Historical Plaque Properties


Thomas Patrick Writt - Carpenter
126 Huron Street
Stratford, ON

Thomas Patrick Writt was born in Ellice Township, Perth County (now part of Perth East) on February 18, 1879, the son of Joseph Writt (1842-1881) and Catherine Crowley (1847-1913).

Thomas’s father, Joseph Writt, was born in Ireland, while his mother, Catherine, was of Irish descent and raised in the Kinkora area of Perth County. They owned 50 acres, cleared 30, and built a house and barn. They had three daughters and two sons, the youngest of whom was Thomas. The older brother, Michael, died at two years of age, while the youngest daughter, Catherine, died at age 14 of typhoid fever. Their father died by the time Thomas was two years old.  


By 1896 Thomas and his mother moved to Stratford, where they lived with his sisters Agnes and Anastasia, both of whom had left home earlier to find employment. They resided at 195 Huron Street. In the 1904-1906 city directory, by then in his mid 20s, Thomas is listed as a carpenter. In 1906 his sister Anastasia bought a lot across the street from 195 Huron Street, and built a house which became 200 Huron Street. Thomas, his mother, and both of his sisters lived at that address until Thomas married.


On November 1, 1911 Thomas married Ellen Brown (born 1881), the daughter of Edward Brown and Brigit Collins from Kinkora. Thomas and Ellen lived at 21 St. Vincent St. until 1914, when Thomas built the house at 126 Huron Street. Thomas is listed as both the builder and the first occupant of the house. He and Ellen lived at this address until 1927, with a break from 1917 to 1919. In 1917 Frank Heard, an insurance agent, was living at 126 Huron. Perhaps he was renting from Thomas and Ellen.


In 1928 Thomas and Ellen (Nellie) were living at 146 Albert Street, and Thomas continued working as a carpenter. He then became a driver, and later a cream buyer, for Silverwoods Dairy.  They also lived at 210 Norman, 266 Huron, and 88 Caledonia Streets.


Ellen died on January 28, 1941, and was buried in Avondale Cemetery.  Thomas then moved in with his two sisters at their somewhat newer home at 196 Huron Street, which they built next to their first home at 200 Huron Street. In late January 1947, Agnes fell asleep and died while smoking in bed and Anastasia died of severe burns from trying to rescue her sister. Thomas tried to save his sisters, but was unable. Both sisters were buried in St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kinkora. This is the cemetery where both of their maternal grandparents are buried.


Thomas and Ellen had three children: Maria Brigid, 1913-2009; Joseph Edward, 1914-1999; and Thomas Patrick (Jr.), 1918-1978. All three children lived well into their twenties with their parents, and then, after their mother’s death, with their father at 196 Huron St. with the rest of the family. Like his father, Joseph worked at Silverwoods for several years. He also served in the military during the war. Maria (Marie) was a teacher and also worked at the Bank of Montreal. Thomas Patrick Jr. worked as a driver for Stratford-Goderich Coach Lines and at Kroehler Manufacturing.


According to the 1948 city directory, Thomas and his three children had left Stratford. Perhaps the fire that killed Thomas’s sisters was too traumatic. Joseph married and eventually was buried in St. Catharines. Thomas Patrick Jr. married and eventually was buried in Woodstock. Maria also married and was buried in Tillsonburg. It would appear that Thomas had moved to Tillsonburg with his daughter, because on January 14, 1950, Thomas died in Tillsonburg Memorial Hospital and was buried in Stratford in Avondale Cemetery.