100 Block of North 25th Street in East Camden, and Cramer Hill

I sort of backed into the page. I posted a page about Albert Atger, who died while serving with the United States Army during World War I, a few years ago. Shortly afterwards I was contacted by his niece Marie Gibbs Johnson. Over the years we've e-mailed back and forth and as the website grew I found out that her family has played (and continues to play) a significant role in Camden.

That being said, I figure it's time to pull together a lot of disparate pieces and tell the story, as best I can. As always, feel free to e-mail me so that the tale can be more fully told. 

Phil Cohen
June 23, 2005

Paul Emil Gaston Atger

Wedding picture of
Gaston & Marie Louise Atger

Paul Emil Gaston Atger was born in France. his birth certificate is in a town called Vebron, in Lozere in 1855. He was called Gaston by his grandmother. He emigrated from Nimes, France via New York.

Coming to the United States, he married, on June 30, 1877 in Manhattan, NY, Victoria Honorine Dessouslavy, a native of Paris who also had come to America. They had 4 children, however, only two survived: Blanche Marie Amelie Atger, and who married John Stinger, and Lucy Marie Atger, who married Clement Verdeur. 

After Honorine passed, Gaston Atger remarried. In Philadelphia on July 26, 1890 he was joined in marriage with Marie Louise Doriot. They had 7 children: Maurice, Paul, Albert, Lauraine, Delphine, Marie, and Marguerite. The Atgers came to Camden NJ around 1911. They moved into a rental property at 2038 High Street. They moved to another rental in the 2600 block of High Street, before finally moving into 

a newly constructed home at 154 North 25th Street, prior to 1915. This home was directly behind St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, at North 25th and Howell Streets. The Atgers however were members of St. Wilfrid's Episcopal Church at Westfield Avenue and Dudley Street.  

Daughter Blanche married John Stinger in 1900. The Stingers moved to the same East Camden neighborhood, and for many years lived across the street on North 25th Street, where they raised four children. Daughter Lucy and her husband Clement Verdeur also moved to East Camden in the 1900s. 

Gaston and Marie Atger would make their home on North 25th Street for the balance of their days. Gaston died in 1927 and was buried at Harleigh Cemetery near his son Albert, who had died of influenza while serving with the United States Army in 1918. Marie joined them in 1947.

Camden Courier-Post - February 1, 1938

Banquet Chairman

Matthews-Purnell Post Group to Observe 16th Anniversary Tonight

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Corporal Mathews-Purnell Post No. 518, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will observe its sixteenth anniversary tonight at 8.30 o'clock with a banquet in O'Donnell's Restaurant and Cafe, Thirty-ninth and Federa1 Streets. More than 100 persons will attend.

The auxiliary, which has head quarters at 2712 Hayes Avenue is named in honor of two World War veterans, both soldiers from the Cramer Hill section, who were killed in the war. They were Charles Mathews Jr. and Oliver Purnell Jr., and their parents will be present as guest of honor. Another Gold Star mother, Mrs. Gaston Atger, also will attend. Both Mathews and Purnell served in France in the 29th division under Lieutenant Colonel George Selby.

Mrs. Theresa Mungioli, past president of the group, is chairman of the committee on arrangements. Other members of the committee are Mrs. Minnie Martin, Mrs. Anna Jackson, Mrs. Betty Donlon and Mrs. Helen J. Cholister.

John Mullan, past department commander will be toastmaster. Mrs. Mildred Reed is president of the auxiliary.


Other guests listed are: Mrs. Carrie R. Bean, senior department vice, president; Mrs. Frances Fulton, of Hoboken, national council member of the second district, Mrs. Dorothy Indoe, of Paterson, state president of the auxiliary; City Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, Raymond G. "Rube" Price, past commander of the post and Freeholder of the Eleventh ward; Mrs. Maud Ryan, of Atlantic City, past state president; Charles Franks, present county commander of the V.F.W.; Thomas Fields, department commander; Charles Hewitt, commander of Corporal Mathews-Purnell Post; Mrs. Florence E. Stark, past national president and chairman of national rehabilitation; Mrs. Simona Anderson, past county president; J. "Chuck" Connors, councilman of the Seventh district; and Mrs. Joseph Snyder, who will sing the "Star Spangled Banner.

Under the direction of Mrs. Bean, the auxiliary has organized a junior unit of the daughters of the V.F.W., which now has a membership of 5958. Miss Doris Price is president of the group.

Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1938

V. F. W. Post Auxiliary Stages Party for 16th Anniversary
Parents of Three World War Heroes Honored by Women of Mathews-Purnell Unit;
Mrs. Kobus Lauds Civic Work of Organization

Sixteen years ago the Ladies Auxiliary of the Mathews-Purnell Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, was instituted. Last night the "coming out party," as the occasion was described by Mrs. Mary W. Kobus, Director of Public Safety, was celebrated by the women and the soldiery of the post.

The affair had a dual importance, as it was not only the birthday of the auxiliary, with guests from the various parts of the State in attendance, but three gold star mothers were guests of honor.

Two of those, gray-haired, solemn and maternal, were mothers of the heroes who died in France and for whom the post was named. With these gold star mothers were the fathers of these same lads.

The parents are Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mathews and Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Purnell, while the fifth member of the group, the third mother who gave up her son, is Mrs. Louise Atger.

Parents Receive Honors

As the names of these parents were called the entire gathering arose and stood in silent tribute.

The event was at O'Donnell's restaurant, Thirty-ninth and Federal streets, and John Mullin, of Atlantic City, past department commander, was toastmaster.

Mullin cited the affair as "the 16th wedding anniversary" of the auxiliary, as the speaker declared the auxiliary had married the post on that day 16 years ago.

Mrs. Kobus  was the first speaker.

She is an honorary member of the auxiliary.

"This night marks your entrance into society" said the commissioner, facetiously, "for whenever a girl gets to be 16 she puts on a new dress, comes out and starts to step out. I hope 'that you will always work with the post as harmoniously in the future, as you have done in the past.

"On behalf of the City of Camden I want to congratulate the auxiliary and also to welcome the distinguished guests who are visitors tonight from other parts of our state."

Mrs. Mildred Reed, president of the auxiliary, extended the welcome of the organization and congratulated the committee headed by Mrs. Theresa Mungioli, past president, for the manner in which they had functioned to make the dinner such a success.

Commander Lauds Women

Associated with Mrs. Mungioli on the committee were Mrs. Minnie Martin, Mrs. Anna Jackson, Mrs. Betty Donlon and Mrs. Helen J. Cholister.

Charles Hewitt, commander of the Mathews-Purnell Post, extolled the women for their aid to the men, remarks which were emphasized by Freeholder Raymond G. Price, of the Eleventh ward, also a past commander of the post.

"It is only fair to say," declared Price, "that it has been the women who have kept our post together. There have been times when we were ready to disband, throw up the sponge, but always the women stepped into the breach then, and carried us through the stress, emergency and trouble and kept the post alive."

Mrs. Florence Stark, past national president, who instituted the auxiliary 16 years ago, marveled, she said, at the manner in which the growth and influence of the auxiliary had so far expanded and extended.

Mrs. Stark also told of the meeting of the national defense committee which she had attended in Washington, and informed the members that Congressman Wolverton had delegated Mrs. Stark to present his regrets that official business detained Wolverton at the national capital.

County Organization Praised

Frances Fullam, introduced as a "Hudson County Democrat" recited the experiences she had known as she went on tour of the state with the commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars recently.

"I want to say," asserted the, speaker, "that the turnout in Camden county was the best in the staff and that the county has every reason to feel proud of the strength and influence which it exerts in the ladies auxiliary in New Jersey."

Mrs. Hazel Hines, Camden county president of the auxiliary, extended her congratulations as did County Commander Charles Franks and others, including Mrs. Maud Ryan, of Atlantic City, Mrs. Catherine Corbett of Pennsauken, and Mrs. Carrie Bean, senior vice president of the Department of New Jersey.

Mrs. Mungioli was then called upon to congratulate her fellow workers for their unstinted help in making the affair the signal success which every speaker emphasized.

Mrs., Joseph Snyder led the gathering in singing "The Star Spangled Banner,"


John & Blanche Stinger

Blanche Atger was born to Gaston and Honorine Atger in Manhattan on June 26, 1879. Her father had moved to Philadelphia by 1890. There she met John Stinger, who she married on March 5, 1900 in Philadelphia.

John and Blanche Stinger had 4 children: John Lawrence Stinger became a detective with the Camden Police Department; Norman Carey Stinger drove a bus for Public Service, the forerunner of today's Transport of New Jersey; Dorothy Randolph; and  Philip A. Stinger, who had a long career with the Camden Fire Department.  

