DeMille Street

A shoe saleman

Manse at 166 Church St. Photo: Fred Gonder

DeMille Street is named for the Rev. Charles Wesley DeMille, minister of Central United Church which was once at 145 Erie St., just south of St. Patrick Street.

Rev. DeMille came to Central in 1923. two years before the founding of the United Church of Canada. During his stay Rev. DeMille lived at the church parsonage at 166 Church St. He left in 1934 for a United Church charge in Toronto.

Francis (Frank) Dunn Hamilton initially owned the house at 166 Church St. In 1883, he, in partnership with his brother Archibald, bought the store owned by John Way, another well-known Stratford boot and shoe merchant, at 53 Downie St. in the Meyers Block, on Downie Street near Market Place. They operated the store for 14 years before selling the business in 1897.

After the sale of his business in Stratford, Frank Hamilton and his wife Maggie (Myers) moved to Syracuse, N.Y., where he helped his brothers John and Donald set up a boot and shoe business.

Frank owned 166 Church St. at the time of his death in June 1898. Initially, his estate leased the property in 1899 as a residence for the American Consul in Stratford. A year later, it was leased and subsequently purchased by the Methodist Church (Canada) for use as a manse. The church owned the house until 1966. Source: Historic Plaque Properties