Historical Plaque Properties


John Munro McLeod - Merchant and Grocer
76 Nile Street
Stratford, ON

The simple Victorian style house at 76 Nile Street was built in 1876 by John Munro McLeod. He had one tenant named Lewis S. Sager, a watchmaker. By 1882, the house had been sold to Henry Ward who owned it until 1892 when he sold it to John Lloyd who owned a grocery store beside it, at the corner of Nile & Brunswick Street.


John Munro McLeod was born to farmers John and Margaret McLeod on or about 1824 in Scotland. On August 24, 1870, he married Jessie Hunter Brown at the Parish of St. Simons, Liverpool in the County of Lancashire, England. His profession is listed as a merchant on the marriage certificate.


Soon after their marriage, John and Jessie immigrated to Canada and by 1871 were living in Stratford where John was working as a shoemaker. Their first son, John Munro, was born November 3, 1871, followed by another son, James Brown, born December 11, 1873 and a daughter Isabelle Elizabeth, born July 10, 1877. All of these children were born in Stratford. Their last son, Alfred Wellington, was born in Listowel, on October 15, 1880. 


The first Stratford city directory John could be found in is 1876. He is listed as living at the corner of Brunswick and Nile Street and his profession was a grocer, possibly working for the grocery store beside their house. Jessie and the children are listed in the 1881 Census as living in Stratford, but there is no listing for John. Perhaps he headed out to New Westminster, British Columbia as John, Jessie and their family are there according to the 1891 Census. The listing includes another daughter, Florence Henriette, born on September 25, 1883 in New Westminster. John had changed professions again and was now working as a dairyman.


Their eldest son John Munro married Eva Ethel Largen on October 26, 1898 and they had 3 children. In 1901 they moved to Blaine, Washington where John worked for the Great Northern Railway and in 1909 they moved to Los Angeles, California where John worked as an oil broker and had started his own real estate company. He died in Vancouver on July 14, 1953. James Brown McLeod, their second son died on November 25,1893 at the age of 20. He was apprenticing to be a confectioner at the time of his death. Alfred had established a very successful insurance/real estate/investment business in New Westminster in 1899 and died in Aberdeen, Scotland on June 3, 1936 while visiting relatives. Their daughter Isabelle, married Arthur Henry Seaton and died on April 7, 1921. Florence, who never married, became a very successful business woman. She played a major role in the development of the Alfred W. McLeod real estate and investment firm. She died on July 8, 1953.


John Munro McLeod died on January 5, 1894 and his wife Jessie died on March 25, 1915. They are buried along with their son James in Fraser Cemetery, New Westminster, British Colombia.