Historical Plaque Properties


John William Casson - Butcher
45 Player Street
Stratford, ON

The 1923 Assessment Record for 40 Player St. (renumbered as 45 Player St. in 1967) shows that the house was completed during 1922. The record shows the owners as John Casson and Margaret Alice Casson. Margaret was John’s oldest sibling and principal of Anne Hathaway School until 1935. John W. Casson and his wife Mary moved from 94 Shakespeare St. into this newly built home with their 12-year-old son Edward.


He was born in Stratford in 1881 as William John Casson but used the name John William Casson throughout his life as inscribed on his tombstone. John W. was the third child and oldest son of Stratford native William Casson, a painter and decorator of Irish descent, and Sophia Mary Rope who was born in Scotland in 1853. By 1901 John W. Casson was a butcher and lived with his parents and siblings on Rebecca St.


In 1912 John W. Casson married Mary Swanson Cloney, who was born in 1889 in Oxford County, the eighth child of farmer William Swanson and his second wife, Jessie Pirie. Mary was the young widow of John Cloney, who had died earlier that year at the Muskoka Cottage Sanatorium in Gravenhurst, Canada’s first tuberculosis sanatorium.  Their son Edward John was three years old when his mother remarried. Edward took his stepfather’s surname. He was the Cassons only child.


In 1917 John W. Casson was working as a manager for Henry Pauli “Grocery and Meats” at 402 Downie St. where he remained for several more years. He became highly skilled and later gave long years of service to the Whyte Packing Company, a local meat processing plant that would become an international success.

John and Mary were living at 45 Player St. when John retired in late 1947 at age 66 due to health problems. He died six months later in the Stratford General Hospital. His May 1948 obituary in the Beacon Herald listed his membership in the Loyal Orange Lodge and Royal Black Preceptory. He predeceased seven of his siblings, most of them still living in Stratford.


Mary continued to live at 45 Player St. soon sharing the home with her sister Elizabeth Swanson.  By 1950 Mary was working as a maid at the Windsor Hotel where she remained for several years. Mary’s son Edward moved to British Columbia and also worked for a time in the United States as a heavy equipment operator. Edward married but there were no children. He predeceased his mother in 1972 and is buried in Hazelwood Cemetery in Abbotsford, BC.


The sisters, Mary and Elizabeth Swanson continued living in this house for close to thirty years and were there when the address became 45 Player Street in 1967. Mary died at the Stratford Nursing Home in 1980 and her sister Elizabeth died less than one year later.

John, Mary and Elizabeth are all buried in Avondale cemetery.