The first election in New Jersey of Members of Congress by Congressional Districts, instead of at large, was held in 1843. The First District comprised Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, and Atlantic Counties. Camden County had not yet been created, and was still a part of Gloucester County.
On March 12, 1841 the Camden Mutual Fire Insurance Company was chartered. It continued as a mutual association until July 1, 1870, when it was converted into a stock company, although it was not until 1881 that the word “Mutual” was dropped from the name and the name Camden Fire Insurance Association was adopted. The original office building was erected at the southwest corner of Fifth and Federal Streets in 1858. Prior to that time the Director’s meetings had been held until 1853 at Parson’s Hotel; at the Federal Street Ferry.
The Camden and Woodbury Railroad & Transportation Company, from Camden to Woodbury, was opened to the public January 29, 1838. The first schedule showed trains leaving Woodbury at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 4:00 PM, and from Camden at 8:30 AM, 2:30 PM, and 5:00 PM. To accommodate a number of stage proprietors, an additional trip was later made, leaving Woodbury at 10:00 AM and arriving at Camden at 11:30 AM with stops at Gloucester Point and at Kaighn’s Point Roads. The rate of fare from Camden to Woodbury was twenty-five cents and from Camden to Westville fifteen cents. The road after numerous “ups and downs” was finally abandoned about 1850.
City Council authorized the construction of a market house on Market Street at the intersection of Third Street on March 13, 1837. This market house containing 8 stalls was erected at a cost of $250, and was ready for use December 28, 1837. It was continued in use until 1871 when it was torn down.
The Camden Cemetery, known in modern times as Old Camden Cemetery, adjoining the Newton Friends’ burying grounds, through an action of a town meeting of the Township of Camden, was founded on March 10, 1836. The control was vested in trustees appointed by the township meeting. A plot of ground containing 2.94 acres was purchased from Isaac Cooper for $590.
That section of the city commonly known as Fettersville was purchased by Richard Fetters in 1833 from Charity and Grace Kaighn and embraced the land lying between Line and Cherry Streets, extending from Third Street to the Delaware River. Fetters, a Quaker, was a political and civic leader light years ahead of his time in his commitment to address the needs of his fellow citizens, and was involved the 1828 incorporation of Camden. The town of Fettersville grew rapidly, and in 1835 an additional tract was purchased from the Kaighn family extending south to Mount Vernon Street.
The Township of Camden was created by an act of the Legislature passed November 28, 1831, with boundaries coincident with those contained in the act of February 28, 1828, incorporating the city of Camden. The act provided that a township meeting should be held in the Court House in Camden annually on the second Monday in March. It further provided that the township committees of Newton and Camden Townships should meet at Toy’s Hotel and settle the apportionment of the public property and effects between the two townships.
Camden’s first City Hall was erected in 1829, pursuant to an ordinance of City Council passed June 18, 1828, appointing John K. Cowperthwaite, Samuel Lanning, and Richard Fetters as commissioners to purchase a plot of ground and build a jail and a courthouse. The commissioners were also authorized to borrow $2500 at 6% interest from Jacob Evaul for this purpose, the funds of the corporation being pledged for the loan. The commissioners secured lots 32, 33, and 34 on the plan of Camden Village, situated on the south side of Federal street between Fourth and Fifth Streets, and erected a stone building two stories in height, the attic, which was of brick, being added later. The lower floor was used as a lock-up, the second floor as a council chamber, and the attic as a city court room. The entrance to the council chamber was by a wooden stairway from the pavement. In 1862 a one-story building was added to each end of the building, one side being the office of the mayor and the other that of the clerk.