CASPER T. SHARPLESS was born on June 9, 1842 in West Goshen Township PA to Harvey and Mary Sharpless. By the time the 1860 Census was taken his father had passed, and his mother brought him and his brothers Eli and Harvey to Chester Township (present-day Maple Shade) New Jersey, where they lived on the farm Josiah and Sarah Warrington. The 1870 Census shows that Casper Sharpless, still in Chester Township, had gone into farming himself, his brothers working for him, and his widowed mother keeping house for her sons.
On January 18, 1872 Casper Sharpless married Rachel M. Roberts, in Moorestown NJ. Three children came soon after, Jesse, Allen, and Mary Sharpless. Mother Mary Sharpless passed away on January 15, 1873.
The 1876-1877 Camden City Directory shows that Harvey Sharpless had moved to 40 North 2nd Street in Camden, and was working in the coal business. In early 1878 Casper T. Sharpless moved to Camden, buying a house at 18 Broadway, and opening a coal, feed, and grain business called C.T. Sharpless and Brother at Federal Street and the Cooper's Creek Bridge. Eli Sharpless had remained on the farm in Chester Township. In early 1879 Harvey Sharpless purchased the house at 17 Broadway, and the brothers would live across the street and work with each other for many years. 17 Broadway later became the home of professional basketball owner and coach Billy Morgenweck.
Sharpless & Brother sold feed, grain, and coal from the Federal Street and Coopers Creek location. The location on Federal Street near the bridge placed the Sharpless enterprise near those of Richard F. Smith and Elwood Antrim.
Rachel M. Sharpless passed away on May 5, 1900 in Camden. When the 1910 Census was taken, Casper Sharpless had retired and remarried, to Abbie Hoopes Davis. It was the second marriage for both parties. The two Sharpless sons, Harvey and Allen, had followed their father into the grain and feed business. The sons would follow their father and uncles' pattern, of living as close together as possible, when they purchased adjacent homes at 414 and 418 Haddon Avenue.
Casper Sharpless sold his home at 18 Broadway to the principals of the new Merchants Trust Bank in 1911. He moved to 535 Linden Street, and eventually returned to the Chester township area, as most of that block was razed in the early 1920s to make way for the Delaware River Bridge.
In the 1910s, Casper T. Sharpless remained involved in Camden's business life. He was on the Board of Directors of the Central Trust, and was Vice President of that bank in 1919. Others who served on the Central Trust's Board of Directors during this period included Alpheus McCracken, A.J. Fullmer, Fithian S. Simmons, Jesse W. Starr III, W. Leonard Hurley, Killam Bennett, Eli Sharpless, Dr. H.H. Grace M.D., H.N. Munger, John B. Clement, Andrew B.F. Smith, Philip Wilson, Richard C. Schwoerer, George VanSciver and Frank J. Hineline. His nephew, Edward Savery Sharpless, son of brother Eli, began practicing law in Camden during this decade. .
Casper T. Sharpless died in Moorestown NJ on May 27, 1926, survived by his wife and sons. Allen Sharpless passed away on February 2, 1941.
|1883-1884 Camden City Directory Advertisement|
Casper Sharpless lived at 18 Broadway, the second building on the right, tinted orange, and adjacent to the large white bank building, the former Merchants Trust bank, later the Broadway Theater.
Brother Harvey Shaprless lived across the street at 17 Broadway, the fourth building from the left, then being used by William Morgenweck, whose black and white vertical sign is evident. This three story building was adjacent to the Munger & Long Building, which housed the JC Penney Department Store in Camden from the 1930s to the 1960s.
A. McCRACKEN, President
C. T. SHARPLESS, Vice-President
T. S. NEKERVIS, Treasurer
C. CHESTER CRAIG, Trust Officer
WILLIAM C. JONES, Solicitor.
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