Tag Archives: DeJean


Donald Taggart House (1950)

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Categories: 1950s, Tags: , , ,

141141 Division Street South

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 In February 1950, the house was destroyed by fire, started by outdated gas heating.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


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


Dr. W.J. McKenzie House (1904)

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Categories: 1900s, Tags: ,

20 Division Street South

When Dr. Jenner decided to move from Kingsville to Essex in 1896, he sold his practice to Dr. William J. McKenzie of White Birch, Wisconsin. Dr. McKenzie set up his office in the east side of the DeJean Block on Main St. W. and lived in the apartment upstairs. Florence Arnold was six years old when she lost her father. Florence, her sister Hattie and their mother came to Kingsville to live with her aunt and uncle, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Wigle.  Four months later, Florence’s mother died of “consumption” and the girls were raised by the Wigles. Florence was a teacher when she met Dr. McKenzie and they were married in 1903. Construction of this house began in April 1904 and the McKenzies moved in the week before Christmas. Dr. McKenzie worked and lived in this home until his death in 1943, Flossie having predeceased him in 1922.

Dr. Jenner has sold his practice here to Dr. Wm. J. McKenzie of White Birch, Wisconsin, formerly of Duluth. The latter is well and favorably known in and around Essex where he practiced a few years ago during his brother Dr. George McKenzie’s absence at the Post graduate school in New York. Kingsville is getting a good man to follow Dr. Jenner.

The Kingsville Reporter, April 10, 1896 p.5


The death of Mrs. McKenzie, wife of Dr. W.J. McKenzie, Kingsville, occurred at their home, Monday, Sept 18th. Mrs. McKenzie, who before her marriage, was Miss Florence Mildred Arnold, was born in St. Mary’s forty-two years ago. When she was six years of age, her father died, and her mother, with her two daughters Hattie and Florence, came to make their home with Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Wigle, Kingsville, Mrs. Wigle being Mrs. Arnold’s sister. Four months later, the mother passed away, leaving the girls a legacy of love to the uncle and aunt, from whom they received all the care and attention love and unselfishness could suggest. Mrs. McKenzie receiver (sic) her early education in the public school, Kingsville, and after four years in the High School, Essex, was graduated with a first-class certificate. After teaching two years in the public school, Essex, she was married in Nov. 1903. Since her marriage, she has lived constantly in Kingsville, and through the conscientious exercise of unusual gifts of heart and mind, has rendered a lasting service to a constantly increasing circle of friends. Her radiant personality and unselfish life leaves aching hearts among her many relatives and friends. She diffused cheer and happiness wherever she went, and her very life was given to those with whom she came in contact. When a girl, she joined the Methodist church and the funeral service was conducted at the house by her pastor, Rev. J.W. Hibbert. She was laid to rest in Greenhill cemetery, Wednesday afternoon.

The Essex Free Press, September 22, 1922 p.5

Will someone please tell Dr. McKenzie where he can borrow his wheelbarrow for a few days?

The Kingsville Reporter, September 22, 1926 p.5

Eyesight Specialist Opens Office In Town of Kingsville

A new professional practice will open in Kingsville next week when Mr. M.R. Gardner, registered optometrist and eyesight specialist, will open an office in the former Dr. McKenzie home on the corner of Division and Pearl Streets.
Mr. Gardner is installing modern equipment to enable him to give the finest eye examinations and prescribe the most accurate of prescriptions. He will also administer orthoptic or muscular treatments.
Mr. Gardner is fully equipped and prepared to make proper fittings and has on hand the latest in frames, including personality shell frames for the young lady.
Mr. Gardner will open his practice in Kingsville next Wednesday afternoon and will be in his office every Wednesday afternoon and all day Saturday thereafter. Appointments may be made any time by calling at his office or by phoning 149. He invites the people of Kingsville and district to consult him for diagnosis and repairs.
Mr. Gardner, who also has a thriving practice in Windsor, attended Wayne University, Detroit, for two years, and Assumption College, Windsor, for two years. He received his degree in optometry from the Ontario College of Optometry and the University of Toronto. He has been practicing in Windsor for the past three years.

The Essex County Reporter, June 1, 1944 p.1


Ellen DeJean House (1900)

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Categories: 1900s, Tags: ,

271 Division Street South

Ellen (Ormerod) DeJean moved to Kingsville from London with her husband, James, and their five children: Nellie, Gertrude, Marion, Frederick and James Jr. In 1891, James had built a residence on Division Street South and a two-storey brick building on Main Street West. Unfortunately James died two years later, but Ellen remained in Kingsville and even opened a “a fancy goods store in her block on west Main street.” By 1900 Ellen’s children had grown and moved away, so she built this small “cottage” on the south end of her property and sold her former home to George Henry. After Ellen’s death in 1907, the brick building was sold to Howard R. Scratch and Freeman Ford (Scratch & Ford Hardware) and the cottage to James and Emily Swenerton, of London.

