Bingemann Sr.


RALPH FREDERICK BINGEMANN SR. was born on September 3, 1896 in Stockton Township, which became a part of Camden in 1899. He was the fourth of seven children born to Mary and George J. Bingemann, born after Karl (Charles), Ernest, and Frederick. The family was living at 2513 Federal Street in East Camden when the Census was taken in 1900, where George Bingemann conducted a bakery. The younger three children, George, Laura, and Arthur, were born during the 1900s. The family and the bakery business was still at 2513 Federal Street when the Census was taken in 1910. Interestingly, then living at 2511 was the Kotlikoff family, who would be in the retail business on that block until 1982, and at 2509 Federal, the Liberman family, son Lewis Liberman would become a well known lawyer and judge in Camden after World War I.

When the Census was taken in 1920 the Bingemann family was still at 2513 Federal Street. Ralph Bingemann, however, was not living with his family when the Census was taken. He had moved out and was boarding at 2202 River Road. By the time the 1924 Camden City directory had been compiled, Ralph Bingemann had married. He and his wife Emma lived at 2731 Cleveland Avenue in Cramer Hill. Between the years 1924 and 1929 Ralph Bingemann operated a business called the East End Express out of the Cleveland Avenue address. Meanwhile, the three older Bingemann brothers became involved in a bus company with Joseph Gick, of Cramer Hill. Joseph Gick had been a Camden fire fighter, as was his brother Howard Gick. and father Robert Gick. Ralph Bingemann had lived a few doors away from Joseph Gick when the 1920 s was taken. 

Ralph Bingemann's business appears to have went under by 1929. Meanwhile daughter Laura, and a son, Ralph Jr., had arrived. April of 1930 found Ralph Bingemann Sr. working as a salesman for a laundry. 

Apparently his brother's business connections to the Gick family helped, as on Ralph F. Bingemann Sr. was appointed to the Camden Fire Department of December 22, 1930. He reported for duty on January 1, 1931 with Engine Company 9 at North 27th and Federal Streets in East Camden.. On June 15, 1933 he was transferred to Ladder Company 1, base at Fire Headquarters, North 5th Street and Arch Street. Ralph Bingemann Jr. was promoted to Captain on April 5, 1940 and assigned to Engine Company 7 on Kaighn Avenue.

On October 12, 1942 Captain Bingemann was sent to Pennsylvania State University. This may have had something to do with the war effort. He returned to Camden On December 18, 1942 and was assigned to Ladder Company 3 in East Camden. On April 3, 1943 he was once again returned to Fire Headquarters, this time to Engine Company 2. Anther assignment came on on December 16, 1949, when Captain Bingemann was sent to Engine Company 11 on North 27th in Cramer Hill. This posting lasted only 6 days, for on December 22, 1949 he was once again transferred, to  Engine Company 8 at 619 Kaighn Avenue, where he finished his career. Captain Bingemann retired from the Camden Fire Department on June 1, 1956. He was replaced on the fire department by Theodore Primas, which in time would rise to Chief of Department.

Ralph Bingemann Sr. made his home in Cramer Hill at 2731 Cleveland Avenue as late as 1980. He passed away in March of of 1981. 

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Camden Courier-Post * February 17, 1938
Dinner Speakers Predict Camden Man Will Get Association Post

Robert Wonsetler, of the Camden Fire Department, was hailed as the next state president of the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association at the 41st anniversary dinner of Camden Local, No. 5, last night. It was held in Kenney's Cafe, with 150 members and their women folks attending.

The Camden man is now first vice president of the state association and state representative of the local. James Delaney, of Elizabeth, state president, and other state officers who were among the speakers predicted that when the local has its 42nd anniversary next year, it will have occasion to celebrate the election of Wonsetler as 1939 state president.

Other speakers were Mayor George E. Bruner, City Commissioners Mary W. Kobus and Frank J. Hartmann, Assemblyman Rocco Palese, Fire Chief John H. Lennox, Carlton W. Rowand, Bruce A. Wallace and Freeholder Edward J. Quinlan.

State officers attending, besides Delaney and Wonsetler, were Fred Bailey, Weehawken, second vice president; George Steele, Union City, recording secretary; Joseph Burke, Newark, financial secretary, and Jack Reed, Kearny, treasurer.

