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.

Samuel M. Subers was born in Camden on January 11, 1854 to Matilda and Robert Subers. The family was living in the South Ward at the time of the 1850 Census, his father then working as a carpenter. Samuel M. Subers was one of at least seven children, coming after Benjamin, William, and Robert; and before Isabella, Richard, and Frank. The family was still in Camden at the time of the 1860 Census. Joseph B Green and family lived next door at the time of the 1860 Census. Both Samuel M. Subers and Joseph B. Green’s son Joseph Green would become Camden fire fighters as adults. Robert Subers and his family moved to Philadelphia prior to the enumeration of the 1870 Census. Samuel Subers soon returned to Camden.

As indicated above, Samuel M. Subers was a member of the Camden Fire Department’s Engine Company 1 in the mid-1870s and early 1880s. Fire Department records do not give an address for him nor do they reveal what his occupation was when he first served, but it is safe to assume that he lived in South Camden, and not too far from Engine Company 1‘s fire house at 409 Pine Street. Samuel M. Subers married Christiana Voll in the mid-1870s, a son, William “Willie” Subers, was born in 1876. The 1878 Camden City Directory states that Samuel M. Subers was a produce dealer and that he lived at 340 Hartman Street (renamed Clinton Street in 1882). The 1880 Census shows Samuel M. Subers with his wife and son at 610 West Street. He was then working as a painter.

Things went somewhat awry for Samule Subers after the Census was taken. He deserted his wife and child, and in June of 1882 a hearing was held on a charge of desertion. City Directories in the 1880s and 1890s state that Christiana Subers was a widow. This however, was not the case. Samuel M. Subers was living near 63rd Street and Elmwood Avenue in Philadelphia in 1890, according to the Philadelphia City Directory for that year. He eventually made his way to California. Samuel M. Subers died in Los Angeles, California on December 19, 1941.

Samuel Subers’ wife, Christiana Voll, was the aunt of Camden fire fighter John C. Voll Jr. and the great-aunt of Camden fire fighter John K. Voll.


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On Saturday a further hearing in the case of Samuel Subers, charged by his wife…
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