The cigar store Indian was created almost 170 years ago, sculpted out of a basswood tree that had been felled near Romeo Creek, where the first city hall would be built. He stands 4 1/2 feet tall, and was the artwork of Charles Textor, an Italian immigrant who had settled with his family in Stratford.
It is likely Mr. Textor's skills could have brought him a good living, but for settlers in those days life was difficult and there was little financial reward for any kind of work.
From 1856 to 1869, the Indian stood in front of John Scott's store, and later, when he moved his business to 33 Downie St., where the downtown branch of the Royal Bank is now, the Indian was placed in front of that store. During the First World War, the Indian was in front of the post office at 60 Ontario St., his hand. People put $100 in his powder horn in support of the war effort.
After the war, he went to the Stratford Historical Society, but he made a couple of public appearances, among them the celebration some special occasions with the Stratford Indians hockey team.
In 1966, he presided at the inaugural meeting of the Perth County Historical Foundation. Then it was back into a storeroom in the Stratford Public Library.
One of his moves resulted in a broken arm, which was healed by the ministrations of Doug Krempien, a skilled carpenter and woodworker, who had a shop behind the Galbraith dry goods store at 90 Erie St., next to Avon Knit (Stratford Textiles), and became a prop-maker for the Festival Theatre. Source: Brian Wendy Reis . . . FB