(John) Travis Dean 1880-1954

John Travis Dean ~1910

My grandfather, (John) Travis Dean, was born in the small English village of Stapleford a couple of miles south of Cambridge November 15, 1880 the son of Peter Dean, Jr. & Emma Goodwin

As a teenager,  he worked for Lord Osborne as a carpenter at Hornby Castle, where his father Peter was head gardener.

And it is here where he met his future wife Agnes Brodie who was the nurse to the Osborne children.

Travis, listed as a caprenter, age 26, left Glascow April 19, 1907 for Montreal on board the Corinthian II, following Agnes who had left the previous year.

They were married on May 13th the following year, 1908 at St. Mary’s (Anglican), Dovercourt[1], Toronto.

In the next year or so, the remainder of the family — his parents (Peter Dean Jr. and Emma Goodwin) and brothers and sisters (Kate, Ernest, Naomi, Frank , Mable & Lilly May) all immigrated to Toronto.

In 1911 the family rented a house on what is now Lowther Ave, very near Upper Canada College in Deer Park (Yonge and St. Clair).

Travis began his career building houses at 65 St. Clair E. in 1910 where he, his family and his parents and siblings lived for several years. He built several other houses in North Toronto.

By 1914, opportunities for building became scarce. Travis decided to return to the UK to look for work. He ended up building submarines for the British Navy in Grennoch, Scotland.

Agnes and their children Dorothy 4, Jack 2, and Marge 2 weeks old returned across the Atlantic. While at sea, World War I broke out.

The family was trapped in Scotland for the duration.

In January 1919, they were able to return to Toronto on a Troop ship.

Recently, my aunt Dorothy wrote the story of their sojourn in Scotland.

He died Sep. 17. 1954 aged 74 and is buried in Westminster Cemetery, Bathurst St. north of Finch (just north of the Jewish cemetery).  Block J, Section 303, Lot 1[2]


[1] St. Mary the Virgin Church on Westmoreland Avenue in the area now known as Dovercourt Village

[2] Dianne e-mail Jul 26, 2010

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