Henry C.


HENRY C. "HARRY" GROSSCUP was born on February 18, 1849 in Pennsylvania, one of at least three children born to Fanny and William Grosscup. The family came to New Jersey not long after his birth.

The 1870 Census shows the Grosscup family living in Camden's Middle Ward. Henry Grosscup was by then working as a machinist. Two doors away lived the family of William C. Lee, a Civil War veteran who worked as a pork dealer and also as an extra man with the Camden Fire Department. Both Henry Grosscup and William C. Lee may have been volunteer fire fighters in Camden in the years prior to December 7, 1869 when the Camden Fire Department went into service. 

Harry Grosscup was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on October 26, 1871 to replace William T.G. Young Sr. as stoker with Engine Company 2. He resigned on October 8, 1872 after Chief Robert S. Bender took a leave of absence. He returned to the Fire Department on April 8, 1873 when Chief Bender returned. His abilities were soon recognized, although the Fire Department, like much else in Camden at the time, was highly politicized.

The 1874 City Directory shows Harry Grosscup at 2 Newkirk Place. The 1880 Census shows the Grosscup family, which included younger brothers Fred and William, nephew Edward and grand-son Charles residing at 516 Federal Street. Fire Department records state that Henry Grosscup lived at 222 Arch Street in April of 1877. City Directories for 1878 and throughout the 1880s however show him residing at 220 Arch Street

Leadership in the Fire Department at this time was not subject to Civil Service regulations. When the Democrats gained control of City Council in 1876, future mayor Claudius Bradshaw was elected Chief Engineer for the City of Camden, Henry Grosscup, who had served as stoker of Engine Company 2 since April of 1873 was not re-appointed in 1876. Politics being thrown to the wind, Henry Grosscup was re-appointed to the Camden Fire Department on April 8, 1877 as an extra engineer.

With Republicans regaining control of the city in 1879, Harry Grosscup continued as extra engineer until March 27, 1882, when Daniel A. Carter was elected Chief, and brought in many new firemen. Carter found that losing Harry Grosscup was not a good thing, and he was brought back in 1884 as fireman with Engine Company 2, replacing James McCann, who had served for two years.

At a special meeting of the City's Fire Committee held on July 7, 1885 the fire department was reorganized. Each engine company added a permanent foreman and two hosemen; the ladder company added two laddermen for a total of eight new full-time firemen.

The new foremen were John Stockton, Engine Company 1 and Henry Grosscup, Engine Company 2. The reorganization became effective on August 1st and the foremen were given charge of their respective units at an annual salary of $720. 

Less than a month later, on August 4, 1885, a tornado struck Camden. The twister knocked over the firehouse bell tower at Engine Company 2's headquarters. There were also three fires and six deaths as a result of the twister.

An 1886 account revealed the following about Engine Company 2. The unit was quartered on the northeast corner of Fifth and Arch Street, a location that would house Camden Fire Department units into the early 1960s, The two story brick building at 19 North 5th Street was shared with the Camden Hook and Ladder Company, now known as Ladder Company 1. This building also was the headquarters of the Camden Fire Department.

Engine Company 2 personnel in 1886 are as follows:

Henry C. Grosscup Foreman
William Morris Engineer
C.B. Harvey Driver
Frank Turner Stoker
Charles Robinson Hoseman
Isaac Shreeve Hoseman
Logan Bates Call Man
James Carey Call Man
William Lyons Call Man
Howard H. Currie Call Man

Engine Company 2's apparatus at that time consisted of an Amoskeag second class steamer (makers plate #319), a hose wagon and a supply wagon.

In late 1889 or early 1890 Harry Grosscup moved to 334 Mickle Street. By late 1891 he was boarding at 207 South 4th Street. The 1892-1893 Directory show him living at 336 Mickle Street, while the 1893-1894 Directory has him back at 207 South 4th Street. The 1894-1895 Directory again lists him at 336 Mickle Street. From 1897 through 1899 Directories show him at 331 Mickle Street.

The 1894 Camden City Directory lists Engine Company 2's personnel as consisting of the following: Foreman Harry C. Grosscup; Engineer, William Morris; Driver, John P. Long; Albert Jones, George Wade, William Hertline, David Andrews.

Another reorganization occurred after the annexation of Stockton in 1899. Harry Grosscup was promoted to the position of District Engineer, with duties similar to that of a Deputy Chief, and was placed in charge of the new fire companies in East Camden based at North 27th Street and Federal Street.

In June of 1907 Harry Grosscup apparently decided it was time to retire, after having served the City of Camden for over 30 years.

The 1910 Census shows Harry Grosscup had left the Fire Department and was living with his brother Fred at 584 Federal Street.

Harry Grosscup passed away on January 7, 1916 at Anglesea, New Jersey. Funeral services were held at the home of his brother Fred Grosscup, 584 Federal Street in Camden. Harry Grosccup was buried at Evergreen cemetery in Camden.

Philadelphia Inquirer * March 24, 1877

G. Rudolph Tenner - William Davis - Cornelius M. Brown
James M. Lane - George S. Hunt - W. Gordon - Edmund Shaw
Benjamin L. Kellum - Edward J. Dodamead - Henry Grosscup

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 13, 1890
Click on Image for Complete Article

Frank Turner - Jacob Kellum - Frederick Voigt - Henry Grosscup 
Ladder Company 1 - Engine Company 2 - North 4th Street - Cooper Street - Front Street - Erie Street

Philadelphia Inquirer
June 12, 1890

W.B.E. Miller - E.E. Jefferis
Samuel Dodd - Jesse Pratt 
Jennings' Sixth Regiment Band
Robert Bender - Samuel S. Buzine
John A. Stockton - Henry Grosscup
Mortimer WIlson - Amedee Middleton
Thomas Murphy -
Isaac McKinley
Albert Gilbert - Chalkley Leconey
Engine Company 1 - Engine Company 2
Engine Company 3 - Engine Company 4

Click on Images for Complete Article


Philadelphia Inquirer * December 29, 1895

Philadelphia Inquirer * October 30, 1898


In the foreground, the headquarters of the Camden Fire Department, built in 1899, at 19 North 5th Street. The adjacent building at 31 North 5th Street was built in 1894, and was the home of Ladder Company 1 from 1894 to 1930. 

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 26, 1899

Joseph Maxwell - William Hertline - David Andrews - Harry Grosscup
Samuel S. Elfreth
Engine Company 2 - Walter Edwards - Crawford Miller - Moro Phillips


July 5, 1903

Benjamin L. Kellum
Harry Grosscup
William Deno
David Baird Sr.


Philadelphia Inquirer * June 17, 1906

Henry Grosscup - George P. Cox - Walter Browning - John A. Stockton Samuel S. Elfreth

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 18, 1907

Philadelphia Inquirer - January 9, 1916