Benjamin
Braker


 

BENJAMIN BRAKER was a well known figure in South Jersey for over 50 years, until his passing in December 1905 as a journalist and politician. He was a close personal friend of George Lippard, founder of the Brotherhood of the Union, and of the famed poet, Walt Whitman. In the late 18890s and early 1890s he lived at 255 Kaighn Avenue, and engaged in real estate and other pursuits. Born in Bristol, England in 1826, he came to America in 1830.

During the Civil War, Benjamin Braker answered his nations call. He enlisted as a private in Company E, 20th Pennsylvania Emergency Regiment on June 17, 1863 in Philadelphia. This unit was one of several raised in response to the Confederate advance into Pennsylvania, which culminated in the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2 through July 4, 1863. The unit mustered out on August 10th.

Benjamin Braker again enlisted as a private on July 14, 1864 in Company A, 1st Militia Infantry Regiment New Jersey in Camden. This unit was called to service as an emergency response to the Confederate offensive in Maryland. In the early part of July, 1864, the cities of Washington, D. C., and Baltimore, Md., were endangered by a threatened invasion of the enemy. A battle had been fought within a few miles of Baltimore and communication with Washington had been interrupted. In view of this emergency the governor of New Jersey issued a proclamation dated at Trenton, July 12, 1864, calling for the organization of the militia for 30-days' service in Pennsylvania, Maryland or the District of Columbia. Under the call this company reported for duty, was accepted, and mustered in at Camden N. J., July 14, 1864, for 30 days. It left the state on July 15 for Baltimore, Md., and on arrival reported to Major General Lew Wallace, commanding the Middle Department. It was stationed at the Relay house, below Baltimore, and was attached to the 1st Separate Brigade, 8th Army Corps. Upon expiration of term of service it returned to New Jersey, and was mustered out at Camden, Aug. 15, 1864. 

Active politically, Benjamin Braker was one of the founders of the Republican Party in New Jersey. He was elected Justice of the Peace in Camden and served continuously until his death. He was elected City Recorder four times between 1877 and 1889, and also served as a state Assemblyman in the 1880s.

Benjamin Braker passed away at his home, at 308 Sycamore Street, Camden on December 14, 1905, survived by his wife, two daughters, and two sons.


History of Camden County, New Jersey

BENJAMIN M. BRAKER was born October 24, 1826 in Bristol, England. His father, also named Benjamin Braker, was a minister in the Baptist church and came to America in 1830, settling in Lambertville NJ, subsequently moving to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1848. Benjamin M. Braker obtained his education in the district schools, but even in his youth and since he grew to manhood has been a diligent reader and has thus acquired a vast fund of information.

In 1861 he was engaged upon the Philadelphia Inquirer and Sunday Transcript and has since made journalism his principal avocation. He edited the Gloucester City Reporter from 1882 to 1885.

In 1850 he married Miss Mary M. Wright and settled in Camden, where he since remained, taking an active and influential part in public affairs. An advanced Liberal in politics, he was a delegate to and secretary of the State Free-Soil Convention held at Trenton in 1854. He was one of the promoters of and speakers at the formation of the first Republican Club organized in Camden, April 12, 1854, and in 1856 was one of the principal organizers of that party in West Jersey and is still one of its prominent speakers. In 1862 he was elected justice of the peace and has been re-elected four times since. In 1877 he was elected city recorder and reelected in 1880, 1883, and 1886. In 1884 he was elected to the New Jersey House of Assembly; was a leading member, taking part in debates, was on the committee on education, municipal corporations and chairman of the committee on printing and on labor and industries. In the preparation of the history of the cities of Camden and Gloucester, as embraced in this volume, Mr. Braker rendered valuable assistance..


The following is derived from
George Reeser Prowell's
History of Camden County, N.J.
published in 1886

WILLIAM B. HATCH POST No. 37, of Camden, was instituted and chartered November 25, 1879, with eighty-one members and the following named Post officers:

Post Commander, John E. Grubb ; Senior Vice-Commander, Richard J. Robertson; Junior Vice-Commander, Daniel J. Fullen ; Surgeon, Thomas G. Rowand, M.D.; Chaplain, John Quick ; Officer of the Day, John A. Dall; Officer of the Guard, Edmund G. Jackson, Jr.; Quartermaster, Christopher J. Mines, Jr.; Adjutant, Benjamin J. Pierce; Sergeant-Major, William A.Tattern; Quartermaster-Sergeant, William B. E. Miller.

