On this day in 1919 the Town Council of Deseronto discussed a letter they had received from Miss Margaret S. Stoddart:

Minute about Miss Stoddart's dog

 

Miss Margaret S. Stoddart – stating that her dog died twenty four hours after she had paid her dog tax, and asking the Council to refund the Amount of the tax.

Moved by the Reeve, seconded by Coun. Burns that the Treasurer be instructed to return to her the Amount she paid for dog tax on her returning the tag. Carried.

Margaret Sheldon Stoddart was born in Toronto on June 8th, 1871, the daughter of two Scots: William Stoddart, a tailor, and Margaret (née Home). The family were living in Deseronto by 1891. Henry Osborne took a photograph of their house at 187 St. George Street, to the north of the Presbyterian Church in around 1895:

William Stoddart's house

The house is still there today (although the trees are a bit bigger!):

Google Streetview image of St. George Street house

In 1896 William placed an advertisement in the Deseronto Library Catalogue for his tailor’s shop on Main Street:

Advertisement for Stoddart's tailor shop

Margaret Stoddart senior died in December 1901. This photograph of William in his ‘Sons of Scotland’ regalia was taken in about 1903. He died in August 1906.
William Stoddart

At the time of the 1911 census Margaret Sheldon Stoddart was living in the St. George Street house with her brother, William (also a tailor), and his children, Bruce and Nora, who were described as ‘lodgers’. The children’s mother, Frances, had died in July 1906 in Kemptville. During the First World War Margaret acted as a chaperone in the dances put on for the airmen who were learning to fly at the local Royal Flying Corps camps.1 In 1921 William was no longer living in the Stoddart’s house and Bruce and Nora were described as ‘son’ and ‘daughter’ in relation to Margaret, perhaps suggesting that she had adopted them. Nora later married Harold McMurrich Rathbun.

Margaret Stoddart died in 1947 and was buried in Deseronto Cemetery in plot 19I. History does not however record where her dog was laid to rest!


1. C.W. Hunt Dancing in the Sky (2009) p.137

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