John Lawrence Stinger's wife was named Agnes. Their son, Albert Atger Stinger, named for his great-uncle, Albert Atger, who died while serving with the United States Army during World War I, followed his uncle Philip and became a Camden fire fighter.

Dorothy Randolph Stinger was briefly married to Boise P. Fow. She bore a son, names Philip Boise, before obtaining a divorce and reassuming her maiden name. Her son, Philip Boise Stinger, also followed his uncle, serving with the Camden Fire Department for 42 years.

Lucy and Clement Verdeur

Lucy Marie Atger was born to Gaston and Honorine Atger in Manhattan around 1881. Her father had moved to Philadelphia by 1890. There she met Clement Verdeur, who was born in Canada on December 20, 1874, around 1896. The Verdeurs had four children born in Philadelphia before moving to Camden shortly before the 1910 Census. The children were Viola, then 11, Charles, 9, Clement, 5, and Helen, 2. The family was living at 24 North 21st Street in East Camden. Clement Verdeur was then working at the Victor Talking Machine Company plant as a tool maker.

The family had moved to 1238 Chase Street when Clement Verdeur registered for the draft in September of that year. They were living at 922 Spruce Street when the 1924 and 1929 City Directories were compiled. By 1947 Clement Verdeur had passed. Lucy Atger Verdeur was still living at 922 Spruce Street at that time. 

Maurice Atger

Maurice Atger was the eldest child of Gaston and Marie Atger. He was born in Philadelphia PA on May 7, 1891. He came to Camden with his parents and remained a resident of East Camden until his death on November 29, 1964.

The Atgers were all members of St. Wilfrid's Episcopal Church on Westfield Avenue and Dudley Street. Marie Gibbs Johnson writes:

St. Wilfrid's Episcopal Church, the whole family were members. My mom [Delphine Atger Gibbs] and I later sang in the choir. My grandmom [Marie Atger] and Uncle Maurice were active members all of their lives and my mom attended as often as she could even after moving out of the area. My brothers & I were christened and confirmed there. Some of my brothers were acolytes and participated in church activities. Uncle Maurice was choir master for many years.

Maurice Albert Atger

World War I Draft Card - Maurice Albert Atger

At St. Wilfrid's Church, 1930s - Choirmaster Maurice Atger is last man on right

Camden Courier-Post - February 25, 1938

Parishioners of St Wilfrid's Church Present Varied Features in Show

Three hundred greeted the initial production of the "Revue of 1938" last night in the Guild Hall of St. Wilfrid's Church, Dudley street and Westfield avenue.

The program, which will be repeated tonight, opens with a minstrel show. The show includes vaudeville acts and a comedy presentation of an amateur hour radio broadcast, entitled "Major Shows His Amateur Hour."

Robert Burgy is interlocutor of the minstrel show. The end men are Jimmie Jones, Bud Ashton, Joe Hamilton, old time minstrel man, and Milton K. Stanley, former county detective, who directed the show.

Frances Allen, Maurice Atger, Mrs. Irma Weller, Mrs. Alice Stanley, George Braunwarth, Jr., Jones, Frances Stanley and Doris Gray are soloists in the minstrel troupe. Miss Weller does a novelty dance and Miss Kray a monologue. Jimmy Lang and his orchestra provide music. Florence Geragussi's Sophisticated High Steppers and Dorothy and Charles Ganter give song and dance specialties.    

Marcus Matthias takes the role of Major Show. In the "broadcast," Harry Riley, Charles Pelouze and Robert Shoemaker appear as Tennessee Hill Billies. Florence Donahue, Elizabeth Martin, June Daryman and. Freda Nuss are sunshine girls. Other characters are George Wysocki, "Signor Tomato';" Atger, "Rollo Winesap;" Mary Riley, "Mrs. Winesap" Braunwarth, "Epsom Salts;" Ellsworth Marcoe Jr., “Ferdinand Squidge;" Lillian Petit, “Mlle. Fefi Flitters;" Miss Weller" "Madame Coco;" Pelouze and Edward Mortimer, "Pluto, the Trained Mule," and Babe Shoemaker, "life of the party."

