Historical Plaque Properties


Edward McLennan - Conductor - GTR
84 Inverness Street
Stratford, ON

Edward McLennan was born in Ireland about 1841. He came to Canada when he was only two years old. It isn’t certain whether his mother, Mary Anne, came alone as a widow or if Edward’s father died a few years after their arrival in Canada.

Edward’s widowed mother married Richard Rogers in 1846 and they settled on a farm in Brant County near Brantford. Mary Ann gave birth to three more sons; Thomas born in 1847, William in 1848 and Joseph in 1852.
As a boy, Edward used his stepfather’s name and in the 1851 census he appears with his mother, stepfather, Richard Rogers, and brothers Thomas and William. Richard Rogers died between 1866 and 1870 when Edward was listed in the Brantford Township directory as the owner and farmer on the family’s farm. His mother, Mary Anne as well as William and youngest half-brother, Joseph are also enumerated on the farm in the 1871 census. His oldest half-brother, Thomas, had set out on his own and was employed in Stratford by the Grand Trunk Railway as a car foreman.

Edward didn’t remain long as a farmer and in 1872 he and the rest of the family moved to Stratford. The first of the G T R shops had opened and the town was filled with opportunities for ambitious young men. Thomas trained as a machinist and William started out as a car repairman and later became a car builder. Edward’s first job was as a baggage handler.

Edward who was now using his father’s name of McLennan, married Mary Shingles (?) and moved into a house on Nelson Street near Gore. There, in October 1879 Mary gave birth to their daughter Bertha. By this time, Joseph Rogers had become a fireman for the GTR and was living with his family, including his widowed mother, on Inverness Street. William Rogers and his family were also living on Inverness Street near Gore. Edward, Mary and Bertha moved closer to them into a house on the corner of St. David Street and Cambria.
In 1888 George Hildebrand who was Joseph Rogers’ father-in-law built the double house 82-84 Inverness Street. Edward, now a conductor for the GTR and his family, wife Mary and daughter Bertha now 9, moved into the house when it was completed.

Edward was a member of the Order of Railway Conductors and the Avon Lodge of Oddfellows. Sadly, in June, 1892 Edward and Mary’s only child, Bertha died of influenza at the age of 13. After this, Edward and Mary moved to a house on the corner of Nile and Douro Streets. Within sixteen months, Mary McLennan suffered another loss when Edward died in October 1893 after an illness of seven months. He was buried beside Bertha in Avondale Cemetery.

The rest of the family continued to live on Inverness Street for many years. William’s widow and three of her daughters lived at number 59, Joseph, who became a locomotive engineer, lived at 77 Inverness Street.