Makins Street is named for John and James Makins, members of one of Perth County’s leading pioneer families and sons of William and Ann (Cardwell) Makins of North Easthope Township. Both sons made valuable contributions to the administration of justice in Ontario.
The elder, John A. Makins, was born in 1869 and became a successful farmer. He was reeve of North Easthope in 1915-1916, a position from which he resigned upon his moved to Stratford.
In 1919, he was appointed county magistrate and began a run 28 years, through his retirement in 1944. For 18 of those years, he was also a judge of the juvenile court. He was one of the few people outside the legal profession to attain that position. He continued to play an important role in the community and was a member of the Stratford General Hospital board for 25 years, its chair from 1925 to 1934.
James Cardwell Makins, the younger brother, was born at the Makins homestead in North Easthope Township in 1872. He received his elementary education at Brocksden school and then went to the Stratford Collegiate Institute. After entering Osgoode Hall at the University of Toronto, he read law with James P. Mabee of Stratford, who later became the commissioner of railways for Canada. He was was called to the bar in 1899, and in 1910 was created King's Counsel, the youngest KC in Ontario at the time.
He became a partner in the firm of Mabee and Makins, and while James Mabee was elevated to the bench, James Makins continued his practice in partnership with Walter Herbert Gregory, and later on his own until going overseas at the outbreak d the First World War. He served served as a major under the command of Col. D. M. Sutherland, a former Canadian minister of national defence. While on furlough leave in London, England, he attended court in the Old Bailey and as a KC of the Province of Ontario was accorded a seat at the solicitors' table during the famous treason Trial of Sir Roger Casement.