At the first meeting of the Post it was decided by a unanimous vote to name it in honor of the late Colonel William B. Hatch, of the Fourth Regiment. When Mrs. C. Hatch, the mother of the colonel was informed that the post had honored the memory of her son by naming it after him, she sent to the Post the following response :

Camden N. J.,
November 26th, 1879

 John E. Grubb, Post Commander

Dear Sir,
                It will afford me much pleasure to be identified with Post 37, G. A. E., named in honor of my son, William B. Hatch, by allowing me to present to the same its colors. The memory of my son is ever dear to me, and, while at the same moment I may have thought the sacrifice too great an affliction, yet I was consoled by the fact that I gave him up that this Union might be preserved. It was duty and patriotism that called him, and while I mourn him as a mother for a well-beloved son, yet I would not have stayed him, for the love of country and the upholding of this glorious Republic is what every mother should instill into her sons, as the purest and holiest spirit.

Yours truly,

C. Hatch

 

The following is a complete roster of this post for 1886 :

Post Commander, Benjamin H. Connelly; Senior Vice-Commander, Adam C. Smith ; Junior Vice-Commander, William Haegele; Surgeon, George Pfau ; Chaplain, Samuel Gaul; Officer of the Day, Robert Crawford ; Officer of the Guard, John D. Cooper; Quartermaster, Samuel J. Fenner; Adjutant, William B. Summers; Sergeant-Major, Stacy H. Bassett; Quartermaster-Sergeant, Otto K. Lockhart.

