JAMES LEWIS was according to the 1910 Census, born in Pennsylvania in 1871. His parents were both natives of New York state. He appears to have come to Camden after the 1900 Census was enumerated, settled in South Camden, and almost immediately became politically active. It is likely that he was appointed to the Fire Department and served for a short time in the late 1900s. James Lewis was serving with Engine Company 1 on March 15, 1909 and remained with that company until he resigned from the Fire Department on March 1, 1910. On April 3, 1910 James Lewis was appointed to the Camden Police Department, taking the place of T. Casper Hart, who died of injuries incurred in the line of duty when the patrol wagon he was in was struck by a streetcar. James Lewis was then living with his brother David at 329 Pine Street. David, then working as a house carpenter, was married, but was then separated from his wife.
The police and fire departments in Camden were both highly politicized environments in those times. In 1911 James Lewis was one of a number of Camden policemen and firemen convicted of election fraud. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, and returned to active service with the police department after his time in jail, as did many of the other men so sentenced, among whom were future chief of police John Golden and future Fire Department captain Martin Carrigan.
Neither brother is listed in the 1914 Camden City Directory, however. James Lewis is in the 1917-1918 Camden City Directory at 1423 Wildwood Avenue in Parkside. James Lewis appears in the 1919 City Directory, still working as a police officer, and apparently still unmarried. He was then staying at 425 Beckett Street. His brother David is not listed in the 1919 Directory, but by January of 1920 David Lewis had begun boarding with Camden Fire Department member George H. Hunt.
The 1924 and 1927 Directories both show James Lewis, policeman at 807 South 2nd Street. He appears to have been boarding with Mrs. Emma Gordon, who had inherited Gordon's Saloon & Livery from her husband, former city councilman Robert Gordon, upon his passing in 1914. Mrs. Gordon leased the bar to independent operators after Prohibition went into effect, and she moved to Haddon Township after the 1927 City Directory was compiled. Where James Lewis was and what he was doing after 1927 is uncertain. He does not appear in the 1929 City Directory or the 1930 Census, nor does the house at 807 South 2nd Street.
Camden Fire Department records from 1931 indicate that James Lewis was then boarding at 342 Line Street, the home of Camden Fire Department member George H. Hunt. His brother David Lewis was also still living at that address.
Neither James or David Lewis appear in the 1940 Camden City Directory. Both had most likely passed away.
|Philadelphia Inquirer - January 24, 1911|
G. Garrison - Frank
Ford Patterson Jr. - Charles Van Dyke Joline
Lawrence Doran - Samuel Flick - Isaac Shreve - Francis J. McAdams
James Smith - Thomas Noland - Abraham L. James - John Broome
Albert Shaw - James Lewis - John Golden - William C. Parker Daniel Woods
John H. Carroll - Harris D. Stow - Henry S.Scovel - Martin Carrigan
Aerie No. 5, Fraternal Order of Eagles
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