Historical Plaque Properties


Edward Leo Ronan - Engineer - Grand Trunk Railway
233 Brunswick Street
Stratford, ON

The house at 233 Brunswick Street was built in the summer of 1914 by contractor Henry Hohl, who built and lived in a few houses on that street. In the 1913 city directory, Henry is listed at 237, in 1915 at 229, in 1916 at 342, and in 1917 at 346. His occupation then changed from being a contractor to working at the Classic Furniture Company Ltd. The Stratford Chair Company was then his employer until his death on August 4, 1923. Henry was born to John “George” Hohl and Anna Barbara Streicher on December 13, 1876 in Lisbon (Waterloo), Ontario. George was the proprietor of the Old Lisbon Hotel and Brickyard. Henry married Catherine Mallo in Waterloo on July 19, 1905. He built his bride a house in 1906 on farmland in North Easthope Township, using clay bricks from Hohl’s Brickyard.


The first occupants of 233 Brunswick Street were Edward Leo Ronan and his wife, Beatrice Loretta Walsh. Edward was born in St Marys on April 15, 1878 to Edward Ronan Sr. and Ellen Traynor. Edward Jr. and Beatrice married on July 25, 1906 in Stratford, where she was born in 1870 to John J. Walsh and Margaret Louisa Quirk. Edward was listed as a foreman at the Grand Trunk Railway on their marriage certificate. In the 1911 census, they are listed as living at 332 Albert Street with their two sons, John Edward Sylvan, born April 8, 1907, and Joseph Hubert Brewster, born January 9, 1911. By this year, Edward is listed as an engineer. They had a daughter, Beatrice, in 1913.


Edward died in a horrific accident at the GTR yard on the morning of Tuesday April 13, 1915. An inquest was held and was reported in the Stratford Daily Herald. His death was listed as an accident in the Locomotive Engineers Journal, and his widow, Beatrice, received an insurance settlement of $3,000.00. After Edward’s death, Beatrice continued to live in the house with her three children.


Beatrix remarried on March 3, 1924 to George Skalitzky, an engineer at the Canadian National Railway, formerly the GTR. George was born in Hesson, Ontario in 1868. According to the 1901 census, George was living with his wife, Eliza, in Stratford. By 1911, they had moved to Port Rowan, where he was still working for the railway. Eliza died on January 12, 1921 in Stratford. After Beatrice and George married, he was listed in the city directory as owner of the house on Brunswick Street. Beatrice died on September 13, 1928 and is buried in Avondale Cemetery alongside her first husband, Edward. George continued to live in the house until 1928, when William O’Brien and his wife, Josephine, moved in. George is buried in Avondale Cemetery with his first wife.