ISAAC S. MULFORD SCHOOL
305 Walnut Street
Northeast Corner of South 3rd & Walnut Streets
The Isaac S. Mulford School stood at the northeast corner of South 3rd and Walnut Streets, diagonally across the street from the Richard Fetters School, from which the photo above was taken. It served as an all girls school for many years, a practice that was in place in other parts of the city at one time.
The school was built in 1875. Designed by prominent Camden architect Stephen Decatur Button, it was one of three identical school buildings contracted for by the Camden's Board of Education. The schools were built by local contractor Mahlon E. Harden, and local shipbuilder John Dialogue played a critical role in their construction. The Richard Fetters School was built across the street, while the John W. Mickle School was built at 6th and Van Hook Streets.
The school was named after Dr. Isaac Skillman Mulford, a prominent citizen of 19th century Camden, who had owned a great deal of land in the area and was involved in the movement that established Camden County in the 1840s. Dr. Mulford was brother-in-law to John W. Mickle, and also was a director of the Camden & Philadelphia Steamboat Ferry Company. Dr. Mulford was a highly respected civic orator at a time when public speeches were second only to newspapers as the primary means of mass communication. He also organized the city's and county's medical societies, and as a historian wrote a book entitled Civil and Political History of New Jersey.
The Mulford School was still open as late as 1947. By 1956 the school had been closed. The building has been gone for many, many years.
Camden Courier-Post * June 1 6, 1933
Eight retiring school principals were honored last night at a banquet in the junior ballroom of Hotel Walt Whitman by the Camden Principals' Association.
Amid decorations of roses and spring flowers these teachers, who have served the city from 35 to 40 years, heard words of praise from their schoolmates and superiors.
They are Miss Daisy Furber, Central School; Mrs. Margaret Thomson, Northeast; Miss Minerva Stackhouse, Davis; Miss Bessie Snyder, McKinley; Miss Clara S. Burrough, Camden High; Miss Helen Wescott, Mulford; Miss Loretta Ireland, Cooper; Miss Charlotte V. Dover, Washington.
Harry Showalter, president of the association, presided. Eighty guests represented the entire school system of 38 institutions. Showalter, Dr. Leon N. Neulen, superintendent of schools, and Dr. James E. Bryan, retired superintendent, joined in paying tribute to the retiring principals as having set a high example for Camden's school system.
The male teachers serenaded the women instructors and vice versa with song. At the closing the teachers joined hands at the suggestion of Dr. Bryan and sang "Auld Lang Syne." .
Regarding the Mulford School, I believe my first cousin, Joan Goldstein attended the school during the first few years of her public school education. Possibly, it was only for girls. She then, as she entered advanced elementary school grades went to Fetters where my two uncles, Leopold and Henry, went.
The photo above dates from 1922, and was provided by by JoAnn Skymer Hirsch. Her father, Thomas J. "Tommy" Skymer, is one of the Fetters School students pictured in the foreground.
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