Harry
Kleinfelder


 

HARRY F. KLEINFELDER was born in Camden on April 27, 1895 to John and Julia Kleinfelder, one of seven children, only three surviving by the summer of 1900. His father had, in 1895, operated a bar at 640 Pine Street. When the Census was taken in 1900, the Kleinfelder family, which included older sisters Julia and Helen, lived at 1270 Mechanic Street. By 1906 the Kleinfelders had moved to 406 Taylor Avenue. John Kleinfelder was by then working as a car inspector, most likely for the at the nearby Pennsylvania Railroad yards at the foot of Federal Street.

 

Harry Kleinfelder was married and the father of an infant when he registered for the draft on June 5, 1917. He was then living at his parents home, 406 Taylor Avenue. By the end of 1918 he and his wife had separated. He was still residing at the Taylor Avenue address, his wife Clara however was then living at 207 Washington Street. Harry Kleinfelder and his parents were still living at 406 Taylor Avenue in January of 1920. Both men were working as repairmen at the railroad yard. Sadly, Julia Kleinfelder passed away in March of 1920.

On November 24, 1920 Harry Kleinfelder was appointed to the Camden Fire Department. He reported for duty on January 1, 1921 with Engine Company 4, at 320 Vine Street

John Kleinfelder was still living at 406 Taylor Avenue when he died in June of 1922. 

Harry and Clara Kleinfelder reunited in the late 1920s, boarding  947 Elm Street in North Camden, the home of brother firefighter Frank Oberman. Harry and Clara Kleinfelder appear to have parted ways when the Census was taken in April of 1930. Harry Kleinfelder was still boarding at 947 Elm Street.

On July 1, 1933 Harry Kleinfelder was transferred to Engine Company 6 at Front and Linden Streets, where he served until May 30, 1940. Harry Kleinfelder was once again transferred, this time assigned to Engine Company 2, North 5th Street and Arch Street

On April 3rd, 1942 units of the Camden Fire Department's First Battalion were responding to an alarm at Point and Erie Streets, North Camden. A group of children were on their way to a birthday party for nine-year-old, Betty Mogck. The group of excited birthday celebrants, hearing the fire engines coming, ran into the street to see where they were going. As Engine Company 2 was making the turn at Erie Street, the Chauffeur, Fireman Harry Kleinfelder pulled hard on the wheel to avoid running over the children but not before striking little Betty Mogck. The apparatus swerved to the side of the street, sheared off a utility pole and came to rest on the pavement. Two members were hurled to the ground, slightly injured. Betty's older brother, John, was down the block talking with friends and came running up the street. Betty Mogck was rushed to Cooper Hospital suffering from a broken leg. Firemen William Hopkins and Harry Haines were treated for bruises and released. Years later, Betty's brother, John J. Mogck, Jr. would himself enter the Department and rise from the ranks of Probationary Fireman to retire as Chief of Department.  

Harry Kleinfelder was still living at 947 Elm Street and working for the Camden Fire Department when he passed away on December 28, 1958. Long separated from her husband, Clara V. Kleinfelder died in 1968, last a resident of Sewell, New Jersey.

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