Historical Plaque Properties


Charles J Stewart - Coal Purveyor
45 Water Street
Stratford, ON


Charles Stewart was born in Guelph, Ontario in October 1881. He was the son of John Stewart and Hannah Devlin. John Stewart had emigrated from Antrim County, Ireland in 1871. In 1879, he married Hannah Devlin, the daughter of Felix Devlin and Ann Gore of Guelph. In the 1881 Guelph census, John was the owner operator of the Fountain House Hotel on Gordon Street. He died in 1888 leaving his wife Hannah to look after their two young sons, Charles and John.


Charles moved to Stratford when he was 24 and went into the coal business, operating what had previously been the Goodwin Coal Company.  On June 24, 1908, Charles married 27-year old Alice Maud Daly the daughter and the fifth of six children born to William Daly and Mary Skelly. She was named after her grandmother, Alice Daly. The Daly family were from Ireland and settled on a farm in Nissouri Township near the Town of St. Mary’s during the late 1840s. William was born about 1847 and on January 1, 1872 married Mary Skelly who was born in Adjala Township, Simcoe County about 1849.  She was the daughter of Thomas Skelly and Mary Martin. Like the Daly’s, the Skelly family had also recently emigrated from Ireland and had taken up farming in their new country.



William Daly listed his occupation as a farmer when he married Mary Skelly in St. Mary’s. Shortly thereafter he and his brother, James, went into the bridge building business. By the 1890s William is recorded as a carpenter in Stratford and by the turn of the century he had become a house builder. Between 1899 and 1909, William was elected five times as Alderman on Stratford City Council. Mary Daly died on November 16, 1912.  William ultimately moved in with Charles and his daughter Maud and died on March 13, 1922. William had purchased a quarter acre of land on Water Street in 1905 where he built the house at 45 Water Street in 1908, which was the first home of his daughter and her new husband.


Charles Stewart and Alice Maud became the parents of two children, Lionel and Katharine. He sold his coal business and entered the postal service in 1912 about five years after the service had been inaugurated in Stratford. He was a conscientious and efficient member of the service as a letter carrier until his death in 1930. He served on the Separate School Board for a number of years and was the secretary of the board at his death. He was buried in Avondale Cemetery. Alice Maude died in 1952 and was buried beside Charles in the Avondale Cemetery.