THE YEAR 1878

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 Young Men's Christian Association of Camden was organized on October 16, 1878. The first meeting was held at the residence of Samuel B. French, northeast corner of Front and Cooper Streets. Subsequent meetings were held in the Chapel of the Tabernacle Baptist Church (later the Hatch Post 37 of the Grand Army of the Republic Hall), and about January of 1879 quarters were secured at 318 Federal Street, where the Association remained until 1880, when the hall at the southeast corner of 3rd and Market Streets was built and the second and third floors occupied by the association. In March of 1894 the house of Thomas B. Harned, on Federal Street east of Broadway, was bought for $16,500 and after some alterations was occupied in April. The YMCA as it is now constituted was incorporated on November 21, 1899. In 1907 a campaign was conducted to secure $250,000 for a new building, which was erected in 1909 on the site that the building formerly occupied. 

A hurricane struck Camden on October 28, 1878, doing a great amount of damage. Nearly 200 houses lost their roofs, and many buildings were leveled.

John M. Armstrong, of Philadelphia, was murdered in Camden on January 28, 1878. Benjamin Hunter was subsequently convicted of the crime and hanged on January 10, 1879. Thomas Graham, an accomplice, was sent to prison. This was a famous murder case of its time. 

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