Historical Plaque Properties


Arthur George Brown - Locomotive Engineer/Canadian National Railway
130 Falstaff Street
Stratford, ON

The house at 130 Falstaff Street was built by Arthur George Brown in 1905. Except for a brief time in 1910 when the house was rented to Robert Telford and his family, it was the Brown family home for over 50 years.

Arthur was born on November 29, 1872 to James Brown and Mary Jane Nott. James was born in Scotland in 1840, and Mary Jane was born in Devon, England in 1849. They were married on March 30, 1869 in Paris, Ontario. At the time of their marriage, James was employed at the Paris Railway Station. Starting as a baggage man, James rose to the position of railway engineer living in Paris, Brantford, and Goderich during his working career.


It was while they lived in Goderich that Arthur was born, the second child of seven. Sadly, on Sept 17, 1884, at age 44, James died leaving Mary Jane to raise their seven children on her own. Arthur was 12 years old when his father died.


Arthur followed in his father’s footsteps and became a railway engineer. He was living and working in Stratford at the time of his marriage on May 23, 1899. His bride was Annie Hornbostel, born April 17, 1877, the daughter of Edward Hornbostel and Lizzie Brockel. Their marriage took place in Guelph and afterward they settled into a rented house on Well Street in Stratford.


Their first child, daughter Edith Alvina, was born on November 25, 1900, followed by sons George Wilfred on June 6, 1903, and Clarence Leonard on April 20, 1905. Arthur and Annie moved into 130 Falstaff Street with their family in September 1905. On October 28, 1910, a third son, Frederick Wilmer, was born.

Edith, a nurse, trained at the Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan from September 1922 to April 1923. Her nursing career took her to the UK and to Angola as a nurse/missionary. She returned to Stratford in 1948 at the time of her father’s death, but In July 1949 boarded the Stavelot in New York, heading for the Belgian Congo to resume her nursing career. In 1954 she returned to live in Canada.


Sons George and Frederick continued to work and live in Stratford. George worked as a machinist with the CNR and married Jeanette Jones in 1944. Fred married Laura Mundy in 1936 and was employed at the Stratford Bottling Company and then as plant manager for Superior Propane. Clarence married Luella Hoelscher in 1929, and they settled in Waterloo, where Clarence was a mechanic.


Arthur retired from the CNR in 1937 at age 65 after working for the railway for 43 years. He died from pulmonary tuberculosis on December 20, 1948, after 10 years of poor health. Annie continued to live at 130 Falstaff until the house was sold to Carmine Scarpino sometime in 1958. Annie died in 1960 and is buried with Arthur in Avondale Cemetery.