CHARLES SWOPE was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on April 8, 1876 as an extra man, taking the place of Isaac Randolph with Engine Company 2. Charles Swope worked as laborer prior to his appointment to the Fire Department. Charles Swope served for one year. He was replaced in April of 1877 by John Holland

Charles Swope was born in New Jersey around 1851 to John and Catherine Swope. His parents appear in the Census of 1850 in Camden's South Ward, with older siblings Henry W., George W., and Caroline. The family name of Swope appears to be an "Americanization" of the German Schwaab. There was at least one and possibly two families in Camden of whose family members adopted the last name Swope during the 1800s. As to where the family lived and what they were doing, the Census of 1860 is inconclusive, however it does appears that John Swope had passed.

When the Census was taken in 1870 the Swope family was living in Camden's North Ward. Charles Swope was living with his widowed mother and his siblings. His older brother Henry was working as a locksmith, and older brother George W. Swope was working as a butcher. Sister Caroline, as yet unmarried, lived with them. Charles Swope had begun working as a stone cutter. Later Censuses indicate that Charles Swope had married in the late 1860s, and that their was a son, Charles Jr., born prior to the Census. Young Charles appears to been raised by his mother's family, the Sweeneys.

As stated above, Charles Swope was appointed to the Camden Fire Department as an extra man on April 8, 1876. By this time he was living at 319 Arch Street, where he would maintain a presence into the early 1920s. The 1880 Census shows him living with his widowed mother and his sister Caroline, also a widow, at 319 Arch Street. 

The 1887 City Directory shows that Charles Swope had gone into partnership in a marble works knows as Swope & Carter, at 33 North 4th Street. By 1898 he was in business for himself at 1027 Market Street.

The 1900 Census shows Charles Swope living alone at 319 Arch Street. Living next door at 321 was the William Swope family. William Swope was a butcher, and news articles of the day indicate that Charles Swope had an interest in the butcher shop.

The 1910 Census shows that Charles Swope and his son had reunited. Charles Sr. and Charles Jr. were living together at 319 Arch Street with Charles Jr.'s wife Anna and their children, Miriam and Maurice Swope. Charles Swope Jr. worked as a painter,

Sadly, Charles Jr. was killed in 1916 when he fell from a scaffold. The 1920 Census shows Charles Swope Sr., his daughter-in-law and grandchildren at 319 Arch Street. Charles Swope Sr. passed on March 16, 1923 at the age of 71. His daughter-in-law, Anna Swope was still at 319 Arch Street when the 1929 City Directory was compiled, and members of William Swope's family were still living at 321 Arch Street into the 1930s.

In 1949, history tragically repeated itself when Charles Swope's grandson, Maurice Swope, was killed after falling of a roof.


Philadelphia Inquirer
October 28, 1898

Charles H. Knowlton
Market Street
Robert Keen
Martin O'Brien
Dr. WIlliam S. Jones
Dr. William W. Knowlton
Benson Street
South 4th Street

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July 31, 1904

Charles Swope Jr.
William Shreeve
William White
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Arch Street
South 36th Street
Lawrence Street


March 19, 1916

Charles Swope Jr.
Arch Street