Historical Plaque Properties


Thomas E. Beadle - Retired Brickyard Owner & Fish Dealer
253 Ontario Street
Stratford, ON

The lot on which 253 Ontario Street stands was one of four lots owned by F.H. Grafer, Merchant, in 1894. The house was built in 1895 by Thomas Edwin Beadle (1824-1902).


Thomas Edwin Beadle’s parents were John Beadle and Selina Latter from Wateringbury, Kent, England. John’s occupation was listed as a carrier, and his deliveries may in part have been his own beer, because in the Canada Census of 1851 he is listed as a brewer. In 1844 John and Selina came to Canada with their four younger children -- Joseph, John Charles, Thomas Edwin, and Emma Selina (leaving the two eldest who had already married in England), and their daughter’s newly married husband. In 1844 John leased a lot in Ellice Township and in the following year leased the adjacent lot. He was also listed as a brewer in the 1861 census when he was living with his son Joseph and family on their farm in Ellice Township (his wife Selina had died some time in the 1850s). John followed Joseph and family to Michigan in the early 1860s, and died there about 1875.


Thomas Beadle is listed in the 1851 Canada Census as a farmer living in Ellice Township with his wife Ellen Jane Roberts (1825-1872). According to the 1861 Census they were married in 1848. The first record of Thomas having a deed to a farm is in 1854. Thomas’s obituary states that he quit the farming business and for many years conducted a brickyard in Ellice (before 1872), so we can assume that he began his brick business in the early 1860s.


Thomas’s first wife Ellen Jane Roberts died in 1872. His obituary states that there were no children from this marriage; however, the 1861 Census lists a daughter Mary, age 9, and a family history found through Ancestry.ca states that they had two children. We can assume that any children died young, as there is no record of a child after 1861.


Thomas appears to have moved to Stratford after his wife’s death in October 1872. In December 1873 he married Sarah Middleditch. Sarah was born in 1843 to Samuel and Mary Matilda Middleditch in Warwickshire, England. Sarah and her family (including eight siblings) immigrated in 1851, living for about two years in St. Marys, and then settling in Ellice.


After moving  to Stratford, Thomas is listed as a laborer in 1873 and and a teamster in 1876. From 1891 until 1898/early 1899, during which period the house at 253 Ontario Street was constructed, he is listed as a fish dealer. He finally retired fully by September 1899 at age 74.


Thomas and Sarah had two children: William Henry (1875-1949) and Albert Edward (1876-1953). After Thomas’s death on July 11, 1902, Sarah continued living at 253 Ontario Street. By 1911 she was living with her son William, his wife, and one child at the high school, where William was the caretaker, She remained there until her death on May 7, 1916. Albert became the foreman at a woolen mill, and he, his wife, and two children lived at 253 Ontario Street for many years. 


Thomas and both of his wives are buried in Avondale Cemetery.