Historical Plaque Properties


Daniel McGregor - First Occupant
234 Brunswick Street
Stratford, ON

Daniel McGregor (MacGregor, Macgregor) was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1875 to Donald and Effie McGregor. In 1891, Daniel, at the young age of 16, was in St. Thomas, Ontario where he was ordained an Elder in the Latter Day Saints Church (LDS). In the LDS Church, "elder" is considered the introductory—or lowest—of five offices of the priesthood. The duty of an elder is to "teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church." Three years later, he became a member of the office of Seventy. Traditionally, a church member holding this office is a "traveling minister" charged with the mission of preaching the gospel to the entire world.  Daniel spent much of his life in this office.


In 1897, in Proton Station, Grey Township, which is 37 miles north of Arthur, Ontario. Daniel married Margaret Campbell who was eight years his senior. She was the daughter of John Campbell and Jane Black. In the 1881 Canada census, the entire family’s religion is listed as Canadian Presbyterian. By the time the 1891 census was taken, John and his sons were still listed as Canadian Presbyterian but Jane and Margaret (Maggie) had joined the LDS. Whether or not this was due to Daniel’s teaching, we can only guess. Henrietta, Maggie’s older sister, had already married Dougald McPhail and remained a Presbyterian. The only child of Daniel and Maggie, Elizabeth Caroline, was born in 1899 in Arthur. She appears to have lived for a very short time since she was not listed in the 1901 census nor any of the following ones. According to the 1901 Census, the couple was living in Vancouver, British Columbia and Daniel’s occupation was listed as a clergyman. This was one of the many places they lived as Daniel went about the duties of his office with the LDS Church.


Within five years, Daniel and Maggie had returned to Ontario. According to his wife’s obituary, only twice did Daniel have other occupations. Once was when he built houses in Stratford, and the second time when he worked for the Fuegol Oil Company in Alberta. In 1906, he built the house which now stands at 234 Brunswick Street. The house was a rental property after the first year, until 1909 when Daniel and Maggie occupied it once again. In the 1909 Stratford City Directory, Daniel is listed as the minister of the LDS Church on Brunswick Street. At this time, Agnes McPhail, Maggie’s niece, lived with them while she attended Stratford Normal School (teachers college) for the 1909-1910 school year. This seemed to be well planned because shortly after Agnes’ graduation the couple returned to their missionary work.


Agnes McPhail (later she changed the spelling to Macphail) was the daughter of Henrietta Campbell and Dougald McPhail. She was raised in Proton Station as a member of the Methodist Church. She converted to the Latter Day Saints Church as a teenager, (This possibly occurred when she was living with her aunt and uncle.) but she later turned to the United Church. After graduation, Agnes taught in Sharon, Ontario. There she became active politically, joining the United Farmers of Ontario (UFO) and its women's organization, the United Farm Women of Ontario. In 1919, Agnes McPhail was elected, as the first woman, to the House of Commons as a member of the Progressive Party of Canada. As a radical member of the Progressive Party, McPhail joined the socialist Ginger Group, a faction of the Progressive Party that later formed the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF).

After their niece graduated from the normal school, Daniel and Maggie resumed their missionary work in Michigan, and by 1916, they were working in Alberta. It was there that Daniel spent a time working for Fuegol Fuel Co. There are numerous records of Daniel and Maggie crossing the border between Canada and the United States in order to continue their work. Included is the crossing at Niagara Falls in July 1909 where their destination is listed as Stratford. Daniel had a difference of opinion with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and spent the last two years of his life as a clergyman for the Community of Christ. He died in 1927 in Port Huron, Michigan where he is buried. Maggie died in 1940 in Jackson, Michigan. Her body was returned to Canada and she was buried in her home of Proton Station in the Community of Christ Cemetery.