Dr. Isaac


DR. ISAAC SKILLMAN MULFORD was born in 1799. He lived much of his life near the intersection of Third and Federal Streets. was a prominent citizen of 19th century Camden, who had owned a great deal of land in the area and was involved in the movement that established Camden County in the 1840s. Dr. Mulford was brother-in-law to John W. Mickle, and also was a director of the Camden & Philadelphia Steamboat Ferry Company.  Dr. Mulford was a highly respected civic orator at a time when public speeches were second only to newspapers as the primary means of mass communication. He also organized the city's and county's medical societies, and as a historian wrote a book entitled Civil and Political History of New Jersey.  

Four days after the Confederacy fired the first shots at Fort Sumter, which gave rise to the Civil War, 116 of Camden's citizens, headed by Dr. Mulford, sent a letter to President Lincoln, declaring an "unalterable determination to sustain the government ... the existence of our National Union ... and to redress the wrongs long endured."

Dr. Mulford, like many of the early settlers of Camden, was a member of the Society of Friends. He was esteemed for his strict integrity, and acknowledged as skillful in his profession. On June 2, 1853 he founded the Camden City Medical Society, in company with Dr. Lorenzo Fisler, Dr. Othaniel Tayor, Dr. Richard M. Cooper, Dr. Sylvester Birdsell, Dr. Thomas F. Cullen, and Dr. John V. Schenck.

After Dr. Mulford's passing, his home was acquired by the Camden Safe Deposit & Trust Company, and used as a bank until 1893, when it was razed. This bank changed its name to the Camden Trust in 1938.

The Isaac S. Mulford School at South 3rd and Walnut Streets was named after Dr. Isaac Mulford, as was Mulford Street, which runs south from Van Hook Street, parallel to South 10th Street.

The following is derived from
George Reeser Prowell's
History of Camden County, N.J.
published in 1886

DR. isaac skillman mulfoRd was the son of Henry and Sarah Mulford, and was born at Alloway's Creek, Salem County, N. J., on December 31, 1799. Selecting the profes­sion of medicine, he entered the office of Dr. Joseph Parrish, of Philadelphia, as a student in 1819, and in the same year he attended medical lectures at the University of Penn­sylvania, from which institution he graduated in 1822. He served for one year as resident physician in the Pennsylvania Hospital and in 1823 began the practice of medicine in Camden, then a mere village, popularly known as the " Ferry," in which, at that date, Dr. Samuel Harris was the only physician. His practice grew as Camden increased in population until he became a leading physician, a position he retained for the whole of his career of fifty years of professional labor. He was noted for his skill in the diagnosis of disease, a faculty that seemed to be intuitive with him.

Dr. Mulford was a pioneer in the organization of Camden County and City Medical Societies and City Dispensary, and he served as president of all of them. His keen insight into the needs of the people and his accurate judgment and precision in all technical details were valuable aids in laying the firm foundations upon which those superstructures were erected. He attained an enviable preeminence in the community for the honesty, the firmness and the correctness of his convictions, both in professional and secular affairs. Although never an office seeker, such was the confidence of his fellow citizens in his patriotism and public spirit that, when meetings were held upon any important civic occasions, such as the firing upon Fort Sumter at the commencement of the Rebellion, he would be called upon to preside over and to address them. His speeches were delivered with a logical force that was convincing, and with a rhetoric that rose at times into eloquence. He was greatly interested in the establishment of the public school system in New Jersey, and his services in its behalf were rewarded by the Executive of the State by an appointment after its adoption as a member of the State School Board of Education. He was frequently elected a member of the School Board in Camden. He was also one of the visitors of the State Insane Asylum. He was an occasional lecturer upon medical and scientific subjects and was also the author of a number of papers upon them published in the medical journals. In the year 1848 he issued from the press the "Civil and Political History of New Jersey," a work which has become a standard book of reference.

Dr. Mulford married, in 1830, Rachel, daughter of Isaac and Sarah Mickle, of Gloucester (now Camden) County. Shortly afterwards he joined the Society of Friends and became a prominent member of the Newton Meeting, of which he was an elder until his decease. His residence was upon the south side of Federal Street, between Second and Third, in the building now occupied by the Camden Safe Deposit and Trust Company. He died February 10, 1873, and is buried in Newton [Old Camden] Cemetery. He left three daughters still surviving- Emma, who married Henry Palmer; Mary, the wife of Colonel James M. Scovel; and Anna, wife of Dr. Richard C. Dean, United States Navy.