Surrogate Frank B. Hanna, who was toastmaster, referred to the three city commissioners present as "candidates for re-election without opposition."

Commissioner Kobus, head of the city fire department, was applauded when she announced wash-stands and showers are being installed in local firehouses and that windbreakers and new fire nets have been ordered.

"The firehouses in Camden are in better condition than ever before,"
Commissioner Hartmann said.

Officers of the Camden Local are Chester Andrus, president; W. Samuel Mountney, vice president; Nelson Andrews, recording secretary; Harrison Pike, financial secretary; Henry Zook, treasurer; Ralph Bingemann, sergeant-at-arms; William H. Harrison, chaplain, and Wonsetler, state representative.

Russell J. Anderson was chairman of the dinner committee, which included Harry Wagner, Arthur Batten, Harry Wilkers, David Humphries and Pike.

Camden Courier-Post - June 30, 1939

Several Firemen Hurt; Oil Plant and Homes Are Menaced


Ralph Bingemann - John Lennox - Andrew Ballantine - John Strauss - Ray Smith - Lou Gold
Marvin Gold - Leroy Garrison - Emido Martelli -  Agnes Mitchell - Mrs. Roy Dilks - Albert Bowne 

Camden Courier-Post
November 10, 1939

Lester Anderson 
John Yates - Arthur Batten
William A. Hopkins - Leo Tomkins Sr.
Ralph Bingemann - Henry Baumgartel

Engine Company 2
Constitution Road

Marie Anderson
Lester Anderson Jr. Marie Anderson
John S. Anderson - William Anderson
Charles Anderson - Madeline Anderson
Kathryn Anderson Venella
Mrs. Louis Letzgus

Camden Courier-Post * June 5, 1940
Truck Disbanded, Engine Company Created; 13 Men Transferred

Commissioner Mary W. Kobus yesterday announced a number of changes in the fire department, including the disbanding of Truck Company No. 4; creation of a new engine company. No. 10, and the transfer of 18 officers and men, 12 of them captains.

Most of the new captains have been serving as acting captains and promotion to full rank will involve no pay increases, inasmuch as the men signed waivers foregoing the raises.

Commissioner Kobus explained most of the changes were made to conform with regulations of the National Board of Fire Underwriters. The board, Mrs. Kobus explained, made a survey of the department and advised appointments of acting captains to full rank.

The commissioner also announced she had appointed Junior Captain Raymond Smith as director of the school for firemen at Engine Company No. 10, Ninth and Morgan streets. Smith, one of the youngest at the recently appointed junior captains, will succeed the late Battalion Chief Rollo Jones.

Senior Captain Leonard Megee was appointed acting battalion chief to succeed Jones. He will continue at the Fifth and Arch streets fire headquarters.

Junior Captain William Spencer, of headquarters company, was named relief captain.

Engine Company No. 10 will use the headquarters of the old truck
company, at Ninth and Morgan streets.

To the new company Mrs. Kobus assigned Senior Captain Mortica Clark and Firemen Frank Burt, Frank Esperance and Clifford Lane.

Junior Captain Frank Oberman was transferred from Engine Company No. 10 to Engine Company No. 1, at fire headquarters.

Other assignments are as follows:

Junior Captain Robert Wonsetler, Engine Company No. 11, to Engine Company No. 2.

Fireman Harry Kleinfelder, Engine Company No. 6, to Engine Company No. 2

Junior Captain Edgar Ellender, Engine Company No. 2, to Engine Company No. 6

Junior Captain Ralph Bingemann, Truck Company No. 2, to Engine Company No. 7.

Fireman David Humphries, Truck Company No. 3, to Engine Company No. 11.

Junior Captain Nelson Andrews, Engine Company No. 2, to Truck Company No. 1.

Fireman Albert Dukes, Jr., Truck Company No. 1, to Engine Company No. 2.

Junior Captain Winfield Levisuer, Truck Company No. 2, to Truck Company No. 3.

Junior Captain Edward McDowell retains assignment to Engine Company No. 3.

Junior Captain Maurice O’Brien assigned to Engine Company No. 10.

The changes were contained in notice to the Civil Service Commission, are effective as of June 1 and will appear on the June 15 payroll.

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