Historical Plaque Properties


David Jacobs - Carpenter
271 Front Street
Stratford, ON

The lovely duplex at 271 Front Street was built as a single family home in 1906 by carpenter David Samuel Jacobs. He was born on May 23, 1871 in the Township of Wilmot, the eldest son of Peter Jacobs and Sophia Schram. His father was a farmer and beekeeper, born in New Hamburg and his mother was from Mecklenburg in northern Germany. Like many people of the area they were Mennonites. In 1891 the family, David, his parents and bothers Eli, Peter, Alexander and a sister Sarah were living outside of Milverton.


On December 26, 1893 while living in Stratford and working as a carpenter he married Amanda “Minnie” McArdle, the 19 year old daughter of David and Julia McArdle from South Easthope Township. The young couple moved into a house on Romeo Street and soon their children began to arrive. David Roy in 1895, Jennie Sophia in 1897, Alfred Earl in 1898, Emma in 1902, Clarence in 1904 and Wilfred in 1906. Their youngest child Daisy May was born in November 1910 but sadly died less than 2 years later on June 3, 1912.


In 1906 David purchased a newly severed lot from Samuel Hesson and built the house at 271 Front Street for his growing family. David Jr. began working as a machinist for the nearby GTR. His brother Alfred was working as an electrician when he enlisted in WWI on March 25, 1916 and served with the 133 Battalion CEF. When Alfred returned from overseas, he continued working as an electrician for the Canadian General Electric Co. at the corner of Downie and Falstaff Street along with his brother Clarence. The rest of the family had moved to 86 Falstaff Street in 1920.


Jennie married machinist Wilfred Heary in 1919 and they moved next door to 90 Falstaff Street and then eventually to Michigan. Emma worked as a bookkeeper at nearby E. Burdett and Sons and married Tavistock farmer Henry Herman in 1933. David Jr. married Lillian Brooks in 1924 and after living briefly on Ontario Street, moved into 90 Falstaff Street after his sister moved to Michigan, so it is most likely his father owned both properties. Alfred married Harriett “Hattie” Render and they moved in with his brother at 90 Falstaff. After marrying Ernestine Wager in British Columbia in 1928, Clarence returned to Stratford where he worked as a painter, general labourer and caretaker for the Romeo Apartments at 195 Waterloo Street. The youngest brother Wilfred, married Viola Robertson in 1927, worked in the pharmaceutical industry and eventually became a surgical salesman. He and Viola eventually settled in London, Ontario.


David Jacobs worked several jobs at the nearby CNR shops until he died in August 1950. Minnie continued to live at 86 Falstaff Street when she died in January 1961.


David and Minnie, their sons David, Alfred, Clarence, their spouses and infant daughter Daisy May are all buried in Avondale cemetery.