John
H.
Fine


 

JOHN H. FINE, who was also known in his time as John Fine Sr., was appointed to the Camden Fire Department On November 12, 1874 as an extra man with the Hook and Ladder Company to take the place of Benjamin L. Kellum who had been promoted to driver. John H. Fine was living near the northeast corner of North 5th and Arch Streets during his time in service with the Fire Department. He served until April of 1877 when he was replaced by Francis Boardman. He was reinstated in April of 1878 and served until April of 1882 when he was replaced by John Hill. 
  

John H. Fine was born in New Jersey around 1831 to John and Catherine Fine. He was one of at least five children, coming after David, Letitia, and Margaret, and before Sarah. The family was living in Camden by 1850. John Fine supported his family working for the railroad, his son, John H. Fine, did the same. When the census was taken in 1860 John H. Fine was married and the father of three children, Catherine, John B., and Henderson Fine. John H. Fine was working as a clerk.

On July 14, 1864 John H. Fine enlisted in Company A, 1st New Jersey Militia Infantry, commanded by Captain Richard Lee with the assistance of First Lieutenant William C. Shinn and Second Lieutenant Charles H. Kain. In the early part of July, 1864, the cities of Washington, D. C., and Baltimore, Maryland 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, New Jersey on July 14, 1864, for 30 days. It left the state on July 15 for Baltimore, Maryland, 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 on August 15, 1864. The total strength of the company was 94, and included several citizens of note, including Martin Bergen, Benjamin Braker, James Scovel, Samuel Hufty, and Josiah Davis.

When the Census was taken in 1870 John H. Fine was working as a railroad conductor. Fire Department records indicate the family lived near North 5th and Arch Streets in the middle 1870s. The 1878 City Directory gives his address as 405 Arch Street. His son was living at 403 Arch. By 1882 the Fine family had moved to 216 Bridge Avenue. John H. Fine is listed at this address in the 1883-1884 City Directory, working as a railroad conductor. He died shortly after the directory had been compiled. In the 1884-1885 Directory, his wife Martha, is listed as "widow of John H." at 216 Bridge Avenue. His sons also worked for the railroad, and were still railroad employees as late as 1899.





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