Historical Plaque Properties


Thomas Samuel McEwan - Teamster
219 Front Street
Stratford, ON

The two stories, yellow brick house with a wraparound porch was built on lot 12-219 Front Street in 1903 by Thomas Samuel McEwen. He was born to Thomas Andrew and Mary Ann Derry on August 4, 1879. In the 1881 Census, they listed living in Downie Township, Perth South. Thomas Andrew was born in Ireland on December 24, 1847 and Mary Anne was born in Canada in 1852. They had eight children-Robert J (1875), James L (1876), Thomas, William E (1881), Howard B (1887), Lillian S (1889), Mary R (1892) and Arthur (1896). By 1901, the family had moved into Stratford. Thomas Andrew died on October 8, 1921 and Mary Anne died on May 1921, both are buried in Avondale Cemetery in Stratford.


Thomas married Alice M. Kitty on September 9, 1903. Alice was born in Owen Sound in 1877. They moved into the house that same September. They welcomed their first daughter, Bernice Isabel on December 9, 1905 and their second daughter, Thelma May on March 13, 1904. Thomas and his family moved to 21 Ontario Street, by the listing in the City Directory of 1907 and Thomas is listed as a driver for McEwen Brothers Livery. Thomas and his brother, James, owned McEwen Brothers Livery located at 143-147 Ontario Street for a couple of years. By 1909, the city directory has no listing for the business.


Mrs. Emma Puddicombe, widow of William Balkwill, and her daughter Dorothy (1903) and son Robert (1905) are listed as the living in the house in the city directory that year. The house remained in the family as it is listed in the 1991 City Directory still owned by Robert, his wife Annie and two sons, Robert Jr. (1930) and William (1933).


Thomas, Alice, and the two girls were listed in the 1910 United States Census. He was working at an auto factory along with his brother William. In 1918, they were living at 1117 Sheridan Ave, Detroit, Michigan according to Thomas’s draft registration card. His description on his card was white, tall, brown eyes, stout with black hair. He divorced Alice on September 24, 1929, stating the cause as extreme cruelty and desertion.


Louvinnie Spearman, born on July 26, 1879 in Detroit, Michigan, was Thomas’s second wife, whom he married on July 16, 1930 in Wood County, Ohio. She is listed an inspectoress in the 1945 US Census. She and Thomas ended up in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Louvinnie died in 1949. Thomas died on February 4, 1964, survived by his two daughters, both living in Detroit and his two sisters Lillian McEwen and Mrs. Mary Browne. His remains were forwarded to St Marys Cemetery, St Marys, Ontario and buried alongside Louvinnie.