THE YEAR 1873

SPAN OF A CENTURY
1828-1928

100 YEARS IN THE HISTORY OF CAMDEN AS A CITY

COMPILED FROM NOTES ANDS DATA COLLECTED BY
CHARLES S. BOYER

PRESIDENT CAMDEN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PUBLISHED BY
CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE
OF CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AND NOTES BY PHILLIP COHEN IN 2003

The Soldiers' Monument, erected with funds raised partly by private subscription and by an appropriation by the Board of Freeholders, was unveiled June 9, 1873, in the old Court House Yard. It was removed to the ground adjacent to the City Hall when the jail building was erected on Federal Street. 

Above: Soldiers' Monument & City Hall
Below: The Soldiers' Monument

The The Soldiers' Monument now sits on the grounds of Cooper Hospital, at Haddon Avenue and Benson Street.

The Soldiers' Monument in 2002

In 1873, the poet Walt Whitman, born May 31, 1819, moved to Camden and lived at 328 Mickle Street until his death on March 26, 1892. 

The Walt Whitman House

The Camden Insurance Safe Deposit & Trust Company was chartered by an act of the Legislature, approved April 4, 1873, and the subscription book was opened May 31, 1873, at Parson's Hotel, Front and Federal Streets, which was owned and operated by Stephen Parsons.

Parson's Hotel
at
Front & Federal Street

 

In 1874 the Legislature authorized the company to change the name to The Camden Safe Deposit & Trust Company. The house lately occupied by Dr. Isaac Mulford, which was originally built by Joshua Cooper in 1810, was purchased, fitted up as a banking house and opened for business July 1, 1873. With some alterations, made necessary from time to time, this building was used until October 31, 1892, when the present banking house was completed and opened for business. The Mulford House was torn down in April of 1893, and in 1901 the rear building was completed. Jesse W. Starr was the first president, followed in succession by James B. Dayton, Peter L. Voorhees, William C. Dayton, Alexander C. Wood, Edward L. Farr, and Ephraim Tomlinson.  

In 1938 the bank shortened its name again to that of Camden Trust. By the time it celebrated its 75th Anniversary, in 1948, it was the largest bank in South Jersey, and seventh largest in the state.

The Workingmen's Association of the City and County of Camden was organized in November of 1873. The object of the association was to secure the mutual protection of its members and prevent unnecessary restrictions or impositions being placed upon its members by their employers or others. This was the beginning of labor unions in Camden.  

The first attempt to organize a Board of Trade in Camden was made on March 11, 1873, following a suggestion made by Sinnickson Chew in the West Jersey Press newspaper. The first meeting was held in the West Jersey Press Building and subsequent meetings were held at 106 Market Street. after an existence of a few years meetings were discontinued and the organization disbanded. In 1888 a new effort was made to organize a Board of trade. Starting under auspicious circumstance it continued its activity for a few years and then merely continued its existence, when by another agitation the present organization and its successor, the Chamber of Commerce, came into being. 

The Camden, Gloucester & Mount Ephraim Railroad was built in 1873-1874. The principal stockholder in this company was David S. Brown, who at that time owned the extensive cotton mills and bleach factory at Gloucester. The road, of narrow gauge, was completed to Mount Ephraim in 1878. In 1884 it was purchased by the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company and the following year was converted into a broad (or standard) gauge railroad. . 

The earliest railroad to operate to or from Camden was the Camden and Amboy Railroad. In 1835 it was in complete operation from Amboy NJ to Camden, and was the first railroad to run between New York and Philadelphia. At Camden the passengers were taken across the Delaware in the iron steamboat States Rights, nicknamed the Ice Breaker. This boat was built in 1835 for the Camden and Philadelphia Ferry Company and was the first ferry boat to have cabins exclusively for passengers. The name of the boat was subsequently changed to United States Rights. In October of 1859 another boat was put into service, to accommodate the patrons of this pioneer railroad. This boat was named the Washington and was also fitted with cabins. One of these cabins was known as the "Ladies Saloon" and it contained 124 seats upholstered with figured plush.

In 1858 the railroad company adopted regulations concerning passengers' baggage and practically the same restrictions as to the number of pounds have been in force since. Passengers were prohibited from taking anything except wearing apparel as baggage, and all such baggage weighing over 50 pounds was charged for in addition to the regular rate of fare.

The price of passage from New York to Philadelphia was three dollars, or one half the charge made by any other mode of travel between these points at that time.

The Camden and Amboy Railroad was chartered in 1830. The line was completed as far as Bordentown early in 1833, and extended from Bordentown to Camden in 1834. The first train ran to Camden in October of that year.

On June 20, 1864 the depot of this company, at the foot of Bridge Avenue, burned with the destruction also of a number of freight cars and a hospital car.

The railroad offices on federal street, now occupied by the West Jersey & Seashore Railroad, were first used by the Camden and Amboy on October 4, 1873. Prior to that time its offices had been in Elwell's Hotel. The present railroad offices were built on the site of the old "Round House", a circular two-story brick building connected with the gardens at the ferry and built in 1832 by Jacob Ridgeway. 

Return to Camden NJ - The Span Of A Century - 1828-1928

RETURN TO DVRBS.COM HOMEPAGE