Category: People

Famous or interesting people of Camden, NJ throughout the years.

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Nathaniel Kaplan

A native of Camden, N.J., Lieutenant Kaplan was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in France.

On the bicycle is Johnny Dooley. This photograph was shot on the set of When Knighthood Was in Flower in 1922. My best guess as to the actor dressed in black is that it is Downing Clarke, then 53, who played the role of Lord Chamberlain in the film.
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John Dooley

John Dooley was a comedic acrobat who starred on the B.F. Keith vaudeville circuit in the 1900's and 1910s. Amongst other performances, he was part of Tydeman & Dooley.

William J Sewell
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William Joyce Sewell

William Joyce Sewell was born on December 6, 1835 in Ireland. Orphaned at a young age, he emigrated to the United States in 1851. He was for a time employed in mercantile business in New York City, made several voyages as a sailor on merchant vessels, afterward engaged in business in Chicago, IL. He moved to Camden NJ in 1860.

Philip John Carlin Jr., AKA Johnny Toomey, Camden, NJ
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Johnny Toomey

JOHNNY TOOMEY was the ring name of Philip John Carlin Jr., one of the three brothers from Camden NJ who fought under the surname Toomey, the others being his older half-brothers Daniel "Danny" Toomey and William "Billy" Toomey. Another brother, Jake Carlin, fought as an amateur, and apparently the Toomey boys' father had also fought professionally.

George Torgun
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George Torgun

GEORGE TORGUN was born Gieorgiej Torgun on April 23, 1923 to Grzegorz and Marja Torgun in what is now Worotinici, Belarus.

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Samuel M. Subers

SAMUEL SUBERS was appointed to the Camden Fire Department at some point not long after November 12, 1874 as a replacement for Alfred S. Ivins as an extra man with Engine Company 1. He served until April of 1876, when incoming Chief of the department Claudius Bradshaw made wholesale personnel changes within the department. He was reappointed in April 8, 1878 and served until April 5, 1882, again as an extra man with Engine Company 1.

Edward Eldred, 1966
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Edward Eldred

EDWARD WIETT ELDRED III was a career officer in the Camden Police Department. His grandparents, Edward and Lydia Eldred, had come to Camden sometime after 1930 and had settled at 231 North 3rd Street by 1942. Edward Eldred III was born in Camden on April 1, 1943 to Alma Edward W. Eldred Jr. His family lived at 362 Dudley Street in the Westfield Acres public housing project in the late 1940s.

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Alice Burdsall

ALICE BURDSALL was born in Pennsylvania around 1873. First appointed a teacher in Camden in 1908, she...

Edward J Borden, Sr, 1933-06-09. Edward J. Borden who was the guest of honor at a testimonial dinner in the Camden Club last night on the occasion of his election as president of the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. The dinner also marked his twentieth wedding anniversary, and Mrs. Borden was similarly feted at another dinner.
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Edward J. Borden

EDWARD J. BORDEN SR. was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 12, 1888 to John and Beatrice Borden, both of whom were born in Canada. The elder Borden was a boilermaker by trade. The family moved to Illinois shortly after Edward Borden's birth, residing there as early as 1890 and as late as July of 1899, when his sister Beatrice was born. The family soon relocated again, this time to Wilmington DE, where they resided at 1205 Elm Street.

Leon Todd, Sr., 1926
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Leon E. Todd, Sr.

Leon Edgar Todd Sr. was born in Camden NJ on November 22, 1893. He operated his real estate agency for many years in Camden at 2623 Westfield Avenue, a building designed by the Camden architectural firm of Lackey & Hettel. Besides handling real estate transactions between buyers and sellers, Leon Todd developed several neighborhoods. One of his most successful projects were the row homes built between Rosedale Street and Westfield Avenue, below North 33rd Street, in East Camden, which were completed in 1925. He also was involved in the fundraising drive that culminated in the building of the Walt Whitman Hotel at Broadway and Cooper streets in 1925.

Max 'Boo Boo' Hoff
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Max "Boo Boo" Hoff

Max "Boo Boo" Hoff was born in 1892 in South Philadelphia, a son of poor Russian-Jewish immigrants. After quitting school, Boo Boo worked for several years in a cigar store where the service also included gambling. His salary was raised from $12 a week to $15 after the proprietor noticed how his amiable personality appealed to customers. But Boo Boo wanted to be his own boss. So, in 1917, he started a gambling operation in the section of Philadelphia now known as Society Hill. There was a poolroom on the first floor and a dice game usually was going full blast upstairs.

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Ferdinand McWilliams

FERDINAND McWILLIAMS was born in Ireland. In 1870 at the time of the Census he gave his age as 41, this would translate into a birth date in 1828 or 1829. Other sources indicate his birth year as 1820 and 1830. He went to California by way of Cape Horn to seek his fortune in the California gold fields during the 1849 gold rush. He struck it rich, and set out for home, only to be robbed, shot, and left for dead while crossing the Isthmus of Panama. He returned to Gloucester City. He married in the 1850s, his son, James Gavan being born around 1860. Wife Mary McWilliams bore him two more sons, Thomas Francis two years later, and George Bruce, born around 1867. Sadly, she passed away sometime in the 1870s.