Henry Palmer, alderman, humanitarian
Palmer Square is a short cul-de-sac running east off Glastonbury Drive. It was not part of the original Avalon subdivision but was added in 1953 and named for a former alderman, Henry Palmer. City council honoured Ald. Palmer for his years of service on council, 1939-1955.
Palmer was born near London, England, in 1874, and immigrated with his wife Elizabeth, and two sons, Henry and Alfred, to Canada in 1912. In Stratford he worked for the Stratford Manufacturing Co., from which he retired in 1932. He then turned his beekeeping hobby into a business.
As with many Stratford families, the Palmers lost sons in the First World War. For Pte. William Alfred Palmer (1897-1916), there is a memorial in the Woods Cemetery, Ypres (Leper), Belgium. Lieut. Henry Alfred Palmer (1890-1918) died less than two months before the end of the war. His name is on as memorial in the Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery, Sailly, Sailly-lez-Cambrai, France.
Ald. Palmer was known to take a special interest in the welfare of the less fortunate citizens of the community. For 15 of his years on council, he chaired the relief committee.
He, Ald. Joseph H. Rodgers Jr. and historian, R. Thomas Orr were the three-member committee which named the Avalon subdivision streets in 1946. In naming Palmer Square at a later date, council honoured a man dedicated to the helping others in community. Source: Streets of Stratford 2004 and Find a Grave. Compiled by Gord Conroy