Historical Plaque Properties


James Kyle - Lumberman
130 Brunswick Street
Stratford, ON

James Kyle was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland in 1820. He was the fourth child in a family of eight born to John Kyle and Margaret Grieve. John, a farmer, died sometime before 1842. In that year, Margaret and her son, Andrew, and his wife, as well as Margaret’s other sons, William, James, and George and her daughter, Elizabeth, emigrated from Scotland to Canada. They settled in Brant County, near the village of St. George. Andrew began farming and his mother, Margaret, lived with his family. She died in 1867. James worked on the farm and around 1844, he married Isabella Smith.


Isabella was born in Scotland in 1824 and had emigrated with her family from there to the United States in 1837. The family made their way to Canada several years later and also settled near St. George. James and Isabella’s first child, Margaret, was born in St. George in 1846.


Information is scarce for the next few decades but, by 1866, James was listed in the Stratford City Directory as a merchant. By 1880, when he moved into 130 Brunswick Street, James was noted in the directory, and in the 1881 census, as a lumberman or lumber dealer. At the time, they had three of their children living with them: Margaret, Isabella, and Thomas. Two other children, Elizabeth and Robert, had died, at eight and six years old respectively, in 1861. Since they died at the same time, a likely cause was one of the communicable diseases that were deadly to children before vaccines.


James Kyle sold the house in 1884 to James Patterson, a machinist for the Grand Trunk Railway, and moved to Daly Avenue where he remained for the rest of his life. He became a livestock trader and later a grain merchant. Isabella was their only child to marry. She married A.H. Alexander who was a telegrapher at the time of their marriage and later the owner of a book and stationery store on Ontario Street. James died in 1906 and is buried in Avondale Cemetery with his wife, Isabella, who died in 1925. Their children, Elizabeth, Margaret, Robert, and Thomas are also buried with them.


James Patterson later became a milkman and then a teamster. Although Patterson owned the house for over ten years, he rented it out for most of that time. In 1903, he added the brick on the house to change it from the original frame building.


The fifth owners of the house, Robert William Murray and his wife Isabella Anderson, are the grandparents of the present owner. The Murrays’ only child, a daughter, Alice, and her husband were the next owners. Today, the house belongs to Alice’s youngest son and his wife.