Historical Plaque Properties


Robert McDonald -Superintendent - Mooney Biscuit & Candy Co.
166 Brunswick Street
Stratford, ON

The two storey yellow brick house at 166 Brunswick Street was built in 1910 by builder William Schenck.  The first occupants of the house were Robert M. McDonald, his wife Mary Emily, known as Emily, and their son Harold Roberts.

Robert (July 1874) and Emily (December 1875) were both born in Canada. Emily was born in Stratford and was the daughter of James Roberts, an engine driver for the railway, and his wife, Elizabeth Edgar. Robert and Emily moved to San Diego, California in 1898.  They were married in 1900 and Harold was born in 1901 in San Diego.  In the 1900 United States Census Robert was listed as a grocer salesman. 

The family moved back to Canada in 1905 and lived on Cobourg Street.  The 1911 Canadian Census had them living at 166 Brunswick Street in Stratford.  Robert was a superintendent at Mooney Biscuit & Candy Company, which was owned by William James Mooney.  The building at 245 Downie Street, where Mooney’s was located, was built in 1903.  By 1914 they were producing up to six tons of product daily and had a fleet of boxcars which loaded directly to the Grand Trunk Railway spur line alongside the building.  They employed over 200 employees and made such treats as stolen kisses, horehound sticks, linseed lozenges, and cream soda tins to name a few. 
The date of registry, May 23, 1914 for 166 Brunswick listed Mary E McDonald as sole owner of the house.  There is no known information about Robert’s leaving or death.  By the 1921 Census, Harold was living at 164 Downie Street, as a lodger working and was a bookkeeper for a lock repair shop.   Harold returned to live in the United States where in 1940, he married Ella O’Brien in Davenport, Iowa. He died on December 31, 1969 in Cook, Illinois and was buried in Albion, Calhoun, Michigan where his mother was buried. 

Mary Emily moved to the States and according to the 1930 US census for Albion, Calhoun, Michigan, she had married Frank Wesley Culver, a widower with seven children. He was an insurance salesman, and Mayor of Albion from 1925-1930.  Frank died in 1942. Mary Emily died five years later on January 12, 1947 and was buried in the Albion Cemetery. 
The next tenant of the house was Adolph Leipold. In the 1915 Stratford City directory he was the owner/manager of Stratford Davenport Co. at 552 Ontario Street.  He applied and received a US and Canada patent #CA166218A for the” Davenport” on November 23, 1915.  The Davenport is described as seating furniture changeable to a bed by tilting or pivoting the back rest or cushion.  He was born in 1882 in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Stratford to open the factory. He was living at the Queens Hotel with his wife, Mary Katherine, who gave birth to their daughter Alice Katherine at the hotel on March 11, 1915 before moving into the house.  The factory was moved to Norfolk Street in 1916 and closed by 1917. Adolph and his family returned to the United States where he died in Arizona in 1969.