The Late Mrs. DeJean

The death occurred on Wednesday evening, March 6th, at Victoria hospital, London, of Mrs. Ellen DeJean, widow of the late James F. DeJean, banker, at Kingsville, Ont. The deceased was in her sixty-first year, and had been ill since the first of Feb, pneumonia being the cause of death. She is survived by two sons and three daughters: Frederic, of London; Jas., of Detroit; Gertrude of Montreal; Mrs. H. Spence, London, and Marion, of Albany, N. Y.  Interment was made at Brantford, funeral private.

The Kingsville Reporter, March 7, 1907 p.4

Mr. J. Swenerton has finally closed the deal for the DeJean cottage at the lake. We are glad to received this genial gentleman and his wife as permanent citizens of our town.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 14, 1908 p.5

Mr. Jas. Swenerton, who has been ill for some time, died last night at his home here. There is no date fixed for the funeral. Interment will likely be made in Exeter.

The Kingsville Reporter, November 7, 1912 p.5

Mrs Swenerton of Division St has added greatly to the appearance of her cottage by having it painted; Ed. Anson and N.J. Smith doing the work.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 13, 1926 p.5


There will be put up for sale by public auction on Saturday, November 4th, at 2:30 p.m., the residence of the late Emily Swenerton, situated on the East side of Division Street South in the Town of Kingsville.

The Kingsville Reporter, October 26, 1944 p.6


James F. DeJean House (1891)

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Categories: 1890s, Tags: , ,

267 Division Street South

James F. DeJean was born in 1841 in British Guiana on the northern coast of South America. After being in “the service of Her Majesty in the tropical climate of India for 15 years” and enduring “the hardships of a sailor’s life on the Mediterranean for five years” DeJean emigrated to Canada, married Ellen Ormerod of Brantford and settled in London, Ontario working for Molson’s Bank. As a summer vacationer to Kingsville, DeJean purchased property on Division Street South in 1887 and had a summer cottage built in 1889. Two years later, DeJean decided to move to Kingsville permanently to open up a private bank. He purchased property on Main Street West, constructed a 2-storey brick building, moved his cottage to Chestnut street and had this “handsome residence” built, all in the spring and summer of 1891. Unfortunately, DeJean’s health began to fail shortly afterwards and he died in April 1893. Ellen remained in this home until 1899, raising her children (Nellie, Gertrude, Marion, Frederick and James) and running a “fancy goods and notions” store in the DeJean Block on Main Street West.

Mr. DeJean, of London, will build a handsome new residence on his lot on Division street. The building which is situated on the site where the new one is to be, will be moved on to Chestnut street where it will be to rent. The work of excavation for Mr. Dejean’s new block of stores was commenced last week. The building will be two stories, 38 x 45 feet, and will cost $3,000. The stores will be fitted for a banking office and drug store.

Amherstburg Echo, April 17, 1891 p.6

The Masonic lodge, of which the late J.F. DeJean was a member, was in attendance at his funeral and marched with the corpse to the Greenhill cemetery where the interment was made. Deceased was 52 years old and was born in British Guiana.

Amherstburg Echo, April 14, 1893 p.6

Mr. Fred DeJean has secured a situation as clerk in Molson’s Bank here. We feel assured that if honesty and integrity count for anything Fred will get to the front in time.

The Kingsville Reporter, August 24, 1899 p.5

Mrs. Fowler of Detroit, is preparing to move into her new residence at the lake, formerly the Mrs. DeJean property. She has had the house repaired and refurnished. It is finished throughout with ingrain paper. The effect is terra cotta and old gold, which is pleasing and rich in appearance. The work was done under the supervision of S.L. McKay.

The Kingsville Reporter, November 23, 1899 p.5

A musical of an unusually artistic order was given last Thursday evening at the residence of Mrs. W.J. Fowler, Division st. Each number was charmingly rendered and greatly appreciated. The participants were Mrs. George W. Henry, pianist; Miss E.M. Fowler, contralto; Mrs. Westcott, contralto; assisted by Julius V. Seyler, pianist and Alfred Hofman, cellist, two distinguished musicians from Detroit. The evening was one which will be long remembered by the few friends entertained in honor of Mrs. Seyler, Miss Seyler and Mr. Seyler, Mrs. Fowler’s guests from Detroit.

The Kingsville Reporter, August 15, 1901 p.4