M. Baldwin was born in New York on March 29, 1842. He married in
February of 1866. His wife, Kate, was born and raised in England. A trained nurse,
she came to America in 1864. The Baldwins had one child, a son, Clifford
E. Baldwin, born in Camden in 1870.
M. Baldwin was active in a fraternal organization known as the Seven
Wise Men. Kearney Conclave, No. 1, Heptasophs (or
Seven Wise Men), was organized in Test's Hall,
October 15, 1869, when George P. Oliver, of
Maryland, Supreme Chancellor; Dr. G. Jennings,
Supreme Ephor, of Pennsylvania, and others, initiated and installed these members and officers: A.,
Harry H. Franks; C, S. C. Hankinson; Pro.,
Charles H. Cook; R. S., Theodore F. Higbee;
F. S., Charles M. Baldwin; T., D. W. Neall;
I. G., James E. Carter; H., Caleb H. Taylor; W.,
David B. Sparks; S., Wm. Acton; Wm. Higbee,
Wm. Darby, Henry Hollis, Frank Rawlings,
Samuel K. Batchelor, Isaiah Morton, John D.
Mahoney, Samuel Pine, George Parson, Benjamin
F. Richards, George W. Williams, Absalom
Dougherty, Henry Rhinehart, Wm. H. McKee,
S. R. Hankinson, John Laning, Richard Bozarth,
Alexander Simpson, Nathan Jacobs and William
Middleton. Edward S. Andrews,
who served with the Camden Fire Department in the 1870s, was also a
Reeser Prowell, in his History of Camden County, New Jersey, published
in 1886 wrote the follwoing; "The Conclave has paid out for benefits about seven thousand dollars. The
membership is ninety-seven, and the meetings are held in
Independence Hall. The officers are: A., J. A.
Ross ; Pro., John W. Lamb ; Pre., William A.
Rudderow ; I. G., J. S. Casto ; H., Frederick
Morschauser ; W., Joel H. Stowe ; R. S., Samuel
C. Hankinson ; F. S., George E. Boyer ; T., Daniel
W. Neall. George E. Boyer, of this Conclave, is
now the Supreme Chancellor of the order.
On September 2, 1869 City Council enacted a municipal
ordinance creating a paid fire department. It provided for the annual
appointment of five Fire Commissioners, one Chief Marshal (Chief of
and two Assistant Marshals. The City was also divided into two fire
districts. The boundary line ran east and west, starting at Bridge
Avenue and following the tracks of the Camden and Amboy Railroad to
the city limits. District 1 was south of this line and District 2 was
north. The commissioners also appointed the firemen who were
scheduled to work six 24 hour tours per week. William
Abels, from the
Weccacoe Hose Company No. 2 was appointed Chief Marshal with William
J. Mines, from the Independence Fire Company No. 3 as Assistant Marshal
for the 1st District, and William H. Shearman as the Assistant Marshal
for the 2nd District. Abels
had served with the volunteer fire
departments of Philadelphia, Mobile, Alabama and Camden for sixteen
years prior to his appointment as Chief of the paid force.
November 10, 1869 City Council purchased the Independence Firehouse,
the three-story brick building at 409 Pine
Street, for $4500. The
building was designated to serve as quarters for Engine Company 1
the 1st District. On October 29, 1869 City Council authorized
construction of a two-story brick building on the northwest corner of Fifth and
Streets as quarters for the 2nd District. On November
25th the Fire Commissioners signed a contract with M.N. Dubois in the
amount of $3100 to erect this structure. The 2nd District would share
these quarters with
Engine Company 2 and the Hook
& Ladder Company
and the facility would also serve as department headquarters
for the new paid force. The original contract remains part of the
Camden County Historical Society collection.
Engine Company 2 with 1869 Silsby Hose Cart. Photo Circa 1890. Note badges
upon derby hats worn by Fire Fighters.
Amoskeag second class, double pump, straight frame steam engines were
purchased at a cost of $4250 each. Two Silsby two wheel hose carts,
each of which carried 1000 feet of hose, were another $550 each and
the hook & ladder, built by Schanz and Brother of Philadelphia was
$900. Each engine company received a steam engine and hose cart.
Amoskeag serial #318 went to Engine Company 1, and serial #319 to
Engine Company 2. The Fire Commission also secured the services of the
Weccacoe and Independence steamers in case of fire prior to delivery
of the new apparatus. Alfred McCully of Camden made the harnesses for
the horses. Camden's Twoes & Jones made the overcoats for the new
firemen and a Mr. Morley, also of Camden, supplied the caps and belts
which were manufactured by the Migeod Company of Philadelphia. The new
members were also issued badges.
is the earliest known photo of fire headquarters on the northwest
corner of Fifth and
Streets. Originally built in 1869, the
building shows signs of wear some twenty years later. Note the
weathervane shaped like a fireman's speaking trumpet atop the tower.
