Historical Plaque Properties


Norman Fowler - Accountant & Ada (Wheeler) Fowler
103 Daly Street
Stratford, ON

William Jeffery, the builder and owner of 103 Daly Avenue, bought several lots in the 1920s where he built investment properties, including what are now #99 and #103 Daly. He lived nearby at 120 St. Vincent St. S. In most of the city directories William was listed as a builder or contractor, but starting in 1927 until his death in the mid 1930s he was listed as working at the LCBO. The first tenants of 103 Daly were Norman and Ada Fowler.


Norman Fowler was born on July 24, 1890 in Eaglescliffe, Durham, England, the fifth of eight children born to John Fowler (1851-1923) and Frances Sarah Hurrell (1857-1906). John Fowler was a manager of manure works. He was also listed as a bank accountant and an agricultural agent.


On February 18, 1911 Norman arrived in St. John, New Brunswick, on the Empress of Britain, proceeding to Montreal to work as a bank clerk. By 1916 he was working as a clerk for the Bank of Montreal in Winnipeg, rooming with a group of bank clerks.


It appears that several members of Norman’s family emigrated to Canada around the same time, but not together. His brother Alan arrived in 1912 and worked as an electrician and later as a construction superintendent in Toronto. At some point before 1921 his sister Elinor was in Canada working in banking. Norman’s widowed father emigrated to Canada around 1912 along with his two youngest daughters. He spent his last years in Almonte, Lanark County operating a grocery store.

In Winnipeg on September 17, 1919 Norman married Ada Rebecca Wheeler. Ada had emigrated from County Antrim, Ireland to Winnipeg, along with her mother, Rebecca, and four siblings. Ada was a stenographer in Ireland and continued in that position in Winnipeg.


In the 1921 census John and Ada were living in Winnipeg, and John was continuing to work as a bank clerk. He and Ada had a child, Frances, who was born on August 16, 1920. Also living with them at that time were Norman’s sister Elinor and Ada’s sisters Lavinia and Maud. By 1924 Norman was listed as a bank manager, and they were living in Saskatoon. 


Some time between 1924 and 1926 Norman, Ada, and Frances moved to Stratford, where Norman was listed as an accountant, presumably for a bank. They lived as tenants at 103 Daly Avenue from 1926 to 1928 or early 1929. By 1935 Norman and Frances were in the Montreal city directory, and Norman was listed as an assistant of an accountant. Ada died on September 29, 1935 and was buried in Mount Royal Cemetery. In 1940 Norman was still working as a bank employee and had remarried. He and his second wife Dorothy moved to Florida in 1961, where he died on January 10, 1970 and was buried.


Norman and Ada’s daughter, Frances Rebecca, served as a Royal Canadian Medical Corps Registered Nurse during World War II. Frances later married Peter Abram Janzen, an immigrant from Ukraine, who had also served with the medical corps. We can assume that they met during their time in the service. Frances and Peter emigrated to Chicago, where Frances worked as an industrial nurse and Peter worked as an auto dealer. They had two children.