CHARLES L. “SHAD” ALCOTT was born in New Jersey around 1857. The Census indicates July of 1858. Sorting him out can be confusing as there was a Charles M. Alcott, born February of 1857, who lived in Camden at the same time. If they were related, it was not a close relationship.
Charles L. Alcott was the son of Logan Alcott and his wife, the former Elizabeth Ann Bodine. The Alcotts were living in Camden as early as 1854. Logan Alcott was one of the founding stewards of Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church. Logan Alcott was in the coal business. The Alcott family was living at 440 West Street in 1864. By the following year they had moved to 425 West Street. When the Census was taken in 1870, the Alcott family consisted of Logan and Elizabeth Alcott and children William, Emeline, Daniel, Mary, Nicholas, and Charles Alcott. The Alcotts lived next door to Micijah and Emeline Bates. Emeline Bates and Elizabeth Alcott were sisters. George W. Bates, the son of Micijah and Emeline, was an charter member of the Camden Fire Department. His brother Logan Bates, served with the Department as would Charles Alcott‘s older brother William Alcott.
William Alcott was appointed to the Camden Fire Department in September of 1871 to replace Benjamin H. Connelly as an extra man with Engine Company 2, who was removed from service September 5, 1871. When appointed to the Fire Department he and the rest of his family were making their home at 435 South 5th Street.
Logan Alcott died on April 30, 1874. William Alcott remained in service with the Camden Fire Department until his death on November 4, 1874. The Alcotts were still making their home at 435 South 5th Street when he passed, and would continue to reside there for some time after his passing.
The 1880 Census shows Charles L. Alcott living with his widowed mother, sister-in-law Susan Alcott and her son Charles, aunt Emiline Bates and uncle Micijah Bates, and cousins Laura and Logan Bates at 435 South 5th Street. Charles Alcott was working as a laborer at the time of the Census.
Charles L. Alcott was one of a number of exceptional baseball players who came from Camden in the 19th Century. Although he never made it to the major leagues, he played at least nine seasons of professional baseball and played semi-pro baseball in other years. Records for the 1880s and 1890s are somewhat spotty, but what is known is that he played in 1882 for the Camden Merrits of the Interstate Association, and spent 1883 with the Pottsville Anthracites in the same league. 1884 was spent with Allentown Dukes in the Eastern League, and in 1885 he played for the Trenton Trentonians in the same loop. In 1887 he went to play for the Williamsport Lumber Citys with another Camden native, William “Kid” Gleason, playing in the Pennsylvania State Association. He played in 31 games for Williamsport and in one for the Scranton Miners of the same league, then went to Ashland in the Central Pennsylvania League, where he played in 40 games. Charles Alcott played in three games for Hazleton and in one game for Danville in the same league before the season ended. In 1888 Charles L. Alcott went to Canada after signing with the London Tecumsehs in the International Association, and played in 18 games before going over to the Albany (New York) Governors team in the same league, where he appeared in 11 more contests. Charles Alcott finished the season with the St. Louis Whites of the Western Association. 1889 saw Charles Alcott with the Mansfield, Ohio team of the Tri-State League. Charles Alcott‘s known professional career ended with the 1890 season, where he played with the Altoona Mountaineers team of the Eastern Interstate League. In 1891 Charles L. Alcott played for the semi-pro Camden team which appears not to have a league affiliation but which did play a good number of professional teams. At one time or another Charles L. Alcott played all four infield positions, the outfield, and appeared in three games as a pitcher for Allentown in 1883.
A Charles Alcott was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on March 30, 1883 to serve as an extra man with Engine Company 1, taking the place of James P. Shinn. Charles Alcott was not reappointed the following year, John C. Edwards taking his place in the Fire Department. This appears to have been Charles M. Alcott, as Charles L. Alcott was busy playing baseball out of town.
City Directories through 1888 indicate that Charles L. Alcott lived with his mother at 435 South 5th Street when not out of town playing baseball. The Alcotts had moved to 532 South 5th Street by the time the 1890-1891 Camden City Directory was compiled. Charles L. Alcott married at some point after the 1880 Census, most likely around 1890 or 1891. The 1892-1893 Camden City Directory indicates that he had moved to “Washington av nr 25th, W-ville” which translates due to the annexation of the town of Stockton by Camden in 1899 and the subsequent renaming of streets to “Berwick Street near South 25th Street, East Camden“. The directory shows that he had taken a job as a motorman with the C.H.R.R., the Camden Horse Railroad, which ran trolley cars in the area. In 1893 the Camden Horse Railroad merged with the West Jersey Traction Company to form the Camden Suburban Railway Company. The 1893-1894 Directory gives Charles L. Alcott‘s address as 2515 Washington Avenue, which, as stated above would be 2515 Berwick Street. He was still at that address in 1894, but was then working as a laborer. By 1895 he had moved to 101 South 26th Street. The 1896 Directory shows that Charles L. Alcott had returned to South Camden, where he lived with his wife Della and son Charles Alcott Jr. at 523 William Street and worked as a car cleaner. Charles L. Alcott was still on William Street the following year, working as a laborer. The 1898 Directory shows that he and his wife were living at 616 Roberts Street. Sadly, Della Alcott passed away in September of 1898.
The 1900 Census shows Charles L. Alcott residing at 518 South 5th Street. By 1910 Charles Alcott was living with his cousin, Logan Bates, at 532 South 5th Street, a home that appears to have been in the family since at least 1890. Charles L. Alcott worked as a watchman, and was till in that line of work when the census was taken in 1920. The 1914 City Directory shows Charles Alcott living with Logan and Susan Bates at 636 Berkley Street. Logan and Susan Bates and Charles L. Alcott all resided at 440 South 5th Street when the Census was taken in January of 1920.
Charles L. Alcott died on January 14, 1920.