Nelson
A.
Andrews


 

NELSON A. ANDREWS was born on September 1, 1896 in Coal Grove, Ohio to Frank and Francis Andrrews. He was named after General Nelson A. Miles and was one of at least 8 children. Nelson Andrews lived with his family in Coal Grove into the 1910s. He may have spent some time in Indianapolis, Indiana during the 1910s, and served in the armed forces during World War I. Nelson Andrews had come to Camden by 1919, where he met Hazel Hill. The young couple fell in love, eloped, and on September 1, 1919 were married at Elkton, Maryland. 

When northern states began to pass more restrictive marriage laws in the early 20th Century, Maryland did not. As a result, a number of Maryland towns near borders with other states became known as places to get married quickly and without many restrictions. Elkton, being the northeasternmost county seat in Maryland (and thus closer to Philadelphia, New York, and New England), was particularly popular. It was a notorious as such for years; in its heyday, in the 1920s and 1930s, it was "the elopement capital of the East Coast" and thousands of marriages were performed there each year.

The census that was taken in January of 1920 shows Nelson and Hazel Andrews living with Hazel's widowed mother, Mrs. Charlotte Hill, at 444 Stevens Street in South Camden. By 1924 he had been appointed to the Camden Fire Department. Nelson and Hazel Andrews remained at 444 Stevens Street into 1927. By that time, Hazel Andrews had begun working as a bookkeeper at the Louis B. Humphreys real estate agency on Market Street.

Nelson Andrews was serving at Ladder Company 4, South 10th Street and Morgan Boulevard on January 1, 1927. On August 1, 1933 he was transferred to Engine Company 2.

Nelson Andrews was a charter member of the Box 315 Association. Organized on January 1, 1928, the Box 315 Association was chartered for the mutual benefit of Camden Firemen, its principal purpose being to fund a commemorative badge for all members of the Department retiring at twenty or more years of service. In the event that an active member died before achieving retirement status, a death benefit in the sum of $20.00 would be paid to the member's estate. Its title, 315, was arbitrarily chosen as the number of the first Box transmitted over the circuits, following the organization's formation. A cabinet of Officers; a By-Laws Committee; Auditing Committee; and a Board of Trustees comprised of one representative from each fire company in the City, were designated by election and appointment.

All active members of the Department were expected to join the organization. An initiation fee of $1.00 and regular dues assessed at ten cents per month, funded operations. Any member of the Department that failed to join the organization within three months after completing his probationary period in the Uniformed Force, was required to pay an initiation fee of $5.00, plus the average of all dues and assessments incurred from the time he was eligible to join. The association met on the first Wednesday of each month.

Charter members of the By-Laws Committee were Chester Andrus, Chairman; Harry Wagner, Henry Zook, Harrison Pike, William Spencer and Nelson Andrews. The association is believed to have actively functioned until sometime during the 1940s.

The 1929 City Directory and the April 1930 Census shows Nelson and Hazel Andrews had bought a home at 802 Morgan Street, where they were living with Hazel's widowed mother, Mrs. Charlotte Hill. It is likely that Nelson Andrews was then serving with with either Engine Company 10 or Ladder Company 4, both quartered a short walk away at 2500 Morgan Boulevard. The Andrews stayed at 802 Morgan Street into 1940. 

By the spring of 1942 Nelson and Hazel Andrews had moved to 3831 Myrtle Avenue in East Camden, and they were still there in 1947. By that time Nelson Andrews had been promoted to Captain in the Camden Fire Department. 

Nelson and Hazel Andrews had moved to 28 Newell Avenue in what was then Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill), New Jersey by the fall of 1956. As residency restrictions were still in place, he may have retired from the Camden Fire Department by this time. He remained a resident of Cherry Hill until his passing, on April 30, 1985.


Philadelphia
Inquirer

September 1, 1919

Click on Image to Enlarge


Camden Courier-Post * February 17, 1938
WONSETLER HAILED AS NEXT PRESIDENT OF STATE
Dinner Speakers Predict Camden Man Will Get Association Post
N. J. OFFICERS ATTEND

Robert Wonsetler, of the Camden Fire Department, was hailed as the next state president of the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association at the 41st anniversary dinner of Camden Local, No. 5, last night. It was held in Kenney's Cafe, with 150 members and their women folks attending.

