Historical Plaque Properties


Margaret I. Morgan - Daughter of SR Hesson
154 Cobourg Street
Stratford, ON

Margaret Isabelle Hesson was born on July 14, 1867. She was the daughter of Samuel Rollins Hesson and Margaret Jane Polley. Her mother, Margaret Polley, born in Toronto in 1831, was the daughter of John Polley, an iron founder, from New Brunswick and Abigail Curry from Ireland. The Polley family settled in Simcoe, Ontario where they raised their large family in which Margaret Jane was the oldest daughter.


Samuel Rollins Hesson, born in County Kildare, Ireland, was the son of John Hesson and Elizabeth Dunbar. In the 1851 Downie census, he is twenty-two, single and working as a clerk. By the 1861 census, Samuel had married Margaret Polley, moved to Ellice Township and is the father of three children. His occupation is described as a merchant and farmer. By the 1871 census, there are five children, including Margaret Isabelle, and the family has moved to Stratford where Samuel is a merchant. The family has a servant living with them as well as the children’s aunt, Mary Catharine Polley.


Margaret Isabelle would have lived an interesting and easy life as the daughter of Samuel Hesson. In 1875 he was Mayor of Stratford. From 1878 to 1891 he was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Perth North. In the 1880 Stratford City Directory the family is shown living at 136 Church Street. S.R. Hesson had a store at 14 Market Square where he was a dealer in dry goods, groceries and clothing. Later they moved to 111 Church Street.


On April 9, 1903, Margaret Isabelle Hesson married Greville Edwin Morgan. Greville Morgan also lived a privileged life. He was born in Bath, England in March of 1861, the son of Edward Morgan, a Commander in the Royal Navy, and Christina Murray. At the age of 10 Greville attended Trinity School in Kent while his family lived in Dover. Several servants including a cook and a housemaid lived with the family.


Margaret and Greville lived in Toronto East for a while where they were at the time of the 1911 census. Greville had emigrated from England about 1888. He went first to British Columbia and later Calgary. He moved to Stratford in the 1890s and operated the Princess Theatre which was situated on Ontario Street. Greville Morgan also conducted an art and handicraft shop a few stores east of the theatre.


A house at 154 Cobourg Street passed to Margaret Isabelle from her father in 1911. She continued to use the house as a rental property until 1917 when the original house was torn down and Margaret had the present house built on the site. Margaret and her husband lived in the house until 1920 when they moved to 145 Mornington Street.


The couple left Stratford and lived for a while in Toronto and St. Catharines before moving to Pennsylvania. Here, Greville died on February 5, 1935. 


Margaret returned to Stratford and followed her father’s interests being active in church and political organizations in Perth County. Margaret lived until March 1960. Her husband, Greville, had predeceased her by 25 years. They are both buried in Avondale Cemetery alongside an infant daughter.