A History of Post Offices in Camden

SPAN OF A CENTURY, 1828-1928

100 YEARS IN THE HISTORY OF CAMDEN AS A CITY

Compiled from notes and data collected by Charles S. Boyer, President Camden County Historical Society. Published by Centennial Anniversary Committee of Camden, New Jersey. Additional Photos and Notes by Phillip Cohen in 2003.

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A Post Office was established in Camden in 1803 and called Cooper’s Ferry Post Office, under which name it continued until 1829 when it was changed to Camden. The office was first located in the hotel at the foot of Cooper street and the first postmasters were Benjamin Cooper, 1803-1806; Charles Cooper, 1806-1810; Richard M. Cooper, 1810-1829.

In 1829, under Isaac Toy, the Post Office was removed to the hotel at the foot of Federal Street. In 1840 it was removed by Postmaster James Elwell to the Railroad Hotel at the foot of Bridge Avenue.

In 1849 the Post office was removed to the southeast corner of 2nd and Plum Street, Plum Street being renamed Arch Street at a later time, by Charles Bontemps, where it remained until 1853, when it was located at the northeast corner of 3rd & Plum Streets, which, nearly 50 years later, became its location once again.

On April 18, 1853 it was removed by Postmaster John Hanna to the old frame building next to Woolston’s Hotel (later known as Parson’s Hotel), on Federal Street. In 1861 Postmaster Samuel Andrews moved the office to 214 Federal Street. On the death of Andrews in 1863, Captain Richard H. Lee was made Postmaster, and leased the Roberts Building, at the southeast corner of 3rd and Federal Street, where the office remained until it was removed to the northwest corner of 3rd and Arch Streets in 1870, where it remained until June of 1875.

From that time until 1900 the Post office was located at 420-424 Federal Street in a building erected solely for this purpose by John S. Read.

A new Post Office Building, at 3rd and Arch Streets, was officially turned over to the U.S. Government on December 8, 1899, by the contractor, Charles McCaul. This was the first post office building in Camden owned by the United State Government. The building was opened for public inspection on January 31, 1900, and officially used as a Post Office for the first time on February 1, 1900.

The new century saw great growth in the City of Camden, and Post Office kept pace during these years. In 1922 Charles H. Ellis, who had served as the Mayor of Camden since 1905, was named postmaster. During his tenure a new Post Office and Federal Court House was built at the corner of North 4th and Market Streets, on the site where Ed Gondolff’s Temple Bar and Hotel and the adjacent Temple Theater Building had stood. This building was expanded in the 1990s and renamed the Mitchell H. Cohen US Courthouse in honor of Camden-born lawyer and judge Mitchell H. Cohen.

In 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt named Democrat political leader Emma Hyland as postmaster. She was the first woman to hold the job, and served in that capacity until shortly before her death in 1945.

In later years the Postal Service established branch offices on Federal Street in East Camden, and on Broadway in South Camden.


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