When J.H. Smart, with his partner Dr. S.A. King, divided the 44 acres on the east side of Division Street South into building lots, he left himself over 3 acres surrounding his house. Construction of Smart’s 2 1/2 storey home, made of “white brick” and building stone from Pelee Island, took two years and was completed in 1880. Seventy years later, the house was owned by Donald Taggart and was home to four families consisting of seventeen people. In February 1950, the house was destroyed by fire, started by outdated gas heating. Within two weeks of the fire, Taggart purchased a house on Chestnut Street and moved it in front of his ruined home. The house was purchased by Ewald and Frieda Erdmann in 1953, shortly after their immigration from Poland.
The schooner Active brought a load of building stone from Pelee Island, for JH Smart, on Saturday, the 13th.
Amherstburg Echo, April 26, 1878 p.6
Work on Mr. Smart’s residence is being rapidly pushed forward. There are 12 men working on it at the present time, two from Windsor, five from Detroit, and the remainder from Kingsville.
Amherstburg Echo, August 27, 1880 p.6
J.H. Smart dies at Bronte
James Haley Smart first Reeve of Kingsville and a resident of the town for 60 years, died in Bronte, 20 miles from Toronto last Friday after a lengthy illness. He was 93.
He first came to Kingsville in 1870 and bought out the general store business of James King, Jr. In 1872 he was appointed postmaster and was later magistrate of the town and police magistrate. In the year 1877 he built on the corner of Main and Division streets a large brick store, three stories high which he ran for years.
When Kingsville was incorporated he became its first reeve, remaining in that office for eight years. After many years as postmaster he was succeeded by E.A. Brown.
Mr. Smart operated a private bank in his store building as well as in the post office. He discontinued his banking work as well as the post office, sold out his store and entered the commission business handling all kinds of farm produce, until age led him to retire.
Mr. Smart was twice married, and both wives predeceased him. He leaves two daughters, Mrs. Fred DeJean, of Bronte, and Mrs. Morley Williams, Ottawa.
The Kingsville Reporter, April 21, 1938 p.5
SPECTACULAR BLAZE LEAVES 17 HOMELESS
Four families consisting of 17 persons were left homeless when fire late Saturday night completely gutted the house owned by Donald Taggart on Division Street South.
The Kingsville Reporter, March 2, 1950 p.2
Don Taggart has begun work on his new home, on the lot just in front of his former home, having purchased the home formerly occupied by Clive Waterworth and family, now of Leamington.
The Kingsville Reporter, March 9, 1950 p.3