Wildey Hall, at 500-506 Pine Street, was built in 1868, by the Wildey Lodge No. 91, Inedependent Order of Odd Fellows. It derived its name from Thomas Wildey, who formed the first Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge in New Jersey in Camden in 1829. The Odd Fellows had been previously been connected to Morgan's Hall at the southeast corner of Fourth and Market Streets and other locations.

Wildey Hall was used by the Odd Fellows and other groups well until 1923. The building had been sold during the 1880s to a stock company which ran it for 35 years. It was sold in 1919 to Anna Hurley, who was not connected with the nearby Hurley department store.  

Edmund J. Alff ran his real estate and insurance business out of 502 Pine Street from 1901 until August of 1920. He also managed the building. In April of 1922 the Borstein Electric Company completed the relocation of their business from 930 Broadway to the former Wildey Hall. The building was acquired by the Harry Pinsky & Son Co. in 1923 and all lodge and social activities ceased as the building was converted into a warehouse, and the Borstein business moved back to Broadway. Isadore Borstein, of Borstein Electric, acquired the building during the 1930s and rented space to retail and industrial tenants.

Wildey Hall was destroyed by fire in 1956. A two-story building was built in the site and in recent years has been utilized by the social services industry,

1906 Sanborn Map


Camden Post-Telegram
August 16, 1920

Edmund J. Alff

Camden Daily Courier
April 17, 1922

Borstein Electric


Camden Post-Telegram * July 3, 1923

Odd Fellows - Edmund S. Alff - Jesse W. Starr - Anna Hurley - Red Men's Hall
Arthur Stanley - Charles H. Laird Sr. - Robert Patton - Stephen Robinson Sr. - Albert Dudley
Dr. Charles H. Sullivan - William G. Eagleson - Samuel Sharp - Sydney W. Brooks - Thomas N. Page

October 27, 1956
Photo by Bob Bartosz

Oct0ber 27, 1956 Fire
Photo by Bob Bartosz

Camden Courier-Post
October 27, 1956

Flames shoot through roof of building at 5th and Pine Streets  today in three-alarm blaze which brought crowds into Pine Street 


Camden Courier-Post * October 27, 1956

Firemen pour water on 3 alarm blaze at 5th and Pine Streets from roof of adjoining building as portion wall collapses.

William Van Pfefferle
Winfield D. Leviseur
Herbert Baxter Jr.
Robert Taylor
Omah Davis
Isadore Borstein
Jack Hirschbaum



The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Camden, New Jersey
excerpted from George Reeser Prowell's History of Camden County, New Jersey
published in 1886


NEW JERSEY LODGE, No. 1. - Ten years after Thomas Wildey had formed the first lodge of Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, he came to Camden, March 30, 1829, with a charter from the Maryland Grand Lodge, the fountainhead of Odd-Fellowship, and founded New Jersey Lodge, No. 1. Thomas Wildey organized the lodge in person, in the room in Vauxhall Garden. The records have been lost and the names of the first New Jersey Odd-Fellows were lost with them.

New Jersey Lodge has had an honorable and prosperous career. There have been eight hundred initiated, seven hundred and sixty released, sixty-eight buried and thirty-six thousand dollars paid out for sickness and death. The members number three hundred and twenty, and the meetings are held in Central Hall. These have passed the Noble Grand chair: John B. Thompson, James R. Webb, Samuel Ewan, Webster Gill, Daniel J. Shriner, John H. Stiles, Reuben Holloway, John Stiles, Jacob P. Stone, Lewis R. Beckett, Wm. K. Burrough, Jonathan J. Sheppard, R.G. Parvin, Alva F. Stetes, Thomas T. Ellis, George W. Ewan, Richard Dillmore, Charles G. Mayhew, Wm. A. Drown, Westcott Campbell, Theodore A. Verlander, Wm. O. Lusk, Edward S. King Sr., Joseph M. Bacon, Charles F. Adams, John Smedley, H.H. Pease, Mahlon F. Ivins Sr., Virgil Willett, Harry Powell, Henry Grosskopf, Wm. Husted, Samuel Miles, Stephen Phillips, Samuel Ewen, Benjamin Carlin, Joseph L. Bright and George Fox.

