By Jill Passmore, Visitor Experience Co-ordinator
Ambrose Henry was the first child born to John Henry and Elizabeth Hait; he was the first grandchild. At the time of his birth, November 3, 1847, his father and mother were living in a 1 ½ storey frame home in Darlington Township.
Ambrose married Sarah Anne Tuer on January 14, 1869 in Bowmanville. In 1871, John and Sarah lived in Darlington Township and John farmed. They had two children during their marriage, Hortense, born in 1871, and Martia. It seems Martia was born in 1872 and possibly died in the same year.
By 1881, his father John is living with Ambrose and Sarah and acting as a land agent. Mary Tuer, Sarah’s mother, is also living with them and their daughter Hortense.
The 1891 Census lists them as being Methodist instead of Christian and living in East Whitby. Thomas Henry raised all of his children as Christians/Disciples of Christ, and Ambrose’s father, John continued this. It is unknown how they came about the decision to change denominations.
By 1901, Ambrose and Sarah’s parents who were living with them had both passed away. A woman named Edna Drinkle was listed as their servant and Ambrose was a merchant. In 1906, Ambrose was elected as Warden for Ontario Country.
In 1911, he worked at a local grocery; in 1921 he is recorded living at 66 Drew Street, Oshawa with his daughter Hortense and her husband John Herancourt.
Ambrose Henry died on May 26, 1929 of myocardia failure due to arteriosclerosis at the age of 81; he is buried in Union Cemetery near his parents. The following is Ambrose’s obituary from the Toronto Daily Star:
Pioneer is DeadToronto Daily Star, May 28, 1929
The death took place early to-day of Ambrose E. Henry, one of the most prominent citizens and pioneers of this district, at his home on Drew St. Mr. Henry was in his 82nd year and for more than half a century was connected with the Masonic order. He was born in 1848 on the Henry homestead at Oshawa-on-the-Lake, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Henry, and saw Oshawa grow from obscurity to its present position. He entered the grocery business, retiring twenty years ago to enter the employ of General Motors as foreman of stockrooms, and retired from that five years later.
To Mr. Henry is given credit for the building of the Masonic Temple here, and during his illness his suffering was mitigated by many tributes from local Masons. He was a grand steward of the Grand Lodge of Canada and in the Royal Arch Masons he was past grand superintendent of district number 10. Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, Rev. Ernest Harston officiating. Mrs. John Herancourt, a daughter, survives.