Herbert Fox married his first wife, Alberta Manurvia Strowbridge in 1903.

Alberta was born on May 8th, 1882, the youngest of three children of a farming family in Canboro, not far from Dunnville.  Her parents were Job Strowbridge and Cecelia Chadburn (married October 2, 1871.  Their other children were George Arthur (September 8th, 1873) and Coral (September 3rd, 1878).

Job Strobridge Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826-1937 / Jennie Goral Strowbridge in the Ontario, Canada Births, 1858-1913

From the Canadian County Atlas Digital Project:  Full record for Strowbridge, Job

Last Name Strowbridge
First Name Job
Post Office Canboro
Township Canborough
County Haldimand
Atlas Date 1879
Concession and Lot Lot size
II, 16 75

Celebrations and tragedies marked the turn of the century for the Strowbridge family.

On January 1st, 1891 Job passed away at age 48, cause unknown.  The family left Canboro and by April of that year, 35-year-old Cecelia was living on 13 Oak Ave. in Hamilton with her children.  The census shows that she was employed as a tailoress, her son Arthur, 17 was a stableman, and her two daughters, Coral and 'Bertie', are 12 and 8 years old respectively. 1.  Cecelia married again the following year on February 27, 1892 to farmer Albert Warner (1842 - 1928).  Alberta was the only child who moved with Cecelia and Albert to live at his residence on Mill street in Delhi, Ontario.  2.  On October 8th, 1895 in Hamilton, Coral Strowbridge was married to Alfred Potter (1872 - 1938), a 23-year-old tinsmith.  Tragically, Coral became ill and passed away just months after her nuptials. 3. 

From the 1896 Hamilton Specator Archives:

POTTER - Suddenly at the city hospital, on March 17, Coral, beloved wife of A. Potter, aged 18 years. Funeral on Wednesday, March 18, at 10 a.m. Private.


Mrs Coral Potter, wife of A. Potter, 282 Ferguson avenue north, died at the city hospital early this morning. The circumstances of her sickness and death are sad. She was only 18 years old, and had been married only a few months. A few days ago she caught diphtheria, and the shock of this brought other complications. Death resulted from the diphtheria attack. Mrs. Potter’s maiden name was Strowbridge.

1. Job Strowbridge Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1947 / Cecelia Strowbridge, 1891 Census of Canada,  2. Cecilia Strowbridge Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826-1937, 1901 Census of Canada, 3. Walter Potter, Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826-1937

Arthur, now working as a Presser, married Ida Selena Carpenter (parents are Bethany and Jehue Carpenter) on June 6th, 1900 in Wentworth, Ontario.

George Arthur Strowbridge in the Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826-1937

This backyard setting must have been close to Main Street - on the right in the background is the roofline of the Mountain View Hotel.

How Alberta and Herbert met and fell in love isn't known.  A link can be drawn that they might have met at school when in 1891 Alberta briefly stayed in Hamilton at age 8 and Herbert was 12 - her house on Oak street was 3 blocks from Herbert's on William Street (cross-referenced with the fact that Herbert's younger brother Buds was born in the William Street house in 1891).  By chance they could have also been friends with 10-year-old Eliza who lived one street over from Oak on Emerald.  Both Eliza and Alberta's mothers were seamstresses and might have known each other in close circles.  The environmental proximity to each other as children begs the question why Eliza returned from New York to marry Herbert in 1906 - had she already been romantically connected to Herbert before Alberta became his main interest?

June 24th, 1903 saw the marriage of Herbert, who was 26 at the time, to Alberta , 21 years, in Norfolk, Ontario.  Sadly Alberta experienced the same fate as her sister Coral, and four months later in the early morning of October 11th, she passed away from a six month-long battle with tuberculosis.

Alberta Manurviax Strowbridge Fox, Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1947

Click on the thumbnails to open the pictures in full.

Herbert remained in contact with Cecelia after he remarried, and would take Eliza and their four children to visit her at her home in Delhi.  The Fox children never knew about Alberta's existence until after Herbert had passed away in 1969, leaving them to puzzle together their father's first short union from a trail of documents he had left.  All the same, Dorothy could recall the visits to Cecelia in Delhi as a child, and she recounted the singular detail of Herbert habitually taking leave from the kitchen for a little rest on the sofa in the adjoining parlour, leaving Eliza and the kids to visit Cecelia with freshly brewed tea and cookies.  The parlour was distinctively arranged - across from the sofa facing Herbert as he lay for a 'snooze' hung a painted portrait of the beautiful young Alberta.

Cecelia passed away June 1, 1935 and was buried in the Delhi cemetery.  She was a widow, and had outlived all her children (Arthur passed away at age 58 on June 27, 1932).  In her Will, Cecelia left most of her possessions and $200.00 to each of her step-grandchildren (the Dockstaders of Niagara), and $200.00 to Herbert as well.

Her last wish was to erect small headstones on the graves of Arthur and Coral who were buried in the Hamilton Cemetery with the inscription:  In the Remembrance of Mother.  Arthur Strowbridge/Mrs. Coral Strowbridge Potter.  Born (their birth dates).