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 and helped form the first paid fire company in the United States.
Philadelphia Inquirer - June 21, 1899
ABELS - At Interlaken, NJ on June 17, 1899, William Abels. The relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral, on Wednesday afternoon, at 2 o'clock, from the residence of his son-in-law, Joseph H. Sweeten, No. 104 North Sixth street, Camden, N.J. Interment private, at Colestown, N.J.
Philadelphia Inquirer - November 26, 1897
Representative firemen from New Jersey and Pennsylvania owned the Town of Stockton yesterday and the Knights of the Golden Eagle joined them in the annual Thanksgiving demonstration of the Volunteer Fire Department of the town.
Philadelphia Inquirer - January 14, 1885
Post Office Agent Barrett was alarmed on Saturday by receiving a telegram requesting him to meet at the depot Postal Inspector William Abels, then on his way from Reading, and believed to have been attacked and badly hurt. Mr. Barrett accordingly met Mr, Abels at the 5.30 train, and asked him if he had been hurt, when the latter displayed his hand, which was cut and bloody, and bore the appearance of having had some rough instrument drawn forcibly through it. Afterward he put his hand to tho back of his head, where examination showed that he had been dealt a heavy blow, which had cut through his stiff felt hat.
Philadelphia Inquirer - April 9, 1880
An adjourned meeting of Camden City Council was held yesterday afternoon at half past four o'clock for the purpose of acting on and disposing of miscellaneous business, President Abels in the chair. On roll call nineteen members answered to their names.
A bill has been introduced into the New jersey Legislature authorizing the establishment of a fund for the relief of indigent and disabled firemen in Camden, and their families, if in necessitous circumstances. The following gentlemen are named in the bill as trustees: Samuel Hufty, Robert S. Bender, Jacob Daubman, William Abels, James W. Ayers, Frank B. Holt. These gentlemen represent the different companies composing the Camden Fire Department.
On June 7, 1866 Camden's City Council enacted an ordinance reorganizing the volunteer fire service to improve efficiency in operations. This ordinance provided for increased compensation to the fire companies (Weccacoe and Independence got $800 per annum to be paid quarterly, the Weccacoe and Shiffler Hose companies and the United States Fire Company received $200 annually). The volunteer fire companies were also directed to select a Chief Fire Marshal and three Assistant Marshals, one from each district. The selections were subject to approval by Council. The new department was called "The Fire Department of the City of Camden". In protest of this ordinance the New Jersey Fire Company No.4 withdrew from the new, organized volunteer department.