William
Catna


 

WILLIAM CATNA is recorded as having served as an extra man with the Camden Fire Department's Hook & Ladder Company. He was appointed on April 8, 1876 replacing Benjamin Middleton. He served for one year, being replaced in turn by David D. Cooper in April of 1877. He is recorded as having worked as a teamster and at the time was living at 837 South 2nd Street. 

As to who William Catna was prior to joining the Fire Department and what became of him after he left is unclear, as no one with that name appears in Camden's City Directories or Censuses at that time or ever. A William Kanter appears in the 1880 Census in Camden, and there was a John W. Cotner who lived in Camden from the 1860s until 1909. William Kanter would have been about 22 when the appointment was made, however his occupation and where he was living in 1880 do not in any way line up with what was recorded for "William Catna". John W. Cotner would have been 47 ate the time of the appointment, and did live in South Camden, but always is recorded as working as a carpenter, i.e., he was too old and worked the wrong job to be the person in question. Although it is possible that "William Catna" was the same person as William Carter, who served with the Hook and Ladder Company of couple of years earlier, the name "William Catna" was entered in cursive handwriting, and a careful examination of the entry yields no other possible interpretation, i.e., whoever wrote the name "William Catna" thought he had the name correctly, and wrote it very clearly. As of this writing, in January of 2011, the identity of "William Catna" is a mystery.


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