Comrades: Philip Achenbach, George L. Allchin, Isaac Albertson, Joseph Applegate, John W. Barclay, Martin M. Barney, Joseph Baxter, William W. Bennett, Charles L. Bennett, Henry Bickering, Abel Biddle, George K. Biddle, John Bieri, Robert M. Bingham, Socrates T. Bittle, George W. Bittle,  Benjamin F. Blizzard, Joseph Borton, Frederick Bowers, Benjamin M. Braker, John Breyer, William H. Brians, Wm. J. Broadwater, William Broadwater, John Brown, Harris Brooks, William H. Brooks, Joseph F. Bryan, Joseph Buddew, J. Q. Burniston, George Burton,  Frederick Buser, Thomas L. Bush,  William Butcher, Isaac B. Buzby, Edward C. Cattell, Joseph Cameron,  James H. Carey, William Carey, James Chadwick, James Chafey, George M. Chester, James D. Chester, Lewis L. Chew, Henry S. Chew, John W. Churn,  Andrew B. Cline, Charles Clarke, Samuel J. Cook, Levi E. Cole, John J. Collins, John C. Cooper, John W. Cotner, Thomas L. Conly, Harvey M. Cox, Jason S. Cox, Harris Crane, Charles Cress, Joel G. Cross, O. C. Cunningham, John A. Dall, John Dalby, John H. Damon, Westley Dare, John E. Dawson, Adam T. Dawson, James L. Davis, William Davis, Amos R. Dease, Henry Deford, Lewis F. Derousse, Michael Devinney, Glendora Devo, John Digney, Joseph Dilks, William A. Dobbins, George W. Dunlap, Aaron B. Eacritt, John J. Early, Christopher Ebele, Godfrey Eisenhart, John Elberson, Charles Elwell, Charles Eminecker, John Esler, John H. Evans, Charles S. Fackler, James Fanington, James A. Farraday, John H. Farry, John Faughey, Wm. H. Fenlin, George G. Felton, George W. Ferguson, Charles W. Fish, Israel L. Fish, James Finnan, Samuel B. Fisher, Edward L. Fisher, Ephraim B. Fithian, Jacob T. Fisher, Edward Fitzer, Samuel Flock, Leonard Flor, John Fox, John S. Fox, H. H. Franks, Chas. B. Frazer, Thomas J. Francis, Samuel W. Gahan, Chas. H. Gale, James Galbraith, Thomas Garman, Harry Garren, John W. Garwood, Josiah Garrison, John B. Gaskill, Richard Gaunt, Wm. German, Christopher Getsinger, Christopher Gifney, Jacob Giffens, Albert Gilbert, James Gillen, Wm. Giffins, C. C. Greany, Charles Green, W. H. Griffin, Louis Grosskops, William Grindrod, John B. Grubb, Mark H. Guest, John Guice, Alfred Haines, Charles G. Haines, Japhet Haines, George F. Hammond, Charles Hall, Solon B. Hankinson, Samuel P. Hankinson, James Hanson, Charles Hannans, H. A. Hartranft, Mahlon E. Harden, William F. Harper, George W. Hayter, Samuel B. Harbeson, J. T. Hazleton, H. Heinman, James Henderson, William H. Heward, Franklin Hewitt, James T. Hemmingway, Charles Hewitt, Edward K. Hess, Samuel B. Hickman, George Higgens, Ephraim Hillman, C. M. Hoagland, Guadaloupe Holl, William A. Holland, Isaac K. Horner, Count D. G. Hogan, William H. Howard, Baxter Howe, Alien Hubbs, Charles G. Hunsinger, Presmel D. Hughes, I. N. Hugg, Sebastian Hummell, Edward Hutchinson, C. Innes, Alfred Ivins, Benjamin Ivins, E. G. Jackson Sr., E. G. Jackson Jr., Thomas Jameson, George Jauss, William P. Jenkins, James L. Johnson, Alfred Jones, B. F. Jones, William Joline, Charles Joseph, Charles Justice, C. H. Kain, E. E. Kates, Benjamin Kebler, Frank Kebler, Peter Keen, Henry N. Killian, J. W. Kinsey, C. H. Knowlton, Thomas W. Krips, Joseph H. Large, John E. Leake, John Lecroy, Charles Leonhart, George W. Locke, E. J. Long, Charles L. Lukens, J. H. Lupton, Valentine Machemer, Edward Macloskey, Edward A. Martin, William P. Marsh, John Mapes, William Mead, William Metcalf, E. A. Meyer, C. Meyers, George Meilor, C. A. Michener, William B. E. Miller, Jacob Miller, W. D. Miller, Samuel Mills, William W. Mines, Christopher J. Mines, George Molesbury, William. Moran, Edward More, Richard Morgan, John F. Moore, S. H. Moyer, Jacob L. Morton, John Muir, John J. Murphy, Isaac Murray, Charles Myers, W. H. McAllister, James McCracken, Edward C. McDowell, Hugh McGrogan, H. M. Mcllvaine, W. F. McKillip, W.J.McNeir, Lewis McPherson, E. McPherson, Jacob Naglee, William Naphas, Antonio Nosardi, Robert O'Keefe, John S. Owens, Robert Owens, Edward H. Pancoast, James Pancoast, Robert B. Patterson, William Patterson, E. W. Pease, John B. Pepper, Joel Perrine, John Peterson, D. E. Peugh, Frederick Phile, Samuel B. Pine, William M. Pine, Adon Powell, John Powell, John Portz, J. B. Prucelle, John Quick, S. E. Radcliffe, Isaac C. Randolph, James A. Regens, Philip Reilly, Charles P. Reynolds, Alexander Rhodes, Benjamin F. Richard, Andrew Ridgway, Benjamin Robbins, Edward C. Roberts, James Roberts, Richard J. Robertson, William B. Robertson, Isaac Rogers, John Rogers, William H. Rogers, Thomas G. Rowand, Sebastian Schaub, Maurice Schmidt, Christian K. Schallers, James Schofield, George W. Scott, John E. Scott, John M. Shemelia, Edward M. Siemers, John Simmons, Benjamin F. Shinn, Thomas Sheeran, James Shield, Charles Smith, George H. Smith, William W. Smith, Charles S. Small, Adolph Snow, W. Souder, Francis Senders, Robert Sparks, David C. Sprowl, Alfred L. Sparks, Abraham Springer, George W. Stewart, William L. Stevenson, Thomas G. Stephenson, Samuel R. Stockton, Thomas Stockton, Thomas H. Stone, Henry Strick, E. J. Strickland, Charles String, George F. Stull, George W. Swaney, Crosby Sweeten, William F. Tarr, William A. Tatem, Thomas S. Tanier, George Rudolph Tenner, Charles L. Test, Leonard Thomas, Benjamin Thomas, Henry C. Thomas, George F. Thorne, Wesley Thorn, Thomas W. Thornley, Alexander W. Titus, Joseph Tompkins, J. E. Troth, Isaac C. Toone, Samuel Tyier, Jacob M. Van Nest, Albert Vansciver, Joseph Wakeman, Theodore F. Walker, Charles Walton, George Walton, Joseph Welsh, David Watson, George W. Wentling, Edward West, Elmer M. West, George Weyman, Wilmer Whillden, James Whittaker, Samuel Wickward, Calvin T. Williams,  George W. Williams,  William H. Williams, John Williams, Samuel Winner, Amos P. Wilson, D.H. Wilson, G.A. Wilson, Richard Wilson, George Wispert, John W. Wood, Joseph Woodfield, Walter Wolfkill, E. W. Wolverton, Elijah Worthington, C. M. Wright, George B. Wright, Henry S. Wright, Wesley T. Wright, William Zane. 

