter and son-in-law in their practice as a dental nurse. Jack moved to London where he worked for Sears.