NORMAN I. WESSEL was born on September 3, 1894 to Abraham and Esther Wessel. The Wessels were one of the very first Jewish families to make their home in Camden. Mr. and Mrs. Wessel first settled in Camden at 531 Mechanic Street after the 1886 birth in Pennsylvania of son Morris. Abraham Wessel  came to Camden from Philadelphia in 1890. After working for ten years in a shoe factory, he bought out the original owners, and did quit well. The Wessel family were among the first residents of the then new Parkside section of Camden. Norman Wessel was one of the older children, coming after Morris and Meyer, and before Jennie, Dorothy, Mamie Sadie, Rose and Harry L. Wessel. At the time of the January 1920 Census the Wessel family owned a home at 1514 Baird Avenue, while son Morris had bought 1504 Wildwood Avenue, where he lived in with his wife and two children. Abraham Wessel passed away in 1924, and was buried in the original Jewish section at New Camden Cemetery. The family business was incorporated under the same name, A. E. Wessel & Sons, in remembrance. The officers of the newly-incorporated company were Morris B. Wessel, president; Norman I. Wessel, vice-president; Meyer Wessel, treasurer; Dorothy Wessell, secretary; and Joseph Varbalow, solicitor.

Shortly after the 1920 Censes, Norman Wessel married May Teitelman. The City Directories in 1924 and 1947 have his address as 1480 Bradley Avenue in the Parkside section of Camden. However, for reasons unknown the 1930 Census shows the couple and their son Andrew were living at 1467 Bradley Avenue, with May's parents, Meyer and Fannie Teitelman and sister Edith. By this time Norman Wessel had left the shoe business and had gone into real estate. 

Last a resident of Collingswood NJ, Norman Wessel passed away in October of 1966.

Norman Wessel was survived by his wife Mary, a daughter, a granddaughter, brothers Norman, Morris, and Harry, and sister Dorothy Wessel Goldstein.

A.E. Wessel & Sons Shoe Factory
222-224 Liberty Street

The Wessel Shoe Factory on Liberty Street was the first building on the south side of Liberty Street. One can determine it is the Liberty Street building from the angular shape of the building, as the property takes on a triangular shape at its south, end, which fronted onto Mechanic Street, due to the angle that Ferry Avenue takes on when it starts. The hairstyles of the female workers also date from the 1920s.  

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Camden Courier-Post - January 24, 1928


The Camden Level Club will hold its first annual charily ball tomorrow night at the Hotel Walt Whitman. Proceeds will be used for charitable work.

Norman I. Wessel is chairman of the committee in charge. Milton Manheimer heads the ticket committee. Others aiding the arrangements are Fred Siris, secretary of the club, Joseph H. Rickler, treasurer, and Nathan S. Rubin, Dr. Isadore S. Siris, Nathan Friedenberg and Dr. Reuben L. Cutler.

Camden Courier-Post - January 13, 1928

Three appointments to the Camden Board of Education will be made by him late today or tomorrow, Mayor Price said this morning. The appointments were expected to be made yesterday, but they were delayed, the mayor explained, because a “very capable man” declined to accept as one of the appointees. 

The mayor, under the law, has until January 15 to make the appointments, and the new appointees take office a month later. Three vacancies were to be filled by the mayor with the expiration of the terms of George C. Prince, George M. Bryson, and Albert Dudley. The mayor would not say whether or not he would re-appoint any of the three retiring members. Other members of the present board are Edwin I. Seabrook, president; Mrs. Anne D. Spooner, Irving T. Nutt, Meyer Wessel, Dr. Conrad G. Hoell and Dr. Jennie S. Sharp.

Camden Courier-Post - March 19, 1932


The eleventh annual ball of the Congregation Beth-El, and Council of Jewish Women is to be held next Wednesday evening in the auditol'iu1l1 of Beth-El Synagogue, Belleview avenue and Park Boulevard.

The committee headed by Albert B. Melnik has arranged a program of entertainment. In addition to obtaining a nationally known group of entertainers, the committee has engaged a band to furnish music for dancing.

The ticket committee headed by Norman I. Wessel.

Camden Courier-Post
October 28, 1936

Congregation Beth El
Dr. Stephen S. Wise
Benjamin Grobani
Israel Katz - David M. Breslau
Samuel Ginn
Mrs. Benjamin Natal
Leon H. Rose
Dr. M. Ruttemberg
Joseph Sataloff
Norman Wessel
Mrs. G. M. Cohen - Mrs. E. L Kapel