WILLIAM ROWAND PERNIER was born in New Jersey on May 19, 1899, one of at least seven children born to Francis Pernier and his wife, the former Laura Harris Taylor. His grandfather, George Pernier, was veteran of the Civil War. Francis Pernier worked as an umbrella maker in the years before William was born. By 1906 he had found work as a railroad conductor. The family then had moved to 414 Royden Street. Francis and Laura Pernier remained at that address into the mid-1920s, save for a brief period around 1910 when the Pernier family lived at 1215 Locust Street in South Camden, a few doors north of Kaighn Avenue, and a very short walk from the Kaighn's Point Ferry Terminal and railroad stop. The intersection of Locust and Kaighn would figure prominently in subsequent events of the life of William Pernier.
The Perniers had returned to at 414 Royden Street by September of 1918. William Pernier was then working as a bolter at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard on Broadway at Morgan Street. Francis Pernier would remain at this address until his passing in September of 1940.
William Pernier does not appear in the 1924 or 1927 Camden City Directories, but he was operating in the city, as evidenced by a 1925 newspaper article concerning a brush with the law. By 1929 and through at least April of 1930 Census was taken William Pernier was living at 319 Mechanic Street in South Camden. During this period he operated a cigar store at 225-1/2 Kaighn avenue. Mary Montgomery, aged 26, was living there as well, and listed her occupation as house keeper. This relationship did not last and by 1932 he had married, and was living with wife Edith at 293 Liberty street.
An associate of Camden crime figure William 'Shooey' Bonner, William Pernier was wounded in a gunfight at Locust Street and Kaighn avenue. Taken into custody with a recently fired weapon in his possession, William Pernier was sentenced to a two to three year term in state prison on February 1, 1933.
William Pernier died November 16, 1940. He had been living at 345 Mount Vernon Street.
William Pernier's neice, Dorothy Pernier, daughter of his brother Frank, worked for the City of Camden at City Hall for over 40 years, much of that time as Vice-Registrar of Vital Statistics.
January 20, 1925
|Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1933|
YEAR SENTENCE IS GIVEN PERNIER
Despite his plea that he was still suffering from a gunshot wound received October 30, William Pernier, 32, of 293 Liberty street, was sentenced to serve from two to three years in the state prison for carrying deadly weapons. Pernier's wife, Edith, screamed and was led from the courtroom when the sentence was pronounced by Judge Samuel M. Shay.
Pemier, former pal of the slain William "Shooey" Bonner, was arrested by three policemen who found him lying wounded and holding a revolver which they said was "still hot" at Locust Street and Kaighn Avenue.
When tried in Criminal Court, Pernier's defense was that he had been wounded by gunmen and that he had picked up the revolver dropped by a one of his assailants. A jury deliberated only 12 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty after a short trial on January 24. Request for postponement of sentence was made at that time by Julius Sklar, Pernier's attorney.
Judge Shay remanded Pernier to jail to await sentence after setting yesterday as the date when he should learn his fate.
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