Historical Plaque Properties


Rev. Daniel Deacon - Rector- Home Memorial Church
157 Church Street
Stratford, ON

Daniel Deacon, the son of William and Anne Deacon, was born about 1841 in Chinguacousy, near Toronto, into a family that would eventually consist of six boys and two girls. His father, William Deacon, was born in Ireland in 1804 and his mother, Anne, was born in New York State. They were married in 1838 and moved to a farm in Chinguacousy where William began farming.


By the 1850s the family moved to Huron North, where Daniel attended Goderich Grammar School. He later attended Trinity College, University of Toronto for his BA and MA. After graduation he was a master at Helmuth Boy’s College in London, Ontario. The college was founded by Bishop Helmuth and was located in today’s London heritage district which is named after the bishop.

Daniel Deacon was ordained in 1866 and was successfully rector at Port Rowan, Bothwell and Windsor. In 1870 he married Maria Helen Ball. The couple had five children, all boys, between 1871 and 1879. Maria died shortly after the birth of their last son in 1879. Three of their sons would eventually move to British Columbia. Another son became a well-known Stratford doctor.

In the 1881 census for Windsor, Daniel appeared as a widower with his five sons. A year later, he married Emma Caroline Moore of Windsor. The couple were to have no children of their own.
Shortly after his second marriage, Reverend Deacon moved his family to Stratford where he became rector of Home Memorial Church. Originally Home Mission Church, it was built on land donated by Judge Daniel Lizars in 1876.

In 1899 he had the house at 157 Church Street built for his family. The Stratford Evening Herald described it as “a building of red pressed brick, 30 by 52 feet, which will be both handsome and comfortable . . . the gables will be filled in with cut shingles in the Queen Anne style so popular now.” It is interesting to note that the carpentry work was done by John L. Youngs, whose construction company was erecting the new city hall at the same time. The architect, Harry Powell, had also won the competition for the design of the new city hall. Unfortunately, city council turned his proposal down in favour of another architect’s work.

When St. Paul’s Anglican Church opened on January 14, 1906, Reverend Deacon was the church’s first rector. His wife, Emma, was one of the lay workers who contributed to the success of the new parish. In 1909, due to failing health, he was compelled to retire. He watched his sons begin successful careers, marry and have children. His son, Dr. G. R. Deacon attended him in his final days. Rev. Daniel Deacon died in April 1918. Emma died in 1932. They are both buried in Stratford’s Avondale Cemetery.