George
H.
johnson


GEORGE HENRY JOHNSON was born on December 11, 1886 in New Jersey to George H. and Geneva Simpson Johnson. He was the second of two children, coming 23 months after older sister Estella. The family was living with Geneva's widowed mother, Ellen M. Simpson, at 812 South 2nd Street, when the 1900 Census was enumerated. His father then worked as a driver. 

George Johnson had gone out into the world by the time the 1910 Census was enumerated. According to the 1930 Census, he married at the age of 20. The 1910 Census shows him living with his wife, the former Ella Bell, and her parents at 110 Cedar Street in Pennsauken, New Jersey. George Johnson's occupation is listed as mechanical dentist, this of course being an age where one did not have to be a doctor to practice dentistry. By 1914 he and his wife had moved to Camden. They lived with his parents at 823 Kaighn Avenue, where George Johnson continued to practice dentistry.

When he registered for the draft in September of 1918 George Johnson was living at 451 Henry Street in South Camden with his wife Ella, their children, and his parents. He was then working as a letter carrier out of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania post office. The 1920 Census, taken in January, shows him still living at the Henry Street address. Besides his wife and parents, the household included four children, George Marvin, Charles Gilbert, Harold, and Mary G. Johnson. The census taker listed his occupation as mechanical dentist. That occupation would change before the year ended, however.

George H. Johnson was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on November 22, 1920 and reported for duty with Engine Company 1 at 409 Pine Street on January 1, 1921. He spent his entire career as a fire fighter with Engine Company 1. George H. Johnson was one of the six Black fire fighters, the others being Walter W. Carter, Leroy Hatchett, Charles W. Cooke, Roscoe Tribbett and Benjamin Walters, who were hired when the Department was reintegrated. The following year three more were added- Byron Davis, Alfred E. Greene, and Louis Stevens

The 1927 Camden City Directory lists George Johnson at 926 South 9th Street. Fire Department records from 1931 also show George Johnson living at 926 South 9th Street in 1931. He was still living at 926 South 9th Street and working as a fireman when his mother Geneva passed away on February 29, 1940. By the spring of 1942 George Johnson was retired from the Camden Fire Department on pension. He and wife Ella had moved to the newly constructed Clement T. Branch Village public housing project, and he was still living there as late as 1947. By that time he had taken a job as a guard with the Wickes Engineering & Construction Company, then located at South 12th Street and Ferry Avenue, across from Evergreen Cemetery.

A Camden resident to his last days, George H. Johnson passed away in July of 1975.


World War I Draft Card

The registrar who filled in this card was C. Leonard Brehm, local politician and bar-owner

World War II Draft Card


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