SPENCER HAINES SMITH was born in New Jersey on February 20, 1882. He married his wife Catherine in the early 1900s. The Smiths were living at 753 Walnut Street in South Camden when the 1914 City Directory was compiled. He was then working as a laborer.
Spencer Smith Sr. joined the Camden Fire Department on May 1, 1914, and was assigned to the Number 1 Engine Company at 407-409 Pine Street in South Camden. At the time of the 1920 census, Spencer and Catherine Smith were renting a home at 1017 Atlantic Avenue in Camden. By this time, the family included six children, Addie, Annie, Earl, Marion, Clara, Spencer Smith Jr., Walter, and Robert. Later that year he was assigned to Engine Company Number 10 at 9th Street and Morgan Boulevard in the Fairview section of Camden. By 1924 Spencer Smith Sr. had moved his family to 3022 North Constitution Road in the then new Yorkship Village neighborhood of Camden. Fire Department records from 1931 show Spencer Smth Sr. and family residing at 1190 Congress Road in Fairview.
By 1947 Spencer Smith Sr. had moved to Browning Lane and the Black Horse Pike in Bellmawr NJ. His son Spencer Smith Jr., was by then also working as a Camden fireman. Son Earl, a Navy veteran of World War II would join the Camden Fire Department a few years later. Sadly, Earl Smith would suffer a fatal heart attack after returning from a working fire, making the Ultimate Sacrifice in April of 1968. Grandson Spencer H. Smith III served with the Camden Police department for over 30 years, and grandson Larry F. Smith serves with the Camden Fire Department today. As of this writing, in July of 2011, there has been a member of the Spencer Smith family protecting Camden every day for over 97 years.
Spencer H. Smith Sr. applied for his pension in July of 1950, a mandatory retirement at 65 law having been passed covering police and firemen. His last day on the fire department was August 31, 1950, when he retired along with Deputy Chief Clarence T. Madden Sr., Firemen John B. "Shorty" Prucella, and Fireman Frank L'Esperance.
|Philadelphia Inquirer - July 27, 1914||Joseph
Rev. Martin Stockett
Engine Company 1
Church of Our Saviour
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