As of 1886, the Hatch Post met every Thursday evening in their own G. A. R. Hall, on Stevens Street, below Fifth Street. This same building had been used in the late 1870s as the original home of the congregation that formed the Tabernacle Baptist Church. The Hatch Post was affiliated with Hatch League No. 2, of the Loyal Ladies League, their auxiliary, which met at the Post Hall.


George Reeser Prowell's
History of Camden County, New Jersey - 1886

In 1886 George Reeser Prowell wrote the following about Lenni Lenape Tribe, No. 2

LENNI LENAPE TRIBE, No. 2, is the oldest existing tribe of the order in the State, and in numbers and wealth the strongest and richest in the United States. It was instituted May 10, 1850, by Great Incohonee William B. Davis, assisted by Francis Fullerton, of Lenni Lenape Tribe, No. 8, of Pennsylvania, and Great Chief of Records of the United States. These were the charter members: Nathaniel Chew, William F. Colbert, John T. Davis, Timothy C. Moore, Sylvester Rainhard, Joseph Shipley, Daniel S. Garwood, William Beckett, George Wood, E.D. Brister, John Wood, Joseph Myers, Albert Robertson, John W. Hoey, James B. Richardson, Robert Maguire, Joseph B. Hawkins, James O. Stillwell and Anthony Joline. The officers were as follows: P., Timothy C. Moore; S., Nathaniel Chew; S.S., John Wood; J.S., William F. Colbert; C. of R., Joseph Myers; K. of W., Albert Robertson.

Lenni Lenape has had an eventful career, at times flourishing and at other times so short of funds that a few faithful members paid expenses and benefits out of their private purses, but persistence won at last and a flood tide of prosperity set in, which has continued until the Lenni Lenapes number seven hundred and thirty-two and the wampum belt contains $21,370.89.

Among its members are these Past Great Sachems:’George W. Watson, John T. Davis, Charles H. Gordon, Thomas J. Francis and Daniel M. Stevens; and of its Past Sachems these are living: Timothy C. Moore, Henry A. Breyer, Lewis Zeigler, Samuel J. Fenner, Edward J. Steer, William F. Farr, Samuel D. Watson, George Horneff, George A. Cairoli (Brother of Mrs. Emma Horneff- PMC), Thomas J. Rowand, Samuel A. Owens, Benjamin M. Braker, Lambert Banes, George Pfeiffer, William Sheridan, Thomas F. Muckelson, Hope Sutton, James P. Moore, D.D. Worts, Leonard L. Roray, Benjamin J. Price, John A. Hall, B.S.M. Branning, Abraham Davis, Harry B. Garrison, Walter E. Garwood, George A. Rogers, William C. Davis, Frank P. Jackson, H. Frank Pettit, John A. Harbeson, John Quick, Angus B. Cameron, Lewis Z. Noble, George Leathwhite, Conrad F. Austermuhl, John K. Seagrove, Charles L. Vansciver, Harry Hoffman, Harry B. Tyler, James H. Reeve and George W. Davis. The officers are: P., G.W. Davis; S., Edward Francis; S.S., Samuel Baker; J.S., Joseph Watson; C. of R., L.Z. Noble; K. of W., C.F. Austermuhl; Trustees, T.J. Francis, T.F. Muckelson, J.K. Reeve, Leonard L. Roray and H.F. Pettit.


