Historical Plaque Properties


William Stovel - Fitter - Grand Trunk Railway
127 West Gore Street
Stratford, ON

The vacant lot- Lot 3, Plan 35 in the Shakespeare ward in Stratford, was owned by William Stovel in 1895 and valued at $175.  In 1896, the value of the increased to $1200, when the house was built on the lot. 

William Stovel was born on February 29, 1856(leap year) in Rockwood, Wellington County to father William Charles (1827-1906) and mother Sara Jane Edwards (1835-1868). He was the fourth William in his family.


He married Margaret “Maggie” Clark in 1880 in Wellington County.  Maggie was born in Stratford on January 24, 1861.  There first born daughter Nellie May was born on August 20, 1882 and died on September 7, 1882.  Daughters, Sarah Isabella born on January 20, 1884(died ?) and Gertrude “Gertie” Maude born May 26, 1886 (died July 22, 1955),  followed by an unnamed stillborn son on December 8, 1887, a son, Reginald Campbell on June 27, 1889(died June 20, 1979), daughter Lillian Olive on February 7, 1891 (died 1995). All these children were born in Guelph. Listed in the 1891 Census, they are living in Guelph.


By the time the next son, Garfield Everett was born on April 6, 1892, they are living in Stratford, Ontario.  Garfield was only a few months old when he died on July 26, 1892 and is buried in the Avondale Cemetery. Another  daughter, Beatrice Alice was born on April 11, 1894 and  died on July 29, 1894, is buried alongside her brother in Avondale Cemetery and finally son William David (5th) was born on April 26, 1900 (died January 1,1976).


In the assessment record of September 1899 the family of six were still living on West Gore Street, and William’s occupation was a fitter.  By the 1901 Census, the Stovel family is living on Mowat Street, in Stratford and William is listed as machinist at the Grand Trunk Railway.


They moved in 1902 to Calgary, Alberta as listed in William’s obituary:
“Since his arrival in 1902, he has been an employee of the Canadian Pacific Railway until he retired in 1926.  He has been very active in labour circles having been at one time president of the local Machinists Union and was probably it oldest member in Western Canada.”


William applied on October 23, 1908 to purchase land in Calgary, where he lived until his death on December 31, 1927 and is buried in Burnsland Cemetery in Calgary.  Maggie died on March 1, 1942 leaving behind three daughters, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.