The officers are, N.G., Wm. E. Rudolph; V.G., John Corson; P.S., Virgil Willett; R.S., Charles Stiles; T., Mahlon F. Ivins Sr.; W., David Phillips; C., John C. Seal; R.S.S., David Mundy; L.S.S., George H. Weibel; R.S. to N.G., P.G., Samuel Mills; L.S. to N.G., P.G. J.L. Bright; I.G., Albert Phillips; O.G., A.L. Rudolph; Chaplain, Wm. P. Partenheimer Sr.; R.S. to V.G., Samuel Mills, Jr.; L.S. to V.G., Joseph Ayers.

CHOSEN FRIENDS LODGE, No. 29, I.O. of O.F., of New Jersey, was constituted in Bontemps’ Hall, Monday evening, May 12, 1845, at which time a special session of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey was held, and the charter presented to the lodge, these Grand officers officiating: Samuel Read, D.D.G.M., presided, assisted by P.G.’s Wm. C. Mulford and C.W. Roberts, of Washington Lodge, No. 21; Joseph Carr, of Mount Holly Lodge, No. 19; G.M. John Perry and G.S. Wm. Curtis, of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania; Grand Sire Howell Hopkins, of the Grand Lodge of U.S.; Horn R. Kneass and Smith Skinner, Rep. to G.L. of the U.S. from G.L. of Pennsylvania; and brothers from Chosen Friends Lodge, No. 100, of Pennsylvania, including P.G.S. James B. Nicholson, now G.S. of the G.L. of Pennsylvania.

Twenty-two were initiated, including Thomas W. Mulford, John F. Starr, Joseph C. De La Cour, Benjamin Scott, Jr., James W. Shroff, James M. Cassady, Matthew Miller and Michael Letts, and these officers were installed: N.G., John Morgan; Secretary, Manuel C. White; V.G., Charles Bontemps; Treasurer, Isaac Mickle. Chosen Friends has always had a leading influence in the counsels of the order in this State, owing to the men of mark among its members, and of them James M. Cassady and John C. Stratford have been Grand Masters. Its Past Grands number thirty-seven. During its forty years of existence not a meeting has been omitted nor benefits failed of payment when due.

In that time these sums have been paid for the objects named;

Relief of brothers                   $17,660.60
Relief of widowed families       $1,600.20
Education of orphans                  $237.00
Burying the dead                      $5,885.50
Total                                                          $25,383.32

The lodge, with two hundred and twelve members, meets in Morgan’s Hall, Thursday evenings, and is strong financially. The officers for 1886 are: N.G., Benjamin S. Lewis; R.S., Samuel P. Jones; V.G., Lewis Traunweiser; P.S., Robert W. Meves.

SENATUS LODGE, No. 76, was instituted in Bontemps Hall, February 9, 1848, with these officers in position: P.G., William. E. Lafferty; N.G., C.C. Sadler; V.G., John R. Graham; S., W.B. Miller; A.S., J.F. Cake; T., William Morrell. The lodge prospered for a time, but from various causes the charter was surrendered in 1857. In 1868 some of the old members, with others, decided to take up the surrendered charter and were duly instituted, with these charter members: E.P. Andrews, John R. Graham, Seth Thomas, J.M. Rodgers, J.M. Sickles, William H. Stansburg, William H. Jeffries, James H. Stevens, F.H. Shinn, Stephen Parsons, Andrew B. Frazee, Frank Skinner, J. Earl Atkinson, A.C. Jackson, William H. Allen. Since its reorganization Senatus Lodge has prospered. It numbers one hundred and sixty members, with three thousand dollars invested, and is well provided with costly and complete paraphernalia for the work of the order. The meetings are held Wednesday evenings in Central Hall. The officers are: N.G., Charles Schnitzler; R.S., John Cook; T., W.B. Stewart; V.G., Thomas Fitzgerald; P.S., Frank M. Tussey.

WILDEY LODGE, No. 91, was instituted February 20, 1849. The officers for 1886 are as follows: N.G., John Marshall; V.G., Joseph B. Armstrong; R.S., Stephen Robinson; P.S., A.G.M. Ashley; T., Robert H. Patton. The lodge meets at Wildey Hall every Tuesday evening. The total number of members is one hundred and forty.

