Christopher
A.
Bergen


 

CHRISTOPHER AUGUSTUS BERGEN and his brother Martin V. Bergen were prominent lawyers in Camden for many years in Camden. 

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Camden. 

After declining invitations to run for elected office for several years, Christopher Bergen answered his party's call and was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses (March 4, 1889-March 3, 1893). He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-nomination in 1892. He resumed the practice of law. In 1903 moved to Haverford, Pennsylvania, where he died on February 18, 1905, and was interred in Evergreen Cemetery, Camden, New Jersey.

The C.A. Bergen School, which stood at 419 Mount Vernon Street in South Camden from 1891 through 1948, was named in his honor, the surrounding neighborhood is to this day known as  Bergen-Lanning.

Christopher A. Bergen's son Martin V. "Mike" Bergen was nationally known as in sports circles in the 1890s and early 1910s as a baseball and football player at Princeton and as college foorball coach. Coach Bergen led teams at Grinnell Colleg and the University of Virginia, compiling a record of 38-22-6.

From George R. Prowell's History of Camden County, New Jersey -1886

Christopher A. Bergen, Esq., whose ancestry and parentage are given in the sketch of his brother, [Martin V. Bergen] was born at Bridge Point, Somerset County, N. J., August 2, 1841. He obtained his preparatory education at Edge Hill Classical School, Princeton, and entered Princeton College in the fall of 1860, graduating there from, with his brother, in the class of 1863. Afterwards he taught school,—first a country school at Hopewell, N. J., and later a private classical school of his own at Princeton,—pursuing at the same time law studies under the direction of Peter L. Voorhees, Esq., of Camden. In November, 1866, he was licensed as an attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court, and in the fall of 1869 as counselor-at-law by the same court. Mr. Bergen's mental activity, onerous as are his professional duties, is by no means confined to them. He is a student of general literature, keeps fully abreast of the times in political, philosophical and popular scientific information and continues his classical studies, reading extensively in Latin and Greek.

Christopher A. Bergen has been twice married. He was united with his first wife, Harriet, daughter of Thomas D. and Augusta S. James, Augusts, 1869. Two sons were the offspring of this union. His second wife, to whom he was united January 26, 1886, was Fannie C, daughter of William L. and Adele C. Hirst, of Philadelphia.

The firm of Bergen & Bergen (M. V. & C. A.) has been quite uniformly and steadily successful, and probably has as large and as widespread a clientage and correspondence as any law firm in Camden. They have been frequently opposed by the best legal talent in the county and State, and have fully as often been victors as vanquished, and enjoy a high reputation. Two of the most notable cases in which they have won success were those of the Marshall estate, and the Jesse W. Starr Camden Iron-Works case in bankruptcy.

The former, which aroused much interest in the southern part of the county, was an action charging breach of trust on the part of the executors, and involved the title to five farms and a large part of the village of Blackwood. Bergen & Bergen appeared for the creditors agaiust the executors, who were represented by S. H. Grey, and Peter L. Voorhees, Esqs. In the bankruptcy suit against Jesse W. Starr, above alluded to, in which about three hundred thousand dollars were involved, Bergen Brothers were also successful in forcing the creditors of Mr. Starr, to terms. Christopher A. Bergen, as a rule, attends to the court business and Martin V. devotes his attention more particularly to that department of practice which is the function of the
counsel, though he also appears frequently in court. Both are well-read lawyers and able advocates.

Both of the brothers are pronounced Republicans, though neither is an active politician. Christopher A. in 1884 was the choice of a large section of his party for the position of State Senator, but declined making any effort to secure the nomination. He was elected president of the Camden County Republican Club in 1886. Martin V. Bergen has also been named as a candidate for legislative honors, but has held no offices of consequence other than the school superintendency..

Philadelphia Inquirer
September 4, 1888

 

Thomas DudleyIsaac Shreeve - William T. Bailey - Christopher A. Bergen
Isaac Githens - George Barrett - Frank Welch -
Howland Croft - Samuel Bakley
David Freeman Sr. -
Albion Lane Christopher Mines Jr. - William Ireton
Howard Lee - Amos R. Dease - John Brothers - James Hewitt
John C. Edwards - Malachi D. Cornish - J.Willard Somers - Frank C. Somers
John Wells - W.H. Day - Dilwyn Pettit - J. Milton Powell - George Denny
Everett Ackley - Samuel M. Gail - Joseph Brown - Frederick Parker
John H. Milton - David Rankin - Samuel Roach - James Brown - Isaac Robinson
William K. Price - Reuben Gaskill - John W. Everman - Samuel H. Mourey
William H. Smith - Herman Heimbold - Thomas Watson - E. Thompso
n

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 3, 1889
J. Willard Morgan - William Joyce Sewell - William J. Browning
Christopher A. Bergen - E.A. Armstrong

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 7, 1890

Jesse Pratt - James M. Cassady
Christopher A. Bergen - Henry J. West 
George Barber - Mrs. Catherine Jack
Frederick Funk - South 7th Street - Cherry Street
Second Ward Republican Club

Philadelphia Inquirer
July 31, 1891

Frederick A. Rex - Christopher A. Bergen
Martin V. Bergen - Thomas Guthridge
Charles L. Roehr -
Cooper Hospital
Royden Street - Pine Street
Joseph Hatch - Deborah Jones
South 4th Street - South 7th Street
 
Chestnut Street

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Philadelphia Inquirer - December 26, 1905

Christopher A. Bergen - Priscilla E. Peacock - Frederick Funk - South 7th Street - Cherry Street
Mrs. Fanny H. Bergen

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