Historical Plaque Properties


John Perry - Mason
90 Grange Street
Stratford, ON

John Perry was born in Londonderry County, Ireland in 1832. He came to Canada through New York in 1851 at 19 years. He lived for a time in Dunnville. In 1855 John came to Stratford to work on the original town hall with the contractors Sewell and Oliver. He became a well-known stone mason and contractor, building many farm residences and buildings in Perth County. In the 1861 census John is listed as a mason living in Stratford, while in the 1871 census he was listed as a builder living in Stratford.


The house at 90 Grange Street was built in 1874-75, and we can assume that John was directly involved in its construction. John’s obituary states that he was a resident of Stratford since his arrival in 1855; however, he is not listed in the 1876 and 1880 Stratford directories, and he is listed in the 1881 census as a mason living in Ellice Township, while the 1882 and the 1885 Perth County directories list him as a farmer in Ellice. Perhaps he continued working as a mason in addition to running the farm. In fact, the birth record of his son William Wilkinson in 1879 in Ellice does indeed list him as a mason. By 1891 he was listed as a brick mason living in Stratford again.

Apparently, John and his family lived at 90 Grange Street for approximately one year, moved to Ellice Township for about ten years, and then were back in Stratford by 1891.


On October 24, 1865 John married Margaret Anderson Henderson, born in Kingston in 1848. Margaret’s family origins are unclear, because in John’s obituary Thomas P. Henderson is listed as her father, but in the county marriage registers, James and Julia Henderson are listed as her parents. Unfortunately, her extremely short obituary makes no reference to her parents.


John and Margaret had eight children: John Thomas (1867-1906), a printer who became foreman of the Beacon office; James Hume (1869-1936), who became a contractor in Fort William; Robert Henderson (1875-1939), who became a machinist and lived in Wellington and Grey Counties before returning to Stratford, and then continuing to Cornwall and Uxbridge; William Wilkinson (1879-1953), who became a machinist, ending up in Sudbury; Margaret Isabelle (1877-1947), who was a stenographer at Ballantyne Knitting; her twin Ruth Ella (1877-1960); Ellen/Hellen Hume (Leslie) who was a tailoress for several years before marriage (1873-1918), and the first Hellen Hume who was was born in 1868 and died two years later. John and Margaret had eight grandchildren.

John died February 3, 1899, while Margaret died June 1910. Three of the children remained unmarried and were buried with their parents in Avondale Cemetery: Margaret, Ruth Ella, and John Thomas, as well as Hellen who died in infancy, and the second Hellen/Ellen (Leslie).