KANE ARCTIC LODGE, No. 115, was organized by warrant dated August 12, 1857, at which time, in Odd-Fellows’ (Morgan’s) Hall, Hampton Williams, of New Jersey Lodge, No. 1., D.D. Grand Master, installed these officers: Levi Bachrach, N.G.; William Hage, V.G.; Emanuel Schneider, T.; and with them initiated these charter members: Julius Barth and John M. Hertlein.

The lodge meets in Central Hall and has a membership of one hundred and thirty-seven, including thirty-nine Past Grands. The assets amount to $3257, $3000 of which, invested in mortgages, realizes $180 per year. The present officers are: Noble Grand, Bernard Kohn; Vice-Grand, Fridolin Hanzy; Recording Secretary, Karl E. Trebing; Permanent Secretary, Henry Philipp; Treasurer, Levi Bachrach.

CAMDEN LODGE, No. 155, was organized February 17, 1871, with the following charter members: Thomas McDowell, Samuel M. Gaul, Christopher C. Smith, William Randall, Past Grands; Frederick G. Thoman, William W. Thoman, Josiah Matlack, Bowman Matlack, Horace Hammell, Andrew J. Cunningham and William T. Brewer. The organization took place in Wildey Hall, where the lodge has met since. It has had a full measure of prosperity, numbers one hundred and fifty-five members and has a reserve fund of five thousand dollars. The Past Grands number twenty-six, and P.G. William P. Brewer is a Past Grand Master.

The present officers are: N.G., Samuel M. Baker; V.G., Thomas R. Murphy; R.S.P.G., Frank P. Jackson; P.S.P.G., Edward G. Bagge; T.P.G., Josiah Matlack.

CAMDEN ENCAMPMENT, No. 12, instituted August 13, 1846, meets Fourth and Market, at Morgan’s Hall, second and fourth Friday nights. Number of members, seventy-five. The present officers are: Chief Patriarch, Lewis Traunweiser; Senior Warden, Sewell H. Colley; Scribe, John Matlack; Treasurer, Benjamin D. Coley; High Priest, Samuel Mills, Sr.; Junior Warden, Robert R. Kates; O.S.C., Nathan A. Carter; I.S.C., Theo. W. Pimm; Guide, Henry Grosskopf.

FAME ENCAMPMENT, No. 26, was instituted August 14, 1851. The officers for 1886 are as follows: C.P., Sam. M. Baker; H.P.; James Houghton; S.W., Asa Kirby; J.W., H.J. House; T., Joseph B. Fox; S., A. George M. Ashley. This encampment meets at Wildey Hall the first and third Friday evenings of every month. The total number of members is forty-eight.

CANTON RIDGLEY, No. 5, PATRIARCH MILITANT, was instituted March 3, 1886. The present number of members is twenty. The present officers are: Captain, Jonathan J. Sheppard; Lieutenant, James Houghton; Recorder, John W. Matlack; Accountant, George Wailes; Ensign, Benjamin F. Fortiner. Meetings are held at the northwest corner of Second and Federal Streets on the first and second Wednesday evenings of each month.

MOUNT ZION LODGE, No. 7, DAUGHTERS OF REBEKAH, was instituted November 17, 1868. Meetings are held at Fourth and Market Streets, in Morgan’s Hall, on the first and third Friday nights. The present officers are: Noble Grand, Robert R. Kates; Vice-Grand, Mrs. H. Strang; Secretary, John W. Matlack; Financial Secretary, Lucy Hubbs; Treasurer, Priscilla Johnson; R.S.N.G., Mary Campbell; L.S.N.G., Mary Corson; Warden, J.W. Johnson; Conductor, Mary Paul; I.S.S., Lewis Traunweiser; O.S.S. Nathan Carter; Chaplain, Althea Bond; R.S.V.G., Jane Hearn; L.S.V.G., Arietta Lewis. The lodge has two hundred members.

THE ODD-FELLOWS’ FUNERAL AID ASSOCIATION, of Camden, was instituted October 16, 1868. The number of members at present is two hundred and forty-five. The present officers are: President, W.C. Husted; Vice-President, A.G.M. Ashley; Secretary, John W. Matlack; Treasurer, Benjamin D. Coley; Directors, Samuel W. Stivers, Thomas W. Pimm, Benedict Youngman, Levi Bachrach, Harry Bennett, Conrad Austermuhl, Joseph Derhamer, Lewis C. Harris, James Maguire..