Historical Plaque Properties


Amy Anderson - Widow - Machinist - GTR
38 East Gore Street
Stratford, ON


The first owner of 38 East Gore Street in Stratford was Amy Anderson, the widow of William Anderson.


Amy Anderson was born Amy Annie Stapley on March 20, 1868 in Gravesend, Kent, England. She was the daughter of Herbert Stapley and Sarah Goodwin.


In March 1895, at the age of 27, she married William Henry Anderson in Gravesend.  William had been born in Maplestead, Essex in November 1866, the son of Samuel Anderson and Julia Dyson. At the time of their marriage William was a soldier in the Royal Field Artillery.  He served for 23 years, ten of which were spent in India and three in Africa, where he fought in the Boer War. He retired from the service with the rank of corporal.


William and Amy had four children in England — William Herbert (born 1897), Frank Ruben (born 1898), Arthur Redvers (born 1903) and Emma Florence Annie (born 1908).


In 1911 the family emigrated to Canada, settling in Stratford. William found employment as a machinist’s assistant in the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) Locomotive Repair Shops just south of the downtown. The shops had recently expanded with the construction in 1907 of the enormous steel-framed building that still survives today.


Following in their father’s footsteps William and Frank Anderson both served in the Canadian army in the First World War.


William Sr. contracted tuberculosis. After nearly two years of intense suffering and for the last year being unable to speak, he died on November 28, 1916, just short of his fiftieth birthday. At the time the family was living at 177 Huron Street in Stratford.


Amy then moved the family to their new home at 38 East Gore Street, built in 1917. They lived there for just a few years before the property was sold to Victor Walpole, a GTR employee.

At the time of her death on October 25, 1921, just five years after her husband at the age of 53, Amy was living at her son William’s farm just north of Stratford. She had been unwell for six months and was confined to bed for the last six weeks. She is buried alongside William in Avondale Cemetery.


Amy lived to see the marriage of her two eldest sons. William Jr., who like his father became a machinist with the GTR after the war, was married in October 1919 to Grace Norton. Frank, a linotype operator for The Beacon, married Hazel Waddell in April 1921. Frank and his wife then moved to Windsor where Frank found similar employment with the Detroit Free Press.