Benjamin
Middleton


 

BENJAMIN P. MIDDLETON, was appointed to the Camden Fire Department  in May of 1874 to replace John Vanstavern as an extra man with the Hook and Ladder Company, known in more recent times as Ladder Company 1. He served until April of 1876, when he was not re-appointed due to a change in politics in the leadership of the Fire Department.

Benjamin P. Middleton was born in Camden, New Jersey on October 3, 1851 to Benjamin A. Middleton and the former Rebecca Lock. The family was living in Camden's North Ward when the 1850 Census was taken, and included three children, Elwood, 14; Mary, 11; and William, 5. 

The Middleton family, which then consisted of Benjamin and Rebecca Middleton and their two youngest children, William and Benjamin P., was living in Camden's North Ward when the census was taken in 1860. The 1870 Census shows the elder Middleton working as a slip tender at one of Camden's ferries, while young Benjamin was an apprentice iron moulder. 

After leaving the fire department in 1876, Benjamin P. Middleton served as one of Camden's constables. He was in that position in 1878, when he lived at 812 Kimber Street, and in 1879, when he was residing at 827 Carpenter Street

The 1880 Census lists Benjamin P. Middleton at 311 Benson Street with his wife Leonora and a son Edward. Fellow Camden firefighter Edward Dodamead was then boarding with Benjamin Middleton. He had returned to familiar surroundings by 1883, when, according to the City Directory, he was living at 835 Carpenter Street and worked as a carpenter. 

The 1884-1885 City Directory shows that Benjamin P. Middleton he had moved at 613 Pearl Street, and had found work as a moulder. The 1885-1886 Directory shows Benjamin Middleton at the same address, working as a shipper for Henry Fredericks. Benjamin Middleton also returned to the fire department in 1884, serving as an extra man with Engine Company 1. He was reassigned to the Hook and Ladder Company the following year, and served until 1887, after which he had a long career as a member of Camden's police department, interrupted on occasion by the political process, as in those times a change in power politically would signal wholesale changes on the police force and to a lesser extent in the fire department. 

City Directories disclose the following information. By the time the 1887-1888 Directory was being compiled, Benjamin P. Middleton had joined the police force. He was living at 329 North 9th Street, where he remained through 1890.

Sadly, Leonora Middleton passed away in 1893.

Benjamin P. Middleton is listed at 1019 Penn Street in 1894, 812 Linden Street in 1895, 215 North 10th Street in 1896, 1124 Cooper Street in 1897 and 1898, and in 1999 he was living at 121 North 10th Street. The 1900 Census shows Benjamin P. Middleton and his son Edward boarding in the same neighborhood at 121 North 10th Street, the home of Mary Rudolph. The 1906 City Directory lists Benjamin P. Middleton, policeman, at 929 Carpenter Street. He was still boarding with Mary Rudolph in 1910, at 223 North 10th Street. The apparently married not long afterwards.

On February 26, 1912 veteran police officers George Horner, William Harvey, and Benjamin P. Middleton retired from active service with the Camden Police Department.

The 1914 City Directory shows Benjamin P. Middleton, a watchman, married Mary, at 14 Stewart Avenue in East Camden. The 1918-1919 City Directory shows the couple had moved to a home a few blocks away at 31 North 25th Street. The 1920 Census has Benjamin P. and Mary Middleton living at 559 Haddon Avenue. He was then employed as "Chief of the yard" at the Camden Iron Works. Not long after wards he retired to North Wildwood, New Jersey with his wife and step-son Howard. They were living at 915 New York Avenue in North Wildwood when the census was taken in April of 1930. 

Benjamin P. Middleton passed away on June 17, 1930. 


Philadelphia Inquirer - June 2, 1893


Edward Cooper - Samuel Bakley - William H. Butts
Harry Mines - William Whalen - George Cooper
Casper Hart
- Benjamin Middleton - Louis Heffer
Rufus Bright -Thomas Smith - William Lightcap


Harrisburg, Pennsyvania Patriot - March 4, 1892

...continued...

...continued...

Benjamin Middleton - Thomas S. Mason - Ray Street - Nellie Walker - Henry Schulke
David Oesterholt - Benson Street - George W. Miles


Philadelphia Inquirer - June 7, 1893

Harry B. Paul - Edward Cooper - Samuel Bakley - William H. Butts - Harry Mines
Isaac McKinley
- John Pratt - James O. Weaver - Samuel Paul - William D. Comley
Casper Hart
- Benjamin Middleton - Jacob Woodsides - O. Glen Stackhouse
Frank Matlack - John Dall - James Rutledge - Edward Richardson - Harry L. Duffee Michael Bradley - John E. Dunn - Thomas Murphy - John Logan - William Orcutt
Patrick Clark - Joseph Sloan - Amer Green


Philadelphia Inquirer - July 22, 1898
Benjamin Middleton - John Anderson - Thomas Brothers - William Butts
Alfred Hayden - Edward Cooper - Richard Golden


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