The above also appear in the general ensemble together with Doris Dodd, Dorothy Schmidt, Eleanor Dryer, Vern Burgy, Marie Dodd, Florence Feick, Robert Burgy, Theodore Tessier, Jerry Nicholson, David Lacy and Bud Ashton.

Marguerite Atger Thompson

Marguerite Atger was the second child of Gaston and Marie Atger. She was born in Philadelphia PA on January 7, 1893, and came to Camden with her parents around 1911. Coming to East Camden, she met Millard Thompson, a neighborhood boy who played basketball with the local "East End" team.

When the 1930 Census was enumerated Marguerite was living with her husband Millard Thompson and son Millard Jr. at 212 North 27th Street. This house was the home of Sergeant Ray Smith in 1947. Sadly, by 1947 she was a widow. She and her son Millard Jr. were then living at 1985 Carman Street in East Camden.

She was a Camden resident until her passing on August 15, 1966. 

Millard Thompson (front row, far right) and the East End basketball team, circa 1916

Paul Gaston Atger

Paul Gaston Atger, the third child of Gaston and Marie Atger, was born in Philadelphia PA on April 11, 1894, and came to Camden with her parents around 1911. 

When he registered for the draft in 1942, Paul Gaston Atger and his wife, the former  Annetta Hansen were living in Laurel Springs NJ. He was working at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia PA. They had three children, Doris, Mabel and David Atger.

Last a resident of Clementon NJ, Paul Atger died in November of 1976.

World War I Draft Card - Paul Gaston Atger

World War I Draft Card - Paul Gaston Atger

Albert Jean-Pierre Atger

PRIVATE ALBERT JEAN PIERRE ATGER was born on December 18, 1896 in Philadelphia PA. He came with his family to Camden in 1911. Albert Atger attended the Thomas Dudley School on 23rd Street in East Camden. After he left school, Albert Atger worked as laborer in the Camden area, according to the 1916 Camden city directory. 

Albert Atger enlisted May 31, 1918 in the cavalry and on June 1, was sent to Camp Stanley, near Galena TX for training in Troop G, 305th Cavalry. Brother Maurice Atger also served. Albert Atger was later transferred to the Battery A of the 45th Artillery. A victim of the influenza epidemic of 1918, he was sent to the Base Hospital at Fort Sam Houston TX. He died there on November 25, 1918, from pneumonia. 

Albert Atger was brought home to Camden NJ. He rests at Harleigh Cemetery, on Haddon Avenue, Camden NJ, with his parents, brother Maurice, and sister Marguerite Atger Thompson.

Lauraine Atger Engel

Lauraine Atger Engel

Lauraine Atger Engel was born January 25, 1901 in Philadelphia. She married Charles Engel in Maryland. There were three children, Delphine Marie, Charles Albert, and Paul Harry Engel.

The Engel family made their home at 1217 North 33rd Street in Cramer Hill from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Lauraine Engel died on February 5, 1967 and was buried at Arlington Cemetery in Pennsauken NJ.

Marie Catherine Atger

Marie Atger was born in Philadelphia in 1903. She married Jacob Henry Lachenmeyer on March 5, 1932. They later settled in Milltown, New Jersey, near New Brunswick. Jacob passed away in 1978, Marie joined him on December 22, 1992.

Delphine Atger Gibbs

Delphine Atger Gibbs was born in Philadelphia on July 13, 1906. She married Wayne Gibbs in 1929. Wayne and Delphine Gibbs moved to Camden resided at the family home at 154 North 25th Street in East Camden, before moving to 255 Howell Street, literally a stone's throw away. 

The Gibbs were blessed with six children- Wayne Jr., Wallace, Marie, Robert, Paul, and James. All graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School on Federal Street.

Wayne Gibbs Jr. taught at Woodrow Wilson High School. He also founded the Buccaneers Boys Club which was active in East Camden. He married Joyce Langley. Wallace Gibbs married Anne D. Tucker. Marie Gibbs Johnson studied nursing, worked with Camden's Civil Defense unit in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and also founded the Buccaneers Juniors Club. James Gibbs currently teaches in Camden. 

Last a resident of Newfield NJ, Delphine Gibbs passed away on April 2, 1997.     

Camden Fire Department
Promotional Appointments to Captain - 1963

From Left: Harold Pike, Albert A. Stinger, George Baxter, William Winstanley

Delphine Atger & Friends - 1920s

Delphine Atger & Friends - 1927


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