JOSEPH T. JOHNSON was born in October of 1871, according to the 1900 Census. Other sources indicate he may have been a few years older. Of his life before 1900 little has been confirmed, but it appears that he was living in South Camden in the 1890s and separated from his wife around 1898.

Joseph T. Johnson was not among the many new appointees made to the Camden Fire Department at the end of November of 1899, however, by June of 1900 he had begun a career as a Camden fire fighter that would last through at least April of 1930. He spent a good deal of time as the driver at Engine Company 2.

The 1900 Census shows Joseph Johnson was then married, but was living apart from his wife. While not on duty with the Fire Department, he boarded at 441 Chambers Avenue, the home of Arthur R. Abele. By 1906 he had moved to 649 Royden Street. The 1910 and 1914 City Directories shows him living at 566 Royden Street

By the end of 1918 Joseph Johnson had married. The City Directory shows him and his wife Emma living at 901 Atlantic Avenue. Also living with them was Emma's widowed mother, Mrs. Amy Richards, according to the 1920 Census. By 1924 the Johnsons had brought a home at 1433 South 10th Street, where they lived through at least 1931. Joseph Johnson retired on pension in the early 1930s.

The Johnsons were not at the South 10th Street address when the 1940 City Directory was compiled. A Joseph and Emma Johnson were are listed in that edition at 714 Mount Vernon Street, but it is not clear at this point if these are the same people. 

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 26, 1900

Robert Colkett - Wright Cox - Joseph T. Johnson

Philadelphia Inquirer - December 20, 1910

This 1912 Robinson Combination Chemical and Hose Wagon was assigned to Engine Company 2. It was one of two purchased as the first motorized apparatus in the Department. Pictured in this 1913 photograph are (l to r): Fireman John Lennox, Wagon Chauffer Harry Hankins, Firemen William Elberson, Joseph Ernst, Martin Carrigan, and Captain George Wade. Accompanying them are members of the engine crew: Stoker Arthur Wingate, Driver Joseph Johnson and Engineer John Augustus "Gus" Dold.