John
W.
Streeper


 

JOHN W. STREEPER was born in Pennsylvania on July 31, 1845 to William Streeper and his wife, the former Mary Ann Woolman. The 1850 Census shows that the family moved to New jersey shortly after his birth, and that by 1850 were living in what was then Newton Township. The 1860 Census shows the Streeper family living in Newton Township, and being served by the Haddonfield post office. Newton Township in those times was quite large, and it is likely that the Streepers were living inside the present boundaries of Camden or nearby. At the time of the Census there were eight children at home between the ages of 20 and eight months, John W. Streeper being the third oldest. William Streeper was a shoemaker by trade. Two doors away from the Streepers lived a widow, Elizabeth Edwards and her sons Henry and John C. Edwards. Both John W. Streeper and John C. Edwards would serve as members of the Camden Fire Department as adults. 

John W. Streeper enlisted as a private in Company H of the Fourth New Jersey Infantry Regiment on February 1, 1864. The Fourth New Jersey went into service in 1861 as a three-years' enlistment regiment and had seen considerable service in 1862. During 1863 the regiment was on provost duty in and about Washington. The regiment was back in the line again in time for the spring campaign of 1864. At the battle of the Wilderness the First, Fourth and Tenth regiments, lying on the left, were several times attacked with great ferocity by the Confederates, but at nightfall still held substantially the ground occupied by them in the morning--a heavy assault by the Confederate General Gordon just at dusk being repulsed with heroic Gallantry. Among the wounded in that engagement was Lieutenant Colonel Van Syckel of the Fourth. At the battle of Spottsylvania the regiment participated in the charge upon the "bloody angle," winning its share of the glory and sustaining its share of  casualties. During the first eleven days of Grant's campaign against Richmond the regiment lost 26 killed, 126 wounded and 42 missing. The 4th fought at the North Anna river, Hanover Court House, Totopotomoy Creek, Cold Harbor, Weldon Railroad, Snicker's Gap, Strasburg, Winchester and Charlestown. At the battle of the Opequan the Fourth was with the troops that pressed forward, swept up the opposite hill and forced back the Confederate line, obtaining permanent possession of the hill 
and holding it, though constantly exposed to a fire which inflicted severe loss, the 4th having 2 killed, 18 wounded and 1 missing. At Fisher's Hill a private of the Fourth named Beach compelled a Confederate lieutenant-colonel to surrender his sword, and there were other instances of daring no less noteworthy. After Lee's surrender the regiment was assigned to what was known as the provisional corps, Army of the Potomac, until mustered out on July 9, 1865. The total strength of the 
regiment was 2,036, and it lost during service 29 by resignation, 319 by discharge, 83 by promotion, 81 by transfer, 257 by death, 372 by desertion, 3 by dismissal, 109 not accounted for, mustered out 783. 

Private Streeper mustered out of Company H, Fourth New Jersey Infantry at Bristol Pennsylvania on June 28, 1865. Several other Fourth Infantry veterans later served with the Camden Fire Department and others played significant roles in Camden in the ensuing years.

In April of 1866, John W. Streeper's sister Emma married Alfred Ivins. Both Streeper and Ivins, as well as William Gleason and Barton Lane, who both were married to Ivins' sisters, would serve with the Camden Fire Department in the 1870s. The 1870 Census indicates that John W. Streeper had married in during the previous decade, and that his wife Hannah had given birth to a daughter, Mary J. Streeper, two months prior to the census being taken on July 8. John W. Streeper was then working as an iron moulder, he also worked as an engineer, i.e., as an operator of steam powered equipment, in the 1870s.

On November 2, 1872 John W. Streeper was appointed as an extra men with the Camden Fire Department as a replacement for Theodore Verlander, who was dismissed on October 25 from service with the Hook & Ladder Company. He served with the Hook & Ladder Company until May of 1874 when he and nine other men were removed from service form the Fire Department. During these years, he and and brother firefighter John Vanstavern were next door neighbors, Vanstavern living at 647 John Street and John Streeper at 649. Three other Camden Fire Department members lived on John Street in those years, James M. Lane at 644 John Street, William Gleason at 646 John Street, and Isaac Randolph at 607. John Street was renamed Locust Street several years later. 

John Streeper moved to 515 Division Street prior to the compilation of the 1878 Camden City Directory and again prior to 1879's edition, this time to 225 Senate Street. He was working as an iron moulder in both years. The 1880 Census shows John Streeper and his family at 525 Spruce Street in what was then Camden's Sixth Ward. John W. Streeper was working as a planer in a sawmill. His daughter Mary J. Streeper had not survived, but the family had been blessed with two sons, William and Edward. In April of 1880 John Streeper's bond was accepted by Camden's City Council in order that he begin work as a constable in the Sixth Ward. 

John Streeper and his family lived at 525 Spruce Street into 1883, and he continued work as a city constable. Beginning in 1884 John Streeper began work as a member of Camden's police department. The family resided at 530 Division Street from 1884 through 1887, then moved to 526 Division Street, where they resided through 1894. The 1894 City Directory indicates that John Streeper had left the Camden Police Department. By 1896 he had moved to 332 Clinton Street was living with his sister Emma and her husband, Alfred Ivins. John Streeper is listed in the 1896 Camden City Directory as a watchman, and as a "special officer" in the directories from 1897, 1898, and 1899.

When the 1900 Census was taken on June 11 of that year, John W. Streeper was by then a widower. He was still living with his sister Emma and her husband, Alfred Ivins, at 332 Clinton Street. John W. Streeper was not working when the Census was taken. He passed away on July 27, 1902 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Camden.


Philadelphia Inquirer - April 9, 1880

William Abels - Deborah Clark - James M. Cassady - Frank F. Michellon
George M. Thrasher - Elmer Barr - Lewis Hendrickson - H.H. Franks - T.F. Muckleson
P. Gallagher - John W. Streeper - William Fosman - Thomas Bunting

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 27, 1880

James M. Cassady - James W. Ayers - Elmer Barr
H.H. Franks - P. Gallagher - John W. Streeper -

Philadelphia Inquirer - December 21, 1882

Josiah Matlack - John W. Streeper
E.A. Stevens School - Horace Hammell - Sadie Hammell
Henry Hakeman - York Street - William Sheldon - William H. Shearman
Third Street Methodist Episcopal Church - Rev. Dr. J.B. Graw 

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 1, 1886
John W. Streeper - William Jones - Harry Miller - Thomas Walton - George Hunsinger
Pine Street - Abraham Bradshaw

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 14, 1887
Thomas Griffee

Philadelphia Inquirer
May 13, 1889

John W. Streeper
Tabernacle Baptist Church
Rev. Isaac Bagley
Lewis K. Robinson
Maggie Morris
Pine Street


Philadelphia Inquirer
July 28, 1890

John W. Streeper
South 2nd Street
Samuel Dodd
John Anderson
George W. Horner
Charles O. Pedrick
Samuel E. Lee
Officer Baker
William Parker
Maurice Hinchman
Charles Mead
Mabel Gray


Philadelphia Inquirer
July 28, 1890

John W. Streeper
Spruce Street
William Thomas aka William King
South 3rd Street


Philadelphia Inquirer - July 28, 1902






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