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.
The Camden Trust traces its origin back to July 1, 1873, when the The Camden Insurance, Safe Deposit & Trust Company, first opened for business, at 224 Federal Street. Over a period of seventy-five years, the bank merged with other local banks such as the Security Trust Company, Central Trust Company, East End Trust Company, and American National Bank Bank. The bank relocated, and underwent name changes prior to achieving it’s “modern” format in 1938. At that point the institution was the largest bank in South Jersey.
Founded in the mid-1920s, The American National Bank built a fine building at 1213 Broadway which is still standing today, although it has been boarded up and vacant for many years. The bank’s President was Elmer Ellsworth Long, who had been a principle in the Munger & Long Department Store at Broadway and Federal Street for many years. Another director was Louis Waisban, who owned a grocery and had real estate interests in Cramer Hill.
The Farmers and Mechanics Bank was organized with a capital of $300,000 on March 31, 1855. The banking house at the southeast corner of Front and Market Streets was built at the cost of $18,000. This institution was conducted as a State Bank until September 1, 1864 when it became a National Bank and its title changed to First National Bank of Camden. On July 1, 1922, it merged with the National State Bank under the title of First National State Bank of Camden. The banking house of the National State Bank was used by the combined institutions and the old building of the First National Bank was subsequently sold to the Joseph Campbell Soup Company.
The Camden Trust Co. marks its seventy-fifth anniversary today.
The committee in charge of the sale of War Savings Certificates and Thrift Stamps has requested the Camden Safe Deposit & Trust Company to open a booth under the auspices of the Ladies Committee for the sale of stamps. This booth will be in charge of Miss Ruth Farr, daughter of Mr. Edward L. Farr, president of the Camden Safe Deposit & Trust Company.