THE YEAR 1875
SPAN OF A CENTURY
COMPILED FROM NOTES ANDS DATA
A committee of City Council appointed to select a site for a new City Hall reported on July 13, 1871 that they had received from Jesse W. Starr a deed of conveyance with the accompanying documents for the property on Haddon Avenue. Among the conditions attached to the conveyance were the following:
1. That the erection of a City Hall should begin thereon within three years and completed within five years;
2. That the ground should always be used for a City Hall and public park and if it should cease to be so used it was to revert to him or his heirs.
The land consisted of four and one-half acres, but as it was outside the built up portion of the city, considerable opposition developed to its acceptance for the specified purpose, and it was not until 1874 that the deed of gift was finally accepted. On July 2, 1874, Mr. Starr also gave the city the ground upon which the Soldier's Monument now stands, upon the same conditions. The City Hall, which cost about $140,000, was completed in 1875. On December 20, 1883, the City of Camden wishing to own the grounds free of all conditions paid Jesse W. Starr $10, 813.19 for an absolute conveyance.
Cooper Hospital was incorporated on March 24, 1875, under the name of Camden Hospital which name was changed to "The Cooper Hospital;" by an act of the Legislature approved march 6, 1877. The original; conception of a hospital in Camden probably belongs to Dr. Richard M. Cooper, but before plans could be perfected, both he and his twin brother, William D. Cooper, died. The heirs, Alexander, Sarah W., and Elizabeth B. Cooper, however, carried out the project so often discussed in this family circle. Their first step was to secure a charter for this institution, and then to transfer to the trustees of the new institution lands of the value of $50,000, and a fund of $200,000 for buildings and maintenance.
These sums were subsequently increased by bequests from both Sarah W. and Elizabeth B. Cooper. The main building was completed in 1877, but the funds available for operation and maintenance were inadequate to provide properly for the institution, and the Hospital was not opened to receive patients until August 8, 1887. The original building and equipment cost about $130,000, and at the time of the opening the trustees or managers had an endowment fund of nearly $200,000.
The Nurses Home was completed in August of 1902.
May 4, 1875 Camden City Council, by ordinance, vacated Stevens Street
east of 6th Street for a hospital which was to be called "Camden
Hospital", subsequently changed to "The Cooper Hospital"
in honor of its donors. In 1888 an ordinance was passed moving the
easterly curb of 6th street, between Mickle and Benson Streets, thirty
feet westward, making the street from curb to curb thirty feet wide, the
ground so vacated to be kept forever free from buildings.
City Clerk Bontemps, during 1875, issued 825 permits for new buildings, additions, and alterations in Camden.
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