James
McCracken
Jr.


 

JAMES McCRACKEN JR. was appointed to the Camden Fire Department to serve as an extra man with Engine Company 1 on November 21, 1876 to fill the position of Frank Shaw. He was not reappointed in April of 1877 and was replaced by Robert Gilmore. James McCracken Jr. was reappointed April 5, 1882 replacing Samuel Subers. He served for two years and was replaced by Isaac Middleton in 1884. 

James McCracken was born in Maryland in November 1852 to James and Margaret McCracken. His father, a carpet weaver, brought his family first to Pennsylvania, where younger brother Charles was born around 1856. By 1860 the McCracken family had settled in Camden's South Ward. Besides older sister Mary the family included younger siblings Charles, Jeanette and Emilene. During the Civil War James McCracken Sr. served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Colorado

When the Census was taken in 1870 James McCracken was living with his parents and siblings. He had by then gone to work as iron moulder, a line of work that he would pursue for the rest of his working years, other than the time he was a member of the Fire Department.

As stated above, James McCracken Jr. was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in November of 1876. His sister Emeline married William Jobes in 1877, the young couple lived with her family. The 1878-1879 City Directory shows the McCracken family at 618 Pine Street, and that James McCracken Sr. had a carpet business at 294 Kaighn Avenue. By the time the Census was taken in 1880 the McCracken family had moved to 558 Pine Street.  

James McCracken married Sophia Schoch around 1882. The 1883-1884 Directory shows them at 346 Spruce Street and tells that James McCracken was working at the Gloucester Iron Works. He went to work at the Johnson and Holt Foundry in Camden the following year. The 1887-1888 Directory has the family at 346 Spruce Street. By the following year the McCrackens had moved to 348 Spruce Street, where they resided through 1900. By the time of the 1900 Census there were three children, William, Maggie, and Annie. Son Charles J. McCracken passed away on November 28, 1897.

James McCracken was assaulted in the street not long after the death of his son. Either from his injuries or for other reasons he began showing signs of serious mental illness in 1899. In 1901 he was committed to the Camden County Lunatic Asylum, where he died in 1903. His widow, Sophia, remarried around 1908.

Brother-in-law William Jobes was one of the three Camden Fire Department members who were killed in the Armory fire in 1906.


Philadelphia Inquirer * April 7, 1882

G. Rudolph Tenner
James McCracken
Daniel Bromley - John S. Kelly
Michael McCaffery
James H. Brown
Thomas McKenna
James Shinn - Smith Moore
William Irelan
William Bassett
John Hill - James Read
Robert Miller - William Marsh
George Moffett - John J. Logan
Isaac M. Shreve - Samuel Welsh
Lewis Ferrell - Logan Bates
Isaac Collings - Harry Miles
John W. Elliott - William Turner
Charles Holl - John J. Hibbs
John Seybold - James H. McCann
Edward Swope - William Suders


Philadelphia Inquirer * November 29, 1897


Philadelphia Inquirer * November 7, 1899


Philadelphia Inquirer * July 5, 1903


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