Philadelphia Inquirer - October 11, 1887

...continued...

...continued...

Jacob C. Daubman - Charles Fackler - Dr. Willis Hunt - Charles Pedigree - David Baird - George S. West
Dr. James G. Stanton
- William O. Sloan - Thomas Harned - George Barrett - John Campbell
William H. Chandler - William F. Reed - Dr. John D. Leckner - John Corbitt - John Blowe - Harry B. Paul George Pfeiffer - David M. Chambers - George A. Tenner - Benjamin M. Braker - John H. Doerr
David Jones - L.D. Sheppard - H.C. Hopper - A.J. Hoey - Frank Warren
Edward Dudley - B.L. Bonsall - John D. Glover - Peter Arrison - Dr. Onan Gross

Right-click on Images to Download PDF File of This Article


Philadelphia Inquirer - August 10, 1888

Jesse Pratt - Thomas Johnson - Frank C. Reeves - Officer Edward S. Cooper Samuel Dodd - James Farrell - Sing Lee - Joseph Russell - Christian Kline
Benjamin Braker - Sinnickson Chew
Royden Street - Cherry Street - Washington Street - Cooper Street

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 4, 1889

Jesse Pratt - Benjamin Braker


Philadelphia Inquirer - February 8, 1890

Samuel Curtis - Benjamin Braker


Philadelphia Inquirer - June 17, 1890

John Mellon - Benjamin Braker


Philadelphia Inquirer
July 30, 1890

Henry S. Scovel
William Harvey
Charles S. Ridgway
John O'Brien
Ezra Conkling
Benjamin Braker


Philadelphia Inquirer - August 7, 1890

Henry Schultz - Pauline Gottenburg - Benjamin Braker
Cherry Street


Philadelphia Inquirer - June 12, 1894


Frank Souder - Broadway - Chestnut Street
Benjamin Braker


Philadelphia Inquirer - June 12, 1894

Frank C. Grapevine - Gretchen Dooner - Benjamin Braker


Camden Courier

October 22, 1894


Camden Courier

October 22, 1894


Philadelphia Inquirer - December 21, 1894

Theodore Lambert - John L. Semple

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 13, 1895


Philadelphia Inquirer - October 27, 1895

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 20, 1896
Joseph M. Engard - Charles H. Ellis 
W.B.E. Miller - R.R. Miller
H.L. Hartshorn - George E. Martin - John L. Westcott Benjamin Braker - E.E. Reed Jr. - A.F. Schultz
Joseph Potter - Edwin Hillman - George G. Felton

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 20, 1897
Click on Images for Complete Article

William Guthridge - Benjamin Braker
Vladimir Blominski


Philadelphia Inquirer - September 30, 1897
Click on Images for Complete Article

William Guthridge - Benjamin Braker - George Brown


Philadelphia Inquirer - December 12, 1897

O. Glen Stackhouse - Philip Schmitz - George R. Thompson - Benjamin Braker
Charles M. Baldwin - James D. Chester - Charles Kauffman

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 3, 1898
Click on Image for PDF File of Complete Article

...continued...
George W. Jessup - David Baird Sr. - Thaddeus P. Varney - George Barrett - Harry F. Wolfe
Isaac Toone - John H. Fort - Philip Schmitz - O. Glen Stackhouse - Charles M. Baldwin
George R. Thompson - Frederick Kauffman - Benjamin Braker - David M. Chambers
William H. Davis - Dr. John W. Donges - Harry B. Paul 

Philadelphia Inquirer
February 22, 1898

Robert T. Lee
Alexander Heith
George Thompson
David Rankin
Benjamin M. Braker
John A. Furey
James O. Smith
Gabriel Hill
Charles Sattler
Benjamin E. Mellor
F. Morse Archer

Committee of One Hundred

Wildey Hall


Trenton Times - December 16, 1905

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 18, 1905
Fifth Ward Republican Club
Brotherhood of the Union
Sycamore Street

Click on Image for Complete Article


RETURN TO CAMDEN'S INTERESTING PEOPLE PAGE

RETURN TO DVRBS.COM HOME PAGE