Historical Plaque Properties


Thomas Tobin - Bailiff
167 Cobourg Street
Stratford, ON

Thomas Tobin was born on the 12th of October, 1824 in Kilcullen Bridge, County Kildare, Ireland. He was the son of John Tobin, Labourer.

The registers for the parish church of Nathlock in the District of Fermoy, County Cork show that on November 21, 1849, Thomas Tobin, late of the Police Service, Rock Mills, married Bridget Pickford of Rock Mills, daughter of Charles Pickford who was a Weaver.

Census data suggest that Thomas and Bridget left for America in 1850 as part of the migration from Ireland during the potato famine. The family spent a year in New York, then emigrated to Toronto for three years and then to Huron County. Documentation verifies that they settled in Stratford in 1856. The 1861 census records that they lived in a two storey brick house with their children Mary, Sarah and Thomas and six members of the Pickford family which included Bridget’s sisters, brother and his wife and children. It looks as though Thomas and Bridget’s home was a stopping point for her family until they settled elsewhere.

In the same census, Thomas’ occupation is recorded as Bailiff for the District Court, which is not a far stretch from his days with the Police Service in Ireland. He held the Bailiff’s position until he retired.

By 1871, Thomas and Bridget’s family grew to include Charles and William. On August 18, 1872 they faced the tragic death of their 17 year old daughter Mary.

Thomas’ occupation provided him with a stable income. Consequently, in 1873, he purchased property from the Canada Lands Company on Cobourg Street and in 1876 built the house at 167 Cobourg.

Bridget Tobin died on Thursday, November 15, 1900 and is buried in the old Roman Catholic Cemetery, Ellice.

After his wife’s death, Thomas went to live with his daughter Sarah, who had married Charles Stock in 1876. Always noted for his good physical condition, Thomas attributed his health to taking the “pledge” as a young lad in Ireland before the celebrated temperance advocate Father Matthew.
Thomas Tobin died at his daughter’s home in Toronto on December 20, 1907. He also is buried in the old Roman Catholic Cemetery, Ellice.