Also, the fire alarm bell is pictured to the left of the telegraph
pole above the rooftop. The bell was removed from the building once
the fire alarm telegraph system was expanded and in good working
maker's plate once was attached to a harness made by A. McCully &
Sons, 22 Market Street, Camden, New Jersey. This firm provided the
first harnesses for the paid fire department in 1869.
worn by the marshals, engineers, stokers and engine drivers bore the
initial letter of their respective positions and their district
number. The tillerman and his driver used the number "3" to
accompany their initial letter. The extra men of the 1st District
were assigned badges 1-10; 2nd District badges were numbered 11-20 and
the extra men of the hook & ladder wore numbers 21-30.
the Fire Commission intended to begin operation of the paid department
on November 20, 1869, the companies did not actually enter service
until December 7th at 6 P.M. because the new apparatus and buildings
were not ready. The new apparatus was not tried (tested) until
new members of the paid force were:
first style of breast badge worn by members of the career department
in the City of Camden. 1869. (Courtesy of the C.C.H.S. Collection).
Board of Fire Commissioners consisted of Rudolphus Bingham, Chairman and
Samuel C. Harbert, Richard Perks, Jonathon Kirkbride and Jacob Daubman.
helmet of natural grain believed to have been worn by Fireman
Charles Baldwin, Hook
& Ladder Company 1 when paid force was organized in
1869. Number 21 at bottom of frontpiece indicates member's badge
number. (Courtesy of the Camden County Historical Society
salaries for the members of the paid force were: Chief Marshal, $800;
Assistant Marshal, $200; Engineer, $600; Driver, $450; Stoker, $450;
Tillerman, $450; Extra Men, $50. All but Extra Men were paid monthly.
long after Charles Baldwin was appointed to the Fire Department as an
extra man, he moved to the northwest corner of South 3rd and Mechanic
Streets, and opened up a grocery.
March 7, 1873 it was reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer that Charles
M. Baldwin had been nominated to run for the office of Constable of the
Fifth Ward by the local Democrats. He ran for office again as a Democrat
in November of 1873, for the office of Coroner. He was defeated in both
elections. He later changed his party affiliation to Republican and was
active in local politics in the 1890s and 1900s.
Charles Baldwin served with the Camden
Fire Department without interruption until May 7, 1874 when he was one
of ten firemen removed from service, six of whom were from the Hook
& Ladder Company. The removal may have been for political reasons,
as partisan politics played a great role in appointments to the police
and fire departments in those days, and Chief of the Fire Department was
an elective office.
1878 Charles Baldwin and his family had moved to 903 North 3rd Street in
North Camden. He worked as an "agent", and for a time as a
paperhanger. The 1880 Census shows
Charles M. Baldwin, wife Kate, and son Clifford J. Baldwin, then 10
years of age, at 903 North 3rd Street.
the mid-1883 the Baldwin family had moved to 524 South 3rd Street.
Charles Baldwin was then working as a conductor for the Pennsylvania
Railroad. He was still in that job in 1885, by which time he had moved
his family to 602 Spruce Street. He stayed with the railroad until about
the 1880s Charles M. Baldwin was a member of Gatling Gun Company B of
the New Jersey National Guard.
The 1895-1896 City Directory shows that
Charles M. Baldwin had gone into the real
estate business at 1023 Newton
Avenue and had also been elected Justice
of the Peace. He was still living at 602 Spruce Street when the 1906
City Directory was compiled, and had an office at 1023 Newton
where he conducted his business as the Justice of the Peace and alderman
in what was then the Sixth Ward.
March 6, 1907 Kate A. Baldwin passed away. Service were held at 602
Spruce Street, the she was laid to rest at Harleigh Cemetery.
1910 Census shows that Charles M. Baldwin had remarried. He was living
with his wife, Margaret and her three daughters, May, Maragaret, and
Alice Chamberlin, at 516 Cherry Street. The 1910-1911 Camden City
Directory also shows that Charles M. Baldwin had remarried and was
living with his wife Margaret at 516 Cherry Street. He was still Justice
of the Peace and a Commissioner of Deeds, working out of 1023 Newton
M. Baldwin passed away on March 12, 1913. The 1914 Camden
City Directory states that his widow, Mrs. Margaret Baldwin, was then
living at 320 Mickle Street. Clifford E. Baldwin was still living at 602
Spruce Street when he passed on July 2, 1937. Grandson Clifford A.
Baldwin Sr. had a long and distinguished career in Camden as a lawyer
and served as Camden County Prosecutor in 1930. .
his affiliation with the above-mentioned Seven Wise Men, Charles M.
Baldwin was also a member of Camden's Volunteer Fireman's Association,
the Legion of the Red Gross, the Knights of the Golden Eagle, the
Commercial Club, and the Sixth Ward Republican Club.