The Camden man is now first vice president of the state association and state representative of the local. James Delaney, of Elizabeth, state president, and other state officers who were among the speakers predicted that when the local has its 42nd anniversary next year, it will have occasion to celebrate the election of Wonsetler as 1939 state president.

Other speakers were Mayor George E. Bruner, City Commissioners Mary W. Kobus and Frank J. Hartmann, Assemblyman Rocco Palese, Fire Chief John H. Lennox, Carlton W. Rowand, Bruce A. Wallace and Freeholder Edward J. Quinlan.

State officers attending, besides Delaney and Wonsetler, were Fred Bailey, Weehawken, second vice president; George Steele, Union City, recording secretary; Joseph Burke, Newark, financial secretary, and Jack Reed, Kearny, treasurer.

Surrogate Frank B. Hanna, who was toastmaster, referred to the three city commissioners present as "candidates for re-election without opposition."

Commissioner Kobus, head of the city fire department, was applauded when she announced wash-stands and showers are being installed in local firehouses and that windbreakers and new fire nets have been ordered.

"The firehouses in Camden are in better condition than ever before,"
Commissioner Hartmann said.

Officers of the Camden Local are Chester Andrus, president; W. Samuel Mountney, vice president; Nelson Andrews, recording secretary; Harrison Pike, financial secretary; Henry Zook, treasurer; Ralph Bingemann, sergeant-at-arms; William H. Harrison, chaplain, and Wonsetler, state representative.

Russell J. Anderson was chairman of the dinner committee, which included Harry Wagner, Arthur Batten, Harry Wilkers, David Humphries and Pike.


CAMDEN COURIER-POST - FEBRUARY 28, 1938

M.F. Middleton Felled by Gas In House Here
Former City Commissioner Found Unconscious in Old Home

With gas flowing from a pipe detached from a gas range, former City Commissioner Melbourne F. Middleton, Jr., was found unconscious in the kitchen of his former home at 538 Cooper street early Saturday night.

Middleton was reported last night to still be in a critical condition at West Jersey Hospital, where he was taken. The Camden Fire Department First Aid Squad worked over him for an hour at the house in a vain effort to revive him.

Middleton, a former president of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, and one time city councilman, was found by a son, C. Barry Middleton, and a friend, John Williams Rossell, who lives with the Middletons on Laurel road, Moorestown. Middleton was clad in overalls and two large pipe wrenches were lying on the kitchen floor near him.

Young Middleton said his father told his family he intended to take up some linoleum in the kitchen of his former home. Middleton first went to his office Saturday and then to St. Paul's Episcopal Church to a service. From there he was traced to his former home, which is owned by him.

When Middleton failed to return home for dinner at the usual time Saturday his son and Rossell decided to search for him. When young Middleton discovered his father's plight he notified police. Patrolmen Frank Cavallo, Henry Lutz, Walter Vecander and George Getley responded in radio cars and gave first aid until the fire department squad arrived.

The firemen worked on the former commissioner one hour with an inhalator before ordering his removal to the hospital, where they continued to work on Middleton for another hour but were unable to revive him. Hospital physicians continued working on him without success. They said his condition was critical.

Gas Man Called

At 4 p. m. Saturday the family living next to Middlemen's home telephoned Public Service that gas was coming from the house. Public Service sent a man to investi­gate but he was unable to get into the house.

Young Middleton and Rossell said they reached the house at 6.17 p. m.

While he was a member of the first city commission Middleton was director of finance but never missed responding to all alarms of fire. He was a member of the fire committee while serving in City Council as a member from the Second ward. In that capacity he also answered all alarms.

Members of the Firemen's First Aid Squad responding to the call were Deputy Chief William R. Harring, Hosemen Christopher Moll, William Spencer, Harry Haines, Russell Anderson, William Harry Deitz and Nelson Andrews.

City Detectives Benjamin Simon, Joseph Mardino and William Marter are investigating the cause.  


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