Col. McCulloch, father of James, was the first reeve of the Village of Stratford and one of the first Mayors of the Town. Known as the richest man in Stratford, he was a large landowner and a pioneer developer. James took his work as town councilor seriously and became mayor of the town in 1871 and 1872.He was only 35 but his health was already beginning to fail and he died in 1878 at the relatively young age of 42. His name survives today as one of the oldest streets north of the river.
One of the main distinguishing features is the large residential estate at 45 James St. One of the largest residential properties surviving in Stratford, it was originally the private domain of John Idington Q.C who built the house in 1873 and later became a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Following Judge Idington's departure, his large Italianate villa situated deep in spacious grounds, surrounded by large trees and spacious lawns sloping down to Idington Creek, became the site of Ancrum Brae, a private hospital for the treatment of nervous disorders.
James McCulloch's father, Col W.F. McCullock was the original owner of the property which he bought from the Canada Company and was said to be the Canada Company’s largest purchaser of land in Stratford. W. F. McCullogh was the original owner of the property which he bought from the Canada Company, Col. McCulloch was said to have been the Canada Company's largest purchaser of land in Stratford. By: Stanford Dingman : Picture, Stratford-Perth Archives