Silcox Place

Silcox Place is named for Dr. Sidney Silcox, principal of the Stratford Normal School

Sidney Silcox SNS principal 1909-1935

Photo from Hardly Normal by Dean Robinson, originally published in the Classic, the Normal School yearbook.

Silcox Place is named for Sidney Sheddon Silcox, B. A., D. Paed, the longest-serving principal at the Stratford Normal School (later Stratford Teachers' College) (see Water Street) almost from the time it opened in 1908 until his death in 1935.

Silcox was born in 1866 near Iona, Elgin County, and attended St. Thomas Collegiate as well as its model school. Alter teaching for two years, he attended the Toronto Normal School, then returned to St. Thomas where he was principal of the Myrtle Street school.

After another three years teaching, Silcox entered the University 0f Toronto, where he specialized in science. He graduated with first-class honours in 1893. He also won the Chapman prize in geology and the McMurrich medal in biology in his last year.

Silcox then taught at a number of secondary schools. In 1900, he became a public school inspector and principal of the model school in St. Thomas. Soon after, he was the science master at the Toronto Normal School.

At the end of 1900, he was transferred to the Hamilton Normal School. In 1903 he received his doctorate in pedagogy. He remained in Hamilton until his appointment in 1909 as replacement for Walter H. Elliott as principal of the Stratford Normal School, which had opened in the previous year.

Silcox had a love of Shakespearean drama and was involved with many Stratford Normal School productions. He was also a published writer, president of the Ontario Education Association, a fellow of the American Geographical Society, a fellow of the Royal Empire Society of London England, and vice-president of the Ontario Historical Society.

In Stratford, he was involved in a number 0f activities, including the Historical Society and the Stratford Country Club. He was an ardent golfer.

At the time of his death, he had been organizing the provincial convention of the Ontario Historical Society to be held al Stratford. It had to be postponed. He, with R. Thomas Orr, was the driving force behind the Huron Road celebrations in 1928 and other historical events in Stratford.

Sources: Dean Robinson's "Hardly Normal, The Stratford Normal School and Stratford Teacher's College 1908-1973" and Stratford-Perth Archives, Streets of Stratford, 2004. compiled by Gord Conroy

Memorial fountain honours Sidney Silcox

In 1958, a fountain in memory of Dr. Sidney Silcox was built in the Shakespearean Gardens. Photo Judy Robinson in Hardly Normal by Dean Robinson