CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

299 KAIGHN AVENUE

A good friend of the website, Steve Ross, passed on the property records relating to the house his grandmother grew up in, 299 Kaighn Avenue, on the northwest corner of Kaighn and South 3rd Street. This page will connect several Kaighn Avenue families including the Silverman, Levin, and Ross clans. Steve has done extensive research and written at length about the Ross & Silverman family. These writings have formed the basis and for the four pages listed below

If you have any comments, corrections, or photographs that you would like me to add, PLEASE e-mail me. Like everything else on www.dvrbs.com, this page is a work in progress.

Phil Cohen
 Camden NJ
September 2003

299
Kaighn Avenue

1906-1955
Rochester Men's Clothing
aka
Rochester Formal Wear

Left: Owner Herman Levin standing in front of his store at the corner of Kaighn Avenue and South 3rd Street

Click on Image to Enlarge

 

1812-1870s

The lot where 299 Kaighn Avenue stood, on the northwest corner of South 3rd Street and Kaighn Avenue was part of the Kaighn family's lands, which they occupied many years prior to the Revolutionary War. In 1812 James Kaighn passed away and the land in question passed on to his daughter, Grace E. Kaighn.

"Being a part of the premises that were allotted to the said Grace E. Kaighn Commissioners appointed by the Orphans Court of the County of Gloucester to divide the real estate of her father James Kaighn 10/6/1812. Recorded in the Surrogates Office of Gloucester County at Woodbury in Book no. 1 of Divisions page 136&C."

The Kaighn lands were broken up and sold over the years. On September 2, 1874 Howard M. Cooper, who had been appointed administrator for the Grace E. Kaighn Estate, sold the land from South 3rd and Chestnut Street south across Sycamore Street to Kaighn Avenue to Randal E. Morgan. 299 Kaighn Avenue was part of this sale.

Howard M. Cooper, Administrator (for Grace E. Kaighn) To Randal E. Morgan 9/2/1874 Book 781 Page 417 Book 78/ Page 7 (sold land in the estate of Grace Kaighn for the payment of the debts of the estate. Also references land situated from 3rd & Chestnut through Sycamore St. to Kaighn Ave.)

Randal E. Morgan sold a tract of land including the 299 Kaighn Avenue lot in short order. On May 3, 1875 Nathaniel T. Horner acquired the property for $2400.

Land conveyed to N.T. Horner by Randal E. Morgan and wife 5/3/1875 $2400 Book 80/ Page 39

Nathaniel T. Horner in turn sold the land a few months at a profit to Henry B. Francis.

Nathaniel T. Horner and wife Joanna to Henry B. Francis 10/13/1875 $3800 (deed references a larger tract of land) Book 81/Page 521

 Henry B. Francis subdivided this large tract of land sold the 297 and 299 Kaighn Avenue lots prior to the end of 1875 to Conklin Raynor.

Henry B. Francis to Conklin Raynor 12/28/1875 $1050 Book 82/Page 429 (299 Kaighn Avenue)

Conklin Raynor appar to have built on both lots. He soon had rented 299 Kaighn to a physician, Dr. Henry H. Davis, who had a long and distinguished career in the city. The Henry H. Davis School in East Camden was named in his honor. Dr. Davis practiced medicine and conducted a drugstore at 299 Kaighn well into the 1880s. Conklin Raynor operated a tobacco shop at 297 Kaighn in the 1870s and 1880s. He also worked as a waterman on the river during the 1880s. Conklin Raynor, his wife Mary, and one of their many children, daughter Ella, were still living at 299 Kaighn Avenue as late as 1900. 

Conklin Raynor and family held on to the property until July of 1906, when Becky Silverman, whose husband Max had recently died in Florida, purchased the building. By this time a building with a store on the first floor and living quarters on the second had been built there. She founded the business that still exists today, 100 years later, as Rochester Formal Wear. 

Conklin Raynor to Becky Silverman 7/21/06 $3400 Book 308/Page 309

In 1919 Becky Silverman married for a second time, to Meyer London, who had been in the real estate business. Meyer and Becky London retained the property until 1928 when the deed was acquired by Herman and Fannie Silverman Levin. The Levin family operated the business at 299 Kaighn Avenue through the mid 1950s, when they relocated to a property on Route 38 near Strand Avenue in Pennsauken NJ.

Rebecca & Meyer London to Herman & Fannie Levin 4/17/28 Book 677/Page 207

*Prior to Camden County becoming a county in 1844, all deeds were recorded at Gloucester County's Woodbury site. 

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