WILLIAM ABELS was born in Pennsylvania around 1839 to Andrew and Sarah Abels. His family was living in Wilmington in 1850. After leaving Wilmington they moved around the country, residing at times in Camden, Philadelphia, Delaware, and Mobile, Alabama. William Abels began working with volunteer fire companies in around 1853.
When the 1860 Census was taken, his parents had moved to North Camden. William Abels was then working on a farm in Delaware. It does not appear that he served in the Civil War. He married and came to New Jersey in the 1860s, and joined the Weccacoe Fire Company No. 2.
William Abels was politically active, however, he ran into some legal difficulty in January of 1871 involving a dispute over a glass factory purchased by then Sheriff Randall Morgan.
William Abels was elected to Camden’s City Council in 1878, and was made President of that body in 1880. He served in that capacity for one year. No occupation is given in the 1880 Census records, nor is one given in later City Directory listings. The 1880 Census shows him living at 126 Cooper Street with his wife Sarah and three children- Marie, a teacher, Charles, an artist’s student, and Belle, at school.
By 1884 William Abels had been appointed Postal Inspector. His address was listed at 105 Penn Street in the 1887-1888 and 1888-1889 City Directories. While his mother and father continued to reside in Camden for many years thereafter, William Abels, his wife and children were not listed in the 1890-1891 City Directories and had apparently left the city. He was in the area in November of 1897 when he took part in a Thanksgiving parade in Stockton, the town that was made up of what is today referred to as East Camden and Cramer Hill.
William Abels passed away on June 17, 1899 at Interlaken, New Jersey, near Asbury Park. After services at the home of his son-in-law, Joseph Sweeten, 104 North 6th Street, William Abels was buried at Colestown Cemetery in Delaware Township (present day Cherry Hill), New Jersey.